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prophecy

8

Guided by God's Presence

The Importance of Recognizing God's Presence

1 Kings 19:1-10(NKJV) - And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God. And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”

Elijah, the most powerful prophet of his time was scared. He had just pulled off one of the most improbable miracle in history. He called fire from heaven to douse a wet sacrifice in the world's first and only "Fire from Heaven Competition". Yet, he was so scared of Jezebel's words that he took off running. Don't forget that in 1 Kings 18, he outran the King's chariot so he probably took off pretty quickly. What's interesting to note is that The Bible doesn't show us anywhere if Jezebel actually sent anyone to pursue Elijah. Perhaps, she had nobody to send because he had a reputation for calling fire from heaven on people who came after him. Nevertheless, he did have one pursuer and that was God. In the worst season of his life, every time Elijah stopped to rest God was there. Under the broom tree, God fed him there. In the cave, God met him there. God valued Elijah so much that even though Elijah was straying from God's Will for his life, God still went after him.

1 Kings 19:11-13(NKJV) - Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

In 1 Kings 19:11-13, God told Elijah to stand on the mountain before Him. He then conducted a simple exercise. He passed by and caused a powerful windstorm to hit the mountains, breaking rocks in pieces. However, even though He caused the windstorm, He was not in it. Then, He shook the ground with an earthquake but though He caused the earthquake, He was not in it. Then, He caused spontaneous combustion right before Elijah's eyes but though He caused the fire, He was not in it. Wait, what? How could God not be in the wind, earthquake or fire? He caused them, didn't He? Yes, He caused them, but God didn't want to direct Elijah with storms, earthquake and fire. He wanted to guide Elijah with His presence.

That's why The Bible said that God was not in them. It didn't say that God didn't speak through them which is what we typically extrapolate by reading between the lines. It said He was not in them. Hence, the writer placed the emphasis on the presence of God. In fact, if you keep reading, you would recognize that Elijah did not move until He heard the still small voice which we can safely assume contained God's presence. Yes, there's revelation in the stillness of God's Voice when compared to the grandeur of wind, earthquake and fire. However, today God wants us to recognize the importance of being guided by His presence.

Why was it so important for God to distinguish the value of His presence to Elijah from signs and wonders? Think about this a little. Elijah called fire from heaven at least three times; once to burn up a wet sacrifice and twice to burn up Ahab's armies. In 1 Kings 17:1 Elijah called a drought on the spot and rain didn't fall for three years. In 1 Kings 17:6 ravens fed Elijah bread and meat. In 1 Kings 17:8-16, Elijah showed the widow and her son how to have their cake and eat it too for the duration of a multi-year famine. In 1 Kings 17:22, Elijah called the soul of the dead child back into his body. In 1 Kings 18:11-12, Ahab's servant said that Elijah had a reputation of instantly translating from one place to another.

In other words, signs and wonders were commonplace for Elijah. Hence, the wind, earthquake or fire from God may have moved us but unless God Himself was in them, they didn't move Elijah. Neither, did God want them to, especially with Elijah's state of mind at the time. Elijah's life was in complete turmoil. He was running for his life from Jezebel. He was scared. He was tired. He felt all alone. He knew God's power. He knew God's miracles. He knew the power of God's Word. He didn't need another sign. He just needed God's presence. He was at his lowest point and he just needed to know that The Lord was with him. He didn't want what was in God's hands. He just needed to be in God's face.

Exodus 33:12-17(NKJV) - Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.” And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.” So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”

Moses understand the value of God's presence. He spoke to God face to face. He knew God's personality. He shared God's heart for His people. So he chose to be guided by God's presence. If God's presence moved, they would move. If God's presence stayed, they would stay. Wherever God's presence would go was the place that the Children of Israel needed to go. Wherever God's presence would not go was the place the Children of Israel needed to avoid. From the days of the pillar of fire by night and cloud by day, they understood that following God's presence was the best way to remain in God's Will. Today, God also wants us to get to that stage of our relationship with Him. He wants us to move away from simply following signs, impulses, trends or crowds to following His presence. If you believe God is leading you somewhere or to do something you should use His presence as confirmation that you're on the right track because God doesn't show up where He doesn't want to be.

2 Samuel 6:12-15(NKJV) - Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness. And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep. Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.

Why did King David dance before God with all of his might when they finally got their hands on the ark of The Lord? The ark represented God's presence and wherever God's presence rested so did His blessing. That's the essence of this entire message. If we only understood the intrinsic value of God's presence we would stop running after every other thing and pursue His presence for the rest of our lives. In His presence we will find joy and pleasures (Psalms 16:11). Where His Spirit is, we will be free (2 Corinthians 3:17). It's His presence that's the difference maker for our present and our future. It's His presence that will keep us through difficult seasons of our lives. It's the people who have God's presence who will be confident that all will be well with them. It's all about His presence.

Psalm 51:10-12(NKJV)- Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

This is my prayer and should be yours too. Enjoy God's presence today.

2

God of the Open Door

Psalm 25:4-5(NKJV) - Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.

Options... options... options... life is full of so many options. What career should I choose? Where should I go to school? Where should I work? Who should I marry? Should I even get married? What church should I join? Where should I live? What should I do with my free time? What should I do with my life? What should I do with my talents? What should I do with my money? Those are some of the biggest questions we need answers for. Yet, on top of those big life questions with existential significance, there are many more smaller questions we have to answer everyday of our lives. Why? It's because life is about choices and the choices we make define the lives we live. How do you know which option is God's choice for you?

The easy answer is to say that the option you should choose is the one that lines up with God's Word. That's a great answer but it works best if the choice is between doing what is clearly morally right and doing what is wrong. God's Word will always tell you to do what is morally right. Yet, moral or ethical choices aren't the only ones we have to make. What do you do when you have to choose between two options that are morally right or morally neutral? Which scripture is going to give you the answer? This option also works if you can find an example in The Bible which either closely matches your situation or can be related to it. However, what do you do when your circumstances are not easy to match with specific scriptures?

