Friday, August 26, 2016

Know Him, And Do Exploits

Daniel 11:30-32
“30 For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.
31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
32 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.”

I am pretty sure that most of you who read my blog entries how come to understand that if you are looking for someone to tickle your ears or pet your flesh and make excuses for living a life that is contrary to God’s Word, my blog is not the place and I am not that person. God did not rescue me from sin and disgrace and fill me with his Holy Ghost so that I could pat people on the back and wave at them on their way to hell. The truth I try to proclaim made be a medicine that’s hard to swallow at times, but if you take it in and digest it, if you can keep it down, then I believe it may just deliver you from the destruction.

My spirit is stirred within me tonight, agitated even, by all the non-sense I see being passed off as the “gospel.” It is becoming increasingly popular to be like the world when God has called us out from among the world and commanded us to be separate. Dress any way you want, watch anything you want, play any video game you want, gamble all night Saturday then drag in on Sunday morning and wonder why the service is dry, why they don't experience the presence of God!
Some are going to come to me and ask, “Why are you saying these things? This is a matter between individuals and God, and it's none of your business.”

But the Word says it's the responsibility of the preachers, the prophets, to put a difference between the clean and unclean, the holy and the profane. I know it doesn't seem like it, but I have studied the young people in my church closely as they worship God, and I can tell you: there is an entire generation whose hearts are crying out for someone to draw a line, to establish the boundaries of truth, and not move them back and forth to accommodate the social climate.
In a lot of so called “Christian” denominations today, it’s like grace gone wild. Grace was never meant to destroy the requirements of the law for living holy and separate from the world. Grace came to deliver us from the consequences of sin and to empower us to conquer sin and live holy by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Many preachers today want you to believe that Grace and the law war against each other. It's almost as though they put Moses and Jesus in the ring and say now may the best man win. The Bible says: the law came by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Why is it that there is such a war against the law in the church today? I'll tell you why: Because the law deals with absolutes and the law defines right and wrong. Romans 3:20 says that by the law came the knowledge of sin. The law establishes boundaries.

The condition of our country today: the riots, the lawlessness, the violence, the rebellion, and the contempt that many have toward the law today is just a direct reflection of a lukewarm, self-ruled, self- centered “Laodicean” church that says: we don’t need any laws, we don't have any restrictions, there are no absolutes - it's all about Grace and we do what we want to do.

There are no absolutes therefore there are no consequences for wrong actions because grace has destroyed the law so there is nothing to tell us what is wrong or hold us accountable.
In Daniel 11:30-32 the prophet is talking about an adversary not only to the children of God, but also to God himself. This adversary hates the people of God and hates God's sanctuary. The enemy is set to defile the sanctuary of God. To bring in the abominable: The Bible even calls it “The Abomination of desolation.” Daniel prophesied that they will bring in sin and set it up in the place where God is supposed to be honored and truth is supposed to flow.

This adversary, this demonic spirit, will carry away many weak, carnal, fleshly, and material minded Christians. This Spirit will capture them not with great overwhelming irresistible strength and power but with flattery. Satan will appeal to their flesh and their fleshly appetites and desires.
And those who at one time were lovers of truth and strong preachers of holiness, and sanctification, and separation from sin, are going to do wickedly against the very law, the very truth, and the covenant that they once defended. And they shall join forces to pollute and defile and profane the house of God. Bringing all kinds of wickedness and uncleanness and perversion into the sanctuary. And they shall take away the daily sacrifice. In other words, they shall despise the crucified life, the very life that Jesus lived and commands His disciples to live.

Some may say that I am painting a pretty bleak picture, let me tell you something: the picture is bleak, these are dark times and it's going to get worse before it’s over. John 9:4 Jesus said: “work while it is day because the night cometh when no man can work.”

Isaiah 60:2 – “For behold the darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people.”

That's happening right now, the Bible tells it full strength, it will be dark, and gross darkness will come upon the people. Everyone is looking for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, but what if the temple that the beast invades and the throne that he sits upon is the very heart of people who once called themselves Christians.  Paul says, “know ye no that your bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit?”

