The Pastor And The Prophet

Living on a small farm with livestock such as sheep, we often have predators come to disrupt the herd and snatch away the little lambs. The best way to keep our territory safe for the flock to grow and flourish is for us to have a few dogs.

To this end we have two very different dogs with very different gifts, skills, and builds. First we have a small beagle named Hanna. Beagles have the strongest nose of any of the dog breeds. So much so that it’s practically an extrasensory perception. Beagles see more with their nose then with their eyes. They can pick up when a predator is lurking when no one else knows anything is happening. They know when it is approaching before it even gets their. Once the foe is there the beagle knows its paths, tactics, and tricks and can track it down when others (judging by sight and limited smell) still think that all is well.

However, for all her discernment, tenacity, devotion, and bravery, she would get herself killed without some help. So while Hanna is the hunter and “point dog”, our second dog, Theophilus, is the guard dog. He is a huge dog, being a mix between the lion hunting Rhodesian Ridgeback and the very protective Louisiana Catahoula Cur. Living in Louisiana we have a lot of different large predators here and while our little beagle is great at picking up on dangers, sounding the alarm, and tracking it down, when she finds it, there’s not a whole lot she can do, so this is where Theophilus’ role steps in.

The scene usually unfolds something like this. The sheep are in the pasture oblivious to any threat, but a predator has begun to plot and stalk in the unseen. Hanna picks it up! Nothing out of the ordinary can be seen but she sees what can’t be seen and trust her nose. She takes off running at full speed yelping and baying and sounding the alarm. Theophilus, trusting in her nose, runs behind her, covering her, and protecting her as she tracks the threat down. Eventually they find the threat and though she continues to bark, she falls back and Theophilus steps up to take care of business, remove the threat, reclaim their territory, and return peace and safety to the flock. Then they return to wait for the next enemy that try’s to come and steal, kill, and destroy within their territory.

Believe it or not, this is exactly the relationship and the importance of the pastor and the prophet within a congregation. One without the other is severely handicapped leaving themselves, their flock, and their territory open to the enemy. They can each do something’s well but only together can they truly keep the flock safe, healthy, and growing.

Through out biblical history, when the shepherds over the congregation of the people stopped listening to the voice of the prophet sounding the alarm of approaching danger, they all fell into the enemies hands and the flock was scattered. It’s no different today, but likewise, the prophets words and warnings are of no use if there is no pastor that will trust them, defend them, and act upon them, and enforce them to the safeguarding of the flock.

Understand this, a prophet is not a pastor anymore then my beagle is a guard dog. Neither can a pastor assume to pick up on the unseen in time as well as the prophet can anymore then my Cur could ever hope to out trail my beagle. God has designed it this way on purpose, to keep us dependent on Him by keeping us dependent on His gifts in others. No one person can effectively lead a church body other then Christ Himself, because we are all part of the body ourselves. Each part has its part and no one part can do it all. They all must learn to trust in and be led of the head (which is Christ/the Holy Spirit) who works through all the different parts of the body as it functions together as a whole to achieve the will of God (the head).

All the parts are important, all the parts have their strengths and weakness, all the parts have their place and their purpose. Therefor, it is important for us to learn when to step up into our role, and possibly even more important to learn when to fall back and let those who have been built for this fight, step up and take their place in theirs.

The number one thing that prevents this from happening the way it should is pride and that is why pride always comes before a fall. Pride will cause you to be overtaken by your foes, pride will cost you your flock, pride will cost you the territory. Learn when to step up and when to fall back and you will function in the fullness of how God created you to. A body of different members all being led in different ways using different gifts by one Spirit to achieve one will, the Father’s will; all of it in all it’s scope and perfection, hinging upon these few things, humility, obedience, unity, selflessness, love, and faith.

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

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” – Ephesians 4:11-16

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The Hands of Christ 

“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:27‬ ‭

We’ve all heard the phrase, “we are the hands and feet” of Christ. This phrase is an indirect quote that summarizes chapter 12 of the book of 1 Corinthians. The chapter as a whole explains that though Christ’s Spirit still remains, His physical body is no longer in this world. Therefor, until He physically returns on that fateful day, we are to allow our physical bodies to be used by His Holy Spirit to continue His work and ministry in His stead. 

