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The Power of His Resurrection

Philippians 3:7-11(NKJV) - But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

As I prepare to preach this Resurrection Sunday at The Body Church, I've been mulling the significance of this scripture. In our current sermon series, Vision 2018, we've come to the part where we're dealing with "The Power of God" and the role it plays in our personal and corporate church growth. I don't consider it a coincidence that what God wants to say to us this Easter Sunday is directly in line with what He's already saying to us in this sermon series. So today, I'll introduce Sunday's message in this blog.

Apostle Paul's primary desire was to know Jesus Christ. He put that desire above everything else in his life including his personal accomplishments and self-generated righteousness. He then elaborated on the specific aspects of Christ that interested him the most. He wanted to know Christ in two main ways; the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. Why? So that the same victory Jesus Christ attained over death would also be his portion. In other words, through Christ's resurrection, he would receive his own resurrection.

At first glance, it seems quite simple. Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, so that those of us who were once dead because of sin, can receive life through Him. That life manifests itself through instant spiritual renewal at the point of salvation. It is then followed up by physical resurrection on The Last Day (not before) when Jesus returns to earth. For those who die before that day, the resurrection is literal. Yet, for those who are still alive, their natural bodies which are subject to death and are already in the process of dying will be changed to immortal, glorified bodies similar to the one Jesus received. It also means that those who are in Christ will not experience eternal death which is separation from God. Yet, there's more.

John 11:1-7, 11-15, 20-27(NKJV) - Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, “He stayed two more days in the place where He was.” Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” ... These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.” Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house... Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

After Lazarus died, Mary and Martha were distraught. First, they were devastated by the loss of their beloved brother. However, what made it worse was that Jesus knew Lazarus was sick, had the power to do something about it and never showed up until after Lazarus was dead. Interestingly enough, Jesus revealed to His disciples that He did that on purpose. It was actually Jesus' intention to let Lazarus die first so that He could raise Lazarus from death (sleep) and glorify God through it. As demonstrated in their conversation, Martha exposed the outer limits of her faith in the power of Jesus. First, she believed that Jesus had the power to heal so if Jesus had arrived on time Lazarus would have been saved. Then, she believed in The Resurrection at The Last Day. At that point, all believers would rise again so even though Lazarus was dead He would live again eventually.

The only thing she didn't believe was God's power to do anything for someone after physical death and before The Resurrection. In other words, she didn't fully understand The Power of His Resurrection. So, to teach her and the rest of us a valuable lesson about His true power, Jesus orchestrated the perfect demonstration. His main goal was to redefine The Resurrection as a person (Himself) and not an event that takes place on The Last Day alone. Hence, wherever He was present, so was His supreme power over death. He also used the opportunity to explain that belief alone gives anyone access to His power. Those who believe in Him as The Resurrection and die before The Resurrection will live again and those who believe and are alive will not die.

Obviously, we can apply His statement to The Last Day when we are assured that The Resurrection of all believers will take place. Yet, Jesus was clear that He was not just talking about The Last Day but He was talking about any time before then. He then proved it by raising Lazarus from the dead after three days and subsequently raising Himself (Jesus is God) from the dead after three days. Let me reiterate something you may have missed. Those who believe in Him as The Resurrection are able to tap into the Power of His Resurrection. Why do I say that? Whether we know it or not, belief in The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is crucial to our salvation. It's even included in the main scripture we quote for salvation.

Romans 10:9-10(NKJV) - that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and “believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

To become a Christian you don't just believe in Jesus as a prophet, a Rabbi, a miracle worker, teacher or an overall good guy. You can't even simply believe that Jesus was born and died for your sins. You have to believe in His Resurrection. In other words, you have to believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead to be saved. No Resurrection, no salvation! It's that simple. Essentially, The Power of His Resurrection is the power that gives us salvation. Since Jesus is The Resurrection, when you believe in Jesus you believe in His Resurrection from death on the cross and also your Resurrection from death on The Last Day. What you should also believe is that His Resurrection has the power to affect your life between those two events. In fact, because you believe in Jesus Christ, The Power of His Resurrection is active and alive in you now the same way it was available for Lazarus to defeat death before Jesus even died on The Cross!

