Username:

Password:

Fargot Password? / Help

Books

0

The Cracked Door Conference 2018

0

Ask Donnell: What's The Bible's Position on Wealth, Riches and Luxuries?

We received the following question from Nahom;

"Donnell, what do you think about luxuries? A rich person should definitely use their money to help those less privileged/poor. Like donating to charity. But does that make it bad to buy a luxury car for example? As long as they don't put it over God and aren't materialists, is is it okay?"

Nahom, thanks for another great question. The relationship between Christians and money can sometimes be a complex one. On the one hand, King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 10:19 that money answers all things, but then a few thousand years later Apostle Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:10 that the love of money is the root of all evil. In the same way, Jesus said to use money to make friends in Luke 16:9 but in Matthew 19:23, He said it's hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. So what are we to think? Which is it? Is it good to be rich or is it bad? Should a rich person enjoy their money or should they give it all to the poor? The answer is, it depends. 🙂 Let's dig in a little deeper.

Enjoy the Fruits of your Hard Work!

Ecclesiastes 3:9-13(NLT) - What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.

It's a good thing to work hard and enjoy the benefits of your hard work. Solomon described the fruits of your labor as gifts from God. For instance, if you like eating at nice restaurants and you can afford it, dress up nice, order whatever you want and take a box home with you when you're finished. There's nothing to be ashamed of. God has given you the strength, ability, and favor to generate enough revenue to maintain a particular lifestyle.

It Can't Be All About Money!

James 4:1-3(NLT) - What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

Some people will never be rich and God will see to it that it does not happen. It's not that God doesn't want people to be rich. It's that people whose priorities are in the wrong place won't get His help to be rich. They can help themselves or the devil might help them get money but God won't. When people's motives are wrong, God doesn't get involved in helping them to do wrong. His main concern is not our money. His main concern is our hearts.

Luke 12:13-21(NLT) - Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

Nowhere in this parable did Jesus condemn the rich man for being rich. That's an important observation because some people don't get that. Being rich is not a bad thing. The bad thing is when the riches consume your entire life. That's what happened to this rich man. He was a fool to make his money his priority instead of building his relationship with God. He could have had both but he chose one, the wrong one.

Though it's Good To Have Money, Money Can't Have You!

Mark 10:17-25(NKJV) - Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’” And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

The rich young ruler did not have money but money had him. Jesus knew that and put him to the test. Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell everything and give the money to the poor not because that's what every rich person is supposed to do but to prove a point. What point? That it's hard to trust in riches and also trust in God. When Jesus told the rich young ruler to get rid of his money, Jesus was asking the young man to trust Him. Unfortunately, he could not. That's the same test Jesus put the twelve disciples through in Luke 9:1-6 and the seventy disciples in Luke 10:1-12. He asked them all to leave their money behind and trust Him to provide for them on a missions trip. They all did it and guess what happened? In Luke 22:35-36, they were free to get their money back.

Mark 10:28-30(NKJV) - Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.

When Jesus asked the rich young ruler to give up his money, it was really an opportunity. After the rich man had already left, Jesus explained to the disciples what the man had just missed out on. He promised that when people sacrifice anything they have for His sake or the gospel, He would multiply their seed and give it back to them as a harvest both in the time that they live on the earth and for eternity.

Get Your Priorities Right and God Himself will Give you the Money!

2 Chronicles 1:7-12(NLT) - That night God appeared to Solomon and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” Solomon replied to God, “You showed great and faithful love to David, my father, and now you have made me king in his place. O Lord God, please continue to keep your promise to David my father, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth! Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?” God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people— I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future!”

Solomon never asked God to be rich. He asked for wisdom to help people. It was God who decided to give him wealth, riches, and fame. In other words, it was God's Will for Solomon to be rich. If it was up to Solomon, the wisdom to rule God's people would have sufficed. That was God's decision.

Psalm 112:1-3(KJV) - Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

The Word of God is replete with promises like these for those who choose to fear God and delight in His commandments. God did it for Abraham, Solomon, David and many others and He can do it for you too. Yet, it's hard for some people to accept God's blessings of wealth and riches. That's fine. It's not for everyone so if a person doesn't want it, they don't need to have it. However, if you are faithful to God and He chooses to reward you in that way, enjoy it. It is His Will for you to have it.

Riches Come with Social Responsibility!

