Friday, July 31, 2015

Wake or Bake!

Over the years I have come to understand that one of my greatest responsibilities is to hear what the Holy Spirit is speaking to me and to faithfully, and correctly, interpret that message and then to declare it with boldness regardless of whether it tickles the ear or is popular.
I know that there are many messages that I could share, but I must speak what I hear the Holy Spirit saying and I believe that there is an urgency to this message He has given me today.  Today the urgency of the Holy Spirit’s word to me is, Jesus is coming.
I remember when I was growing up, we rarely left a service without hearing, “Jesus is coming.”
We lived with a sense of Urgency of the hour, we were constantly reminded that these are the last days. I literally lived with a fear of missing the rapture, it was that real to me.  Many times during my rebellion, when my heart was not right with God, I would find myself fearing that I may be left behind, and it was a fearful prospect.
But today something has happened and it seems like the church has fallen into a slumber, we’ve begun snuggling up to the world, we’ve begun falling in love with money and pleasures, and out of Love with Jesus.  Our lives have become more and more about being happy and less and less about being holy.  We have become more and more concerned about being comfortable and less and less concerned about being consecrated.  Our focus has become more and more focused on our kingdom and less and less on His.
Just like the Virgins we’ve fallen asleep waiting on the bridegroom.  It is an undeniable fact that the church has been asleep, it has long been referred to as the “Sleeping Giant,” because Satan knows what the church is capable of when it is awake, but when it's asleep the church is laughing stock, and a source of criticism and humiliation.
Why is this Point so Important?  Because a church that is asleep is powerless, it is without influence in the world, and it becomes tolerant and accepting of everything.
One of the greatest indications of a church that is asleep, is that they have no sense of the urgency concerning Jesus’ return.  Many times through the scriptures we are instructed to keep the soon coming of our Lord in our thoughts and in our hearts, and to live every day in the urgency that He could return at any minute.
There are some things in the scriptures that are conditional and relational and whether they occur depends on our attitudes and our actions. But this is one thing that God has determined will occur He didn’t ask for our participation or input, He doesn’t care if we agree or like it, Jesus is coming!
The disciples lived with urgency because Jesus said:
·         Work while it is day for the night cometh when no man can work
·         Behold I come Quickly
·         Occupy till I Come
·         Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 
·         And these signs will follow those who believe…
This urgency filled them with expectancy and it fueled them to preach and reach as many people as they could before his return and they evangelized their then known world.  This sense of urgency also kept them diligent, alert, and holy.
When the church gets sleepy, the church gets sloppy.  It begins to look like the world, talk like the world and act like the world and sadly in many cases you can't tell the difference between the two.  That is what we are seeing today, a church that has fallen asleep with its head in the lap of the world.
Like Samson the church has been in love with a prostitute, the hedonistic spirit of this age that says, “If it feels right, it must be right.”
I'm talking about the apostate church, the backslidden church, the church that accepts and ordains homosexuals and lesbians, the church that says there is no such thing as hell and your heaven is here on earth, the church that says you are your own god so you decide your own destiny, the church that says there's no such thing as the rapture, and there's no such thing as a judgement day.  This is the Apostate church, this is the backslidden church, and this is the harlot church.
·         They still have Sunday services
·         They still carry a bible
·         They still sing religious Songs
·         They still talk about God
·         They still lift their hands and go through the motions
·         They may even speak in tongues, but Jesus said, “Their hearts are far from me and they are just Vain Babblers.”
I know this message is not politically correct, but it is biblically correct!
But thank God there is another church, a remnant seed, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ!  She is the bride of Christ and she believes the words of Jesus.  The church of Jesus still teaches:
·         Holiness, sanctification, consecration, and separation from the world.
·         That the Holy Spirit still convicts us of our sins, and without holiness no man shall see the Lord
·         That there is a Heaven and there is a hell and there is an eternal judgement and that those who reject the mercy of God in his Son Jesus will be eternally lost
·         That sin Separates us from God and that sin is darkness and darkness and light cannot dwell together
·         That the coming of the Lord is imminent and only those who are covered by his blood and robed in His righteousness will go with Him when He comes.
Noah lived every day with the sense of urgency.  He worked, he prayed, he preached, and he pleaded with the urgency and intensity of one who believed that this could be the day the flood is coming, and that judgement is coming.
We are living in just such an hour!  God’s judgement is at the door, while multitudes of people who are sitting in the churches have fallen asleep.
Matthew 25:5-6
“5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’’
That cry is going out today, the Holy Spirit is sounding the wake-up call!  The trumpet of His love and mercy is being sounded from every righteous pulpit of every true man and woman of God.  All across the land and around the world the cry can be heard, “The day of the Lord is at hand!”
Even the media, scientists, and many people who are not believers have a sense that something big is about to happen.  They may not know what they are doing, but they are echoing the prophets as they are forecasting drought, famine, earthquakes, tsunamis, financial collapse, martial law, nuclear war and government take overs.
But I have a message to the true church, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, the called out ones, those who are sanctified and washed in His blood and clothed in His righteousness: Lift up your heads, your redemption draweth nigh!
What is going to be the greatest grief and tragedy that has ever hit this planet is also going to be the church’s finest hour.
Matthew 24:36-44
“36 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.  37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.  41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.  42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.  43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.  44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
To those who are ready, we welcome his return, we've been expecting Him, but to those who are not ready He is coming like a thief in the night.
Are you ready today? Are you covered by his blood, is your name in the lambs book of life?