This is why the chapter begins with Paul identifying the spiritual gifts that Christ functioned in and explains that those who have His Spirit will allow themselves to be used as His body continuing His physical work by continuing to function in these gifts, as He did that the overcoming power of the Kingdom of God against the works of the kingdom of Satan would continue to be demonstrated in the earth to the freeing of souls from it’s lies, bondages, and limitations. This is why, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!” It is the power to set at liberty those that had been captive! Liberty from fear, from sin, from sickness, from demonic oppression, from torment, from all the works of the devil, because it is authority!

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭

This is the truest since of what it means to be the hands of Christ! Demonstrating the authority of the Kingdom! Through out the New Testament when the command was given to “lay hands” on someone, the Authority of the Kingdom of God was about to be demonstrated in the Name of Jesus! The sick were healed, the oppressed delivered and set free, demons cast out, the dead raised, the lame made whole, the Spirit of God was given, gifts were stirred up, callings manifested! The power of Christ’s authority became alive causing people to have faith in the grace (or power) that had been made available to all through Jesus Christ! 

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant… But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to EVERY MAN to profit WITHAL.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:1, 7‬ 

Here’s the exciting news! Nothing has changed! It still works the same today! Only our faith in it has changed so that you see only the rare few who dare to read the bible for themselves and belief it actually walk in the truth and power of it! A lot of people talk the talk but only the few who know who their God is and truly believe actually walk the walk in freedom bringing, hell overcoming, demon stomping, territory taking, life changing, faith stirring, miracle working power and authority! 

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” – Mark‬ ‭16:17-18‬ ‭

“And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” – Daniel‬ ‭11:32‬ ‭

Until Christ returns, we have been given the commission to continue His ministry in every aspect that He preformed it, functioning as His body led by His Spirit moving in His gifts by the power of His grace that He made available to us by His sacrifice. Upon His return, we will all have to face Him and give an account of what we did, or didn’t do with this great gift and commission that He suffered so much to give us. I for one would like to hear those words, “well done, My good and faithful servant. Inter into rest.” Yet I fear for the many who will hear, as the unfruitful servant who buried his talent did in Matthew‬ ‭25:30‬, “cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Note that this was a servant of God, a believer in God, yet he did not make it in because He did not bare fruit for the kingdom. He hid and wasted that which Christ had given all to give to him. Yes, he called Him Lord, yes he believed in Him, but he did not do His will, he trusted in his own ability and buried the gift that God had given him, that had he used, would have allowed him to do greater things then he could have ever done on his own. God would have multiplied and compounded the return of souls for the kingdom like interest on money in the bank if he had just used the gift that he had been given access to. Don’t let other people’s fear and unbelief rob you of your faith unto the hiding of your talents. Let your faith rob other people of their fear and unbelief by the digging up and using of your talents. 

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: …;” – 2 Timothy‬ ‭1:6-8‬ ‭

The gifts are given as tools for the harvest, to continue His work and demonstrate the reality of the authority granted by the victory over Satan that was won for us at Calvary. If you truly believe that Christ overcame His enemy and put Satan under our feet then these signs will follow you because you will walk in victory and authority speaking, doing, and living the power of this good news! If you will only believe, then you will give His Spirit, your body, to do His will. Then will you truly be His hands and feet, then will His gifts and talents be used to the harvesting of souls with interest! Then will signs, wonders, and miracles follow you, because you have believed, truly believed. 

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” – Romans‬ ‭8:14‬ ‭

Not His Will

So often we hear the phrase “whatever is meant to be will be“, or “God’s will, will be done.” It gives us a great sense of ambiguity in not only the over all scheme of things but also in our own lives and convictions, or lack thereof. So where does this concept come from?

Well it surely doesn’t come from God. The bible is full of story’s where things didn’t work out the way they were suppose to. Death, murder, selfishness, immorality, wrath, judgment, all of which came solely as a result of people living in opposition to God’s will; for God told them not to do these things. 