1 Timothy 6:17-19(NLT) - Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.

Again, Apostle Paul reiterates the earlier message of Jesus concerning trust. Rich people should never trust in their money. Their trust should be in God who is the one who gives riches for our enjoyment. They should enjoy their money and they should use their money for good. They should give to others and store up treasures in heaven. That's their social responsibility. If God blesses you with riches, that's what you need to know.

Giving Money to the Poor is not Always the Answer to Everything

John 12:1-8(NKJV) - Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”

King Solomon said in Proverbs 19:17 that when you give to the poor you lend to God and God will pay you back. However, some people have turned giving to the poor into an excuse for telling rich people what to do with their money. Why did you buy that expensive car? You could have given the money to the poor. Why do you own a private jet? You should have given that money to the poor. Why is your house so big? You should have given that money to the poor.

Unfortunately, like the example in John 12, people who criticize the spending practices of the rich aren't always doing so because they care about the poor. They do so because they are jealous. How do we know that? Ask them how much of their own money they give to the poor. It's God's Will to give to the poor but it's not God's Will to try to put a rich person on a guilt trip about their charitable giving because you are jealous of their money. It's their money. If you believe the poor need to get money, you give it. Leave other people's money alone.

Acts 3:6(NKJV) - 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.”

Give people what they need. Sometimes, what they need is not money.

The timing of your inquiry could not have been better. I have a new book coming out on January 1st which addresses the role of finances in God's Kingdom. It's called "The Fish with the Coin in Its Mouth". You can click the link to find out more. It's available now for pre-order on Amazon. Check it out!

0

Highlights from Coffee Shop Conversations: Book Writer's Club

Do you want to write a book? Many people do, but very few are able to get it done for various reasons. Let that not be your story. Learn tips and tricks for effectively putting your thoughts on paper in a cohesive, continuous manner. Work with a group of other writers who share the same goal.

Join our club at Coffee Shop Conversations. We'll be working together on our books this year. Bring your ideas, share it with the group and let's help each other write our books. Say goodbye to writer's block. If you're stuck, we'll help with ideas to move the book forward. Once the books are complete, we'll learn how to get our books published for free.

Date - Thursday February 9th, 2017

The Body Church
3015 Rainbow Dr,
Suite #142,
Building #3009,
Decatur, GA 30034

**Located in Building 3009 in South DeKalb Office Park, 3015 Rainbow Drive, Decatur, GA 30034**

1 Corinthians 12:12(NLT) - The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Sundays - 9:00 AM

www.TheBodyChurchInc.org

0

Apostolic Mentorship

Apostolic Mentorship

Ecclesiastes 1:9-10(NLT) - History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new.

Have you ever felt like you're the only one going through what you're going through? I have, at times, but I know that's not true. Nothing's new. It's happened before. It might be new to you or me but it's not new to mankind. After thousands of years and billions of people we're running out of unique experiences on the earth. Somebody has felt your hurt before. Someone has experienced your failure before. Someone's been disappointed just like you before. Someone has been in your situation before. In the same vein, someone has had your gift before. Someone has had a similar opportunity before. Someone's had to make a similar decision before. It's not new. It's just new to you.

As I prepared to walk out the door of a previous job into a much better position elsewhere I asked the president of my former company for any advice he could give. At the top of his list was a simple instruction; "Find a mentor. That person will be an invaluable resource throughout the course of your journey." Coincidentally, in preparation for my new position I read the book, "Passing It On" by Dr. Myles Munroe. Contained within it was the same principle of mentorship and how crucial it is to the continued success of The Church of Jesus Christ. With that in mind, I invite you to Friday night's session of this weekend's conference "Building The Church" at The Body Church in Decatur, GA.

At that session my mother, Apostle Jemma Duncan, will officially launch her new book, "Common Mistakes Women Make" in the US market. It's a labor of love to women in the church from a mother of three, wife of almost forty years, pastor of many, radio and television host of "Ask Pastor Jemma", prolific author, Bible School founder and retired elementary school teacher. Each time I hear my mother teach God's Word I am amazed at how clearly the Voice of God is communicated through her words. My mother taught me how to write as a young elementary school student when I would get all A's except for a huge C in Creative Writing. As a young preacher, my mother would critique some of my early messages and helped hone my teaching style.

Titus 2:1-7(NLT) - As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience. Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God. In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.