 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Believer or Not?

Hebrews 11:1-6 (NKJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.  3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; [a] for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.  6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
What does it mean to “Believe” or to have faith?  Faith is the believer’s ability to see what cannot be seen with the natural eye, to hear that which cannot be heard with the natural ear, and to taste what cannot be tasted with the tongue.  Faith is, in essence, a supernatural sense that is birthed in the human heart when Gods Word is heard, received, believed, and acted on.
It was faith that enabled Elijah to hear the sound of an abundance of rain when no rain had fallen from the sky in over three years.
It was faith that sustained a widow woman through the famine, her meal barrel wasted not and the cruse of oil did not fail until the Lord sent rain according to the word of the Lord by Elijah.
Hebrews 11:7
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by that which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Hebrews 11:30
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
It was faith that led the three Hebrew boys to stand and affirm that they knew that their God was able to deliver them from the furnace, and it was faith in action that delivered them from the fire.
Faith is not a generic mental assent to the truthfulness of the word of God,
Anyone can say, “I believe in the strength of that bridge to support the weight of my car,” but it’s not faith until you are driving across it.
Mark 16:15-18 (NKJV)
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.  17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[b] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
If Gods Word is true, and we know that it is, why don’t we not see more of God’s power manifested in the lives of those who claim to be believers?
I believe that the answer lies in a misinterpretation of what Jesus meant when he said, “Those who believe.” In other words, the church has a distorted view of what a “Believer” is.
By doing this it is my opinion that we have raised a generation of people who attend church on Sunday who are not truly “Believers,” but are mere mental assenters.  They are intellectually in agreement with the Bible, but they do not have the power that comes from a true relationship with Jesus.  They have a form of godliness, but deny its power.
But from Jesus perspective believers are more than assenters, they are doers and that is why He said. “17 And these signs will follow those who believe:”
He didn’t say that these signs would accompany some believers and not others.  Jesus’ statement was emphatic, “These signs will follow…”
James 2:18-20
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my[e] works.  19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!  20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
The Apostle James tells us that devils believe and tremble but they don’t do any righteous works of faith.  The plague that has infected and weakened the Church of Jesus Christ is that of calling the agreement of the mind “faith,” and labeling mental assent believing and they are not!
According to the Word of God, faith has corresponding works, and without works it is dead.  That means that a true believer is not just someone who listens to the preaching of the Word and agrees that it is good, they are a doer.
To agree that tithing is a biblical principle, that transcends both Old and New Covenants, does not make you a believer, it just makes you an assenter, and you can agree and not be a doer, but the minute you act on what you agree with you have become a biblical believer.  The same is true with praying, to agree to the great need of prayer in your life does not make you a praying person.
To agree to Jesus words does not give you power over demons.  To agree to liberty of the Spirit to worship the Lord by praising, clapping the hands, shouting, dancing, does not make you a liberated worshipper.  To agree to Jesus words concerning self-denial and taking up the cross brings us no closer to resurrection power, we must be doers.  Believers are Doers. And Doers are Seers.
The reason so many haven’t seen more of the power and the glory of God in our churches is because we have mistakenly accepted mental assent, an agreement of the mind for believing.  Many people say they believe God’s Word, but they are not living according to its principles, then they don’t really believe, they just agree.  When we really believe the Word of God, that faith leads us to obedience.  And when we begin to live in obedience, we become doers of what we are agreeing with and then we will see the power of God working in our lives.