1 Corinthians 15:12-19(NKJV) - Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

Our salvation is all about The Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It's because He lives, that we can live again. It's because He lives that we can face death with hope of life everlasting. It's because He lives that sin has been defeated forever. So, as we commemorate the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ this weekend, let us remember how important this is to our existence as Christians. The good news of the gospel does not end with Jesus dying for our sins but continues with Him rising from the dead to totally defeat it. Not only did He pay the price for our sins but by rising from the dead He defeated the power of sin. He had His cake and ate it too. He paid for sin with His death, then rose from the dead and took His life back once the debt was paid. We should be clear about what that means for us on The Last Day. Now let's talk about what that means for us right now.

Romans 8:9-11(NKJV) - But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

The Spirit of Christ lives in us which means The Resurrection lives in us. Yes, our physical bodies are subject to death but the life-giving power of His Spirit lives in our physical bodies right now. Hence, all of the power we need to rise from the dead on The Last Day is already inside of us. It's the same power which raised Christ from the dead. It's also the same power which raised Lazarus from the dead. It's the power of The Holy Ghost and The Power of His Resurrection. What can we do with this power? Possibly, anything. We just have to believe. And what do we have to believe? Whatever we see in His Word that applies to us.

Mark 9:23(NKJV) - Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

Mark 16:15-18(NKJV) - And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Luke 10:18-20(NKJV) - And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

Like Martha said to Jesus in John 11, every Christian believes that we will defeat death on The Last Day and rise again in The Resurrection. However, what do you believe God can do for you today? What are the outer limits of possibility in your life? If you can believe, all things are possible for you. You can defeat demons, serpents, poison, sickness, criminals, accidents, disasters or any other agent of death on earth today. You just need to have the faith! How does faith come? By hearing and hearing by The Word of God. Saturate your mind and heart with God's Word until you believe what's written in it. Then everything you believe will become possible in your life.

What's the extent of The Power of His Resurrection in your life? Whatever you believe in His Word!


You May Feel Tired But Don't You Ever Quit!

You May Feel Tired But Don't You Ever Quit!

Galatians 6:9(NKJV) - And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Today is another installment in our blog series on "The Will-Power of God". Let's now continue building from yesterday's blog; "Unleashing God's WILL-POWER". Even though these thoughts are being presented in a particular order it doesn't necessarily mean I received them in that order. To be perfectly honest, what you are reading now is the first blog that spawned the series. I started working on it earlier this week before I switched gears and completed the others.

The premise for today is simple. Don't quit regardless of how you feel! Even when you are doing that which is good you could feel tired and completely drained sometimes. Anything you do can have a very high emotional, social and/or physical cost. Nonetheless, that's why Galatians 6:9 exists. Don't get tired of doing what you know God has asked of you because there's a big harvest awaiting you if you are consistent long enough to receive it. There is a due season for your life and only at that time will God release your harvest for the seeds you've sown into His Kingdom.

Isaiah 40:30-31(NKJV) - Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

It's normal to feel tired. There's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. As the scripture says, even youths get tired and young men fall. I can't speak for you but I thank God for that because I feel really tired sometimes. I need to know what to do when it starts becoming too much and what better place to look for answers than The Word of God. So what's the answer? Wait on The Lord!

In this moment I interpret waiting on The Lord in two ways. First, just like we saw earlier in Galatians 6:9, God wants us to remain faithful and consistent while we wait for Him to reward us. Therefore, even if you feel really tired right now, your decision to wait on The Lord is a demonstration of your faith which causes God to respond with supernatural strength.

The other way I interpret waiting on The Lord right now is to stop striving to make things happen and wait on The Lord. We should save the energy we are expending running on an emotional treadmill to nowhere and focus it on The Lord. Perhaps the fatigue is a sign that we need to rest and wait on The Lord to move us forward. While we do so, He will renew our strength.

Hebrews 10:35-38(NKJV) - Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him."

So, what's the bottom line? Even after you do God's Will you still need to be patient. There's always a gap in time between when seeds of obedience are sown and the harvest of God's goodness is reaped. Don't push yourself into the ground trying to make anything happen that only God can make happen. Focus your energy on doing what He asked you to do and don't add to or subtract anything from it. Last, don't ever backtrack on what you started for The Lord. That gives Him no pleasure.