Older women must train the younger women to be good wives and mothers, to make wise decisions, to be pure, to take care of their homes, to do well and respect their husbands. In the same way, older men must teach younger men to make wise decisions as men, husbands and fathers. This is the model of The Church. We're not supposed to figure everything out for ourselves, we're supposed to receive and then pass down generational wisdom from which The Church can grow to please God. I didn't have a name for this principle so I created one; "Apostolic Mentorship". Older women are church mothers and older men are church fathers with years of experience from which the rest of us can benefit. We are a family and when things are done right, we won't repeat mistakes.

1 Corinthians 10:13(NLT) - The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

Women, this Friday was set up especially for you. Someone else has felt the way you feel. Someone else has faced the challenges you face. Your temptations have been on repeat throughout history. God is faithful and wants to provide you with answers to your many questions. Your questions have been asked before and the answers have already been given. The answers you need are out there and you can get them if you make yourself available to receive them. With that, I am reminded of the common saying, "If we don't learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them." Praise God, that won't happen to you. See you on Friday at The Body Church for the launch of "Common Mistakes Women Make".

Dedication Flyer

4

The Miracle of Sarah’s Conception

baby

Today's blog is an excerpt from Faith Science.

Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. - Hebrews 11:11–12 kjv

I defined the spiritual method as, “The use of faith in the Word of God as the activation energy necessary to cause matter to change form.” Sarah’s faith in the Word of God directly transformed her physical body. Her faith caused a successful reaction between the spiritual matter of the Word of God and the physical matter of her body, resulting in the miraculous conception of Isaac. Withal, these words of Paul in Hebrews 11:11–12 merely scratch the surface of this powerful case study of the practical application of faith in the life of Sarah.

God promised Abram the same blessing over and over until Abram finally stood up to God in Genesis 15 and questioned him concerning his descendants. In Genesis 15:2–6, Abram complained that even though his blessings were great, he had no children of his own to inherit them. In response, God reassured him that he would have a son and gave him an object lesson by comparing the number of his future descendants to the stars in the sky. He then made a covenant with him that would never be broken.

In Genesis 16, things got interesting. Up to that point, God had given all of his directions to Abram and nothing to Sarai (before the name change). Therefore, Sarai was standing on Abram’s faith, and that was not enough to sustain her. She agreed that God’s plan for the family was great, but she just couldn’t conceive the possibility of it taking place without a little help. She understood her physical inability to have children and came up with her own plan.

In Genesis 16, she offered her servant, Haggai, to Abram so he could have a child. That was not God’s plan, but he allowed it to take place. He blessed Ishmael, the son of Haggai and Abram, but made it clear that his descendants would present a major problem in the future. Even though the name Sarah was placed in the Hall of Faith listed in Hebrews 11, she showed a human side just like the rest of us.

How many times have you tried to help God’s plan by taking steps of your own? Maybe God told you that he would give you a husband or wife on his schedule but you decided to settle with someone because you didn’t want to miss a great opportunity at your age. Maybe God told you that he would bless you with a nice car and you took out a loan on a luxury car that you could not afford.

Maybe you did that with your house. Maybe you did that with your ministry. God promised you great expansion, and you expanded on your own instead of waiting for his plan to come into effect. Twenty-four years after the initial move from their homeland, God renewed his covenant with Abram and Sarai, which included changing their names to Abraham and Sarah. He then promised Abraham that the heir of all of his wealth would come from a union between him and his wife. In Genesis 18, God spoke to Sarah for the first time. God also visited Abraham at his home with two angels in the form of human beings and spoke face-to-face with him.

This is important because some Christians don’t take it literally when God said that he made man in his image and his likeness in Genesis 1:26–27. They cannot conceive that we look anything like God. Well, guess what? God showed up with two angels in Genesis 18:1, and all three looked just like regular men. They sat down, let Abraham wash their feet, and ate physical food prepared for them. Now that’s fascinating! According to 1 Colossians 2:9, the fullness of the Godhead lives in the body of Jesus Christ. Hence, whenever God appeared on earth, whether in the Old or New Testament, he was Jesus.

“Where is Sarah, your wife?” the visitors asked. “She’s inside the tent,” Abraham replied. Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!” Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband— is also so old?” Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh.” But the Lord said, “No, you did laugh.” - Genesis 18:9–15 nlt

God told Sarah that she would have a son within one year, and she laughed. Thus, if you think you’re a loser because you didn’t believe what God said to you the first time, you’re in good company. I guess I’m too young to care about the impossibility of some of God’s promises. I believe everything like a little child does. If God says it, then I believe it and I keenly wait for it all to come to pass in my life. One day I’ll lead the church of Jesus Christ to a place where they believe God’s ability to give them victory over physical death through the power of his Holy Spirit.

