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Anointing

6

I Came For The Anointing!

2 Kings 2:1-15(NKJV) - And it came to pass, when the Lord was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they went down to Bethel. Now the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent!” Then Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they came to Jericho. Now the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?” So he answered, “Yes, I know; keep silent!" Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So the two of them went on. And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went and stood facing them at a distance, while the two of them stood by the Jordan. Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground. And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over. Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him.

Elisha followed Elijah from Gilgal to Bethel, Jericho and over the river Jordan, each time refusing to turn away at Elijah's insistence. Not only that, at each stop along the way, the local sons of the prophets kept reminding Elisha that The Lord was going to remove his master Elijah that day. Nevertheless, Elisha pressed on, determined to never leave Elijah's side until he got exactly what he came for. What did Elijah have that was so valuable to Elisha? Over and over, Elijah told Elisha to leave and the chorus of junior prophets seemed to echo that sentiment yet Elisha remained resolute while literally shutting their voices out. Then Elijah did a miracle at the Jordan by taking his mantle, rolling it up, striking the water and causing it to part in two, like the Red Sea under the rod of Moses, allowing both him and Elisha to walk across on dry ground. That was it!

Once Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan, Elijah addressed the "elephant in the room" by asking a direct question. In essence, this is what he asked; "Elisha, why are you here?" Then Elisha provided a direct answer by essentially saying; "I came here for The Anointing, specifically, double the anointing on your life." Elijah explained to Elisha that his request came with a price but that didn't matter to Elisha. He had a one-track mind and was willing to do whatever was necessary to get what he came for. Yet, how did they get to that moment and why did Elisha get the anointing on Elijah's life? At first glance, this looks like an easy question. Elisha faithfully served Elijah and remained by his side all the way to the end making him the logical choice to carry on Elijah's prophetic ministry. In fact, the sons of the prophets referred to Elijah as Elisha's master, further defining the nature of their relationship.

2 Kings 3:11(NKJV) - But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the Lord, that we may enquire of the Lord by him? And one of the king of Israel's servants answered and said, Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah.

The king's servants said that Elisha poured water on the hands of Elijah. For a good sermon, it couldn't be any simpler. Elisha received the anointing on Elijah's life because he served him faithfully. Therefore, if you want to walk in a particular anointing, find someone who is operating in it and serve that person with all of your heart until the day comes for you to receive what they have. Do you want to preach like TD Jakes? Move to Texas, become his armor bearer and just wait your turn.

Do you want to sing like Fred Hammond? Volunteer to carry his bags, then try-out as a back-up singer, then follow him around until your day comes? Do you want to be an evangelist like Morris Cerullo? Track him down and get on his team, then follow him around until you get the anointing. It's hard work but it's worth it. It's a simple spiritual father/ son exchange. It's the Apostolic path to succession. The spiritual father chooses the spiritual son upon whom he will bestow the anointing on his life and the spiritual son chooses to serve the father from whom he would like to receive the anointing. The end!

Hence, the man with the biggest church or most explosive anointing will get the most people to serve as armor bearers, leaders and junior ministers because many of them believe that they will one day walk in the same anointing. I don't blame them because that's exactly what I thought for many years. It's also what I was taught for many years. Yet, there were many sons of the prophets in the days of Elisha and Elijah but only Elisha received Elijah's anointing. Nevertheless, Elisha out-served them all. So again, Elisha earned the anointing and the rest of them did not. It's an open and shut case. You serve, you get the anointing. You don't serve, you don't get it. You're either in or you are out. It makes complete sense. Well, almost...

We know that Elisha served Elijah so that's an easy one. We then know that Gehazi did not properly serve Elisha so he didn't get the anointing. So, it looks like Elisha died without intentionally passing on his anointing. Actually, in 2 Kings 13:21, a dead man was thrown into the same tomb as Elisha's bones and the remnant of the anointing on his bones was enough to raise the man from the dead. If I was preaching a sermon, I would say that if Gehazi had done what was right, he would have been able to raise the dead man instead of Elisha's bones. I would then stop there because it's a simple message. It encourages all people to serve in their local churches and leaders to pass on what they have so others could be just like them. However, nothing's ever that simple.

Luke 1:13-17(NKJV) - But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

How did John the Baptist receive the spirit and power of Elijah the same way Elisha received it? Thousands of years had passed and The Bible doesn't clearly depict a direct line of succession that can explain it. In fact, once we get to Elisha's servant Gehazi, we don't know where to go from there. Yet, generations later, another prophet was born with the same anointing and no clear path to getting it. How do you explain that? If you try to use the servant-hood approach you'll reach a dead-end. It makes sense for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Ephraim, Elisha and Elijah, Naomi and Ruth, Jesus and the disciples, Moses and Joshua, Paul and Timothy, etc. but it won't work here. Hence, there must be more to the transference of the anointing than servant-hood. It definitely has precedence in scripture but it does not present the complete picture. Here's what really happened with Elijah and Elisha.

1 Kings 19:16-21(NKJV) - Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” So he departed from there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah, and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” So Elisha turned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant.

Let me ask the same question that I asked earlier. After reading this scripture, let's see if you change your answer. Why did Elisha receive the anointing on Elijah's life? Did he earn it by serving Elijah? No! Did he inherit it because he was a member of Elisha's family? No! Did Elijah choose Elisha as the person to receive his anointing? No! Did Elisha choose Elijah as the person from whom he wanted to receive the anointing? No! When Elijah quit on God, God told Elijah to anoint Elisha as the prophet who would replace him. In other words, like a good boss, God told his disgruntled employee, Elijah to empower and train his replacement, Elisha before leaving the company for good.

Neither of them had any input in the decision. It was a God idea! Yes, the scripture says that Elijah threw his mantle on Elisha. It also says that Elisha destroyed every remnant of his former life to become Elijah's servant. However, all of that only happened after God in his sovereignty made the decision that Elijah needed to pass the anointing to Elisha. That decision and only that explains what happened. Everything else followed. Elisha didn't serve Elijah so that he would be chosen to receive the anointing, Elisha served Elijah because he was already chosen by God to receive the anointing.

What is the anointing anyway and why is it so valuable? In the Old Testament, the word "anointing" is translated from the Hebrew word "mishchah" and in the context of this discussion, represents the ointment used to consecrate individuals who are "set apart" by God for a special purpose. In the New testament it is translated from the Greek word "chrisma" which in the context of this discussion represents the special endowment of the Holy Spirit. Other words that can sometimes be used in the right context to represent the anointing are grace, gift, power, supernatural ability, mantle and empowerment. Now let me share a personal experience with the anointing.

It's been one week since we buried my grandfather, Dr. Levi Duncan in Trinidad and Tobago. He was 93 years old and left behind a ministry legacy that remains untouched by anyone else in the history of Trinidad and Tobago. He finally received his heavenly promotion and joined his Heavenly Father for eternity. However, he left something behind that The Lord knows we still need right here on earth; The Anointing. During the funeral, my father, Apostle Emanuel Vivian Duncan and uncle, Apostle Joseph Vernon Duncan, stood on the pulpit and declared that the mantle from grandfather would fall on whomever chose to receive it that day. I knelt before the altar with my wife, Angel by my side and opened my heart to receive from The Lord. Initially, it built slowly then suddenly I felt the rush of God's Spirit rising in my heart to a level that was overwhelming.