 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

What's Following You?

Acts 1:8
“You shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.”
Luke 24:49
“But tarry ye in Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.”
The greatest need of the church and the individual believer is the power of the Holy Ghost.  But it seems like we have reached the place where even within the “full Gospel churches” in America the baptism of the Holy Ghost has been reduced to the mere acknowledgement of an indwelling presence of Jesus experienced by all believers.  Today within the “full Gospel churches,” not only is there a depreciation for speaking with other tongues as the spirit gives the utterance as the initial sign and evidence of the baptism of Ghost there is in many denominations, who once affirmed this teaching, tremendous opposition against speaking in tongues period.
We are told that it is putting emphasis on the wrong thing and that by acknowledging speaking in tongues as the initial sign and evidence of being baptized, that we are belittling those who do not speak with other tongues. 
If we are going to be New Testament believers and followers of Christ then we must do what He commanded us to do and follow the example laid out before to us by the early Church in the book of Acts.
As recorded by Luke in the second chapter of Acts on the day of Pentecost all that were in the upper room were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with other tongues as the spirit gave them utterance, on every occasion after that when believers were filled with the Spirit they spoke with other tongues, and in Acts 10, when the door of grace opened to the Gentiles, they received this same gift and spoke with other tongues.
Matthew 5:6
“Blessed are they, which do hunger, and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
The number one prerequisite for this power is hunger, and the most dangerous thing that can happen to a believer and to the Church is to lose our hunger, our passion, and our desire for the presence and the power of God.
Ezekiel 47:1-9
“Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.  2 He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.
3 And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles.  4 Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist.  5 Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed.  6 He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river.
7 When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other.  8 Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed.  9 And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.”
This passage of God’s Word shows us a picture of the mighty river of God, the Holy Ghost, the anointing of God and it is ever deepening and widening.
Why is speaking with other tongues such a big deal?  Because it the reception and activation of this initial gift of the Holy Ghost that opens the door to the operation and the manifestation of the nine gifts of the Spirit which demonstrate the supernatural power of God in the believer’s life.  The Holy Ghost in you through the baptism in the Holy Ghost is the river of life that is referred to in Ezekiel 47, it brings life wherever it flows, and it is through these gifts of the Spirit that this river travels and is extended from us to others.
John 7:37-39
“37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”  39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing[g] in Him would receive; for the Holy[h] Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
This does not mean just a come to Jesus as a point of access, but it means fellowship, communion, and relationship.  Notice that there is no river until we receive the Holy Spirit.  It is impossible for us to experience the full and free abundant life that Jesus came to give us without the baptism of the Holy Ghost and it is impossible for us as believers to bring the blessings of the supernatural power of God, signs and wonders, into contact with the needs of our world without the gifts of the Spirit.
To put it another way, Jesus in You is a blessing only to you, but it’s Jesus flowing out of you through the gifts of the Spirit, that make you a blessing to others and you cannot operate in the gifts until you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues.
In John chapter 15 Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches if you abide in me and my words abide in you, then you shall bear much fruit.”
We must come back to the original purpose of the giving of the Holy Ghost and the power of God: The Holy Spirit is to first be in us as helper, teacher, comforter, illuminator, counselor, friend, and for the power to live a holy life.  Then Holy Ghost is to flow out of us through the supernatural manifestation of the gifts of the spirit to bring salvation, healing, deliverance, and miracles. 
So many claim that they believe in Jesus, but scripture is clear on this issue:
Mark 16:17
“17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[b] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
So you say that you believe, then I ask you today, what is following you?  Is your life full?  Is the blessing of abundant life overflowing the banks of your life to the lost around you?  If you say that you believe, where are the signs?
The secret then to abundant life, overflowing life, and anointed life is a life lived in fellowship with Jesus.  Our goal then is not to have the power of God but to have the presence of Jesus, we do not seek for the power of God we seek for the presence of God in other words for relationship with Jesus.  Through this relationship with Jesus the life of God flows through us just as the life of the vine flows into the branch and it produces fruit.