Maybe it’s laughable to some people, but it’s as real as can be. What has God said to you that you still don’t believe? Do you really think he can’t get you out of poverty? Do you really think he can’t heal you of a terminal illness? Is anything too hard for the Lord? Jesus said in Matthew 19:26 that with God all things are possible, and then in Mark 9:23, he said that all things are possible to you if you believe.

Faith is more than just a religious exercise. Faith is God’s secret to getting things done. Do you want to be like God? Then operate in faith. If he says something, believe it, even if the only evidence you have is what he says. Remember that just because something is invisible and mass-less doesn’t mean that it does not exist. The lesson learned from the miracle of Sarah’s conception is that even when you initially doubt a word from the Lord, if you eventually choose to believe, he’ll still do it!

6

Coming Soon: Well Done - "Discovering And Executing Your Purpose"

Well Done - Discovering And Executing Your Purpose

Two of the deepest questions on the hearts of every human being are; "Who am I?" and "Why am I here?" Regardless of what you accomplish during your time on this earth if you never get the answers to these two questions a void will remain in your life. This book will help. It’s a practical, yet Biblical guide to discovering and executing your God-given purpose.

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:7-9 NKJV

According to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the human brain on average weighs approximately three pounds and occupies two percent of our total body weight. Proportionally, it's easily the largest as well as the most intricate brain of any mammal. However, when compared to the infinite wisdom of our omniscient God, the human brain is nothing. We don't have enough processing power in those three pounds to just figure God out because we're not on His level.

Hence, you will need to accept the truth that God's will for your life may not fit into what you have envisioned for yourself. Since your thoughts are based on your frame of reference, the best you can possibly imagine for yourself is limited to what you've been exposed to. In contrast, the Will of God knows no such limitations. What He sees for you is based on His frame of reference and thankfully, He sees everything.

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12 NKJV

With a limited perspective your eyes can easily deceive you. What you may consider to be a great idea just might not be as good as you think in the end. Your plan might look amazing in your eyes but just beyond your horizon of time and space could be trouble. Hence, only God's plan can be completely trusted. He sees the present, knows the past and holds the future.

It's time to discover and accept God's plan for your life. Even if you can't see what He sees you should trust Him. Your plan seems right but could lead you to the wrong place. His plan is right and will lead you to the right place. There's no way you can lose with God's plan so make a decision right now to do whatever He says. His Word can be trusted.

“Well Done – Discovering and Executing Your Purpose” was written with you in mind. It's designed to help you discover God's Will for your life and guide you through the journey of fulfilling it. Following the steps in this book may be one of the most important decisions you can ever make. One day you will stand before God and He will have something to say to you. If you do what you're supposed to do in this life you can be assured in eternity that He will say, “Well done!”

Launch Date: 01.01.15...

2

Friday Feature: I Curse Death (Hiding Behind Religion)

Friday Feature: I Curse Death (Hiding Behind Religion)

Welcome to our Friday feature where each week we will feature one of my books. Today's feature is an excerpt from my book, "I Curse Death".

Genesis 3:9-11 - And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil opened Adam and Eve’s eyes to natural wisdom, but instead of empowering them, it allowed them to see their own weaknesses, which resulted in fear. Isn’t that amazing? What we got from that tree was the realization that we were naked and immediately subject to the Spirit of Fear. Oh yes, before I overlook it, we also got a curse from God, designed specifically for us.

Nonetheless, when God made man and breathed Himself into man’s body, He also made His wisdom available to man (James 1:5). With only God’s pure wisdom, Adam would have been a successful manager of all of the resources placed under his command. This reminds me of a little child, once again. A child is born into this earth with a blank mind and the parents have a few years to shape that child’s personality.

During that highly influential period, they can represent God on the earth and ensure that the child thinks like the Word of God. They can teach the child to stay under the covering provided by their Heavenly Father. I understand that this seems impossible but nothing is impossible with God (Matthew 19:26). Like Adam, a child who is taught to rule on this earth will only understand authority and is prepared to face the challenges that arise in life.