And what if the daily sacrifice is that ceases isn’t that of bulls and goats, but the sacrificing of our flesh daily to follow him. What if the things being allowed in the church today, homosexual preachers, half-naked men and women, and many more violations of God’s holiness, are the abomination of desolation?

But I love the word of God. Our God is awesome! After all the evil that is proclaimed, it’s like God stands to the side and says, “Take your best-shot devil, but the last shot’s mine.”

The announcer gives you blow-by-blow coverage of all the damage that the devil does, then Jesus leans back and with one-shot and knocks the devil out cold and shows you that he is still the champ!
Now if the Holy Ghost will help me, I want to bring you to the heart of this message. This is really what the Holy Spirit burned in my heart, everything else was just to bring us to this point. “But!” That one little word changes the whole picture. Now that you've heard everything else, understand that what is coming next will eclipse the rest. It is a word that tells me, what is coming next is greater, more powerful, and more significant than everything that preceded it. So here after all the bad report is that one little game changer, the word “but.”

Regardless of the darkness, regardless of the evil the wickedness, the violence, the lawlessness, the corruption. God still has a people! The devil is trying to manipulate us and intimidate and back the Church into a comer. He's trying to emasculate the church and strip us of our spiritual power, to make spiritual wimps, and make us spiritually impotent and powerless.”


But there is a people! There is a people who do know their God! There is a people that aren't selling out! There is a people who aren’t compromising and snuggling up to the spirit of worldliness, who are not sleeping with this harlot spirit, and they are not laying their head in the lap of Delilah! There is a people that do know their God and the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits!

I Believe I'm writing to some of those people right now, I believe I’m talking to some people who know God. We know how to get a hold of God. We have a relationship with him He knows our voice and we know His.

This world is a dark place and getting worse all the time: The only safe place there is, is in Jesus! He is our deliverer, and He is our captain.

Do you know him? I mean know him, do you walk together, talk together, fellowship, commune with each other. My advice to you today is: Get to know Him, because if you know him, you won't be deceived, if you know him you won't get carried away with flatteries, and fleshly desires.

And if you know him: instead of backing up, hiding out, and quieting down you'll be standing up and shouting out, and you'll be walking in the power and the anointing of the Holy Ghost and you will be strong and do exploits. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Beautiful Church