As waves of God's glory shot through my body I started crying out to God. I didn't serve my grandfather. I barely even knew him. How can I get that anointing? It doesn't work like that. I didn't know what to do with it. I didn't earn it. I didn't fully understand what was going on anyway so I kept talking to God but God said nothing. He just released the anointing. He didn't need my input. He just needed my willingness to receive. The decision to pass on the anointing was not my decision. It also was not my grandfather's decision to pass on anything. It was God's decision. God chose Isaac over Ishmael according to Genesis 17:16-21. He chose Jacob over Esau according to Romans 9:13. He chose Ephraim over Manasseh according to Genesis 48:8-20. Each time, God went against the norm in deciding who would be next to receive a particular anointing. It was not the father's choice. It was not the son's choice. It was God's choice.

Based on my understanding, my grandfather led at least four different churches during his time of active ministry. Three of the churches are in Trinidad (Toco, Curepe and Chaguanas) and one is in the US (Plainfield, NJ). Apart from the churches he personally led, there were countless others that were birthed out of his ministry. Many of which are led by individuals who today refuse to acknowledge any connection to him and some of which chose not to honor him by even showing up to his funeral. In fact, I don't know if he ever personally laid hands on his successors and passed on what was on his life. Some of these churches are led by pastors who were appointed by denominational boards, others are in place because they won elections from the church membership. Nevertheless, they figured out what to do and did it.

What's missing in all of this is a proper understanding of the anointing. Yes, you can do what it takes to get control of someone's ministry. Yes, you can use your connection to a man of God to build your own following and become "successful". Yes, you can receive another man's financial, spiritual and social assistance to become "great" in the ministry. However, what you cannot do is walk in his anointing if God did not decide that you are supposed to receive it. That's the missing link. Elijah took his mantle and struck the water in the Jordan river so that it parted in two, then he and Elisha crossed over on dry land. After Elijah was taken up to heaven, Elisha returned to the Jordan river, took the same mantle that Elijah dropped and struck the water asking, "Where is the God of Elijah?" The water parted again because He was right there. Elijah may have left for heaven but the God of Elijah stayed with Elisha on earth.

Acts 19:11-17(NKJV) - Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

The seven sons of Sceva did exactly what Elisha did. They mimicked the person they saw walking in a particular anointing. However, there was a difference. While Elisha had the anointing he saw on Elijah, they didn't have the anointing they saw on Apostle Paul. Hence, while Elisha could part the Jordan river just like Elijah, they could only attempt to cast out an evil spirit just like Apostle Paul. Elisha called on the God of Elijah and He answered. The seven sons of Sceva called on the God of Apostle Paul and He didn't answer. Instead, the evil spirit answered and beat them mercilessly. What separated the two was not only their relationship with the person who walked in the anointing they desired. The distinguishing factor was their relationship with the God of the person who walked in the anointing they desired. Elisha knew the God of Elijah but the Seven Sons of Sceva did not know the God of Apostle Paul.

I've seen and heard pastors preach like Bishop TD Jakes. They walk like him, talk like him, they even hold the mike like him. However, it doesn't matter what they do, they do not have the same impact that he does. While they may be able to mimic his preaching style what they lack is his anointing. I've seen people try to preach like Pastor Creflo Dollar. They dress like him. They crack his jokes. They talk about wealth. Yet, their words don't have the same power because what they lack his anointing. I've heard singers try to lead worship like the great worship leaders of our time or prophesy like the great prophets of our time. Yet, they don't have the same impact. What they lack is the anointing. God makes the decision concerning who gets which anointing and when. First, you have to be anointed, then you can do what God has called you to do at the level that He has called you to do it. The people you see walking in power have the anointing and they didn't get it from a person, they got it from God.

1 Corinthians 12:27-31(NKJV) - Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

The Bible states that you can earnestly desire the best gifts. I don't know what anointing you desire. Are you amazed by the grace of God on your pastor's life and want to see it in your own also? Do you want the gifts of healing and the power to cast out devils like my grandfather? Do you want to prophesy like my father? Do you want to evangelize the world like Billy Graham or do miracles like Benny Hinn? Do you want to teach like Ravi Zacharias or preach like TD Jakes? What anointing did you come for? None of them own the anointing on their lives and it's not up to them who gets to walk in it. So even if you never had the chance to meet them, that doesn't exclude you from receiving what God placed on their lives. However, there's a price.

The anointing is a free gift from God but walking in it is expensive. Elisha paid the price to walk in the anointing on Elijah's life. God picked Elisha to succeed Elijah but Elisha had to walk away from everything he knew to receive it. The disciples received the same Holy Ghost who rested on Jesus but most of them paid the same ultimate price that Jesus eventually paid for it. Now let me ask you a direct question. What anointing do you desire? If God chooses to give it to you, are you willing to pay the price? Hopefully, you already made that decision before showing up in God's presence. My mind is made up. I came for the anointing. Did you?

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.
2

Ask Donnell: Can a Christian Lose The Anointing?

Ask Donnell: Can a Christian Lose The Anointing?

We received the following question from Sharon;

"When Christ came and departed the earth realm, he said he would send the Holy Spirit who would guide us into all truth. Since the Holy Spirit resides within new testament believers, can they lose the anointing. I say yes but my class is in dispute. Can you respond to this please?"

Sharon, thanks for your question. Sorry it took so long for me to finally address it. I knew what I wanted to say initially but I had to wait for The Lord to reveal His heart on the issue. It sounds like a very simple question but it's not that simple. Over the years I've noticed that some issues I used to assume were black and white in the scriptures now appear to be surprisingly gray. It's not that The Bible doesn't provide clear answers on these issues but it's the fact that it does provide clear ANSWERS and not just one answer.

What do I mean? I mean there are multiple answers and they are all right. Each answer gives us a different perspective on the same issue allowing us to see it from different sides at the same time. This is the comprehensive way that God sees things and it stretches beyond our basic human understanding. The truth never changes but how we see the truth changes as we learn more and more of it. The topic of The Anointing is a perfect example.

It's our responsibility to find these answers and present them in a balanced way so that we get a proper understanding of God's heart on the issue. Hence, for certain issues that appear gray in the scriptures, we can no longer just pick one side and completely ignore the others. We have to resist the urge to use our denominational and experiential bias and be open to a more global Biblical perspective.

All scriptural truth is truth so if we find something in the scripture that disagrees with what we first believed we must wrestle with it in our hearts until The Lord gives us peace. Let's try to do that with this issue of The Anointing. Since I know you already finished reading our earlier blog, "The Heart of The Anointing" I won't repeat some of the basics on The Anointing. If necessary, you can review what was said there before you keep reading this response.

John 14:16-18(NLT) - And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.

The Holy Spirit will never leave you! That's it! For some people, this is the end of the discussion. It doesn't matter what you do or don't do, as long as you receive The Holy Spirit at salvation once, He is in you forever. End of discussion. Since that's what the scripture says, in no uncertain terms, that's the truth. However, this is where we will start our discussion.

1 Samuel 16:14(NLT) - Now the Spirit of the LORD had left Saul, and the LORD sent a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear.

Judges 16:20(NKJV) - And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.

The Holy Spirit left Saul and Samson. The scriptures were clear about that. Fortunately, He did return to Samson at the end of his life but never to Saul. Nonetheless, this is The Old Testament and since we're talking about New Testament believers, we'll just use these examples as background information and not the foundation of our approach.

Psalms 139:7-8(NKJV) - Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

Obviously, since God is omnipresent, we are in no way asserting that God is not geographically present anywhere at any time. Of course, He's always there because He's everywhere. However, when God left Saul and Samson, even though He was still present geographically due to His omnipresence He was no longer active in their lives.

He took His hands off of their lives and no longer empowered them to do what He had called them to do. That's what we mean by God's presence being with someone or leaving someone. Yes, He's always present geographically but if He's not actively empowering people to do His Will they are not benefiting from His presence. His Spirit is there but He's not manifesting Himself to them.

1 John 2:27(NKJV) - But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

So what is the anointing?