I smile when I think about what happens to many human beings who get too much information about the things of this world. They suddenly see themselves in a way that is contrary to God’s way of thinking. Their vast knowledge gives them the confidence to walk in their own power and avoid the power of God. In other words, they hide themselves. How do they hide? Like Adam and Eve, they jump behind some bushes and think God can’t see them. Let’s discuss one of these bushes.

Religion

There isn’t a more popular bush to hide behind than religion. I call religion the man-made version of a walk with God. With religion we turn the dynamic nature of daily communication with our Heavenly Father into a static representation or a form of godliness (2 Timothy 3:5).

Hence, many people do all the things that look like a relationship with God and are proud to be religious. They sing the songs, wear ten dollar “Too Blessed to Be Stressed” t-shirts, show up at church in the holiest outfits and they offer a great imitation of the Christian life. Empty repetition of religious action is a total waste of time.

If this Christian walk ever goes stale I would not enjoy it, yet many people seem to relish a dry, empty religious life. Some even act like they are doing God a favor by living like that. In contrast, God wanted Adam to walk with Him in the cool of the day and converse (Genesis 3:8).

Right now He wants this Christian life to always be on the cutting edge. We need a Word from God that is “hot off the press,” something that is still smoking because it just left the stones of fire before the throne of God, something fresh like manna. Every morning He gives us more grace and we should stay current (Lamentations 3:22&23).

We should use the provision of “manna” to the Children of Israel in the wilderness as a good illustration of how God wants to communicate with us (Exodus 16:14-36). He has something new for us everyday that we have to use during that day. The next day we can open ourselves to hear again and He will continue to supply us with fresh revelation from heaven.

Religion puts God in a box and at the same time puts us in a box. The only box that confines people without any resistance is a casket, and by the time you finish reading this book you will have a good idea of my view on the casket. It’s all about compressing a human being to fit into some preconceived notion of the ideal person.

As human beings, we can use religion to place personal limitations that God never created and to also place limitations on God’s freedom to act on our behalf (Mark 7:13). Even though He is all powerful, we can bind His hands in our own lives by limiting Him with our doctrine.

It’s easy to see what God thinks about religion by looking at Jesus and His interaction with the religious leaders of His time. A good example of this is shown in Matthew 12 when Jesus had to put the Pharisees and Scribes in their place for trying to question His actions on the Sabbath day.

I Curse Death

Jesus taught us to live in the Spirit, free from the laws that were created for the Children of Israel to give them an awareness of sin. When we live in the Spirit we will fulfill those same laws of God and that is a much easier way to live (Galatians 5:16). Thank God we now have an awareness of our righteousness and our new life in Christ. Therefore, we can all walk in the Spirit, follow the direction of God and always fit into the plan of God, which agrees with His Holy Word.

2

Friday Feature: I Curse Death

ICurseDeath

Welcome back to the blog. This is our first full week back. Each Friday, we plan to feature one of my books. Today's feature is on "I Curse Death". If you don't already have a copy of this book, you can use the link above. When the book first came out in 2007 I did a series of interviews. Today I want to share one of them with you. I think you'll like it.

INN THE BASEMENT Exclusive Interview With Author Donnell Duncan

If Adam had never sinned in the garden of Eden, would he still have died? If death came by sin and Jesus Christ defeated sin on the cross, what happened to death? In I Curse Death, author Donnell Duncan boldly answers these questions and many more. The message is simple: man was designed by God to be immortal and only lost that gift by falling into sin. Duncan demonstrates with scripture that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ restored this gift to all those who believe. With each intriguing chapter, Duncan draws the reader into a world governed by the original Will of God. In that world, each human being is given a specific time to complete a specific purpose and does not die before it is completed. With an abundance of scriptural support he makes it clear that death has no power over the plan of God for an individual. After reading I Curse Death the reader will be convinced that the Bible holds the keys of life that unlock the mysteries of death.

ITB: God. The Almighty of the Holy Bible. The Bible has been proven to be the most prophetic book in the entire world across all generations. Author Donnell Duncan has written a powerful book entitled I Curse Death. This book takes the evidence from the Word of God, and describes its original promises that would have been, if in fact, Adam and Eve had not sinned, how one will in fact live fulfilling his or her purpose, and how death is powerless against God’s plan for anyone’s life.

Author Donnell Duncan has agreed to check INN THE BASEMENT with me to share about his book, himself and beliefs, as well as about another one of his awesome ministries, The Cracked Door - www.thecrackeddoor.com.