Acts 3:1-7
3 Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.  2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.  4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.”  5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.  6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”  7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
It is one thing to have had your strength and the use of your limbs, to at one time to have had the needful and desirable substance and then lose it, because at least you would have a point of reference to look upon, and remember how good it was.
If you were brought up in the church and you had experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit and at least in some measure you had felt the peace of God and experienced some measure of Joy, you are a blessed person, because somewhere in you there is a God consciousness.  Like the person who had their sight and then lost it, or had their hearing and then lost it because at least you have the memory of how good it used to be.  You can remember how beautiful a sunrise can be and you know the soothing sound of the rain falling on a roof.
But that is not the case when someone has been born lame.  Their life has been on long nightmare of rejection, abuse, deception, and confusion.  Like an orphan for example, many have grown up with no father in the home and no real mother to nurture them.  They seek substances or relationships to fill the gap in their life that has been left empty, a gap that was intended to filled by God’s Holy Spirit.  They often jump from one abusive relationship to another.  When they do have a good one they run from it because it is unfamiliar to them.  Their life becomes a series of continual disappointments.  They usually have no reference to discern true love so they continue to live in hopelessness and often become dependent on the physical pleasure of sin to try and find true happiness.
They were not taken to church and taught about the love of God and many of them have come to believe that church is for weak people and Jesus is just a crutch.  They have no point of reference and they cannot look backwards or forwards and see that there is hope because they have no idea what hope is.  And they are all around us, just outside the church, “lame at the gate.”
A gate is just a door, it is a movable barrier in a fence or wall, a portal to something, an entrance a hinged barrier used to close an opening in a wall or fence.  An open gate signifies admission and acceptance, but a closed gate signifies refusal and rejection.  Too many times churches are guilty of putting a wall where God intends for us to put a door.
The text says this gate was called beautiful.  The most beautiful thing in this world is the church fulfilling its destiny. A church that is filling the need of the hour, being whatever is needed to whoever needs it.  Bringing food to the hungry, praying for the sick, visiting those in nursing homes and prisons, or simply inviting someone to church.  We are what we have been called to be, when we are an open door for those in need. I attend a church that is beautiful, I can say that because i was "lame at the gate," and someone spoke the name of Jesus into my circumstances, reached down and took me by the hand and invited me into the house of God. And now I am leaping and praising God with them as often as possible.
But too often many churches are guilty of keeping the gate closed and turning their churches into social clubs when God called us to be lighthouses. They have become what Paul warned Timothy many would become: “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.”  The Church is called beautiful, but are we living up to our name?
To one of the seven churches in the book of Revelation Jesus said, “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead.”
The first thing we must ask ourselves as God’s people, and it’s a difficult question to ask, but we have got to ask it, are we truly beautiful?  Are we fulfilling our calling?  Are we driving towards our destiny?  Are we striving to reach the goal for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus?  Are we meeting the great physical and spiritual needs of the hour, or are we just called beautiful?
The second question the church needs to ask is, who calls us beautiful?  Is it an adjective that we have conferred upon ourselves?  Did we decide that we are beautiful because we have a nice big church, great music, gifted musicians, great programs and an anointed pastor?  Is it because we have great youth ministries?  Is it the size of our offerings?  Is it because we speak in tongues, and feel the Holy Spirit?
If we really want know whether we as individuals, or corporately as the body of believers are beautiful or not, we have to determine if our gate is open or closed.  Are we like Jesus, beckoning the lost to “come?”  The Church members were first called Christians at Antioch and they were called Christians because they were acting like Christ, and that’s beautiful!
The Church should be functioning in the character, in the authority, and in power of Jesus Christ, or we are in danger of claiming to be alive when we are really dead.  We should be functioning in the power of the Holy Ghost and accomplishing the impossible in the name of Jesus Christ.
Peter took the lame man by the hand and lifted him up, he told him, I'm paraphrasing, "Look man, I'm broke. I am not financially capable of helping you with a donation. I have nothing of my own to offer you, but I do have something that can change your life forever. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!" 

And then Peter reached down and helped the man to his feet, and the man stood up and walked, and then went leaping and praising as he entered into the house of God with Peter and John. Praise God!
We might not have the biggest church building in our area, our finances might not be overflowing with alms for the poor, we might drive beat up old cars instead of BMW’s and Cadillac’s, but we have at our disposal the ability to speak the name of Jesus and to see the sick healed and the broken made whole.  But not if we close the gate.
This is the Church in action, lifting people up, raising people’s spirits, giving them value, hope and a purpose, bringing people out of the brokenness and destruction of sin, and the emptiness of life without Jesus.
It says in this passage that Peter took him by the “right” hand.  Reference to the right hand in scripture always speaks of acceptance, it speaks of authority, and it is the place of honor. (Jesus sits at the right hand of the father)
This means that Peter accepted him and raised him from a place of dishonor to a place of honor, from a place of weakness to a place of strength.  The true beauty of the gate beautiful was not it’s appearance but that it was a place where the suffering and less fortunate could go and expect to receive some measure of benevolence from those who entered.
I am worried that our focus has shifted, and we are more enamored today with the beauty of a thing than the reason for which it exists.  Our focus shouldn’t be on how awesome our building is, or how good we can sing or preach. The most important question we can ask ourselves in evaluation whether our church is beautiful or not is, "are we a reflection of Jesus and do our lives touch people with the transforming power of the Holy Ghost?"
Are we occupying enemy territory and making a difference in this world or just occupying space?
I am concerned today that there is a world that is lame at the gate and we are too busy enjoying ourselves and the “things” around us to notice.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

My Chains Are Gone!