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” – ‭James‬ ‭4:17‬ ‭

In truth, sin is simply any form of rebellion against God’s will. If everything was God’s will then there would be no sin because there would be no rebellion, for the very nature of rebellion is to choose to act against the will of the authority over you. If your children are being rebellious, it means that they are not obeying your will for them.

Now hear me out on this, God is above all and in the end His promises will stand, God will do His part, it’s your part that is in question here. The Israelite’s that left Egypt are a great example of this. They left for the promised land, yet Paul tells us that because of the unbelief of God’s words that drove their constant rebellion to God’s will for them, they could not enter in. God still kept His promise to Abraham by sending their children into promise but they themselves lost their part in it because of a refusal to believe and obey God’s words, but it did not have to be; hence the warning to us not to make the same mistake.

“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” – Hebrews‬ ‭3:7-12‬ ‭

Now, let’s take this concept of God’s will always being done straight to scripture and see what it plainly says:

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter‬ ‭3:9‬ ‭

Peter, a disciple of Christ, clearly states that God is very patient in His wrath and judgments toward us because it is “not His will” that anyone would perish but it is His will that everyone should come to repentance. Yet we know that very few actually do come to repentance in the over all scope of things because Matthew 7:14 tells us that “narrow is the way that leads to life and few are they that find it.” 

So if it is God’s will that all come to repentance unto eternal life, then why do so few do so? The answer is given just a few more verses down when it says clearly that it is because most do not do the will of the Father. 

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew‬ ‭7:21

You do have a choice to make, everyone has a choice to make. Will you be counted among the many or among the few. God is patient because it is not His will that any should parish, therefor He waits for you to choose to repent of your rebellion against His will and realign yourself with it, but many simply choose not to. The choice is yours, God will not make it for you, so I implore you, choose ye this day whom you will serve while there is still yet time. 

Jesus stands at the door and knocks desiring to come in, sup, talk with you, and tell you His will for you, but you have to choose to open that door and once you have, you have to choose to listen to what He tells you there. It’s all about a choice. It’s always been about a choice. From the garden of Eden, to the garden of Gethsemane, to the garden of your heart, it’s always been about a choice between saying “my will be done“, or “thy will be done.” It’s about a choice, and the choice is yours to make, choose the narrow path, choose to do the will of the Father, choose life.

“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

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” – Revelation‬ ‭3:20-22‬ ‭

“And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.” – Revelation‬ ‭2:21‬ ‭

“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” – 2 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭

“Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, …” – ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭7:37

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” – Romans‬ ‭6:16‬ ‭

“…choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua‬ ‭24:15‬ ‭

The Gospel Truth

IMG_2253-1“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” – ‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭3:17-18‬ ‭

Many people have a misconstrued interpretation of Scripture, and therefore ERROR GREATLY!!!

SALVATION:
GOD’S Plan? YES!
For HIS OWN PURPOSE? YES!
BY HIS POWER AND FOR HIS GLORY? YES!
IS IT HIS WILL THAT ALL SHALL BE SAVED? YES!!

But, does that mean that all will be saved? NO!! Why? Because Salvation, though it is the work of GOD, is not done by force. HE MADE THE WAY FOR SALVATION, but it’s up to each individual to choose to take it , or not!

“ …choose you this day whom ye will serve; … – Joshua‬ ‭24:15‬

Example: Someone is drowning and the lifeguard throws out the lifesaver… unless the person puts it on, it cannot save them!!! They can look at it, talk about it, acknowledge that it is the only way to be saved, and even believe that it will… but unless they choose to grab hold of it and put it on, they WILL drown!!!

Does GOD want anyone to die in sin and go to HELL? NO!!! But nevertheless, as JESUS says in Matthew 7, MANY WILL! But why? Because they continued to work iniquity (sin): “…depart from me ye workers of iniquity, I (HE SAYS) never knew you!” 

When people choose to remain in sin, though JESUS CHRIST died to take it away, they are foolishly CHOOSING TO ETERNALLY DIE IN HELL, though they had been given the opportunity to be saved!