The Greek word used here is chrisma (khris'-mah) which means an unguent or smearing, i.e. (figuratively) the special endowment ("chrism") of the Holy Spirit:

The anointing is the residue of The Holy Spirit when He rests upon someone. In 1 Samuel 16:12-13, immediately after Samuel anointed David something specific happened. The Holy Spirit rested upon him. The oil itself meant nothing. It wasn't about the oil. It was about The Spirit of The Lord resting on the man whom God told the prophet to smear with the oil. Hence, the oil was just a sign that represented God's choice for His Spirit.

Additionally, in 1 John 2:27, The Apostle John said to the church that The Anointing abides in us. Why is this important? The easiest distinction between being saved and anointed is usually The Holy Spirit being in us versus being upon us. According to Romans 8:10-11, The Holy Spirit lives in every Christian so that's established. Then, in Luke 4:18, Jesus stated; "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To....." However, because of 1 John 2:27 we can't use the distinction of Holy Ghost within versus upon us to distinguish those who are anointed from those who are not. Jesus said The Anointing was on Him, but John said The Anointing is in us. Both are true!

1 John 2:20(NKJV) - But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.

Apostle John did not isolate a particular group of anointed Christians out of the Christians he referred to in 1 John 2. Therefore, we may assert that Apostle John referred to every Christian who received his letter as being anointed. In other words, knowing this, I would find it difficult to state unequivocally that some Christians are anointed while others are not. That's a big deal because now we have to put salvation and anointing together.

Therefore, if we say that someone can lose The Anointing we might also be saying in the same breath that someone can lose their salvation. That is a much more crucial situation. Nonetheless, the scriptures do show that even though The Anointing comes with The Holy Spirit there is something special about The Anointing. It goes beyond simply receiving The Holy Spirit into your heart at salvation. Let's approach this using Jesus as the example.

Luke 4:17-21(NKJV) - And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Jesus helped us to understand The Anointing by expounding on what He was anointed by God to do. In other words, The Anointing is for a purpose. When someone is anointed by God what that means is that The Holy Spirit has empowered the person to do something. Whether that means The Holy Spirit is in you or upon you doesn't matter. It just means that He's enabled you. God is a Spirit so the distinction of Him being in you or upon you is not literal especially for a Christian. There is no physical location for the spirit realm so we can't project our physical limitations on The Spirit of God. Some say that prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus, The Holy Spirit was only upon people and after the advent of The Church He was in people.

That makes sense except when describing John The Baptist, who was born before Jesus, the scripture says in Luke 1:15; "For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb." How do we explain that away? Was he filled with The Holy Ghost prior to the birth of Jesus or was he not? Again, all Biblical truth is truth so that's the truth. We just have to deal with it and just use it as another perspective on the truth which helps us to understand the truth even more. Anyway, let's drive home the purpose of The Anointing.

Can a Christian Lose The Anointing?

1 Corinthians 12:4-11(AMP) - Now there are [distinctive] varieties of spiritual gifts [special abilities given by the grace and extraordinary power of the Holy Spirit operating in believers], but it is the same Spirit [who grants them and empowers believers]. And there are [distinctive] varieties of ministries and service, but it is the same Lord [who is served]. And there are [distinctive] ways of working [to accomplish things], but it is the same God who produces all things in all believers [inspiring, energizing, and empowering them]. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit [the spiritual illumination and the enabling of the Holy Spirit] for the common good. To one is given through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] the message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] the word of knowledge and understanding according to the same Spirit; to another [wonder-working] faith [is given] by the same [Holy] Spirit, and to another the [extraordinary] gifts of healings by the one Spirit; and to another the working of miracles, and to another prophecy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people], and to another discernment of spirits [the ability to distinguish sound, godly doctrine from the deceptive doctrine of man-made religions and cults], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, and to another interpretation of tongues. All these things [the gifts, the achievements, the abilities, the empowering] are brought about by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, distributing to each one individually just as He chooses.

Here's the bottom line based on what we just finished reading. Everyone who is a Christian has the same Holy Spirit but everyone is not empowered by The Holy Spirit to do the same thing. That being said, if merely having The Holy Spirit in your life is The Anointing, every Christian is anointed. However, our definition of The Anointing has to be more robust than that. We cannot define The Anointing without considering the function of The Anointing. Like Jesus, The Spirit of The Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to do something.

I am not anointed just for being anointed. I am anointed to do something. Therefore, until I submit my will to The Holy Spirit and allow Him to not just be alive in me as a Christian but be active through me as one who's anointed I am not walking in The Anointing on my life. There's no merit to the distinction of being anointed unless we are functioning in that anointing. I might have had The Anointing to preach the gospel all of my life but until I actually started preaching the gospel I was not putting The Anointing to use. Hence, simply saying that I was anointed meant nothing. I needed to preach the gospel because of The Anointing and that's what mattered.

Now let's move on to the main point of this entire blog. Once anointed, always anointed? We know that The Holy Spirit will never leave us but that's not the real question here. The real question is can we ever leave Him? Let's find out!

Hebrews 10:37-39(NLT) - “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.” But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.

James 5:19-20(NKJV) - Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

Hebrews 6:4-6(NLT) - For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.

2 Thessalonians 2:3(AMP) - Let no one in any way deceive or entrap you, for that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first [that is, the great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians], and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction [the Antichrist, the one who is destined to be destroyed],

Can a Christian make the conscious choice to turn away from The Lord and no longer practice Christianity? In the context of the scriptures cited above, the answer is yes. You may not be able to leave Him geographically because of His omnipresence but you can reject Him and turn your back on Him. Yes, it's true that The Holy Spirit will never leave you but you sure can leave Him. In fact, one of the most distinctive events of Bible prophecy (2 Thessalonians 2:3) is a massive falling away that will take place before the return of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 10:37 (quoted above) states that a Christian can turn away from The Lord unto destruction. James 5:19-20 (quoted above) says that someone who is a Christian can stray from the truth and return to being a sinner whose soul is destined for death. Thankfully, we can reach out to that person and save the person's soul from death. However, there are those who cannot be saved and that's the category we're most interested in today.

Hebrews 6:4-6 (quoted above) says that there are those who can experience the good things of heaven, share in The Holy Spirit, taste the goodness of The Word of God and His supernatural power and then completely turn away from God. Obviously, these people are Christians who are anointed in every way we can approach the concept of The Anointing. They fall into a special category because of their unique experience with The Lord. If after all of that, they still turn their back on Him, there's nothing we can do to help. Anyone who can walk away from a personal experience with God's power like that has made up his/ her mind.

Saul and Samson lost The Anointing in The Old Testament and it's no different in The New Testament. They chose to walk away from God. Samson sincerely repented and received The Holy Ghost again but Saul never did. Sometimes, people try to explain away the truth in The Old Testament by claiming that everything is different in The New Testament. Well, Old Testament truth is as much truth as New Testament truth. The God of The Old Testament is the God of The New Testament. The difference is Jesus. He gave us a new perspective on the truth of The Old Testament. We don't reject what we see in The Old Testament we just see it through a new pair of eyes; the eyes of Jesus. The truth did not change, our perspective on the truth has changed.

Can a Christian lose The Anointing? That's not the question we should be asking. Can a Christian reject The One who gives The Anointing? Yes. You don't lose The Anointing. You know exactly where it is at all times. It's with The Holy Ghost. What you can do is reject The Anointing by rejecting The Holy Ghost. That's a choice some people have already made and many will make in the future. God will never leave us. He is forever faithful. The choice to leave is ours.

5

Don't Feel Pressured To "Prove" You're Anointed

Today's blog is an excerpt from Revelation Unplugged.

Mark 6:4-6(KJV) – But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief, And he went around the villages, teaching.