Isaiah 61:1 (NLT)
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.

In this world that we live in I have come to understand that there are many types of captivity that keep people bound. For far too many people, prison is not four walls with bars, it is a place where they are trapped, chained by their circumstances to hopelessness.

There are spiritual chains, emotional chains, mental chains, chains of the flesh, chains of addictions, and chains of the past. There are chains of sickness, chains of fear, chains of rejection, chains of bitterness, chains of resentment, and chains of un-forgiveness. All of these chains become a prison for those who are trapped in situations where they feel that there is no hope.

According to the Word of God, Jesus came to set the captives free!

Luke 4:18
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised…

Acts 10:38
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

According to Acts 1:8, all those who receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost are anointed and filled with that same power. I am filled with the Holy Ghost and the Lord woke me up this morning and gave me clear instruction: “Get up and set them free!”

This morning as I write these things I can tell you without hesitation, the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, the Holy Ghost is upon me, and I have been anointed to speak to you the anointed Word of God that has the power to set you free in every area of your life! There are no chains, no captivity, and there is no bondage that can’t be broken by the name of Jesus!

I don’t know about you this morning, but I’m tire of a politically correct gospel with no power! I am sick of preachers who preach a wishy washy gospel that preach about a Jesus that can save your soul from hell, but can’t deliver you from the chains of addiction! I don’t want to hear about blood that can wash your sin, but can’t heal a wounded heart or free you from bitterness and resentment!

The Jesus I know not only saves, but He also heals and delivers! I don’t know what your captivity is, but I know the God who delivers!

Oh I think it’s time for a good old fashioned testimony service this morning. Is there anyone here this morning who can testify of a God that delivers?

How about you Brother Daniel, can you tell us anything about the delivering power of God?

“Yes,” says Brother Daniel, “I can tell you about a God that delivered me from the mouths of hungry lions!”

Is there anyone else?

“Yes!” shout Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in unison, “Yes! We know a God who appeared in the midst of a fiery furnace and saved us from the fire!”

How about you Apostle Paul?

“Yes,” Answers the Apostle, “I know a God who can forgive a murderer, deliver you from prison, save you from the wreckage, heal you from the damage inflicted on you by the mistreatment of others, fill you with the Holy Ghost.”

I think we have time for one more - Yes Brother Peter, I see that Hand:

The Apostle Peter speaks up with tears in his eye, “Yes I want to testify about a God, Jesus is His name, who can take a man who has denied His very name and forgive that man. A Jesus who can fill a man with the Holy Ghost, and whose love and power can transform that man so that he goes from being a coward to dying for what he knows is truth. That’s what the Holy Ghost did for me.”

And I want to testify now. I know that God can take a man, who after being in ministry for 22 years became addicted to prescription pain medication, walked away from his calling, turned his back completely on God and his family, became a drunk and an addict to the point that he wanted to die, and that God had mercy and grace when I called on Him for help and He set me free. This God I know broke the power of sin and addiction, saved me and filled me with the Holy Ghost, gave me back my family, and restored me. Yes! Yes! Yes! I know a God who can deliver you, His name is Jesus, and He breaks every Chain!

The same God that saves is the same God that delivers and heals. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. If he could deliver the demoniac and set him free from a legion of demons, he can deliver you. If he could open the eyes of one born blind, he can heal and deliver you. If he could raise Lazarus from the tomb after being dead four days, he can bring resurrection power to those areas of death in your life through the transforming power of the Holy Ghost!

God got me up this morning to tell somebody - I don’t care what you are going through, or what your chains are, but I know without a doubt, Jesus can set you free!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Master Has Need of You

Mark 11:1-10
And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples, 2 And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. 3 And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither. 4 And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him. 5 And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? 6 And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go. 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. 8 And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. 9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: 10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest!