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – ‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭3:9‬ ‭

That being said, CAN A PERSON LOOSE THEIR SALVATION?

Let examine it! Once the understanding of Scripture has been rightly divided, and the truth attained by searching the WHOLE COUNSIL OF GOD by the help of the HOLY SPIRIT OF TRUTH, then we can give a correct answer to this question. “Can a person loose their Salvation?”
Once you understand that SALVATION, though it is GOD’S WILL for all to be saved, but many WILL NOT BE BY CHOICE, then we can understand more clearly, how these Scriptures unfolded together! I don’t believe that a person JUST looses their salvation, one cannot accidentally loose the most precious gift ever given to mankind. No the power of GOD IS GREAT ENOUGH TO SECURE THIS PROMISE TO US. HOWEVER, to be most accurate with words and the understanding of them, ONE CAN, AND MANY DO, CHOOSE TO RELINQUISH (willfully give up) THEIR SALVATION!!! Scripture is VERY CLEAR! Those who ENDURE TO THE END SHALL BE SAVED!

“I (Paul) therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” – ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:26-27‬ ‭

The Apostle Paul compared his own Salvation to a race, saying “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have KEPT THE FAITH…”. Remember we are saved by GOD’S GRACE (POWER) THROUGH OUR FAITH! We have a part to play in our Salvation! That’s FAITH! And FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD. Right

So what exactly is FAITH? Many people get in constant disagreements over this simple little word: is it belief or works? The answer is, neither. It’s trust, being confidently fully persuaded that what GOD HAS PROMISED HE IS ABLE ALSO TO PERFORM! FAITH IS BEING IN FULL AGREEMENT WITH THE PRESENT LIVING SPOKEN WORD AND WILL OF GOD AND ACTING IN OBEDIENCE TO IT! Simply put, FAITH IS TRUSTING AND SURRENDERING TO THE AUTHORITY AND POWER OF JESUS CHRIST EVERDAY! Jesus said that no one can serve two masters, that he will hate one and cling to the other. SO NO ONE CAN BE A SERVANT OF SIN AND OF JESUS CHRIST AT THE SAME TIME.  NO, JESUS DIED TO TAKE AWAY OUR SINS, Not leave us in them. Sorry to burst your bubble, but being a willful continual sinner will destroy you in HELL!!! However, if by FAITH FULLY TRUSTING JESUS CHRIST, we obey HIS VOICE BY CHOOSING HIS WILL OVER OUR OWN, AND BY CONTINUING TO DO SO UNTIL THE END, WE SHALL BE SAVED!

So if you’re not saved (from your sins) CHOOSE TO BE!

If you are saved, then don’t relinquish (give up) your Salvation to serve yourself, for if you do, you will die in your sins and find yourself in HELL for all eternity without another single opportunity to REPENT and be saved!

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” – Hebrews‬ ‭10:26-31‬

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John‬ ‭1:5-9‬ ‭KJV‬‬

AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS!

The BLOOD OF CHRIST CANNOT CLEANSE WHAT IT HAS NOT BEEN APPLIED TO. It’s time to WALK in the TRUTH of HIS WORD AND HOLY SPIRIT AND ALLOW HIM TO WASH AWAY OUR SINS!

“Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward….And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it….Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the Lord shall be consumed.” – Isaiah‬ ‭1:4, 15-20, 24-28‬

Submitted by Heather Wright

THE RAIN IS COMING: ARE YOU READY?

img_6309“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” – Matthew‬ ‭7:21-27‬ ‭KJV‬

Storms in life come in many ways, but understanding it’s purpose can bring comfort to such an uncomfortable situation. First thing to remember is that JESUS CHRIST IS STILL LORD OF THE STORMS! They are not just attacks from the devil… they were actually allowed by GOD, sent by GOD, and they have purpose! See the storm is the test. When it comes, it will reveal what foundation that you have built your life upon; because unless that foundation is Jesus Christ, it will surly fall!

The first thing to note is that, the dividing line is whether we actually DO the will of the Father or not. This one thing determines what foundation we are building upon. Hearing God’s voice is one thing (and very necessary), but it’s the actual DOING IT that counts.