It’s important for you to minister with the confidence you get from the Word of God because if you’re not leaning on God, people will shake you. It’s rare for people in this world and in The Church to just receive ministry. It’s in our human nature to question everything. That is not a bad thing at a certain level, so you should prepare yourself. People questioned Jesus even though they knew exactly what He had done to help them all. Nonetheless, it is clear that the attitude of each recipient of your ministry determines your effectiveness in that person’s life.

Therefore, as I said before, never discount the need to have a firmly established foundation in the Word of God and a strong personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. For instance, you may be anointed to heal the sick but in a particular place they may question your anointing and then expect you to prove yourself before their eyes. Don’t do it! It’s a trap! If they don’t believe that you’re anointed then they won’t receive healing from God. Therefore, they will make you look like a phony. You do not need to prove anything to a group of skeptical people. God can prove Himself whenever He chooses to.

James 1:5-8(KJV) – If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing from the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

People with limited faith based on the Word of God will find it difficult to receive any ministry. They will not see consistent results in their lives and may choose to point fingers at you. Always remember that God is the ultimate minister so even if people do not receive from you let them take it up with God. I don’t claim to know everything and I don’t always say things right. However, I know what God has called me to do and that is exactly what I am doing. The ministry being presented at The Cracked Door Foundation Inc has blessed the hearts of many people and has also offended others.

At one point, I became confused when the same message revolutionized the life of one individual and totally angered someone else. Do we all read from the same Bible? Do we listen to the same Holy Ghost? It’s important to walk with confidence because if you’re unsure, you’re ineffective. You can’t blame people for not believing in you if you don’t believe in yourself. You also can’t blame people for not seeing God in you if you don’t see God in yourself. That’s why you should always place the focus on God so that regardless of your flaws, it will never be about you. You don’t want to get the glory when it’s good and you don’t want to be culpable when it’s bad.

Matthew 4:1-7(KJV) - Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

The devil was very subtle and made an attempt to destroy the ministry of Jesus by a simple method. He tried to get Jesus to prove Himself. That’s how people get themselves defeated in ministry. They let the enemy bait them and then find themselves trying to prove that they are anointed. They push people down in a prayer line. They declare generic prophecies that will definitely come to pass. They preach messages based on proven sermon notes they found on the Internet or bought in a bookstore.

They make exorbitant claims about their integrity that are unnecessary. They use credit to buy material possessions to create an illusion of prosperity. They try to manipulate people into giving money using pressure tactics. I can continue this list with ease because I have witnessed them all. However, I think you get the point. Jesus did not let the enemy trick Him. He established a precedent that we should all adhere to. Do not prove that you are anointed or that you are called by God. It’s not a good idea. Continue to operate in integrity and remain genuine. If you are good at something, you don’t need to force it.

1 Corinthians 2:14-16(KJV) - But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

Now let me bring some balance. If you’re trying out for a position and you’re being evaluated by a superior then you have to do your best. That’s the only time when it’s worth proving yourself. Your pastor may want to hear you minister in his office before he puts you on the stage so in that case, blow his mind. He may want to discuss the topic you plan to preach about, so prepare your notes and nail the interview. You may be trying to get your dance ministry off the ground so if you’re trying out for a show then dance like David danced. Outside of that, stick to your ministry goals.

Don’t let a person who really does not want to receive anything from you intimidate you into proving yourself. The devil knew that Jesus was the Son of God but he asked Him to prove it anyway. The anointing is very easy to recognize so many people who question you may have already noticed it. In addition, if people are not walking in the Spirit, you’re wasting time trying to get them to understand. Nothing you do can convince a carnal person of your spiritual capabilities.

4

Ask Donnell: Are Angels Really Sons Of God?

Angels

We received several questions from Vernell. We will answer the following today;

"I have a few burning questions for you that I am sure you will be able to answer for me. Firstly, could you tell me whether or not angels are God's creation or sons of God? I am clear that Christ is God's only begotten son and He is referred to as the Son of God in The Bible. Also, we became sons of God when we accepted Jesus Christ. If angels are sons of God, does that mean satan is also a son of God or was one at some point in time?"

Good questions Vernell. The title "sons of God" has been used in The Bible to refer to everyone you mentioned. It's been used to refer to angels, Jesus Christ, Christians and even satan. Therefore, I understand where it can get very confusing. It obviously was not the intention of The Holy Spirit to bring confusion as He inspired several authors of The Bible to use the term. Let's identify examples of each case then decipher similarities and/or differences in what they mean.

Angels as sons of God

Job 38:4-7(NKJV) - "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

In this passage, God is speaking to Job and He refers to His angels as the sons of God. The Hebrew word used here for son is "ben" which means "son, grandson, child or member of a group". It is a derivative of the word "banah" which means "to build or make". Angels are members of a group of heavenly beings that were built or made by God to carry out His instructions.

"Ben" is the same word used in Psalms 33:13 when referring to the sons of men. Here's what it says;

Psalm 33:13-14(NKJV) - The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth;

What does this all mean? The word "ben" is merely a designation or characterization used to identify a particular group of created beings. When The Bible uses the word to refer to angels or heavenly beings it calls them sons of God and when it refers to humans or earthly beings it calls us sons of men. Being a son in this case means you're part of a group. Angels are part of the group that comes from heaven and humans are part of the group that comes from the earth.

We do nothing to earn our designations as sons (ben). It just represents where God created us and where we're expected to dwell. Hence, the designation of angels as sons of God doesn't represent anything more than a reference to their origination in heaven. Angels are actually described in The Bible as God's servants which means their sonship cannot mean anything more than a reference to their existence as heavenly beings.

Here's how The Bible describes them.

Psalm 103:20-21(NLT) - Praise the Lord, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands. Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels who serve him and do his will!

Hebrews 1:13-14(NLT) - And God never said to any of the angels, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.” Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation.

When The Bible refers to the angels as the sons of God it is not a declaration of their status. Being a son in this case does not carry special privileges. Angels were created to serve not just God but His people. They're the "Ben" of "Elohim", the group of servants created by the Godhead to carry out their instructions. It is not a measure of character and it's a position that cannot be earned or lost. They're heavenly beings for their entire existence because they were created by God in heaven to serve Him wherever they are needed.

Hence, even fallen angels including the devil are still described as the "ben" of "Elohim" as shown in the following scriptures;

Genesis 6:1-4(NKJV) - Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the Lord said,"My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

Job 1:6-7(NKJV) - Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the Lord and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it."

Once a son, always a son. Once a "ben" always a "ben". The wrongdoing of these fallen angels didn't cancel out their sonship because doing right didn't earn them their sonship. They came from heaven so they're sons of God. Humans come from earth so we're sons of men. God created us both but since He lives in heaven those who were created to live there with him are called sons of God. The Bible says in Psalm 115:16(KJV) - The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

Jesus as The Son of God

Psalm 2:12(NKJV) - Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

Daniel 3:25(KJV) - He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Before Jesus was born into the earth through Mary He already carried the designation as The Son of God. In fact, in the Old Testament account of God saving the three Hebrew boys from the fire, Jesus appeared walking with them and was recognized as such. The Aramaic word used for Son in both Psalms 2:12 and Daniel 3:25 is "bar" which is distinct from the word "ben" used to refer to angels. The word "bar" means "heir" and therefore is a selective designation only reserved to the one appointed or selected by God to hold it.

An heir is one who in some significant way carries on the legacy of his father and is therefore entrusted due to certain characteristics that match the father's. Any being created in heaven could have been a "ben" of God but only Jesus is the "Bar" of God. It was important to make that distinction in The Old Testament because in that way we can compare "apples to apples". It's easy to contrast words between different languages. Of course there would be differences. The New Testament was written in a completely different language and obvious differences in the translation of words could cheapen our "head to head" comparison. Nonetheless, since we've established our point in The Old Testament let's fast forward to the New Testament which was written in Greek.