Luke 12:42-45(NKJV) - And the Lord said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.

Develop a reputation of faithfulness in the eyes of God. Be faithful regardless of how you feel. Be confident that God will deliver on His promise to you. He will reward your faithfulness. You may feel tired but don't you ever quit!


Unleashing God's WILL-POWER


Welcome back to our latest blog series on God's Will-Power. We've studied God's Will and we've studied God's power but two days ago God started talking to me about the combination of the two in His Will-Power. If you were here yesterday you would know that this is a continuation from yesterday's blog; "The Will-Power of God". The point that God's been stressing is that His power is tied to His Will so if He wants something to happen His power is available to make it happen. Armed with this knowledge, if we want to effectively and consistently walk in His power we must choose to walk in His Will.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11(NKJV) - There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

If you look carefully at our main scripture for today you will see some important facts about God's gifts. First, spiritual gifts are really the manifestation of The Holy Spirit. Second, when He gives a person a gift it's not just for the recipient but for the profit of everyone. Third, He gives out gifts according to His Will. What does that mean? If you have a gift of any sort it's because God wants you to have it. He gave you the gift for a reason and that's to benefit everyone else. Again, though He gave the gift to you, it's actually not just for you. Hence, every gift of God comes with a responsibility to use it so that others can profit from what God gave. You can't choose to sit on your gift because by doing so you rob the rest of us from benefitting from it.

Romans 11:29(KJV) - For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

The Bible also says in Romans 11:29 that God's gifts and His call on your life are without repentance. This means that once He gave them to you He won't take them back. There is no gift exchange in God's Kingdom. He distributes gifts and that's about it. However, as we saw earlier in the blog, even though you get to keep your gifts regardless of what you do with them you are expected to use them. Romans 11:29 also means that God's gifts and His call on your life go together.

So if God gave you a gift there are strings attached because He also called you to do something very specific with it. Therefore, God won't call you to do something you are not gifted to do and He won't gift you to do something He didn't call you to do. Simply put; God's gifts are given to people according to God's Will to empower them to do His Will or carry out His call for their lives. Now that we understand this, let's get to the bottom line. People run into problems when they use God's gifts for something other than His call on their lives. In other words, they try to separate God's gift from His call. Strangely, God doesn't just cut off the gift because it's without repentance.

He also doesn't always cut off the power behind the gift which is not necessarily a good thing for those involved. At least, if God cuts off the power behind your gift when you're not using it the way He wants you to, it will act as a wake up call. The frustration that comes from being ineffective should drive you to your knees. Sadly, if you are allowed to continue to operate in God's gifts with His power behind you when you're outside of His Will this is what eventually happens.

Matthew 7:21-23(KJV) - Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Look at that! Many people can prophesy, cast out devils and do many wonderful works but be outside of The Will of God. Unfortunately, this causes confusion during their time on the earth because they assume that as long as they can operate in God's power they are in proper standing with God. This is why God's been talking to me about cutting off the power for some people who get out of His Will. We can consider that to be His mercy. We rather it be obvious now that something's wrong than live in deception all the way to the judgment seat of Christ then get blindsided. Who wants to show up before God expecting rewards and end up receiving punishment?

In sum, God's cutting the power from those who are out of His Will and that's good news. If a man is not in God's Will he doesn't need to be operating by God's power anyway because that's dangerous. It's dangerous for the people who are doing the ministry because they could end up in hell and it's dangerous for the people receiving the ministry because you never know what you could be getting. It's time to unleash God's Will-Power! It's the dimension of His power that's only available when you do His Will.

March 3, 2014 Posted by admin in Books, Power

Embrace Your Spiritual Authority

Embrace Your Spiritual Authority

Today's blog is an excerpt from Revelation Unplugged.

Luke 10:17-20(KJV) – And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

The Word of God is the foundation of your life so it has to be the foundation of your ministry. These words from Jesus are very encouraging for even the most “battle-weary” soldier of The Cross. You don’t have to wonder about your ability to face challenges because the same power available to the seventy ministers can be yours by faith. God is not a respecter of persons so He would not enable some of His ministers to do the task and leave the rest helpless.