Isaiah 30:21(NKJV) - Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.

The next easy answer is to say that God will tell you which option to choose. I like that answer because it is the right one. However, how does God speak to you? What did He tell you this morning? How did He say it? For the last five confusing situations where you needed to make important choices between options that were morally neutral or good, how did God tell you what to do? Are you sure it was Him? Do you still wonder if you made the right choice? Hindsight is 20-20, so you should know by now if at least some of your older decisions were right or wrong.

I'll be honest with you. God talks to me all the time. I'm thankful He does but that's not the whole story. Sometimes, I can hear what He's saying with total clarity but other times I can't and that's a problem. It's not good enough for God to speak. I have to hear what He's saying too. It's especially difficult to hear His Voice when people around me who also hear from God provide conflicting perspectives on the same situation. It's not good enough to be religious about it and act like you always know what God is thinking. Let's get real. Yes, God has all of the answers. We just don't always know what they are. Hence, we need a consistent and reliable way of getting answers from God even when we're struggling to hear His Voice. Hence, the subject of today's blog; "God of the Open Door".

Revelation 3:7-8(NKJV) - “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

For over two decades, God has shown me what to do in the simplest of ways. He opens the door to the path He wants me to take and closes the door to the path He doesn't want me to take. When faced with some of the most difficult choices in my life, my prayers have remained largely consistent. "Lord, open the door you want me to walk through and close the doors you don't." Even though life presents us all with choices, I like narrowing mine down by the process of elimination. I know it works because I can look back over my life at a track record of good decisions that were only possible because I chose the doors God opened for me and gave up on the ones He closed. It's a remarkably simple approach but it's worth a try.

In the Old Testament, the names of God were directly related to revelations of God's character. When God provided a lamb for Abraham in place of his son, Isaac, The Bible says in Genesis 22:14(KJV); "And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen." When the Angel of The Lord visited Gideon and commissioned him as the savior of Israel in the midst of their oppression by the Midianites, The Bible says in Judges 6:22-24(KJV); "And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord God! for because I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face. And the Lord said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites." So when God showed me how to make good decisions in the midst of confusion by noticing the open door, He revealed Himself as "God of the Open Door".

Psalm 37:23-24(NKJV) - The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.

If God orders our steps, He won't order us to keep butting our heads against doors He has purposefully closed. He would order us through the doors He has purposefully opened. My engineering career is a perfect example. Since the day I graduated with my BS an MS degrees from Morehouse College and Georgia Tech it's been an interesting journey. When I was in graduate school God opened the door for me to get my first job then after 12 years the door started closing. Since I'm a creature of habit, I watched the door closing and the walls closing in around me but did nothing about it. Then after months of inaction, God did the following to me.

Job 33:14-16(NLT) - For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. He whispers in their ears and terrifies them with warnings.

When I wouldn't notice the God of the Open Door, He transformed into the God of the Terrifying Dream and got my immediate attention. Since then, my career has been on autopilot. Each step I take now is away from closing doors and through open doors. God hasn't terrified me with dreams about my career lately so it looks like He's satisfied that I'm getting the point. I've stopped trying to force things to work that just aren't working anymore. Things that are past their season have become the closing doors in my life. When the door is closing, it takes tremendous human effort just for it to stay open because I'm on my own. Yet, the more I do to prop the door open, the more the door closes. Eventually, I have to accept that it's not what God wants and He's the one closing the door. Fortunately, God never closes a door without opening another so if a door is closing, it's time to look around for the door that He's opening.

All of us don't have the special ability to hear God's Voice in every situation. However, all of us can see if a door is closing and another one is opening. God has guided me this way for two decades and for the last few days He's been stirring my heart to share our special arrangement with you. Now is the time to ask yourself the tough questions. Have you been trying to keep a door open that door is closing? Have you been ignoring the only open door because you don't want to walk through it for whatever reason? Your success or failure in life is based on the choices you make. A life that's defined by forcing open closed doors is always going to be hard. It's not worth it trying to swim against the current when God is in the current. As my father says; "The worst place to be is where God was." When the cloud moves, even if you're comfortable where you are, pick up your tent and move with it.

Acts 26:14(AMP) - And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice in the Hebrew dialect (Jewish Aramaic) saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick [repeatedly] against the goads [offering pointless resistance].’

I won't challenge Floyd Mayweather to a boxing match, Usain Bolt to a 100m dash nor Michael Phelps to a swimming race of any length. Why? I'll lose! It's pointless. Then why would I, in my right mind, think it makes any sense to resist God? If He opens the door and says go right, why would I go left and try to force open a closed door? Because he offered pointless resistance, Saul ended up being knocked off of his high horse by Jesus (pun intended). Jacob would not stop wrestling with God so he ended up with a disjointed hip in Genesis 32:24-25. Jonah tried to go to Tarshish instead of Nineveh so he ended up at the brink of death in Jonah 2. What will be your story?

I invite you to get to know Jesus as the God of the Open Door. Unlike many of us, He is very decisive according to 1 Samuel 15:29. He knows exactly what He wants to do and He knows what's best for you. Even if He's promised you things that you are not seeing right now in your life, He can be trusted. Focus your energy on the opportunities He has placed before you. Don't waste energy stressing about the opportunities you did not get. Set your sights on the doors He has opened. Don't be distracted by the doors He has closed. In this season of your life, He closed them for a reason. Now is not the time for that. It's the time for something else. Something He wants you to have. Something He's placed before your eyes. Something on the other side of the open door... something good. Get up and take it. It's yours.

2

Watchman: If You See Something, Pray Something!

Prophetic Dreamer: If You See Something, Pray Something!

Job 33:14-18(NLT) - For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. He whispers in their ears and terrifies them with warnings. He makes them turn from doing wrong; he keeps them from pride. He protects them from the grave, from crossing over the river of death.