John 3:16-18(KJV) - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The New Testament refers to Jesus as the "Huios" of God. This Greek designation means the following; "Term used preeminently of Jesus Christ, as enjoying the supreme love of God, united to him in affectionate intimacy, privy to his saving councils, obedient to the Father's will in all his acts." In this case, Jesus is referred to as The Son who exemplifies His Father's character and has an intimate relationship through which He accesses all that's available from His Father.

Christians as sons of God

John 1:12-13(KJV) - But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Romans 8:14(KJV) - For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Galatians 4:1-7(KJV) - Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

1 John 3:1-2(KJV) - Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

We were born as sons of men and were born again as children of God but must become sons of God. Angels don't become sons of God, they are born as sons of God. However, their designation only refers to them being heavenly beings. We become sons of God when we are led by the Spirit of God and mature enough to distinguish ourselves from the other children. All humans are God's creation but are not God's children. All Christians are God's children but only some mature enough to become God's sons. God's children live on the same level as His servants even though they have superior status. They live below their fullest potential because they can't operate at a level that's higher than their maturity.

Sons of God, "huios", that's who we need to be. The same word used to describe Jesus as The Son of God is used to describe Christians as the sons of God. Why? Christians are in Christ so whatever status Christ has, we have. We are joint-heirs so if the New Testament would have been written in Hebrew, we would be called the "bar" of God. However, to be given the same designation like Jesus Christ we have to be like Him. When we first get saved we receive the power to become sons of God but only when we actually follow the directions of The Holy Spirit do we access that power and manifest our sonship.

In sum, it's interesting to note that angels are not referred to as sons of God anywhere in the New Testament. That eliminates any possible confusion. Mature Christians are the sons of God and share the same status as Jesus, The Son of God.

Romans 8:19-20(KJV) - For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
0

The Outpouring Of The Holy Spirit

The Outpouring Of The Holy Spirit

Acts 2:14-21(NLT) - Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this. These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. Nine o’clock in the morning is much too early for that. No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike—and they will prophesy. And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below—blood and fire and clouds of smoke. The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives. But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

According to the words of Apostle Peter, The Outpouring of The Holy Spirit is not a future event. It started already. Since The Day of Pentecost The Holy Spirit was made available to everyone and the power to prophesy, see visions and dream is here. However, why aren't we all manifesting this outpouring in our lives at the same level? Shouldn't we be prophesying, seeing visions and dreaming dreams on a much greater and more consistent level by this time? What's going on?

John 3:30(KJV) - He must increase, but I must decrease.

The main determining factor in the distribution of the power of The Holy Spirit is your ability to yield. The more you decrease and let The Holy Spirit rise, the more The Holy Spirit will manifest in your life. No Christian has more of The Holy Spirit than any other because The Holy Spirit is a person. You either have Him in your life or you don't. However, He can only move through you if you let Him and He can only move in your life to the extent that you allow Him to. Therefore, if you are looking for an overwhelming presence of The Holy Spirit in your life, it's time to walk in extreme obedience, sensitivity and reverence for Him.

In Joel 2:28-32, The Outpouring is described as the following:

God will pour out His Spirit freely upon people.
Sons and daughters will prophesy.
Old men will dream dreams.
Young men will see visions.
It is for everyone, regardless of class or sex.
The promised judgment from Joel 2:1-11 will still hit the earth.
Fortunately, those who call on God will be saved.

I hope you have a proper understanding of the prophetic office, gift and anointing. That will be very important as you perceive the circumstances surrounding The Outpouring of The Holy Spirit. Since The Day of Pentecost an explosion of prophecy among young people has begun that can scare the living daylights out of traditional church leaders. There will be an increase in dreams and visions among The Church. God will touch anyone who is willing and it will become clearer to all involved that He remains no respecter of persons.

Many modern ministries in Western society have moved away from spiritual gifts and have replaced them with scholarship. In response to the development of society, some New Age thinking has entered the Body of Christ and merely hearing from God is no longer good enough. Now it’s necessary to substantiate God’s principles with the advice of secular marketing gurus, image consultants, political strategists, financial advisors, renowned philosophers and business experts.

Sadly, people now think that it’s acceptable to give scriptures and Greek philosophies equal standing in Christian teaching. That’s why we need to tap into The Outpouring. When the Holy Spirit poured Himself out He made Himself accessible to us. Now He wants to set these Christian “think tanks” on fire with the prophetic anointing. That way, we’ll return to our true identity which is found in Jesus Christ. In sum, now is the perfect time to start yielding to The Holy Spirit as much as you possibly can. Time is short and The Holy Spirit wants to work through every believer. Let Him work through you!

4

Can You Handle The Truth?

Can You Handle The Truth?

"What is truth?" Pilate asked Jesus in John 18:38. He was clearly being sarcastic because he didn't press Jesus for an answer. He really didn't want to know the truth because The Truth was already standing right before his eyes. According to John 14:6, Jesus is The Way, The Truth and The Life which means The Truth is a person. Fast forward two thousand years to today and there are many in the world still asking the same question; "What is truth?" However, just like Pilate they don't want the answer to their question because if they are presented with The Truth they wouldn't want Him. They can't handle The Truth!

Today, we end with Part 11 of our latest series; "God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?" See Part 1 for the full list of seven points described in "A Method To God's Mercy". Click here for Part 10 - "The "If....Then" Of God's Mercy". We'll end today with 7) God's mercy and truth go together. When people accept God's truth, they unlock His mercy.

Romans 3:4(KJV) - God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

There is no truth outside of God so every sincere search for truth will end up in one place; God! Everywhere you look in this world, people are constantly lying. Advertisers lie about the products they are selling so that people would buy them. Politicians lie to the electorate so they could get more votes. Pharmaceutical companies lie about their drugs so they could make money off gullible people looking for healing. Pyramid schemers lie to people about the money they could make. Liars are everywhere.

2 Corinthians 4:3-5(KJV) - But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

John 8:43-45(KJV) - Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

Like father, like sons and daughters. The world is built on a system of lies because the god of this world is the father of lies. They are so saturated with lies that they squirm at the sound of truth. At the mention of the name Jesus they lose their composure and get seriously offended. They have been blinded and have no idea that the one whom they believe has been lying to them all along. It's impossible for him to tell the truth because it is not in him.

I trust nobody but God. People are liars and will break your heart over and over if you put your trust in them. However, I do trust the God in people so only those people who have God in their hearts can be trusted. Otherwise, without God inside of their hearts, all men are liars. Some want to be liars but others can't help it. Even if they think they're telling the truth they can only tell "their truth" because without Jesus they do not know The Truth.

People look out for themselves and as my mother-in-law told my wife a long time ago; "Baby, people will do whatever makes them happy." Some of them will look you in the eye and lie with a straight face then sleep at night with a clear conscience. How do they do it? I don't know. Since they are unable to sense the conviction of The Holy Spirit who's going to tell them to stop lying? Not their father the devil. I digress....

Can You Handle The Truth?

Psalm 85:9-10(NKJV) - Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.

Mercy and truth go together. If you want God to shower His mercy on your life you have to accept His truth. You cannot reject God's truth and expect to receive His mercy. As we stated yesterday, if you accept Jesus, who is The Truth, you will receive access to the mercy of God that was promised to Abraham. Additionally, if you accept God's Word you accept His truth. Jesus said in John 17:17, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."

1 Kings 3:6(KJV) - And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

According to the truth that David walked in, God showed Him "great" mercy. What does that mean? There was a direct correlation between David's acceptance of the truth and God's response with "great" mercy. God is no respecter of persons but He is a respecter of principles (Acts 10:34). When God creates a system, if it works for one person, it will work for another. Do you want to be shown "great" mercy? Walk in truth. Walk in The Word of God.