2 Corinthians 5:17(KJV) - Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

The first thing the seventy ministers did when they returned to Jesus was testify. With gladness, they informed Him of the authority they clearly exhibited through the use of His name. For instance, the devils were under their control and they had to tell Jesus about it. However, Jesus was not surprised because He was there when the devil was kicked out of heaven for disrespecting God. He understood how powerless Satan was compared to Him. Any man operating in His name has that same power over serpents, scorpions and over all the power of the enemy.

These serpents and scorpions can be spiritual or physical because wherever the power of the enemy exists, the name of Jesus is greater. However, even though we agree that the seventy ministers were invincible according to Jesus, what about us? Is it possible for us to be oblivious to the hurtful attacks of the enemy?

John 14:12-18(KJV) - Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

The Holy Ghost provides access to the power that Jesus operated in. He was sent to earth when Jesus left. Therefore, everything the seventy ministers could do in the name of Jesus we can also do in the name of Jesus. They had Jesus physically present but we have the Holy Ghost spiritually present. There is nothing that they could do that we cannot do. I know it may be hard to believe but you have to make a choice. You either believe the words of Jesus or you do not.

He said that we can do more than He did and I believe it because He said it. I don’t care how impossible it sounds to call people back to life from the dead, but I believe that I can do it because I have the Holy Ghost. I don’t care how impossible it sounds to cause food to multiply but if Jesus did it I can do it. I can heal the sick in the name of Jesus. I can call money out of the mouth of a fish in the name of Jesus. Nothing is impossible to me because I believe in Jesus. What about you?

John 14:26(KJV) - But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Acts 1:8(KJV) - But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

The power of the Holy Ghost is the power that Jesus operated in. Any man in Christ is a new creature. According to Ephesians 1:13-14, he receives the Holy Spirit within him as soon as he receives the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as his salvation from the curse of sin and death. Therefore, as a minister, you can walk with boldness. However, this does not come when the Holy Spirit is just within you. It only comes when He is upon you. That is a different level of power. The Holy Spirit within you breaks the curse of sin and death over your life and allows you to enter heaven. However, the Holy Spirit upon you allows you to operate in power and dominion on the earth as defined by God in Genesis 1:26-28.

Galatians 5:25(KJV) - If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

You have to yield your will to the Holy Spirit for Him to be on you. Until you give what is in your heart expression through your body, you may get to go to heaven but you will be ineffective for the Kingdom of God on the earth. When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, He gains control of your life. When that takes place, your ministry goes into a new dimension.

March 12, 2013 Posted by admin in Power

Energēs - The Power Of God's Word

Energēs - The Power Of God's Word

I sit in the middle of the congregation. Tears are streaming down my face. My heart is completely exposed. My mind is completely blown. I don't care who sees me. I can't help myself. This is just too real. This is no ordinary preacher and this is no ordinary message. This one's different. I've heard great preaching all of my life but it's been a long while since I felt like this.

These words are special. These words have power. These are not the words of a man. These are God's Words. These are Spirit Words. As the words enter my ears I can feel God's presence as strong as ever. I know that there's no way I'm walking out of this service the way I came in. I am experiencing Energēs - "The Power Of God's Word" and my life is changed forever.

Welcome to Part 19, the final installment of our blog series on The Power of God. See Part 1, "Unleashing The Power Of God In Your Life" for seven dimensions of God's power described in The New Testament. Today we continue our study with the seventh dimension of God's power; Energēs which means "active, effectual and powerful." Click here for Part 18, "The Majesty of Jesus".

How fitting to end this series on The Power Of God with Energēs - "The Power Of God's Word".

Let's first take a quick recap of the seven dimensions of God's power in The New Testament which we covered over the last few weeks.

1) Dynamis

In this context, the word "power" means "inherent ability, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth, power for performing miracles."

2) Dynatos

In this context, the word "able" means the same thing as "having the power to" and it means to be, "strong in soul, to bear calamities and trials with fortitude and patience as well as strong in Christian virtue."

3) Exousia

In this context, The Bible is referring to "the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege), the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)."

4) Ischys

In this context, The Bible is referring to "ability, force, strength and might".

5) Kratos

In this context, the word power means, "dominion".

6) Megaleiotēs

In this context the word "power" means "greatness, magnificence, of the majesty of God, of the visible splendour of the divine majesty as it appeared in the transfiguration of Christ."