It happened again this morning around 3:30 AM. The Lord spoke to me in a dream and it was intense. In the dream, I was riding in the front, passenger seat of a car that my father was driving and I saw a news headline on my phone that I did not want to see. All I could say was; "No, no, no, no..." My father asked me what was going on but before I could say anything in the dream I woke up. It was time to pray. I sent a quick text to warn the person I saw in the dream and told some family members to pray. Then The Lord put these words on my heart, "If you see something, don't just say something, pray something."

I once had a dream that caused me to make the biggest career move I had ever made in my life. It was pretty straightforward. The Lord caused me to experience my future at that company in vivid detail. Did you hear what I said? He didn't tell me about my future, nor did He show it to me, He caused me to experience it myself. In the experience, some things took place that I did not like and it involved three people I worked with. The role of one of those people was expected but the other two shocked me.

At the time I had no idea what was happening to me but in the dream it was all real. Then God showed me the door. He didn't just tell me when to get out of there, He showed me how. When I woke up from the dream I shared it with my wife, we prayed then I obeyed God and changed my future. I share this personal example with you to demonstrate the proper response to a prophetic dream. If God shows you the future in a dream and you don't like what you see, change it the moment you wake up using the power of prayer. That's why God showed it to you in the first place. On top of that, if there's anything else you can do to change the situation, do it.

Acts 2:17(NKJV) - ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.

The Lord reminded me of this scripture this morning. In case you were wondering, the last days started on the Day of Pentecost so The Holy Ghost has been poured out. I'm no old man but I do dream dreams. In fact, some of the best decisions I have made in my life came out of guidance I received from God in dreams and visions. That may sound impressive to some but it's not. It simply means that God had to wait for me to sleep to tell me things I probably would not have listened to while awake. Perhaps, the noise of my busy life was so much that it was drowning out the Voice of God. So He took advantage of the silence and stillness of sleep. At that point, we could have a one-way conversation. He spoke, I listened.

I've had dreams that were so real that after crying in the dreams I woke up only to realize that I had already been physically crying in my sleep. One time, God showed me in a dream a specific elder leaving the church I was with several years before it happened. At the moment I received the dream, that elder was the most consistent and faithful servant of the leadership. It made no sense but I wrote it down and told my wife. Then it happened! I once had another dream in which The Lord warned me not to reconnect with certain colleagues. Needless to say, every lunch invitation I received has gone unanswered.

Isaiah 21:6-12(NKJV) - For thus has the Lord said to me: “Go, set a watchman, Let him declare what he sees.” And he saw a chariot with a pair of horsemen, A chariot of donkeys, and a chariot of camels, And he listened earnestly with great care. Then he cried, “A lion, my Lord! I stand continually on the watchtower in the daytime; I have sat at my post every night. And look, here comes a chariot of men with a pair of horsemen!” Then he answered and said, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen! And all the carved images of her gods He has broken to the ground.” Oh, my threshing and the grain of my floor! That which I have heard from the Lord of hosts, The God of Israel, I have declared to you. The burden against Dumah. He calls to me out of Seir, “Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?” The watchman said, “The morning comes, and also the night. If you will inquire, inquire; Return! Come back!”

In 2015, The Lord showed me in a dream that a country I will leave unnamed will invade the country I live in but not in the traditional way. Instead of the expected military approach using ships, submarines, planes, drones, tanks and satellites, they will infiltrate with subtlety. Their troops will enter the country through immigration, business, education, work, vacation, etc. and set up camps across the country in warehouses in the middle of industrial parks. They will acquire the military equipment they need either through local vendors or by funneling them into the country through "legitimate" businesses that can import them.

For years, they will continue to build their numbers and execute their strategy by hiding in plain sight. They will acquire large trucks similar to the ones that the military uses to transport large numbers of troops into the battlefield. When their numbers reach critical mass and the time is right, they will strike. While everyone else is looking to protect the borders from dangers outside, the real enemy will attack from the inside. In the dream, I saw them driving their trucks into neighborhoods like mine and taking people to the prison camps. The Lord allowed me to ride in one of the trucks to the camp and showed me what was going on there. I didn't like what I saw. Even then, they were subtle. Few understood that a war was underway, people simply disappeared.

This entire plan is similar to the story of The Trojan Horse. If you don't know what that means, you can look it up. Again, I will not mention the name of this country and I will tell you why. Early in 2017 I tried to share a little from this dream in one of my blogs and mentioned the country's name. By the time I tried to publish the blog my website was mysteriously shut down. It was only a few months later the whole world found out how powerful they are at using The Internet as a weapon of war. So I won't be making that mistake again because I know their bots are crawling all over this website right now.

Obviously, I can't pick up the phone and warn the Government to prepare for what I saw in a dream. Who exactly am I supposed to call and why would they even listen to me? Here's how I see it going, "Good morning. Yes, I have a message for The President. The Lord showed me in a dream.... Click... Hello? hello?" That's where today's Word fits in; "If you see something, pray something." The Lord directed me to pray about what I saw because that's the extent of what I could do at the time. He then reminded me that there's a horde of preachers advising the President. I needed to pray that one of them would hear from God and issue a warning. Maybe someone has done so already. I hope so.

In the end I won't know if my prayers changed the future of this country but I do know it changed the future of my family. Maybe everything I saw will still happen exactly the way I saw it but with one minor edit. I will exit the circumstances early. God didn't show me all of this to leave me in the middle of it without a way of escape. I don't expect to defeat any army by myself but all I know is that we won't be riding in those trucks to any prison camps. I can't tell you how we're going to do it but I can assure you that it won't be happening. When the time is right, The Lord will warn us and show us what to do to avoid the situation.

Ezekiel 33:1-9(NKJV) - Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

Read the scripture carefully. At the beginning The Lord talked about the people of a land choosing someone from their territory to be a watchman. It's then their responsibility to respond when the person they choose issues a warning. In that case, they choose the watchman so they should be willing to respond because they appointed the person to watch on their behalf. Yet, God did not say that Israel would choose Ezekiel as their watchman. It was God who chose Ezekiel. Israel had no choice in the matter and neither did Ezekiel.