On the other hand, what happens when people reject God's truth? Take a wild guess. If accepting the truth causes a release of God's mercy, rejecting the truth puts an end to it. Do you believe that? Do you believe that rejecting the truth could take someone outside of the range of God's mercy? Sounds impossible, doesn't it? Well, here's what The Word of God says about that.

Romans 1:18-28(NLT) - But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. 21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. 28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done.

Can You Handle The Truth?

Doesn't this story look like the world we live in today? People who have rejected the truth of God find themselves caught in a web of sin and silliness. It's gotten so bad that the people who stand for the truth are called "bigots" and "closed minded" while those who have accepted lies are supposedly "progressive" and "open minded." When people reject truth they have no choice but to accept foolishness and when they do so, God lets them do as they please. Eventually, their sin completely takes them over and reshapes their reality. Now they think the lie is the truth and the truth is the lie. Sadly, since they don't want God's truth, they won't enjoy God's mercy.

Proverbs 3:3(KJV) - Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

Proverbs 16:6(KJV) - By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.

Don't let mercy and truth forsake you. Hold tight to The Word of God because by it you can be cleansed and set free. The Truth is a person and His name is Jesus. Can you handle The Truth? I hope so. Your access to the mercy of God depends on it.

With this, our blog series on The Mercy of God has come to an end. It's our prayer that you received something from it.

4

The "If....Then" Of God's Mercy

The "If....Then" Of God's Mercy

Exodus 33:19(KJV) - And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

The phrase "If...then" is a conditional expression. According to The Free Dictionary, "conditional" is defined as follows:

conditional [kənˈdɪʃənəl]
adj

1. depending on other factors; not certain

2. (Linguistics / Grammar) Grammar (of a clause, conjunction, form of a verb, or whole sentence) expressing a condition on which something else is contingent: ``If he comes'' is a conditional clause in the sentence ``If he comes I shall go''

3. (Mathematics)
a. (of an equation or inequality) true for only certain values of the variable: x^2 -1 = x + 1 is a conditional equation, only true for x = 2 or -1
b. (of an infinite series) divergent when the absolute values of the terms are considered

4. (Philosophy / Logic) Also hypothetical Logic (of a proposition) consisting of two component propositions associated by the words if…then so that the proposition is false only when the antecedent is true and the consequent false. Usually written: p→q or p⊃q, where p is the antecedent, q the consequent, and → or ⊃ symbolizes "implies"

n

1. (Linguistics / Grammar) Grammar
a. a conditional form of a verb
b. a conditional clause or sentence

2. (Philosophy / Logic) Logic a conditional proposition

Source: The Free Dictionary

Today, we continue with Part 10 of our latest series; "God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?" See Part 1 for the full list of seven points described in "A Method To God's Mercy". Click here for Part 9 - "God's Mercy Extends For Generations". We'll continue today with 6) God's decision to show mercy is affected by a person's relationship with Him. Certain people access more mercy than others.

Judges 16:19-20(NLT) - Delilah lulled Samson to sleep with his head in her lap, and then she called in a man to shave off the seven locks of his hair. In this way she began to bring him down, and his strength left him. Then she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” When he woke up, he thought, “I will do as before and shake myself free.” But he didn’t realize the Lord had left him.

Samson knew what he was doing. He understood exactly how God's mercy worked. The story of his life was full of indiscretions, uncontrolled anger and rebellion but through it all God never left him. He just thought he was invincible. He could do whatever he liked and wake up each morning with The Spirit of Might upon him. After all, he was chosen by God to be a judge of Israel. He just could not lose. However, The Anointing on His life had one condition.

Judges 16:17(NLT) - Finally, Samson shared his secret with her. “My hair has never been cut,” he confessed, “for I was dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as anyone else.”

If Samson did not cut his hair The Spirit of Might would be upon him all the days of his life. If he kept that one vow then he would be shown mercy regardless of what else he did wrong. Like we did at the beginning of this series, let's again define the word "mercy" as it's used in The Bible. According to "Strong's Lexicon" it appears in many places in The Old Testament as the word "chanan" which means "to show favor, be gracious or pity."

God showed grace, favor and pity to Samson through all his shortcomings until the day he broke His Nazarite vow. Instantly, the party was over for Samson. As fast as The Holy Spirit had come upon him, The Holy Spirit was gone. Today, we'll study the "If..then" of God's mercy just as it's stated in the scriptures. There's no need to question the truth when it's clearly written in The Word of God. We can't change God's Word to match what we believe, we have to change what we believe to match The Word of God.

The "If....Then" Of God's Mercy

Whether or not we want to believe it, God's mercy is conditional. The Bible says in Romans 9:15; "For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." Even though God's mercy is available to all mankind, everyone does not have the same access. Some enjoy more while others enjoy much less.

As God said to Moses it's His prerogative to do whatever He likes with His mercy. Thankfully, there's a standard of mercy available to all who are in Christ. As we stated earlier, God's mercy is a mix of His grace, pity and favor. However, the purpose of this blog series is to help us understand how this mercy works so that we could position ourselves to access even more.

You can never overdose on God's favor. You need as much as you can get. God's favor will open doors that seem closed. God's favor will carry you through trials. God's favor will help you to accomplish the impossible. God's favor triggers the miraculous in your life. I'll now provide a short list of principles from the scriptures which you can use to increase the level of God's Mercy on display in your life.

What You Can Do To Attract The Mercy Of God

1) Become A Christian!

1 Peter 2:9-10(KJV) - But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

God's love is unconditional but His mercy is not. John 3:16 says that God loves the whole world but the easiest way to access God's mercy is to get saved. Outside of Christ you don't have this type of unlimited access. Nothing works like The Blood of Jesus to unlock the flow of God's mercy in your life. In Luke 1:70-75, by the inspiration of The Holy Spirit, the writer, Evangelist Luke discussed the mercy that was extended to Abraham and his seed. Then in Galatians 3:26-29, Apostle Paul explains that through Christ, anyone can become Abraham's seed. Therefore, if you become a Christian you get access to God's mercy which is a combination of His grace, favor and pity.

2) Love God and Keep His Commandments

Exodus 20:5-6(KJV) - Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Psalm 25:10(KJV) - All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

God loves us so much. Oh that His children would love Him back. How do we show that we love Him? Jesus said in John 14:15 that if we love Him, we would keep His commandments. In response, God will shower us with His mercy.

3) Trust God

Psalm 21:7(KJV) - For the king trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.

Psalm 32:10(KJV) - Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.

It pays to trust God. In Proverbs 3:5-6, The Bible says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." If you trust God and seek His Will, He will tell you what to do in every situation you face. Also, even if you make a mistake along the way He will not despise you. He will show you mercy. He sees your trust and will cover you.

4) Hope In God

Psalm 33:22(KJV) - Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

If your hope is in God, you will receive His mercy. According to Psalm 33:18, "Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy." God is on the lookout for people whose hope is in Him only. Nobody is more reliable. Nothing will ever satisfy us like He can. My soul must hope in God, your own should too (Psalm 42:5).

5) Call Upon God

Psalm 86:5(KJV) - For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

When you need mercy, call on God. Sometimes, feelings of guilt and condemnation cause us to run away from God instead of running to God. That's not God's Will at all. If you're physically dirty you don't run from the shower or at least you shouldn't. 🙂 Therefore, if you feel dirty on the inside run to God so that The Blood of Jesus can wash you clean (Revelation 1:5).

6) Fear God

Psalm 103:11(KJV) - For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
 

Do you want a mercy explosion in your life? Walk in the fear of The Lord. King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 12:13; "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."