 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fall Lord, Fall!

Acts 10:34-48
Acts 10:44
“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.”
I would like to focus the attention on one word in these verses, “fell,” that is the word that has captured my attention while studying these verses tonight.
“The Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the word.”
The first thing I see here is that what is happening is the work of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit was the initiator of what was happening.  It doesn’t say they grabbed it, or that they reached out and seized the Holy Spirit, it says, "the Holy Ghost fell on them all."
Second the word “fell” means to come upon suddenly, to come with power, to seize or take possession of.  One of the definitions for this Greek word even says, “To strike or to hit.”  In other words, the Holy Spirit came upon them in an undeniable manner and it was a visible manifestation of the power of God.
They were visibly and physically affected.  They felt it, and anyone present could see the effects of the Spirit upon them.  As I was reading this scripture my mind went to other passages in the Word where the power of God fell.
1 Chronicles 21:26
“David made an altar to the Lord and called upon the Lord and God answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.”
This was also an undeniable visible manifestation of the power of God.  The example that really stands out was when Elijah squared off with the false prophets of Baal upon Mt Carmel. 
The false prophets and the Man of God came to an agreement.  They would both build an altar and offer a sacrifice but put no fire under it.  They would call on their respective gods, and the god that answered by fire he would be recognized as the one true God.  The false prophets built their altar and laid the sacrifice on the altar and called upon Baal from morning till noon with no answer.
Elijah began to mock them, then they became violent and went into a frenzy and began to jump on the altar and cut themselves until the blood gushed out upon them.  They continued from noon till the evening sacrifice.  Then Elijah took over the stage.
Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down, he put the wood in order, and put the sacrifice on the wood then he had them pour 12 barrels of water on the sacrifice and then he prayed, a short prayer.  And the bible says that the fire of the Lord “fell” and consumed the burnt sacrifice and the wood and the stones and the dust and licked up the water that was in the trench.
What happened upon that mountain was so powerful and so undeniable that it turned a nation back to God.  They experienced a visible tangible manifestation of the power of God.  They had a God Encounter.  The Fire of God, the Power of God, fell upon that Mountain on that Altar and that Sacrifice.
Then my mind goes to Acts 2:1-4:
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord[a] in one place.  2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.  4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
·         The fire of God Fell on David’s altar and burnt offerings
·         The Fire of God fell on Solomon’s offering and sacrifices
·         The Fire of God, The power of God fell on Mt Carmel
·         The Holy Ghost Fire fell on the day of Pentecost
·         The Holy Ghost Fire fell on the gentiles in Cornelius house.
 
In each case, Old and New Testament, it was a visible and undeniable manifestation of the Power of God.  In each case those involved experienced a God encounter.  I remember when I was a child having these types of visible and tangible God encounters on a regular basis in the church services where I came to know Jesus.
What am I getting at with all this background?  What is it that is weighing heavy on my mind this evening?  I am seriously concerned that we may be raising a generation of young Christians who have never had a God encounter.  A generation that has never experienced a tangible  and undeniable manifestation of the power of God.  I am concerned that many of the old Pentecostal denominations are becoming Pentecostal in name only because the current generation of believers:
·         Know God in theory
·         Know God religiously
·         Know God mentally or intellectually
·         They know about God
 