If I could be honest let me tell you the truth. I like my sleep. I don't like waking up around 3:00AM on a random morning unless it's with a Word from The Lord. Otherwise, it's not worth it. If The Word is for me and about me, I don't mind at all. However, sometimes God wakes me up with a Word for you and I have to find my computer and write a blog. Hopefully, you will read it and do what He says. It cost me my sleep and like I just said. I like my sleep. 🙂

You don't make yourself a watchman for your family, friends, city, workplace, church or even country. God makes you a watchman. Once He does that, you don't get to choose what you do about it. If God has called you to be a watchman, you have to watch. Otherwise, you're in trouble. Watchman, what of the night? What is it that you see? If you see something, don't just say something, pray something.

2

Fear Not! Don't Let Fear Rob You of God's Promises!

Exodus 3:7-8(NLT) - Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.

Exodus 3:16-17(NLT) - “Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.”’

Exodus 13:5(NLT) - You must celebrate this event in this month each year after the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites. (He swore to your ancestors that he would give you this land—a land flowing with milk and honey.)

In the midst of oppression in Egypt, the Israelites still had hope. For hundreds of years, they knew that The Lord had promised them a land of their own. Over and over, God said they would be given a land flowing with milk and honey. Over and over He reminded them of their heritage. He spoke to them through His prophets. He spoke to them through His Sovereign Voice. He empowered them with His words to take their eyes off the pain and suffering of their present and fix their eyes on their glorious future. His words were not ambiguous or mysterious, they were clear. There was a specific place set aside for His people and the location was set in stone.

Even though the land would be beautiful. God made no pretensions about the challenge ahead. The land was not vacant. It was already occupied by the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Yet God kept promising the Israelites that the land would be their own. He just left out one minor detail. How! How exactly were the Israelite people supposed to inherit someone else's land? Were the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites going to simply agree to give their property to the Israelites and walk away in peace? Most likely not! Nevertheless, after hundreds of years of anticipation, the time finally came for God's promise to be fulfilled.

Exodus 33:1-3(NLT) - The Lord said to Moses, “Get going, you and the people you brought up from the land of Egypt. Go up to the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I told them, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ And I will send an angel before you to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Go up to this land that flows with milk and honey. But I will not travel among you, for you are a stubborn and rebellious people. If I did, I would surely destroy you along the way.”

Finally, it was D-Day! The Lord told Moses to get up and possess the land. Think about it! God had already miraculously delivered them from Egypt with plagues like they've never seen before. Then He opened The Red Sea and caused them to walk on dry land. Then He fed them with manna from heaven. Miracle after miracle after miracle God proved Himself to His people. He is God Almighty! He can do anything! He destroyed Pharaoh's army with His mighty hand! Nothing can stand in His way! If anyone should have believed in God's ability and willingness to act in their favor, the Israelites should have.

On top of it all, God didn't even want them to fight for the land. He specifically promised an angel would go before them to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Not an army of angels! Not a few angels! Just one! In other words, six different armies were no match for one angel so God didn't need to waste any time sending more than one. Of course, at the same time, He commented about the stubbornness and rebellion of the Israelites. He knew the limits of His patience and they were close to the end of it already. If He went along with them to capture The Promised Land He knew He would kill them in an instant if He heard one more word out of them. So, here's how the story unfolded.

Numbers 13:1-3, 17-20(NLT) - The Lord now said to Moses, “Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes.” So Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He sent out twelve men, all tribal leaders of Israel, from their camp in the wilderness of Paran... Moses gave the men these instructions as he sent them out to explore the land: “Go north through the Negev into the hill country. See what the land is like, and find out whether the people living there are strong or weak, few or many. See what kind of land they live in. Is it good or bad? Do their towns have walls, or are they unprotected like open camps? Is the soil fertile or poor? Are there many trees? Do your best to bring back samples of the crops you see.” (It happened to be the season for harvesting the first ripe grapes.)

God's first instruction to Moses was to send out leaders from among the people to generate a scouting report. However, Moses also gave the scouts precise instructions concerning what to look for. He wanted a clear picture of what they were up against. There's no way to prove that God told Moses to get all of those details but that's what he asked for anyway. I guess Moses was being realistic. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt. He wasn't questioning God's promise to them but he sent the men to explore the land just like God had requested. So, the spies went out and the people waited.

Numbers 13:21-24(NLT) - So they went up and explored the land from the wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob, near Lebo-hamath. Going north, they passed through the Negev and arrived at Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai—all descendants of Anak—lived. (The ancient town of Hebron was founded seven years before the Egyptian city of Zoan.) When they came to the valley of Eshcol, they cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes so large that it took two of them to carry it on a pole between them! They also brought back samples of the pomegranates and figs. That place was called the valley of Eshcol (which means “cluster”), because of the cluster of grapes the Israelite men cut there.

Did the scriptures really say the men returned with a cluster of grapes so large that it took two men to carry it on a pole? Have you ever seen that many grapes in one cluster in your entire life? How did that even stay on the vine? What kind of vine is strong enough to hold a cluster of grapes so large that a grown man cannot hold it on his own? Well, they were definitely in the right place. That was The Promised Land. God promised them a fertile and spacious land so that's exactly what they should have expected. Just like God said, the promise stood right before their eyes. Yet, forty days after God, through Moses, first sent them to spy out the land, this is what actually happened.

Numbers 13:25-33(NLT) - After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.” But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too"

Large Fruit? Check! Bountiful country? Check! Milk and honey? Check! Powerful people? Check! Giants? Check! God specifically said in Exodus 33:2(NLT); "And I will send an angel before you to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites." Why were the ten spies surprised to find Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites living there? For hundreds of years, God said they would be there. While the Israelites were still slaves in Egypt God prepared their hearts for this moment. He told them what lay ahead. Nothing was new! All Moses had to say was, "Thanks for the report, God promised an angel to drive them out. Let's see what He does now! Let's get out of this wilderness and go get our Promised Land!"