The Lord did not wake me up this morning at 3 A.M. just to write this article, He woke me up to speak a word into somebody’s life. I want to prophesy to some folks today that are bound, tied up if you will, chained up! Today is your day of liberty! Some bondage's are about to be broken, captives are going to be loosed, and prisoners are going to set free! Satan’s power is breaking off your life for good!

Jesus told his disciples: “Go into town and when you see the colt tied up, loose him and bring him to me.”

I am one of his disciples, and God gave me this word this morning to “loose” you!

It is not my intention to tickle your ears with high sounding words today, it is my purpose to destroy the works of the devil! Satan is a trespasser he has no rights or authority over your life, everything that he holds of yours, he holds illegally. He stole it from you! And it’s time to take it back!

Jesus said, “Loose him and bring him to me.”

Jesus told the disciples to expect opposition, expect resistance, and expect confrontation. He basically told them to expect a fight. I can tell you from experience that the devil never surrenders without a fight. But when the master commands you to be loosed, nothing can hold you and no devil is big enough to keep you bound!

I want to tell you today, you are valuable to God, He paid the price for your freedom with the blood of His son Jesus, and He wants to “loose” you because He has a purpose for your life. You are precious, you are important, and you are special. You are vital! Vital: urgently needed, indispensable, essential, absolutely necessary, crucial, critical. You are indispensable to God.

I have heard it said many times: God doesn’t need me, but I sure need him. I know that sounds very humble and spiritual, but the truth is, it’s not biblical. What this mind set does is separate us from God. It puts God, His power, and His anointing outside of us. It puts God way up in heaven with all His power and glory sitting on a big throne surrounded by ministering angels, and us way down here on earth. Weak and lowly, barely getting by, one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel, just hoping to get a touch every now and then, so we can make it over the next mountain.

It may sound spiritual and it may sound humble, but it’s not biblical! My bible tells me that my body is the temple of the Holy Ghost! My bible tells me that God dwells in me! He doesn’t just call me up, or text me, or “PM” me. He doesn’t just drop by to visit every now and then, He is a permanent resident!

You may think it sounds arrogant, but I know that my Jesus walks through my feet! He touches through my hands! He speaks through my lips! When I show up, Jesus shows up with me! The Kingdom of God is not a place somewhere over the rainbow that I’ll go when I die. The Kingdom of God is a present tense reality, and it’s here right now, in me! And it can be in you too, if you’ll receive the king into your life right now.

It doesn't matter where you are, where you been, or what you've done: God can set you free if you just call on the name of Jesus right now. The Master has need of you.

Luke 17:20-21 - The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

1 Corinthians 3:9 - For we are laborers together with God.

Notice it says “with” God, not for God. We are working together “with” God, we are partners in the work. God has chosen to partner with us to bring in the harvest and establish the Kingdom of God. God is Spirit and we are flesh. God has placed His Holy Spirit in these vessels of flesh. He uses our hands to touch, our feet to walk, and our lips to speak. His Spirit in us, anointing us, and empowering us to be his witnesses.

This is critical for us all to understand: If your feet don’t go, the message doesn’t go! If your hands don’t reach out, His Word cannot touch and heal! If you don’t open your mouth, the Way, the Truth, and the Life cannot be transferred to the ears of the lost!

Romans 10:14-15 - How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent?

Just as Jesus brought God to us, we bring God to others. One of the devil’s most effective weapons against us, is to make us feel unnecessary, invaluable, and inadequate. But I want to tell you today: the Master has need of you! You are an important part of God’s purpose for His Kingdom.

Approximately 2000 years ago God came to earth and robed Himself in the flesh of a Jew named Jesus, today he lives in the body of a person named Clayton, Shane, Josh, Justin, Jo Ann, or Nathan. You can fill your name in the blank. Through your body God will manifest himself and reveal himself to the world.

Jesus said: Ye are the light of the world and the salt of the earth.

You may feel inadequate but the bible says: He hath made us able ministers of the New Testament.

You are able! You have the blood of Jesus! You have the Name of Jesus! You have the Word of God! And you have the Power of the Holy Ghost! God wants you on His team. The Master has need of you!

Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!