7) Walk in truth

Psalm 85:9-10(NKJV) - Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.

Mercy and truth go together. You can find out more tomorrow.

12

God's Mercy Extends For Generations

God's Mercy Extends For Generations

Young people are fun. We take risks. We make snap decisions. We live on the edge. However, some of us make very bad moves and still escape serious repercussions. Sometimes, we stray off the path God designed for us and still survive disaster. For some of us, things just seem to work out even though we know we have done nothing to deserve it. It even confuses us. Why is God so good to us? Why do we seem to get such favor? What's going on?

Today, we continue with Part 9 of our latest series; "God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?" See Part 1 for the full list of seven points described in "A Method To God's Mercy". Click here for Part 8 - "Judge Yourself First And Receive God's Mercy". We'll continue today with 5) People can inherit mercy because of their family history.

Deuteronomy 7:9(NKJV) - “Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments

Do any of your parents love The Lord? Do you have a praying grandmother? Has anyone in your family paved a pathway for you to follow in God's Kingdom? Do you know that because of your lineage you could be the beneficiary of inherited mercy? When people love God and keep His commandments they trigger a "Mercy Snowball" that continues rolling for a thousand generations. If you're wondering why God is being specially merciful you might be caught up in the middle of one right now.

Psalm 18:50(KJV) - Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.

How could David's seed be shown mercy for evermore if His seed was not born yet? If mercy is only dependent on a person's actions, then that would be completely impossible. Based on the actions of one man, the decision was made to show mercy to his descendants. Now think about that. This is a big deal on so many levels.

Luke 1:50(KJV) - And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

If you fear God, the mercy of God you receive is generational. Not only are you going to benefit from it but so will your children and their children and their children, etc. This is like the ultimate "Mercy Snowball". Wait.. it gets better. Do you know that even if your parents screwed it all up and their parents did and the screwing up went all the way back until you find out your great, great, great, great.... grandfather was Judas Iscariot you can still inherit mercy? 🙂 Here's how!

God's Mercy Extends For Generations

Luke 1:70-75(KJV) - As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

God made a covenant to show Abraham's seed mercy. He promises to save them from their enemies. As a result, the people of Israel remain God's chosen people regardless of what they've done. Even after they rebel against God and totally enrage Him they seem to always end up right back in fellowship with Him. His mercy toward them is unbelievable. Now, here's where we fit in.

Galatians 3:26-29(KJV) - For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

If you are a Christian you are also Abraham's seed which means that you also inherit the mercy God awarded to him. Maybe that explains why you're in the middle of a "Mercy Snowball." Everytime it looks like you're done, God always seems to pull you out of trouble. Even when you openly disobey, God still seems to give you another chance. He doesn't judge you because of your family name, He judges you based on your relationship with Christ. If you didn't grow up with parents who loved God or your grandmother was an atheist, you can still receive mercy due to your new family heritage.

1 Peter 2:9-10(KJV) - But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Before you joined the family of God you did not have access to this generational mercy unless you inherited it from your earthly family. Some of us were blessed to come from Godly families but you may not have had the same experience. However, to God be the glory for your new family because this connection has hooked you up with an everlasting flow of mercy.

It's the same mercy Saul received on the road to Damascus which changed his life and turned him into Apostle Paul. It's the same mercy Simon Peter received when he denied Jesus three times the day Christ died on the cross. He was forgiven and chosen to become Apostle Peter, the first leader of The Church.

It's the same mercy which I received. It's the best mercy on the market. It's the mercy you want to have. It's because of His mercy that you were taken out of darkness and placed into His marvelous light. You are chosen. You are royal. You are holy. You are peculiar. You are a child of God. You have obtained mercy.

Even if you make a bad decision and disappoint God, ask for forgiveness and tap into this mercy. It's always available. God's mercy extends for generations. Why not forget about your past and set things up for your future? Why don't you love God with all of your heart and obey His commandments? That way, you can start rolling a "Mercy Snowball" in the direction of your descendants.

9

Judge Yourself First And Receive God's Mercy

Judge Yourself First And Receive God's Mercy

I like sports. I think sports are some of God's gifts to mankind. 🙂 I once trained with the track team at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA. Now, I'm just a big college sports fan. College sports in the US is run by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Sometimes, a school breaks the rules and the NCAA launches an investigation. When a college is under investigation by the NCAA for suspected violations the school has two options.

Option 1 is to wait for the NCAA's investigation to be completed and see what happens. Option 2 is for the school to launch its own investigation and self-impose sanctions or punishment before the NCAA gets a chance to act. Option 2 is not just an admission of guilt but a willingness to accept the consequences. Such a move can usually trigger leniency from the NCAA.

Today, we continue with Part 8 of our latest series; "God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?" See Part 1 for the full list of seven points described in "A Method To God's Mercy". Click here for Part 7 - "God's Mysterious Love And The Victory It Brings". We'll continue today with 4) People who judge themselves before receiving God's judgment get special access to God's mercy.

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.

When God's judgment is closing in on someone He sends out clear warning signals. First, The Holy Spirit convicts the person's heart (John 16:7-8). He also reaches out by speaking to the person directly through dreams or visions. That's the most common and effective way to communicate a warning. It's private, simple and undeniable.

If private communication doesn't work, God employs the help of others through prophetic words, pointed sermons, books, blogs or other forms of written or verbal communication (Ezekiel 33:1-11). These messengers from God are only responsible for delivering the message. Once the delivery is complete, they are free to move on with their lives.

Nonetheless, when a person consistently ignores the voice of The Holy Spirit, the person's sensitivity to God decreases (Romans 1:18-28). In that case, drastic times call for drastic measures. God may then choose to use external signs including unusual natural phenomena to get the person's attention. At the same time, God may also employ the services of angels, His heavenly messengers (Numbers 22:21-31). When the angels get involved, things go to a whole new level.

These are all part of God's plan to save a person from impending judgment.

1 Corinthians 11:31-32(NKJV) - For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

God warns people so they can impose self judgment before receiving His judgment. Even though His judgment is fair and merciful it's better to judge yourself first before He has to get involved. His judgment is designed to cause repentance so if repentance comes first it won't be necessary.

How many times have you seen someone receive stiff judgment from God and wondered why it had to go so far? That judgment was a last resort. Before God chastened the person He sent conviction by The Holy Spirit, warnings in dreams and visions, warnings through people along with even natural and supernatural signs.

Over and over, God tries to get people's attention before He has to do something drastic. He loves His children so much that He won't leave us to suffer the consequences of our sins without first giving us an opportunity to repent. He even gives us a chance to escape His judgment and that's much more lenient than the harvest of sin.

His judgment is an expression of His love because it is designed to save us from disaster. His warnings are an even greater expression of His love because they are designed to save us from His judgment. Warnings, judgment, disaster.... that's the order. Thank God we can jump off the train at any point before it reaches its final destination.

Anyway, once God starts issuing warnings, it's time for self-judgment. Here's how it works.

Judge Yourself First And Receive God's Mercy

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

2 Corinthians 10:12(NKJV) - For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

You can't judge yourself properly if you don't have a proper standard. You can't judge yourself by yourself nor can you judge yourself by comparing yourself to others. That may seem right at the time but it doesn't have a happy ending. If you judge yourself by your own flexible standards you will always think you're doing fine. You will make excuses for your transgressions and overestimate your accomplishments.

Luke 18:9-14(NKJV) - Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

"Yeah, I sin but I don't sin like that guy. Compared to him I'm The Virgin Mary." (insert scoff)

If you judge yourself by others there is a high probability that you will compare yourself to people who make you feel better about yourself. For example, if your problem is alcohol you might compare yourself with the drunk fool lying in a drain completely unaware. Yes, you have a drinking problem but it's not that bad. At least when you're drunk you fall flat on the floor of your own house and not in a public drain. (insert scoff)

That's what self-judgment is not. Here's what it is!