Unfortunately, after being born into slavery they had a very low self-esteem. So not only did they feel like grasshoppers when comparing themselves to the giants. They projected their low self-image upon the giants and assumed that the giants looked at them as grasshoppers. Yes, they were physically free from slavery but their minds were still in bondage. They were handed everything as slaves. They were completely dependent on their Egyptian masters. They had no fight left in them, even though they didn't have to lift a finger. Unfortunately, you probably know how the story ended. Here's a reminder.

Numbers 14:1-10(NLT) - Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained. “Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!” Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the whole community of Israel. Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites at the Tabernacle. And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them? I will disown them and destroy them with a plague. Then I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they are!”

Numbers 14:29-32(NLT) - You will all drop dead in this wilderness! Because you complained against me, every one of you who is twenty years old or older and was included in the registration will die. You will not enter and occupy the land I swore to give you. The only exceptions will be Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. “‘You said your children would be carried off as plunder. Well, I will bring them safely into the land, and they will enjoy what you have despised. But as for you, you will drop dead in this wilderness.

What would make a group of former slaves one step away from their Promised Land long for slavery again? What would make them turn on their leader just because he did exactly what God instructed? What would make them forget a promise that kept them going for hundreds of years under the worst conditions right on the brink of its fulfillment? Fear! After running behind a dream all of their lives, with the finish line in sight, they lost their composure and panicked! My God! They waited so long, so long. Their parents died waiting... their grandparents died waiting... their great-grandparents died waiting and God finally delivered. Yet, instead of celebrating God's promise, they simply panicked!

God told Moses that they didn't have to fight. An angel would clear their enemies out of the land. Why were they even thinking about dying in battle? What battle? Joshua and Caleb begged them not to disobey God. Please, people, don't stop at the end of the journey! They waited for so long to get there. How could they miss their chance? Come on! Moses and Aaron fell on their faces in complete agony. Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes and pleaded with the people to not be afraid. Yet, The Spirit of Fear that controlled them during slavery still controlled them during freedom. You see, that's how masters control slaves. They do it using fear. That's how ten security guards can keep one hundred prisoners in check. Fear! It's impossible for them to stop all of the prisoners if they fought back and it was impossible for Egypt to control one million slaves without fear.

So how did God prepare them for this moment and why should they have been ready for the challenge? Here's what God had said to make sure they didn't become victims of fear when the time came for them to possess the land.

Deuteronomy 11:8-12, 22-25(NLT) - “Therefore, be careful to obey every command I am giving you today, so you may have strength to go in and take over the land you are about to enter. If you obey, you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors and to you, their descendants—a land flowing with milk and honey! For the land you are about to enter and take over is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you planted your seed and made irrigation ditches with your foot as in a vegetable garden. Rather, the land you will soon take over is a land of hills and valleys with plenty of rain— a land that the Lord your God cares for. He watches over it through each season of the year! ... “Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the Lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him. Then the Lord will drive out all the nations ahead of you, though they are much greater and stronger than you, and you will take over their land. Wherever you set foot, that land will be yours. Your frontiers will stretch from the wilderness in the south to Lebanon in the north, and from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you, for the Lord your God will cause the people to fear and dread you, as he promised, wherever you go in the whole land.

What a prophetic Word! God told them ahead of time that the people would be greater than them! He warned them to obey His commandments and if they did so, He would drive the people out. Can you believe that? Before the spies even scouted the land, they all knew what to expect. Why on earth were they so afraid? God told the Israelites that the people occupying the land were greater and stronger than them. Yet, He said they would take over the land. What else was God supposed to do or say? He told them what to expect. He choreographed the entire situation. Occupying The Promised Land was nothing but a formality.

What is it about fear that can put a sudden end to God's plan? Why is fear so powerful? Fear is not a feeling. Fear is a Spirit! The Israelites met it in Egypt during slavery as Pharoah used it to rule them then it accompanied them out of Egypt! It's an oppressive, over-powering, selfish, illogical, evil spirit. You can't reason with fear. You can't explain fear away. You can't work your way around fear. You can't expect mercy from fear. You can't fight fear with positive thoughts. You have to cast it out like you would cast out a demon!

I woke up yesterday morning and The Lord spoke to me. He said, "Don't let fear and intimidation rob you of my promises!" He also led me to the scriptures using the journey of the Israelites as the perfect example. Once I started studying I realized it was time to return to the blog and articulate the truth for whoever is willing to listen. This blog is not about the Israelites. It's about us! Don't look down at the Israelites because they're no different from any of us. We are the Israelites. We are the people who receive prophetic word after prophetic word after prophetic word, year after year after year and still panic when the time comes for God to deliver His promise.

God promised you a raise but when He opens the door for you to further your education by returning to school or completing certification exams you panic. God promised you a promotion but when a vacancy presents itself you're too scared to apply because you're intimidated by the new responsibilities. God promised you a successful business but when it's time to take a risk by leaving your comfort zone to invest in your business you panic. God promised you a spouse but every time it looks like a relationship is getting too serious and you risk a broken heart, you panic. God promised you so much but it's much easier to dream about God's promises and talk about them than it is to get up and claim what's yours when the time is right.

Why You Must Say No To Fear!

1) Fear didn't come from God!

2 Timothy 1:7(NKJV) - For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

If fear didn't come from God, you know who it came from. Hence, you need to give him back his stuff. God gave you power, love, and a sound mind. Those are good gifts which you should keep. The enemy gave you fear. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, they opened the door for The Spirit of Fear to enter their lives. When God showed up to converse with them, here's what Adam said for the first time in Genesis 3:10(NKJV), "So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” There was no such thing as fear in the human heart until sin entered. Now, we have to remove it from our hearts.

2) Fear can't coexist with God's Love!