7) Energēs

In this context, the word "powerful" means "active or effectual".

Energēs - The Power Of God's Word

Hebrews 4:12(NKJV) - For the word of God is living and powerful(Energēs), 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.

There's no denying the power of God's Word. It's living and active. It possesses the ability to completely expose your heart by separating your will from God's Will and forcing you to choose. It removes the blinders from your eyes to the truth hence making you fully responsible for what you hear. When you receive God's Word into your heart it will go to work wherever it is needed. Psalms 119:105 describes God's Word as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. As such, it will shed light on all the dark areas of your life.

2 Timothy 3:16-17(MSG) - Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

Every scripture is God-breathed. That's huge. We may not understand them all and sometimes we may even question exactly what certain scriptures mean but I don't question one simple fact. If it's in The Bible, it's God's Word and He wants it in there. Hebrews 11:3 says that the worlds were framed by The Word of God. In the same way, you should let The Word of God frame your heart by controlling the way you feel. It should frame your mind by controlling the way you think. It should frame your day and eventually your entire life. When you are put together and shaped by God's Word you are well put together.

2 Peter 1:19-21(NKJV) - And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes, we hear things from people who seem trustworthy but when we measure their words against The Word of God they don't stand a chance. I was recently asked to chime in on a theological debate concerning hell. Several bestselling books have been written based on the experiences of people who visited there. The debate was concerning the depiction of certain details concerning hell. It showed up in those dreams/ visions but cannot be substantiated with scripture. I quoted the relevant Biblical references and made it abundantly clear that the only sure source of truth is The Bible and not anyone's dream or vision. That ended the debate.

Isaiah 55:10-11(NKJV) - “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

In sum, God guarantees His Word. When it leaves His mouth it goes to work and doesn't stop working until it finishes what it is sent to do. Why not feed yourself with God's Word and let it go to work in your life today?

March 11, 2013 Posted by admin in Power

The Majesty of Jesus

The Majesty of Jesus

2 Peter 1:16-18(NKJV) - For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty(Megaleiotēs). For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

Welcome to Part 18 of our blog series on The Power of God. See Part 1, "Unleashing The Power Of God In Your Life" for seven dimensions of God's power described in The New Testament. Today we continue our study with the sixth dimension of God's power; Megaleiotēs which means "greatness, magnificence, of the majesty of God, of the visible splendour of the divine majesty as it appeared in the transfiguration of Christ." Click here for Part 17, "Dominion: Why God Put Mankind On The Earth".

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

Worship in Heaven

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

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

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

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

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

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

Revelation 5:1-7(NLT) - Then I saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who was sitting on the throne. There was writing on the inside and the outside of the scroll, and it was sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel, who shouted with a loud voice: “Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it. Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which represent the sevenfold Spirit of God that is sent out into every part of the earth. He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one sitting on the throne.

Alright, is it just me or does Heaven have more ceremonial activity than we can possibly imagine? Obviously, they all knew that Jesus was worthy to open the scroll so why did the strong angel even ask? Seriously, that was worship. By asking for someone worthy enough to open the scroll and receiving no immediate response, the angel demonstrated that nobody else in existence was a match for The Lamb. It’s just another way of saying, “Only the Lamb is worthy!”

March 10, 2013 Posted by admin in Power

Dominion: Why God Put Mankind On The Earth

Dominion: Why God Put Mankind On The Earth

Psalm 115:16(NKJV) - The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

"When the purpose of something is not known, abuse (abnormal use) is inevitable." - Anonymous

Why is there a gaping hole in the ozone layer? Why is there a shortage of food for so many people on an earth that was created with an abundance of resources? Why is the weather going crazy while many experts still deny the reality of global warming? Why has pollution in certain areas been allowed to get so bad that these places are almost uninhabitable by human beings?

Revelation 11:16-18(NKJV) - And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”

What's going to happen when global demand exceeds the global supply of crude oil? On an earth that's made of mostly water how is it possible that so many people don't have water to drink? What's gone wrong on the earth? We can't look to God for the answers to these questions. It's not His fault. He put us in charge. God created a perfect earth and handed it to mankind to manage. Anything that has happened since then is our responsibility. That's why one day He will destroy those who destroy the earth.