But have they ever had a Mt. Carmel, a Day of Pentecost, or a “House of Cornelius” encounter with the Fire of God falling on them? I ,wonder to myself, have they ever experienced the power of the Holy Ghost seizing them and taking possession of them?  Have they ever experienced the supernatural fire of God burning in their hands and their feet?  To so many in this generation today, the fire of God is just a concept, it’s just an idea and an encounter with God is when they get goose pimples listening to a worship song.
But it is my mission tonight to tell you that the fire of God is not just a concept, it is not just an idea, it is not a theory or philosophy to be studied.  It is not the figment of an over active imagination or religious ramblings.  The fire of God is the manifestation of the Holy Ghost, it is a God encounter and it is:
·         The same fire that fell on Mt Carmel
·         The same fire that fell on the day of Pentecost
·         The same fire that fell in Cornelius House.
·         Real, Tangible, Alive, and it is Contagious!
·         The mighty power of God
 
Why is this power so important?  Because: 
·         The fire of God can heal cancer
·         The fire of God can flush drugs out of your system and take the desire all at the same time
·         The fire of God can deliver you from alcohol, pornography, lust, and perversion.
·         The fire of God can destroy jealousy, pride, criticism, bitterness, and unforgiveness.
·         The fire of God will heal your broken heart, it will restore joy and peace.
·         The fire of God will heal your marriage
·         The fire of God will heal your mind.
 
My prayer tonight is, God do it again!  Let the fire fall!  That same fire that fell on the day of Pentecost and that same fire that fell on the gentiles in the home of Cornelius, do it again Lord, do it again!
·         Let the fire fall!
·         Come suddenly, come forcibly, and come powerfully!
·         Rush in on us and take possession of us!
 
I’m not satisfied just to read about it and sing about it, I want to experience it!
Jesus said: “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…”  This power is not a theory or a concept, it is the same power that caused the sun and moon to stand still, and it’s the same power that divided the red sea, caused water to flow out of a rock like a river.  It’s the same power that made the three Hebrew children fire proof, that gave Daniels lions lock jaw, and that shook Paul and Silas’s prison off its foundations.  Let it fall Lord, let it fall!
This power is the same power that was upon Jesus life.  It opened blind eyes, unstopped deaf ears, made the lame to walk and the dumb to talk, and it is the same power that raised the dead including the Lord Jesus Himself.  Let it fall Lord, let it fall!
It is this same fire, this same anointing, and this same power that God wants to send on your life right now.  God is waiting and He wants to fall on your life with a tangible, undeniable, irrefutable, and indisputable manifestation of the power of the Holy Ghost.
Matthew 5:6 - “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.”
Matthew 7:7 – “Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you.”
Jeremiah 33:3 – “Call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which thou knowest not.”
Hunger is a magnet, it will draw the anointing, and will open the door for the manifestation of the Power of God
The great Apostle of Faith Smith Wigglesworth said, “Every Soul touched by Pentecost should be a live wire.”
I believe there are some hungry and thirsty people who refuse to be satisfied or pacified with anything less than a personal encounter with the true power of God.  The power of God is going to seize your life, take hold on your life and set your life on fire.  Just as the fire of God fell on Mt Carmel and consumed everything, the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dirt and the water in the trench, so also is the consuming fire of God falling on your life.
The God we serve still answers by fire.  Wherever there is an altar, wherever there is a sacrifice, wherever there is anointed prayer, wherever there are hungry hearts, and wherever there is a desperation for Him, the God who answers by fire is available right now.
He power is waiting to fall on you:
·         He is ready to save you
·         He is willing to heal you
·         He is waiting to deliver you
·         He is waiting to restore your marriage
·         He is here to revive and to resurrect you and to put His fire back in you
Fall Lord, fall on us now!  Fall on our hearts, fall on our lives, fall on our marriages, fall on our ministries, fall on our visions and dreams, fall on our attitudes, fall on our families, fall our finances, fall on our minds, and fall on our bodies.
Fall Lord, fall!  Consume us, burn up dead religion, burn up carnality, burn up dead traditions, burn up everything that is not of you and set us on fire!