Come along with us as Donnell Duncan shares the ins of success and the outs of fear when it comes to fulfilling purpose as well as learn how to truly live with the knowledge that death has become completely powerless!

Mirika (ITB) : Alright, Mr. Duncan, I am so extremely excited to get on with this interview that I don’t know exactly where to begin. However, I am going to attempt to make a start at a good point seeing as that there are many items of interest to me as well as to the many who check INN THE BASEMENT. So…I Curse Death. The title caught my eye immediately, and I told myself that I must get in contact with this author after reading what the book is about.
In your own words, tell us, Mr. Duncan, how in fact you found the correct and absolute purpose in your life, and were you ever lost or in search of that one or many things that you just knew that you had to accomplish? Did you ever feel like giving up in the process?

Donnell Duncan: That’s a great question, Mirika. Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

To discover God’s Will for my life, I first made the decision to obey His written Word. With each act of obedience, I became more familiar with His voice. In addition, I realized that my natural talents and true passions were the same.

It wasn’t too difficult for me to discover my purpose because everything about me screamed the same thing. I won several high profile awards for writing and worked as a freelance columnist for a local newspaper before I graduated high school. If I couldn’t tell what God had called me to do, I obviously wasn’t paying attention.

The main issue for me was not identifying my purpose but figuring out what I needed to do with it and when. That’s where the guidance of my parents really kicked in. Even though my gifts were clear, the path for my life was not. My parents helped me out while I was younger by guiding me through the confusing years. Fortunately, as I matured, I learned to follow God’s guidance on my own.

Mirika (ITB): Life and death are both things that people struggle with on a day to day basis. At times, life may even feel like death. On the other hand, some people can’t even live for the fear of death, physical or mental, due to a feeling of hopelessness. How would you in your book address this issue or problem of bondage within their lives, and is it easier to overcome than what it seems?

Donnell Duncan: Mirika, Paul said in Hebrews 2:14-15(NLT); “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.”

Jesus Christ died and rose again, breaking the curse of death. However, what you receive is a direct result of your faith. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God and Romans 10:14 asks the question, “How can people hear unless someone tells them?” Therefore, God inspired me to write my book. It provides people with an understanding of the scriptures they need to develop their faith for victory over death.

Mirika(ITB): You are the founder of The Cracked Door – www.thecrackeddoor.com, and your philosophy as I read from your site is “If the Door is Cracked, the Door is Open.” This, to me, is exceptional as many wouldn’t see a cracked door as a fully open door. Will you please explain this philosophy and how it pertains to the life of an individual?

Donnell Duncan: King Solomon, the wisest man in history said in Ecclesiastes 11:4(NLT); “Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.” In other words, if you sit around waiting for perfect conditions before you make your move, you’ll go nowhere. God doesn’t always have to swing doors completely open for us to walk through them. A little crack in the door is all we need.

Paul said in Ephesians 5:16 that we should make the most of every opportunity we receive in life. That’s what I mean by; “If the Door is Cracked, the Door is Open.” While most people wait for something obvious to happen, successful people take advantage of the slightest chances available.

Mirika (ITB): Mr. Duncan, it looks as if you come from family of prophets and you also have studied to earn a number of degrees. Out of all of your accomplishments and the people/family in your life, what or who would you say played or plays the biggest part and why?

Donnell Duncan: My parents are my biggest inspiration. Their passion for God and desire to serve in His Kingdom have encouraged me to do the same. They are also career professionals who placed a high priority on education. Now that God has opened several doors for ministry I see the benefits of that decision. I don’t need to depend on the ministry to pay my bills so I don’t have that added pressure.

Even though they knew that God had called me into the ministry at the age of 17 they encouraged me to pursue an engineering career. Mirika (ITB): Were you ever intimidated when you decided to answer your call into the ministry or do you feel like you were always ready?

Donnell Duncan: I live by the following scripture;

Jeremiah 1:4-10(NLT) – “The Lord gave me this message: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” “O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said, “Look, I have put my words in your mouth! Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms. Some you must uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow. Others you must build up and plant.”

I wasn’t always ready for ministry but the desire for it burned inside of my heart. When I published my book, “I Curse Death” I envisioned a blockbuster like “Purpose Driven Life” or “Da Vinci Code.” However, at one point, the sheer magnitude of the message in that book overwhelmed my heart. I didn’t know how it would be received by The Church. Thankfully, The Lord settled my heart with the words of Jeremiah 1:4-10 and 2 Timothy 4:1-5. Now I preach the Word of God with all of my heart and refuse to be intimidated.