Another interesting thought is this: GOD made us all from the dust of the earth… so as I think on this, what is revealed to me, is that the “sand” in this passage actually represents man or self. Most people are so busy going about doing works all for themselves, even many doing “Good works” are doing them for the purpose of easing their conscience to feel better about themselves. In essence, those who are building their house upon sand are building their own kingdom, for themselves, upon themselves, making even the good things they do complete vanity! In judgement all this will burn up in smoke.

Hear what the Apostle Paul tells the church of Corinth who were boasting in men:

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:6-23‬ ‭KJV‬‬

As Jesus speaks, so we do, this is what pleases the Father. But those who do NOT do the will of the Father will be destroyed by the storms. Therefore I can conclude that the storms come to clear the stage of all the ungodly kingdoms of man, and to rain down blessing to grow the Kingdom of GOD in the earth through faith in Christ Jesus!

“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee. And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee. The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish. And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.” – Deuteronomy‬ ‭28:1-24‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Therefore let us choose obedience to the VOICE OF THE LORD GOD that the blessings may fall upon us.

Submitted by Heather Wright

Uprooting Iniquity

Having grown up on a small family farm there are many aspects of scripture that have daily come alive to me. Parables of sheep and goats, sowing seeds, pruning vineyards, equal yoking, dealing with wheat and tears, ridding the chaff, and so on. There is a lot to be said about my wilderness college, as I call it. There are deeper revelations and understandings to be had of the scriptures found in putting your hands in the dirt and to the plow and actually doing what the biblical writers did, then to sit in a classroom and be told what they said.

Having said that one seemingly endless battle that we fought in our fields was a weed called Johnson grass. It’s a nasty annoying tear (weed grass) that shoots up fast and stands tall among your garden with saw like leaves that slice you open when you try to pull them and if you do succeed in uprooting it you usually pull up several good plants with it that had grown too close to it. 

After having fought with this issue for years, I asked my grandfather (who had farmed the same land decades earlier in a simpler time) how they dealt with Johnson grass in his day before tractors and herbicides were readily available here. Much to my surprise he said, “oh that’s easy. If a field got to the point of being so infested with weeds that it became fruitless, we would just turn the pigs loose in the field and let them utterly destroy it. They would devour everything. The pigs would dig up the ground and eat even the very roots leaving behind a barren sterilized field. We would then run the pigs out, put the barriers around the garden back up and start over weed free.” 

What genius and yet what sorrow in this lass ditch effort to save a field. Taking the protective wall down around a field and allowing the enemy to rush in and wreak havoc in-order to up root the weeds that are rendering the field fruitless and useless. Yet even in what might seem from the outside looking in like the farmer was giving up on the field by taking the wall down and turning it over to the pigs was actually an act of love for this field. He was not willing to leave it to the tears, he was not willing to give up on the garden. Even if he had to start over, it was better then just walking away from it because he loved it.

Believe it or not, God does the same thing to people, churches, and even nations. When seeds of rebellion, pride, error, or wickedness begin to outnumber and choke out the fruits of righteousness God removes the wall a protection and allows the enemy to rush in and over take it in hopes of rooting out rebellion through the humbling. 

“For thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.” – Jeremiah‬ ‭4:3‬ ‭

“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men. Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Beth–arbel in the day of battle:…” – Hosea‬ ‭10:12-14‬ ‭

We see this happening on a personal, congregational, and even a national scale in the story of the Israelites in the wilderness. Time and time again the weeds of sin through unbelief over took the people even though they had good leaders instructing them in truth so that in the end God removed His protection and allowed the enemy to clear the field as an entire generation (and congregation) fell in the wilderness. After which God started afresh with a new generation. Not willing to give up the field because He loved it, He did what He had to to clear the land and make it ready to be fruitful. 