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Word of Our Testimony

Joshua 4:1-9, 20-24
And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying:  2 “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.’”
4 Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe;  5 and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel,  6 that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’  7 Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”
8 And the children of Israel did so, just as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan, as the Lord had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.  9 Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the Ark of the Covenant stood; and they are there to this day.
20 And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal.  21 Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’  22 then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’;  23 for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over,  24 that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
In the text it says that Joshua chose twelve men, one from each of the twleve tribes of Israel and commanded them to take every man a stone.  These stones were to become a memorial to the miraculous power of God that divided the Jordan and delivered the children of Israel. These stones were to be a reminder for all the ages of the power of God to deliver His children from circumstances when it appears to everyone that all hope is lost.  The stones were their testimony to the world.
Don’t ever think that your testimony isn’t important, according to the Word of God you are made an overcomer by the blood of Jesus and by the word of your testimony. (Revelation 12:11)
Romans 8:37
“Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
I am more than a conqueror: More because I didn’t just get delivered, I didn’t just get healed, I didn’t just make it through the Jordan waters, I didn’t just make it through the fire and through the flood, but God gave me a testimony.  It’s the blood of the lamb coupled with my testimony that makes me more than a conqueror, it has made me an overcomer!
It is our testimony that makes us valuable to the Kingdom of God.  Our testimony is what makes us dangerous, because our testimony makes us a threat to hell.  You see it’s not just what you came through, and what you made it through that makes you a threat to hell, it is the fact that God brought you through it all.  Your personal victory benefits no one except yourself until you open your mouth and declare the faithfulness and the mercy of God that delivered you, restored you, and set you free.  Then your testimony becomes a weapon, it becomes a sword in your hand, it becomes an instrument of power to set the captive free, and it becomes a lifeline to someone who is sinking.
So many of Gods people have been shamed into hiding their testimony, some are afraid to give their testimony because the devil makes them believe that if they talk about it, it might open the door for it to come back, or they might fall back into the pit they were delivered from.  This is nothing but the spirit of fear manipulating and intimidating you because the devil knows the power of your testimony.
Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
Satan wants you to keep your mouth shut because he knows your testimony has the power to bring life, to bring hope, to bring joy and peace, and to bring restoration and deliverance.
It is my story now, it was my heartbreak, and it was my confusion and fear, and my loss. It was my fall, it was real, it was hot, and it hurt.  There were times I felt like I wasn’t going to make it, times I felt like I was going to lose my mind, and times I felt like I was going to die.  But I am here today and I made it.  My mistakes didn’t kill me, I was bitten but I didn’t die, the alcohol and drugs didn’t kill me, the sickness didn’t kill me, the motorcycle wreck didn’t kill me, my marriage survived, and I found my way back to God.
My ministry was destroyed, my character was destroyed, but it didn’t kill me. I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, but I’m still alive.  I walked through the fiery furnace but I didn’t burn up.  I waded through deep waters but I didn’t drown.  I heard Satan whisper time and time again, “I’m going to kill you.”
But I’m still here, healed, delivered, set free, and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ once again!  I’ve got a testimony! 
For years I fought hell every day and there were times when I felt like giving up, there were times when I felt like I wouldn’t make it, there were people who said I wouldn’t make it, and there were people who had written me off.  But Jesus gave me a testimony, He raised me up, He healed me and He delivered me from the mouth of the lion!
I should be dead…
·         But God has healed me.
·         But God has delivered me.
·         But God has promoted me.
·         But God has protected me.
·         But God has anointed me.
Has anybody got a testimony?  The three Hebrew children had a great miracle when God delivered them from the fiery furnace. But the most valuable thing that they received that day was not the miracle, it was the testimony.  Because the miracle was theirs alone and only benefited them, it was just for that day and for that problem, but their testimony is still bringing hope to the hopeless, it’s still bringing strength to the weak, healing to the sick, and deliverance to the captive.  We overcome today by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of our testimony.