1 John 4:18(NKJV) - There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

Fear will torment you like the devil in hell. God's Love, which is perfect is the only antidote to fear. You have to believe with all of your heart that God loves you and will never let anything bad happen to you (Romans 8:39). You have to believe that He has your best interest at heart (Romans 12:2). He is looking out for you. His thoughts are good toward you (Jeremiah 29:11). His plan is excellent. You have to believe that He orders your steps (Psalm 37:23). He has given you power over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall be any means harm you (Luke 10:19). You have to believe in God's Love for you!

3) Fear will block you from God's Promise!

Hebrews 10:35-36(NLT) - So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

The Israelites had zero confidence in God's Word to them even though God said the same thing to them over and over. As a result, they never received His promise. Only Joshua and Caleb were given the opportunity forty years later to take the next generation of Israelites into The Promised Land. Fear took their confidence away and blocked them from God's promise. Don't let that happen to you. Patiently endure for as long as you need to until you see what God said. It's impossible for you to receive all that God has promised if you don't have confident trust in Him. It's your confidence in God's Love and in turn, His Word that positions you to be on the receiving end of His rewards. No confidence, no promises!

Final Words: Prayer Must Replace Fear!

Philippians 4:6-7(NKJV) - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

If you want to be delivered from the torment of fear, you must first recognize that it's from the devil. Fear is not simply a part of being human. It's a part of being fallen! You then have to embrace God's Love. His perfect Love will cast the fear out of your heart. Then, you can open your mouth and pray with confidence. Be thankful to God for what He has already done for you and ask Him for what you really need. Only then will His peace replace the torment of fear. His peace is also beyond logic and reasoning. However, His peace will give you freedom while fear will keep you in bondage. Do not fear! You've waited too long to see God's promises fulfilled in your life. When God does what He says and places the answer to your prayer in front of you, you must be courageous enough to get out of your comfort zone and retrieve what's yours.

Mark 5:36(NKJV) - As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”

Do not be afraid; only believe!

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The Life-Giving Power of a Prophetic Word from The Lord

1 Thessalonians 5:20-21(NKJV) - Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.

Prophetic words are powerful. Last Sunday, my father-in-law introduced me to the prophet at his church, Bethel Christian Fellowship in Rochester, NY. With very little small talk, he looked into my eyes and began revealing God's heart to me with complete precision. It blew my mind and warmed my heart in a way that I really needed. Nothing he said was new, but he confirmed and affirmed what God had already been doing in the lives of Angel and I. He confirmed God's call on my life and reminded me of its importance to The Kingdom. He affirmed the gift of teaching I received from The Lord. He reminded me of the prophetic mantle. He encouraged me to keep writing books. He was concise. He was direct. He was precise. It was amazing.

John 6:63(NKJV) - It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

When someone speaks a prophetic Word from the heart of God, those words are "spirit-words". They are life-giving. They revive you. Two weeks ago, Angel and I were guests at the 11th anniversary celebration of Christ United Church in Loganville, GA. It's one of the most prophetic churches in the area. The guest speaker was Apostle Ann Marie Alman of People of Destiny Ministries in Brooklyn, NY. After the message which in itself was life-changing, she walked right up to me and began to prophesy. My goodness! What a Word from The Lord! She encouraged us concerning The Body Church and affirmed what God was doing in the ministry and personally for the two of us. Only The Lord knew how much we needed to hear that.

Isaiah 50:4(NKJV) - “The Lord God has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.

Why am I talking about this today? Because prophecy is real and I am a living testimony of how real it is. In your lowest moments, when you feel tired and worn out from the challenges of life, a prophetic Word from The Lord changes everything. There are people on this earth who have been called by God to speak His Word of Life into others and you need them in your life. I grew up in a household of prophets and almost took it for granted that The Lord spoke to us all the time. We didn't fast and pray for 40 days and 40 nights to hear from The Lord. We just listened.

I woke up this morning at 3:00AM and knew that The Lord wanted to speak to me. Not just that. He wanted to speak to you through me. Let me encourage you. If you have a prophetic gift, there are weary people waiting to hear God's Voice and they need to hear it from you. There are people sitting next to you at work, school or church hungry for a Word from God's heart. If God gave The Word to you, He expects you to deliver it. Do not be afraid. Be who God has called you to be.

1 Corinthians 14:1, 24-25(NKJV) - Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy... But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.

Several years ago I sat in a Wednesday night service and watched a young man walk in off the street. He said that he was looking for a church and saw the sign so he came in. The prophets in the house began speaking into his life with such precision that he was completely overwhelmed. He fell to his knees in tears and worshiped God. By the time they were finished, his life was changed forever. It's been about five years since that night and now he's a vibrant part of the ministry. He got married about a year later and his wife is also a major part of that ministry. They had a baby last year and God continues to work wonders through their lives. That's the power of a prophetic Word from The Lord.

2 Corinthians 13:1(KJV) - This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

The bottom line is this. God is speaking but not everyone can hear Him for themselves. That's one reason why He raised up prophets. Another reason is for Him to confirm what He's saying to those who do hear His Voice. In other words, we all need prophets. Those of us who cannot hear from God need to know what He's saying and those of us who can hear from God need confirmation. If you are called to be a prophet, prophesy. If you are in need of a Word from The Lord, find a place where God speaks through His prophets. Don't make decisions without hearing from God first and receiving confirmation.

2 Chronicles 20:20(NKJV) - So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”
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Decatur Community Workshops - Hearing From God

This video provides highlights from our recent workshop "Hearing From God". This event was a production of Decatur Community Workshops and was hosted at The Body Church, 3009 Rainbow Drive, Suite #142, Decatur, GA 30034.