God does not desire to take these harsh actions but never the less, sometimes He must, that the land (or territory) not be lost and become a wilderness. It is grieving to God’s heart to see the field trampled under foot for a season, yet because of His love for the field, He will do what He must to save it in the end and make it bare fruit again. It is surely better to avoid letting the weeds spring up, take root, and spread seed in the first place, nevertheless, when they do God will stop at no lengths to get them out. Even if He has to level the field to do it. He wants a fruitful vineyard and all that bare not good fruit or hender the fruitfulness of others He will cut down and cast out by whatever means nessisary that the whole field not be lost. So great is His love for His field and the potential of it’s fruitfulness.

“Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for (good) judgement, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.” – Isaiah‬ ‭5:1-7‬ ‭

“It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭5:1-8‬ ‭

Worship Births Rhema 

Their is power in the Rhema word of God spoken out of the mouth of the believer to break yokes, take territory, heal, deliver, set free, and move mountains! However, we are cautioned in scripture to test the spirits to see if they are of God because many spirits are gone out into the world making many false professions.

One thing I have learned over the years is that any word not birthed out of worship is suspect. Why? Because worship is love expressed and God is love! Further more, true worship of God causes the enemy to flee clearing the air to clearly hear only the voice of the good shepherd. Therefore is it a safe place where the Holy Spirit is welcomed and made comfortable and the enemy is jeered and made uncomfortable!

The devil hates God and desires to be worshiped himself, therefor does he hate when God is worshiped. It enrages him to the core and he flees from it leaving his camp (or territory) in confusion and easy to take. Therefore does it not only run the enemy off and make the hearing more clear, it makes the fight easy and more effective. 

1 John 14:16 tells us that God Himself is love, but not just any kind of love, a particular type of love, “agape” love. This is a selfless sacrificial uncompromising love. Therefore we can say that God is Agape. We then read in 1 Corinthians 13 that though we may speak in tongues, or even prophesy, if we do not have Agape then it is only noise. There is no power in it because God is not in it. It is not Rhema, it is not love. 

Nothing draws the Holy Spirit of God/Agape (which is love) like a heart of love expressing love for His Agape love, and that’s what true worship is. Worship is love expressed. If it’s not love it’s not worship and if it’s not expressed its not worship. Worship is love for God expressed and in that expression is the Spirit of truth (the Holy Spirit) attracted and the Spirit of Error (the devil) repelled; and out of that is true unclouded, untainted, power filled, earth changing, heaven shaking Rhema birthed and brought forth. Anything less is just noise. 

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:1‬ ‭

God Is Love

“Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.” – Song of Solomon‬ ‭6:4‬ ‭

Oh how beautiful our God is. Great and mighty, tender and sweet. He is love itself. He is gracious and kind, yet He is also terrible in power, authority, and judgment. He is a God over angel armies. He is a just judge enacting sentences for sin. Yet over all that He does and/or allows to be done, His banner is love. 

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” – Song of Solomon‬ ‭2:4‬ ‭

God does nothing that isn’t rooted in love. His grace and mercies are rooted in love for all. His judgments and wrath are rooted in love for the faithful. His corrections and even His stepping back and allowing the enemy to shake us is rooted in love for the straying unto repentance. 

God is a good father and thus exhibits all the characteristics of a good Father. Love, kindness, grace, mercy, correction, wrath, direction, lessons; and once raised up and instructed in truth He lets you choose to trust His wisdom and obey what He has taught you or trust in your own wisdom, or that of those around you. If you choose the latter, He will step back and let you walk out the consequences of that decision in the loving hope that you might (through the consequences) see the folly of it. 

In the end everything He does, doesn’t do, or allows to be done is rooted on love. This is why you can know those that are rooted in Him by their fruit. If someone is truly connected to the root of love they will produce the fruit of love, for God is love and so are His true children. Therefore, if one does not show forth the continual fruit of love, then they are not connected to the root of love. No matter what they say, or imagine, the fruits do not lie. God is love, and so are His children. 

“For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.” – Romans‬ ‭11:16‬ ‭

“For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” – Romans‬ ‭11:21-22‬ ‭

“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” – 1 John‬ ‭2:3-11‬ ‭

He Wants a Relationship

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” – Revelation‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭

Whether it be trials, persecutions, desperations, the complexity of the scriptures, the impossibility of His promises, or the desire to see loved ones saved, everything in a believers life is designed to drive them to prayer because above, all God wants to sup (visit) with you. 