Welcome to Part 17 of our blog series on The Power of God. See Part 1, "Unleashing The Power Of God In Your Life" for seven dimensions of God's power described in The New Testament. Today we continue our study with the fifth dimension of God's power; Kratos which means "force, strength, power, might: mighty with great power, a mighty deed, a work of power and dominion" Click here for Part 16, "Power For Christian Ministry".

Genesis 1:26-28(NKJV) - Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

What is your purpose? Over the weekend I completed the manuscript for my new book on Purpose and throughout the process of writing it one thing became abundantly clear. If you don't know your purpose you will waste your life. You may get things done or even have some noble accomplishments but if you don't do what you were created to do you will not maximize your potential. Every Christian is part of God's body and each part has a very specific function.

Nonetheless, before you can figure out your specific function within the body you should understand the function of the entire body. That is so important because, as a unit, God has a purpose for The Body of Christ. Each of our assignments is just a little part of that bigger purpose.

Also, long before The Body of Christ even came into existence with the birth of The Church in The Book of Acts, God had a purpose for all human beings. Fortunately, at the very moment when God created the first humans He outlined exactly why we were created. We are supposed to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue the earth and have dominion over all other living beings on the earth.

Revelation 1:4-6(NKJV) - John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion(Kratos) forever and ever. Amen.

All glory and dominion (Kratos) belong to God but He chose to give dominion over the earth to human beings. Each human being has a part to play in carrying out God's agenda on the earth. When Adam and Eve fell into sin, the enemy messed up God's plan for their lives and stole their dominion.

Fortunately, when Jesus died on The Cross, He took it back and has returned it to the people who are in His body. Now we are as responsible today to carry out God's mandate to Adam and Eve and as they were. We are to be fruitful, multiply, fill and subdue the earth as well as have dominion over all created things. However, since Jesus came, here is how we're supposed to carry out the mandate.

Matthew 24:14(KJV) - And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Mark 16:15-18(KJV) - And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Luke 10:19(KJV) - Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Our dominion is no longer just in the natural realm. It's also in the spirit. We have been given spiritual dominion over every power that exists on the earth. We are supposed to establish the kingdom of God wherever we go. Even though we live in this world we should always operate at a higher level than those around us because greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. Therefore, every Christian walks this earth with dominion that came from heaven.

1 John 4:4(NKJV) - You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

The world should never have dominion over us. We are of God and have overcome them. So I ask you this question today; "What have you done with your dominion?"

March 6, 2013 Posted by admin in Power

Power For Christian Ministry

Power For Christian Ministry

There's no business like church business. If you've ever been behind the scenes of any thriving Christian ministry you would understand where I'm coming from. Every week, the wheels of the church machine keep turning. The gospel is being preached, disciples are being made and lives are being changed all over the globe. Regardless of what happens around us nothing can stop this movement. There's power behind us that cannot be contained.

Welcome to Part 16 of our blog series on The Power of God. See Part 1, "Unleashing The Power Of God In Your Life" for seven dimensions of God's power described in The New Testament. Today we continue with the fourth dimension of God's power; Ischys which means "ability, force, strength and might" Click here for Part 15, "Surrender: It's Time To Rely On God's Strength".

1 Peter 4:11(NKJV) - If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability(Ischys) which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Are you in any type of Christian ministry? If so, do not do it in your own strength. Do it as with the Ischys(ability) which God supplies. Believe me, I sometimes wonder how so many ministers keep going strong for years and years. Don't they get tired? Don't they run out of ideas? Don't they get bored? The answer is probably yes to all three questions but that's why they never minister outside of the ability (Ischys) which God supplies. Doing so is the recipe for disaster.

Galatians 6:9(NKJV) - And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

It's so easy to get burned out doing the work of The Lord. If you don't watch yourself carefully what begins as a good work can end up feeling like a complete burden. This is especially true if you need people to pat you on your back to remain motivated. When you work for God you have to work for God. What does that mean? You do all that you do from the perspective that pleasing God is the only reason why you do it. You look to Him for your reward. You look to Him for appreciation. Don't give up. Don't get weary. Most of all, look to Him for the ability (Ischys) to keep doing what you do.