Our faith-based group hosts monthly workshops in the Decatur area that are free, interactive and open to the surrounding community. Topics include leadership, personal finances, investing, professional networking, career advancement, real estate, grant writing and many more. We are open to suggestions and are always interested in welcoming new people. If you love to learn new things especially for free, this group is for you. For more info, visit www.meetup.com/decaturcommunityworkshops

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Understanding The End Times - Persecution

You can view the slides from this presentation at the following link; Understanding The End Times - Persecution

Every 2nd Friday at 7:00 PM, The Body Church hosts the workshop "Understanding The End Times". In this third session, the focus was on Persecution. Click here for Session Two - The Beginning of Sorrows.

Christians are the most persecuted religious group worldwide. An average of at least 180 Christians around the world are killed each month for their faith. (Source: Open Doors USA)

Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in Christ. (Source: U.S. Department of State)

Many Christians will be put to death during The Great Tribulation because of their refusal to take The Mark of The Beast.

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Healing Through Worship

Healing Through Worship

Psalms 27:8(NLT) - My heart has heard you say, "Come and talk with me." And my heart responds, "Lord, I am coming."

John 4:21-24(NKJV) - Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

Are you a true worshiper? I sincerely hope so. Do you worship God as The Holy Spirit leads you and does it come from a sincere heart? That's what God is looking for. Welcome to today's blog. Coincidentally, this month we're in the middle of a sermon series on Worship at The Body Church. Sunday, September 7th was the third session of the series. If you've never watched any of our message videos, let this series be your first one. It's worth it. If you want to stay abreast of our video releases or just want to catch up on the rest of the teachings you can check the church website. Anyway, it was also refreshing to sit at the feet of the young people at International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Atlanta over the weekend as they shared what God has released to them about worship. Anyway, on with today's blog.

1 Samuel 16:13-18,23(NKJV) - Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah. But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him. And Saul's servants said to him, "Surely, a distressing spirit from God is troubling you. Let our master now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. And it shall be that he will play it with his hand when the distressing spirit from God is upon you, and you shall be well." So Saul said to his servants, "Provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me." Then one of the servants answered and said, "Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him."... And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.

Pay very close attention to the start of this passage. The Spirit of The Lord came upon David but left Saul. As a result, the enemy was able to swoop in and torment Saul. There's something my father said a long time ago that has never left me. The worst place you ever want to be is the place where God was. Why? Once God's presence leaves, guess who comes right after? Think about it. You always want to be where God is. Like with The Children of Israel, when the pillar of cloud moves by day or the pillar of fire by night to indicate a move of God's presence, you need to move with it.

Nonetheless, the basis for this scripture is the Spirit of The Lord. He was upon David and that was clear to one of Saul's servants who said that The Lord was with David. This entire passage highlights the power of worship to bring healing. When Saul was tormented by the devil, his servants automatically understood that the only solution for his problem was to get someone to release healing through music. How did they know that? Obviously, they had seen it happen before or it was common knowledge. However, they did not need just anybody but they needed someone who had The Anointing or Presence of God because they were dealing with an evil spirit.

Isaiah 10:27(KJV) - And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

Here's what I just realized; the only reason why David's music was able to deliver Saul from the devil was because David was anointed. God does not anoint music but He anoints people so when an anointed musician plays music the music becomes anointed. As a result, without even saying a word of prophecy to Saul, David's music spoke to the spirit attacking Saul and told it to go away. Think about that. David prophesied through his worship. If you read through the Book of Psalms you will be able to visualize the kind of music David was able to produce during his private time of worship while playing his harp before The Lord.

When people are anointed by God, whatever they say, write, sing, play, draw, dance, mime or act out in worship to God will also be anointed. That's why you can't expect to mimic what someone else does and see the same results. The Anointing does not exist in a vacuum and will not work for you unless you are also anointed just like the person who created the original. David used his anointing to worship God with original music while watching his father's sheep. It was that same healing sound which Saul's servant heard sometime before Saul needed deliverance. As a result, David's ministry to Saul was really just a fringe benefit of David's worship to God. The same anointing that healed David's heart many times in his secret place was able to heal Saul in the king's palace.

1 Peter 4:10-11(NLT) - God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

The power in anointed words don't exist in the words but in the person who is speaking, singing, writing or delivering the words. That's why the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees could recite the law but there was no power in their words. In Matthew 15:6, Jesus said that they killed the power of God's Word with their tradition. Additionally, the power of anointed music doesn't lie in the music itself but in the person who's playing it. Therefore, when someone with an anointing starts to worship in any way possible, expect the power of God to be released and if healing is what you need, open your heart for God to heal you.

Music is just one avenue of worship that releases healing. Have you ever seen someone dance and release the power of God? I have. How is that even possible? Is it the actual dance? Nope! Sometimes, the dance itself is not really that impressive. If it was a dancing competition that person would lose but when the person is dancing under an anointing of God, a wave of His power is released. Sometimes, you might just be enjoying the dance when BOOM! God's power hits you and you are enveloped with God's presence. That's what happens when a true worshiper is behind the dance. I have heard songs that released the power of God and the person wasn't the best singer. I have heard someone preach and in the middle of the message I have broken down in tears as the Spirit of God overwhelmed me. What's the secret? The Anointing; the tangible presence of God resting upon a person.

Luke 7:36-48(NKJV) - Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee's house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying,"This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner." 40 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." So he said, "Teacher, say it." 41 "There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?" 43 Simon answered and said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more." And He said to him, "You have rightly judged." 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little." 48 Then He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

Picture this. A broken woman with a heart heavy with guilt got the chance of a lifetime to meet Jesus. Her life was rife with sin and people knew it. She needed healing for her heart and can't you see how she got her healing? She brought her oil, poured in on the feet of Jesus and wiped it with her hair. She cried her heart out and didn't say a word. She worshiped and worshiped and worshiped with all she had within her and Jesus heard her heart. She walked in the room a sinner and walked out completely forgiven because Jesus received authentic worship. No, she was not perfect. No, she was not clean. No, she was not pure. However, that's not what Jesus wanted. He had the power to make her perfect, clean and pure so she was welcome to come before Him just the way she was.