Mirika (ITB): Absolutely amazing! Now, once and for all time, there is victory over death. Tell us briefly about that Victory, Mr. Duncan.

Donnell Duncan: Let’s start with one of the most fascinating scriptures in The Bible; John 11:23-26(NKJV) – “Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

There’s something about believing in Jesus that I think many of us are yet to understand. He obliterated the curse of death and offered that victory to us. However, the responsibility to receive it is on our shoulders. He embodies The Resurrection so everything we can expect to happen at that event can happen wherever Jesus is.

The Apostle Paul described The Resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:52-55(NLT) and said in Romans 8:11 that The Holy Spirit within us can bring life to our mortal bodies. We don’t have to limit ourselves to our natural abilities when Jesus died, rose again and gave us His victory over death. There’s so much I can say about this but my book goes into detail and blows this revelation wide open.

Mirika (ITB) : This seems to be an amazing prophetic word and book for anyone to read. Where can the public purchase this book and will you be on tour for the rest of the year?

Donnell Duncan: “I Curse Death” can be purchased directly from my publisher at www.TatePublishing.com or at my website, www.TheCrackedDoor.com. It can also be ordered by name from any major bookstore across the US like Borders, Barnes and Noble or Family Christian Bookstores.

Mirika (ITB) : Thank you so very much for checking INNTHEBASEMENT for this insightful interview. It has been a true pleasure, Donnell Duncan, and may God remain with you and may you continue to be the apple of His eye. Visit www.thecrackeddoor.com today as well as www.myspace.com/thechristiansocialites and www.myspace.com/icursedeath!

10
May 14, 2014 Posted by admin in Books

A Glimpse Of Worship In Heaven

A Glimpse Of Heaven

Today's blog is an excerpt from my book, Revelation Unplugged.

Revelation 4:1-5(NLT) - Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” And instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it. The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—like jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow. Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven torches with burning flames. This is the sevenfold Spirit of God.

Jesus personally invited John to heaven. Pay close attention to His words, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” This means that the messages to the seven churches were relevant only for a period of time. In my estimate, the time for The Church to get things right is now. We had 2000 years to straighten up and it’s coming to an end. The direction of history is about to change and we’re about to see how The Book of Revelation addresses that.

I used to think that the door which opened in heaven represented The Rapture because other people told me so. It also made sense because the trumpet sounded just like Paul said it would at The Resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:52. I will deal with this in detail later in the book. Nonetheless, just like the sudden change we anticipate on that glorious day, John was instantly in the Spirit. Upon entering heaven, the scene blew his mind. He saw God sitting on His throne glowing resplendently with beautiful colors like light refracting through the finest jewels. That concept might be difficult to conceive in our limited human experience but like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:12, one day it will all make sense.

Twenty four elders surrounded God on thrones of their own. The first thing he noticed was their white outfits and the gold crowns on their heads. Jesus offered the faithful saints who avoided the corruption of the dead church in Sardis the opportunity to walk with Him in white garments. He then said that all who were victorious would get the same reward. He even offered it to those saints who repented of their lukewarm attitudes in Laodicea. He also presented the persecuted saints in Smyrna the opportunity to wear The Crown of Life as a reward for their faithfulness.

I’ll flash forward a little right now just so you’ll understand the significance of John’s initial observation. When he first entered heaven there were only twenty four human beings in white around God’s throne. However, by the time he wrote Revelation 7, which took place after The Great Tribulation, take a look at what he saw. I won’t discuss it in detail until later on in the book but right now you need to see this.

Revelation 7:9-17(NLT) - After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a mighty shout, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings. And they fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshiped God. They sang, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen.” Then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, “Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.” Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white. “That is why they stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his Temple. And he who sits on the throne will give them shelter. They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun. For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

Jesus introduced Himself to Sardis as The One with the Sevenfold Spirit of God. So when John wrote in Revelation 4:5 that the Sevenfold Spirit of God burned continually before the throne whose throne do you think it is? His name is Jesus. He is the Lamb on the throne who redeemed all of those human beings in Revelation 7. They washed their robes in His blood and made them white. They made it through the toughest time of testing on the earth and as promised, received their everlasting rewards. Like Paul said in Hebrews 6:19, this promise of God’s redemption will anchor the persecuted souls of The Church during The Great Tribulation.