James 1:22-25(NLT) - But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

The standard for living this Christian life is The Word of God. Therefore, you can use it like you use a mirror everyday. Every morning you look into The Word and judge what you see. Where your life doesn't match The Word you make adjustments. Where your life does match The Word you add reinforcements. If you need to clean up your life in certain areas The Word will let you see it.

That's one reason why its important to be in God's Word everyday. You're a work in progress so you always need God's Word. Don't forsake church attendance. Always read good Christian books. Listen to good Bible teaching. Surround yourself with God's Word and you will surround yourself with the truth.

Make sure you read devotionals like these and pay special attention to the scriptures. When you don't understand something, don't be afraid to ask. Don't forget to pray about things you don't yet agree with. This is how you judge yourself, God's Way. When you're faced with the truth don't just stand there, do something with it. 🙂

Hebrews 4:12-13(NKJV) - For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Jeremiah 17:9-10(NKJV) - “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.

It's important to know what's in your heart and the only way to know for sure is The Word of God. People who are consistently faced with The Word of God can successfully judge themselves. The more of The Word of God in your heart, the more you'll judge yourself before you get caught in a web of sin (Psalm 119:11).

Why do some people receive more mercy than others? They judge themselves first before God judges them. You can do it too. It works.

10

God's Mysterious Love And The Victory It Brings

A Revelation Of God's Love: It Makes You Invincible

If you really loved me you would.. (Insert random manipulative statement here)

What is love? Sounds like an easy question, huh? Well it's not. With all the "love songs", "love triangles", "crimes of passion", "romance novels" and "love circles" out there in the world, a proper understanding of love is not easy to come by. That's why it's so easy for predators, cons and other unscrupulous individuals to prey on those "looking for love in all the wrong places." They don't know what true love looks like so they get caught in the "love trap."

Today, we continue with Part 7 of our latest series; "God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?" See Part 1 for the full list of seven points described in "A Method To God's Mercy". Click here for Part 6 - "Show Mercy And You Will Receive Mercy". We'll continue today with the second installment of 3) Those who have shown mercy to others will receive mercy from God. His Kingdom is based on seed, time and harvest.

I hope you took the time to read yesterday's blog on showing mercy to others. When you consider God's mercy towards you it should be easy to understand why He expects you to be merciful to others. Jesus died for your sins and regardless of what you have done wrong He remains willing to forgive if you would just ask. However, let's take a step back to understand what's behind God's mercy. Let's take a closer look today at God's Love.

Ephesians 3:14-19(NKJV) - For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

God's Love has been heavy on my heart and running hard through my mind for the last few days. Though I knew I had to write about it since last Wednesday I'm now coming around to getting it done. During that time I just didn't know exactly how to articulate in writing what The Lord was saying in my heart. However, in Sunday morning's church service the Lord's presence was unusually heavy and a door to supernatural wisdom was unlocked. That's when He gave me the title for today, "God's Mysterious Love And The Victory It Brings".

Let's be real. If you were given a 60 question multiple choice exam on the basics of love do you think you would pass? Wait, before you say yes, the only answer you can select for each question is the one that matches your actions the closest. You can't pick the answer that matches your intentions nor the "right" answer based on your theoretical understanding of love. If you don't do it in your life, you can't select it. Why? If you had a revelation of true love you would live it. With those restrictions, would you pass or fail "The Love Test"?

John 15:13(NKJV) - Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

The Love of God is beyond human understanding. It's virtually impossible to wrap your natural mind around the fullness of it because there's nothing on this earth like it. Thankfully, if you are in Christ, The Holy Spirit living inside of you (Romans 8:9) will give you a revelation of God's Love. He will give you more than "head knowledge" but will cause His Love to explode in your heart (Romans 5:5). If you could possibly grasp the Love of God deep inside of your heart, you will become invincible.

God's Mysterious Love And The Victory It Brings

Romans 8:31-39(NKJV) - What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In Genesis, when the earth was completely dark, God told light to appear and that's what happened. He looked at an impossible situation and just told it what to do. Therefore, if God says He loves you His Word can be trusted. It doesn't matter how you feel or what things look like in your life God wants you to know that He loves you and that's it.

If God would offer His Son Jesus to die for you there is nothing that can be said to question His Love. Many people have given their lives for a cause throughout history. Yet, I can't think of one who was willing to give the life of his only son especially for people who didn't even deserve it, many of whom still remain thankless.

Thus, you should never question God's Love. He doesn't need to do anything else to prove it. If He could give you redemption by the life of His Son it's not a big deal for Him to provide what you need. It's nothing for Him to heal you. It's nothing for Him to give you the spouse you desire. He gave you His Son. Everything else you need is minor in comparison.

1 John 4:16-18(AMP) - And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him. In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world.There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].

Only one love is perfect and that's God's Love. However, to benefit from it, you have to believe in it. A revelation of God's Love will drive the fear out of your life. It will give you confidence. It will give you boldness. It will change your life forever. It's great to talk about God's love but when you really need it you better have more than just empty words. These words need to be in your heart and they need to mean something. I'll show you how to make this practical.

Every time you're faced with a situation remember God's Love. If He really loves you He will do for you what He says in His Word. If He really loves you, He will reward you if you diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). If He really loves you He will come through for you. His Love is like nothing you will ever experience in this world. His Love is reliable. His Love is undeniable. His Love is eternal.

1 Corinthians 13:8(NKJV) - Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

God's Mysterious Love And The Victory It Brings

God loves you and His Love won't fail you. Maybe you know that already but how well you know it can be the difference between success and failure in your life. How convinced you are of God's Love will determine how you react to challenges that come up in your life. Sometimes, when everything else fails, all you have left is God's Love.

Things can go so crazy that you don't know what to do. You can become so overwhelmed that you can't remember any relevant scriptures to quote and you forget what to pray. When you're struggling to come to grips with what's going on in your life or you can't even think straight you just need to remember one thing and you will make it through. God loves you.

This is how I make it through everyday. When I'm under pressure and I feel like I can't carry what's placed on my shoulders I remember how much God loves me. I might feel like I'm going to fall but I know He'll keep me from falling (Jude 1:24-25). Also, when I feel alone in a situation in which I could really use some help I trust God's love for me. I know He will never leave me nor forsake me (Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5).

He gave me His Word and because He loves me He won't break it when I really need Him. Do you believe that in your own life? Do you believe God will never leave you? Are you struggling with that right now? Do you feel alone? Do you trust God's Love? Well, that's how you'll be able to trust God's Word. God is not a man. He will not lie. (Numbers 23:19).

Hebrews 13:5(AMP) - Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

God says He will not fail you. He will not, will not, will not leave you without support. He will not, will not, will not leave you helpless. He will not, will not, will not forsake you nor let you down. He will not disappoint you. He's so serious about never leaving you alone that He repeats Himself over and over to drive the point home in this scripture. So why do you insist on feeling alone when you're not? You just have to believe God. He means what He says.

I've been in impossible situations but I made it through because I believed in God's Love. I know He would not leave me in the middle of a bad situation forever. Even when I feel stuck I know I can look around for the way of escape God created for me (1 Corinthians 10:13). I can escape anything because of God's Love.

Psalm 34:19(NKJV) - Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
I know I'll make it out of any situation, any time. If I need money He will provide it. If I need healing I will receive it. If I need an idea He will give it to me. If I need favor I'll get it. If I need anything at all I know where it will come from. Even if it takes a miracle, God will deliver me. I believe this stuff with all of my heart. You have to believe it too. God's Love is mysterious and it will give you the victory.
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