March 3, 2013 Posted by admin in Power

Master Keys To Spiritual Authority

Master Keys To Kingdom Authority

The master key is usually reserved for someone at the highest level of authority. It's one thing to have a key to one door or even a bunch of keys to several doors but the ultimate is to have a master key. Why is that? A master key opens any door. It's the height of efficiency. It provides access to multiple doors without the clutter of an entire bunch of keys. There are many keys that open doors in God's Kingdom but do you know that there are certain master keys to spiritual authority? When you have these in your possession you receive access to unlimited authority regardless of who you are.

When I think of the sources of spiritual authority what comes to mind for me are always as follows; The Name of Jesus, The Blood of Jesus, The Word of God and The Holy Spirit. If I'm ever in a spiritual battle, I always reach for these and they are as effective today as they have ever been. Depending on the issue at hand, The Holy Ghost directs me to a particular source which unlocks the power of God I need at the moment. However, even though these are sources of God's power, that doesn't mean we all have the same access.

It's great to have a warehouse full of supplies but if you don't have the keys to enter how does it benefit you? It's great to have an account full of money but if you don't have access to it how does it benefit you? It's great to have an inheritance but if you cannot get it how does it benefit you? You might know that there's power available to you but if you don't have the keys to access the power, how does it benefit you? Today, let's discuss certain master keys that unlock the authority of God.

Welcome to Part 13 of our blog series on The Power of God. See Part 1, "Unleashing The Power Of God In Your Life" for seven dimensions of God's power described in The New Testament. Today we continue our study of the third dimension of God's power; Exousia which means "the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege), the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)." Click here for Part 12, "The Power Of A Word From God"

Master Keys To Spiritual Authority

1) A Revelation Of Jesus

Matthew 16:15-19(NKJV) - He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

There is power in The Name of Jesus. That's great to know. I'm sure you probably know that already but can you tap into the power when you need it? That is the million dollar question. There's a whole lot more to accessing the power of The Name of Jesus than just saying, "Jesus!" If merely saying the name of Jesus alone is the key to unlocking the power in His name, it would have worked for the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19:14-16. However, it did not. Why? They knew of Jesus but they did not know Him.

Do you really know Jesus? When God gave Simon Peter a revelation of the true identity of Jesus Christ he received a master key to spiritual authority. Jesus responded by promptly giving him the keys of the kingdom of heaven. With these keys he received authority that works both in heaven and earth. Such is the eternal benefit of a revelation of Jesus Christ. You really cannot unlock God's power if you don't have a revelation of Jesus.

Daniel 11:32(NKJV) - Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.

Do you want to be strong? Do you want to carry out great exploits? You have to know God. The power is available but it's not accessible until you really know the person with the power. You can't know of Him. You can't know about Him. You can't even be familiar with Him. You have to know Him. If you don't really know Him you won't be able to use His power because it's reserved for those who do.

Revelation occurs when The Spirit of God opens your eyes to plainly see the truth of His Word. It comes in different ways but at all times it comes from time spent with Him. Other people might be able to share with you revelation they received from God but it's not revelation to you until God opens your eyes to see it for yourself. If you spend quality time with God He will reveal Himself to you and that's when His true power becomes accessible.

From experience, I've received most of my revelation in times of Biblical study. When I sit before The Lord and study His Word He shows me things. When the truth is revealed and I finally get it, I cannot be shaken in that area. Revelation is a key to power. The Bible says in Matthew 13:19 that the person who receives The Word of God but doesn't understand it loses it quickly to the enemy. Therefore, the power to keep God's Word comes from understanding it and you only understand it when you receive a revelation of what it says.

Isaiah 50:4(KJV) - The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.

I've also received revelation in times of prayer. When I speak to God He speaks back to me and everything He says is powerful. I've also received revelation in times of corporate worship. As the presence of The Lord increases in a time of corporate worship so does access to His wisdom. He begins to speak and if you are tuned to His frequency He will unlock mysteries to you.

2 Peter 1:1-4(NKJV) - Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

How does the divine power of Jesus Christ give us all things pertaining to life and godliness? Through the knowledge of Him. What does that mean? You have to know Him first before His power becomes available for you to get all the good things of His Kingdom. It's your relationship with Him which gives you access to His exceedingly great and precious promises. When you know Him you will partake in His divine nature. All the benefits provided by Him hinge on one requirement. You have to know Him.