Worship in Heaven

Revelation 4:6-11(NLT) - In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal. In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back. The first of these living beings was like a lion; the second was like an ox; the third had a human face; and the fourth was like an eagle in flight. Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.”

My goodness! My heart is overwhelmed! Do you grasp the vivid imagery of these words? The four “living beings” were created with the sole purpose of worshiping God? All day and night, throughout eternity, they pay homage to The One who sits on the throne. They have no personal plans and they never need to write God into their schedules. He is the only item on the agenda!

Since God is the King of kings, it’s not surprising that each of these beings represent the kings on the earth. The lion is the king of the jungle. The ox is the king of domesticated animals. The human is the king of all created beings. The eagle is the king of the birds. The presence of all of those eyes on their bodies definitely tickles the imagination. Why do they need so many eyes when they’re only looking in one direction?

At any rate, do you notice that the eagle is in flight? As a result we should envisage it with wings outstretched. In addition, do you notice that they call attention to God’s character before everything else? They say continually, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” Unlike most of us, their first fascination is not with His superb beauty or immeasurable power but His holiness! In their eyes, He is holy first and then He is mighty.

Since God created them that way, doesn’t that say something about His priorities? He places His character before everything else in heaven. Hence, He expects us, who were created in His image and likeness to place our character before everything else on earth. The living beings see straight through the dramatic display around His throne into God’s heart so He must be doing the same with us. Where do you place holiness in your priority list? Is it after physical beauty, power or influence? If so, then you are not reflecting the image of The One sitting on the throne in Heaven.

Once the four living beings set the tone by placing the highest focus on God’s character, the twenty four elders join in and shift the focus to His tangible attributes. They say, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.” Holy is who God is but glory, honor and power is what He possesses. For that reason, we should pattern our worship after what is done in heaven. Even though we are blown away by what God does for us, we must never forget that worship begins with the inner image of who He is.

6
May 13, 2014 Posted by admin in Books, Faith

Important Faith Lessons From Noah

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. - Hebrews 11:7 kjv

Noah’s faith caused him to respond when God warned him of impending tragedy. He made a decision to obey the voice of God without having the physical evidence necessary to satisfy his human intelligence. Therefore, by faith, he used the Word of God as the only evidence of the looming flood. Building the ark must have been a major investment for him because of its sheer size. God told him to make it four hundred and fifty feet long, seventy-five feet wide and forty-five feet high. Those are staggering numbers for one man, so I assume that his family helped him in some way. The time commitment for such an endeavor is another major factor we should consider.

When inspired for some reason, it’s possible for many Christian people to have a moment of great faith, but it’s entirely different when you have to sustain your faith over an extended period of time. The Apostle Paul said in Hebrews 6:12 that you inherit the promises of God through not just faith but the combination of faith and patience. For this reason, Noah’s sustained faith in the Word of God placed him in line for an inheritance that only God could have provided.

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. - Genesis 6:8–9 kjv

I don’t know how Noah did it. However, I know that he did. I don’t know how you will do it. However, I know that you can. In the middle of a world full of sin and rebellion, you can be just and perfect in your generation. While everyone around you is walking away from the things of God, like Noah, you can walk with God. The advantages of a life spent in fellowship with God cannot be emphasized enough. God warned Noah of the flood because God knew Noah.

They were personal friends and conversed on a regular basis. You cannot have access to the inner workings of God’s wisdom if you don’t have an intimate relationship with him. It’s a fantasy to think that God will even consider you for detailed personal instructions if Christianity is still a religious experience for you. If he only sees you when you show up at church, then he is not in a relationship with you. If he only hears from you when something is wrong then you are not intimate with him. As a result, you will be left out of the loop while the people he knows very well take the inside track to his miraculous goodness.

You may start off in faith, but if something doesn’t happen in your favor quickly and you stop believing in God, your actions will change to match what you believe. Thus, if you give up on your faith, you will fail. It’s not always a lack of faith that stops you from getting what’s yours, but it is a lack of maintenance of your faith. Fortunately, God doesn’t dwell on the past, and neither should you. Ask for forgiveness based on 1 John 1:9 whenever you need it, and continue in faith. The lesson learned from the salvation of Noah is that faith in the Word of God must be sustained over an extended period of time in order to inherit the promises of God.

Slider by webdesign