Think about that. After your biggest screw up, what do you think would happen if you run into God's presence and worship Him with everything you have? Do you think He would push you away because your heart is dirty? Is that what He did with that woman in the Pharisee's house? No, He did not. Everyone else wanted her gone but God welcomed her worship. God makes you pure. If your worship is authentic, even if you're a dirty vessel, give Him what you have and ask Him to clean you. He doesn't only accept worship from clean vessels, He accepts worship from willing vessels.

Many people backslide because they feel unclean and don't believe they can worship God after something they did wrong. In addition, many people are afraid of what others would think if they return to church after the sins they've committed. Listen, if your heart is messed up and you need healing, don't run from God's presence thinking He'll reject you, run into His presence and worship like you never have before. Fall at His feet, cry, pour your heart out, break open your heart like an alabaster box and empty the contents out before Him.

You may have walked into the room feeling dirty and guilty but you will walk out clean and forgiven. Forget about the people who are looking at you. People looked at the woman when she worshiped Jesus but she didn't have any pride because she was desperate for the Love of Jesus. She didn't care who was looking, like her alabaster box, she was broken and only Jesus could heal her. How desperate are you? How much do you want your healing? There is healing in your worship. Listen to this.....

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May 11, 2014 Posted by admin in prophecy

Be ready to meet Jesus!

Be ready to meet Jesus!

The Parable of the Ten Virgins – Be ready for Jesus Christ’s return to earth!

Matthew 25:1-13 - Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

I’ve heard so many different explanations for this parable that at least I have somewhere to start. From one perspective, the oil represents the Holy Ghost. He moves into the heart of an individual who accepts Jesus Christ as the eternal sacrifice for his sins. Therefore, those who are in Christ possess the oil and are considered wise while those without it are foolish. Proverbs 11:30 says that a winner of souls is wise. As a result, both the offering and acceptance of salvation is wise in the Kingdom of Heaven. The image of the virgins sleeping while the bridegroom takes his time to arrive gives the picture of life as usual across the earth before the return of Jesus Christ. Some people are prepared for His return while others purposefully neglect to accept the free of gift of salvation available to them.

2 Peter 3:1-4 - This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

The second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has to be the hottest topic in The Church. Since the early days of the New Testament, people in The Church have been claiming that Jesus is coming soon. The word “soon” seems to no longer mean anything because few people know the real definition of “soon.” Unless you live in eternity I don’t think a couple thousand years could mean “soon.” One superstar preacher said Jesus was coming in 1986. Another said that He would come in 2000. Others say definitely, He's coming in 2020. So I guess I have a few years to live it up before it's all over.

1 Peter 4:7 - But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

I acknowledge that Jesus did give us warning signs concerning the end times and we can see some of them manifesting in our lives right now (Matthew 24). What’s important to note, however, is Matthew 24:14, which states, “And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Therefore, in contrast to popular belief, the progress of the church's evangelistic efforts determines the end and not the world's moral degradation or the frequent occurrence of natural disasters! All of the wars, false prophets, sicknesses, famines and natural disasters which we claim to be the signs of the end have been going on for a very long time.

We should look closely at the words of Jesus concerning this issue in Matthew 24:6 and I quote, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Jesus taught the world about the Kingdom during His time on the earth and that is the message that we will have to present before His second coming. The end won’t come when the wars escalate. However, when the gospel of the Kingdom is preached everywhere, look up, because Jesus Christ will crack the sky.

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The Future Of Prophecy

The Future Of Prophecy

Today's blog is an excerpt from my book, "The Mysterious Kingdom Of Heaven".

Numbers 11:24-29 - And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle. And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD'S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!

This scripture reference sets the stage for the future of prophecy. The Holy Spirit came upon seventy men around the tabernacle with Moses and they all prophesied. The time had come for more than just Moses to be anointed with the gift of prophecy. If we want to learn anything from this, we should learn that one exclusive prophet is not God’s best. We should also learn that God will put His Spirit of prophecy upon anyone He feels like and prophets don't have to be isolated as an exclusive group.

I agree that there should be one main pastor in a given assembly. I also agree that there are several people chosen to be evangelists. Also, the gift of teaching is exclusive to those chosen by God and an apostle is one that is sent by God as an ambassador of the Gospel. However, everyone in Christ has access to the prophetic anointing. We may not all operate in the Office of the Prophet or even profess to possess the gift of prophecy, but we should all endeavor to speak under inspiration by God.

A Christian should never stand up in a public forum and speak his opinion on anything in the Kingdom of God. If God is not telling you what to say then you should respectfully turn down the opportunity to speak. We should all desire to only say what our Father wants said and let that suffice.

John 8:28 - Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

John 14:12 - Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

We should all agree that Christians make up the Body of Christ. We should also agree that Jesus is our perfect example. Therefore, if Jesus did nothing on His own and only spoke words sanctioned by our Father in heaven, we should strive to do the same. In addition, He made it clear that the Holy Ghost within us enables us to do exactly what He did while on the earth and more. This promise is for all who believe so that means all Christians can be prophets just like Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:20 - Despise not prophesyings.

1 Corinthians 14:1 - Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

1 Corinthians 14:39 - Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul continued in the same vein as Moses and encouraged all Christians to prophesy. Therefore, those who deny the existence of prophecy or choose to criticize and demean prophets are opposing the plan of God for The Church. I don’t need to tell you God’s opinion concerning opposition to His plans but I recommend that you avoid it. If you didn’t understand prophecy before you read this chapter, I can’t blame you for your actions. However, things have just changed and you are now responsible for what you know. Romans 10:17 says that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

In sum, let this message increase your faith so that you can strive to reflect the image presented of your life in the Bible. We cannot live by man-made doctrines. We cannot live by concepts formulated in the brilliant minds of Biblical scholars who have no anointing. We only live by the Word of God. The prophetic anointing is available to you right now if you’re already a Christian. However, it will only manifest for those who believe. Be pliable in the Hands of God and despise not prophecy.

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