I believe now that somebody is going to be delivered because of my testimony, to be healed because of my testimony, and somebody is going to receive boldness and strength to try again because of my testimony.  Somebody who was going to quit the ministry is going to stay, somebody who was on the verge of a nervous breakdown is going to find peace, and somebody who was ready to quit on life is going to keep on living because of my testimony.
No wonder the devil is trying so hard to kill us, no wonder we’ve been going through the fiery furnace. He wants to shut us up; he wants to kill our testimony.
Psalm 9:13-14
David tells how God lifted him up from the gates of death, so that he could testify to the people of his deliverance, and tell how what the enemy sent to destroy him, backfired in the enemies face and destroyed them.
God is going to make the devils plan backfire in his face, if you will hold on God will deliver you and he will put the enemy's sword in your hand and you will cut off your enemy's head with his own sword and God will give you a testimony.
You need to know that there is…
·         No miracle without a problem
·         No victory without a battle
·         No crown without a cross
·         No resurrection without a death
·         And no testimony without a test
Somebody reading this today is going through the fire right now.  You’re in the fight of your life, for your life. You’re walking through the valley of the shadow of death.  You’re being attacked physically, spiritually, and financially.  Your family is under attack, your marriage is being attacked, your ministry is being attacked, it seems like all hell has been unleashed against you.  But the Lord told me to tell you, “You’re going to make it!  You’re not going under, you’re going over!  You’re not going to burn up in the fire, but you’re coming out with victory and you’re coming out with a testimony that will shake hell, and will break down walls and set captives free.”
When the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River, they set up two pillars.  One was in the middle of Jordan and one was on the other side of Jordan.  The first one in the middle of Jordan was a midway praise, “I’m going through it praise.”
I’m going through sickness, but I’m going to praise him anyway.  I’m going through a divorce, but I’m going to praise him anyway.  I’m going through financial problems, they’re threatening to foreclose on my house, but I’m going to praise him anyway.  I’m going through it with my children, they’re on drugs, they’re rebellious and hateful, but I’m going to praise him anyway.  You may be in the darkest times of your life, but give God praise.
Paul and Silas were beaten, and humiliated publicly, and they were bound and cast into the inner prison.  They could have murmured and complained, they could have been angry and bitter, or they could have slipped over into self-pity, but they didn’t.  The Word of God says that at midnight, Paul and Silas began to pray and sing praises unto God, and God shook that prison off of its foundation, shook the doors off their hinges, and broke the shackles off of every prisoner.
I just want to tell somebody, God works the night shift, in fact He does his best work in the dark.  You may not see it, but He’s working, you may not feel it, but He’s working.  He doth work, He’s working on the left hand and He’s working on the right hand and when He gets through with what He’s doing, He’s going to flip the light on and you’re going to see what’s He’s been working on in the dark.
When the children of Israel got to the other side of the Jordan: Joshua said, now take those stones that you carried out of the Jordan River and build a pillar here. This is your Thank God I made it Praise.  This is your thank God I made it testimony.
Is there anybody who has a thank God I made it Praise? A thank God I made it testimony?  Is there anybody who knows it’s a miracle you’re still here?
Psalm 119:92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
Psalm 40:2, 3 He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
David said: I was stuck in a horrible pit, I was sinking into the miry clay, all joy and all peace was fading from view, it looked like I was going to die, it looked like I would never be happy again, It looked like the devil had won, but God reached down into that horrible pit and he pulled me out of that miry clay, and he set my feet upon the rock, and he gave me back my joy, and he gave me back my peace and he gave me back my song,
What David was saying is that God has given me a testimony and when people hear my testimony they will honor God and put their trust in him for their own deliverance, and their own miracle.
Do you have a testimony?
Do you have a midnight praise?
Do you have a thank God I made it praise?
Does anybody know how to give God Praise?
Then open your mouth and give God praise, and tell the devil he’s a liar, and tell the devil he’s a loser.  Tell the devil your God is greater than divorce, your God is greater than cancer and heart trouble, Your God is greater than sugar diabetes and high blood pressure. Your God is greater than arthritis, and deafness and cataracts.  SCREAM IT IN THE DEVIL’S FACE!
My God is greater than drug addiction, He’s greater than homosexuality, He’s greater than perversion.
Now testify…
·         I was sick but God healed me.
·         I was lost but Jesus found me
·         I was bound by drugs and alcohol but God delivered me
·         I was oppressed by a spirit of fear but God set me free
·         I was about to lose my marriage but God brought restoration
·         I was about to lose my mind but God stepped in and spoke peace
There’s power in your testimony!