Martha labored and God was not displeased but Marry visited with Him and of this Jesus said that Marry did “what was needful”. This is such a powerful revelation that Jesus would say that He needs us to visit with Him. 

When the woman at the well asked Jesus if people should worship in the temple or in the mountain, He replied that the time had come for people to worship God in Spirit and in truth wherever they are because God seeks such to worship Him. Wow, God seeks for these people. That must mean that they are not a common occurrence and God earnestly desires the company of those who are willing to pour out worship from their Spirit and their lives wherever they are. Those who will have true loving un-abandoned communion with Him.

Even in the very act of communion we are reminded to remember to commune with Him. To set aside time to spend with Him, not hearing about Him but hearing from Him. He wants us to remember that He is real, He is alive, and He is present to anyone who will open up the door and let Him come in and visit with them. He will listen to you, but more importantly He will speak to you for this is the key to overcoming power. After all, if you come to truly and personally know His voice (not just His words but His voice) then an other you will not follow, and how else will you get to know the sound of His voice but to visit with Him.

The disciples never asked Jesus to teach them how to preach, teach, prophesy, do miracles, read the scriptures, or evangelize, they asked Him only to “teach them how to pray.” Because they knew that out of prayer and worship (which is the highest form of prayer) everything else would flow. If your preach isn’t birthed in the personal communion of prayer, then it’s not from God. If your teach, prophecy, works, miracles, ministry, or understanding of scripture isn’t birthed in the personal communion with God through prayer then, I’m sorry, it’s not from God.

“This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” – James‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭

Jesus came, suffered, and died that the veil would be torn and we would all be able to come boldly before His thrown by faith to receive the grace (power) to overcome. Yet Jesus Hime said that this life changing fruit baring grace will only flow in the abiding. So choose today to open the door, invite His Holy Spirit in, sit and sup with Him, commune, abide, wait on the Lord to speak, learn to hear His voice, and He will renew your strength daily, teach you things to come, show you the way around every snare and trap of the enemy, and bring you into overcoming power. He has made it all available to you, but it will only come by way of relationship not religion. Religion nailed Jesus to the cross and went home, relationship cried at His tomb until He showed up to wipe the tears away. Which one would you rather be counted among on judgement day?

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” – Revelation‬ ‭3:20-21‬ ‭

“And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” – John‬ ‭20:13-17‬

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” – Revelation‬ ‭21:4‬ ‭

A Seed in the Dark

29136110_10211610570521620_256729960721416192_nI sealed a bean up in a ziplock bag with a damp paper towel for 2 weeks containing enough water to germinate the seed. I insured that this little bean received no light, not even from a crack under the door. It was well hidden in a dark closet, and sealed up tight.

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

The Holy Spirit waters us in the dark seasons of our life, having only this, we have all we need. So sometimes it is in the darkest places that we seem to have the greatest growth. Yes, it is mysterious to us, but that’s God.

“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” – Job 11:7

He is so good to bless those dark days. The bean that was given all the same things in it’s sealed bag but was kept in a place guaranteed to receive sunlight did not even begin to grow a root, and barely enlarged in size at all. That was to my surprise. I did not expect the bean in the hidden darkness to grow in leaps and bounds while the bean receiving abundant light and protected moisture, barely changed.

How baffling to my mind. My hypothesis was wrong. What I have seen in this was perfect to encourage my soul and hopefully yours. When our source of growth is continually coming from the Spirit of God (HE is watering us), we can actually grow even more in dark seasons, than we did in the sunniest circumstances!!!!

“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

Prayer: Thank You God, for the dark seasons that grow us even more than those filled with sunshine and expectation. Much to my amazement, You work so differently than man can fathom, but You are God and I am just a little seed being watered by my father.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a seed of wheat fall into the ground, be burried, and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” – John 12:24-25

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust” – Psalms 91:1-2

“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon the rock.” – Psalms 27:5

Submitted by Amelia Barr