Philippians 3:10(KJV) - That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

You must know Him before you know His power. Until you receive a revelation of Jesus Christ you cannot unlock the power of His name, Blood, Word or Spirit. You can say all the right things and hope it works but you are not assured of success until you know the truth by God's Spirit. You have to know Jesus before you open your mouth to wield The Sword of His Word as a weapon. You have to know Jesus before you can shout His name at the enemy expecting results. You have to know Jesus before you use the blood of Jesus to defeat the enemy. You have to know Jesus if you want to walk in His authority.

2) Faithfulness

Master Keys To Spiritual Authority

Matthew 24:45-47(KJV) - Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

Can Jesus find you faithful? Are you positioned to receive authority? Will you become a ruler in His Kingdom? Can He find you doing exactly what He has asked you to do on the earth? Today's blog has been on my heart for days. It's undergone several iterations as The Lord refined it to be exactly what only He wants said. Master keys to spiritual authority are not as easy to come by as I first thought.

Do you know that the first step to faithfulness is actually knowing what you're supposed to be faithful doing? Why? Anything else you're doing is a complete waste. Only when you know your assignment can you do exactly what you're assigned to do during the time you've been given. Therefore, this month we've made available for you the free video; "Discover The Will Of God For Your Life!"

We hope you watch it. If you are not completely exhausting your life everyday living your purpose, you will not be found faithful. It's just not going to happen. There's no way for you to be faithful in what you're doing if you're not doing what you are supposed to be doing in the first place. Make it your priority today to focus your energy and time on what God put you on the earth to do.

Luke 19:17(NKJV) - And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’

Here it is again. A master key to authority in God's Kingdom is faithfulness. His eyes are searching the earth for faithful people because those are the ones who are positioned to operate in higher levels of His authority. Since God is a Spirit, this parable is obviously not just about physical cities, it therefore outlines the criterion for receiving higher levels of spiritual authority. What does that mean? The authority of God is progressive. As you show yourself faithful with the level of authority you have right now, God will increase you.

It's a simple case of Kingdom promotion. The more faithful you are the higher you go, the higher you go the more authority you receive. There are exploits you can do today that you could not do a few years ago because the level of your authority has increased. The power of The Name of Jesus is the same. The Power of The Word of God is the same. The power of The Blood of Jesus is the same. The Power of The Spirit of The Lord is the same. What changed is you. The more faithful you are in your walk with God, the more authority is at your disposal.

Revelation 3:7-12(NKJV) - “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens” “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

Why did The Church in Philadelphia receive access to the benefits of the key of David? Why did Jesus let them know that He was there to open and shut doors that nobody else can access? They were faithful. They had opportunities to deny His name but they chose not to. They did not have much strength of their own but remained faithful to His Word. It was this faithfulness which caused Jesus to open a door before them that could never be shut.

Their faithfulness gave them authority over the enemy. So much so that Jesus told them that the people of the synagogue of Satan would come and worship before their feet. Why is that a big deal? Not even the angels allowed people to worship at their feet. Worship is reserved only for Jesus but Jesus told The Church of Philadelphia that they will be such a demonstration of His Love that the heathen were on their way to fall at their feet.

Not just that but they received a promise of protection from the time of tribulation that will hit the entire earth. On top of that, God promised to make them pillars in His temple forever. Pillars! That's what He said. Even though God has twenty four elders, four beasts, several archangels and all kinds of powerful creatures already in His throne room He reserved the pillars of His temple for a group of faithful people. They also received the name of God, the New Jerusalem and something beyond our current understanding; God's new name. Didn't we say there's power in the name of Jesus? They showed that faithfulness gives you access to it.

In sum, a revelation of Jesus Christ and faithfulness are master keys to spiritual authority. These keys open the doors of power we speak of on a regular basis in The Church. It's good to know about God's power. It's also good to know where to find God's power but it's time for us to use the keys that unlock it. Today, The Lord has shown us two master keys. Let's start using them and walk in His authority on the earth.


The Power Of A Word From God

The Power Of A Word From God

James 1:22(KJV) - But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

The answer to your prayer is wrapped up in a set of instructions. If you follow those instructions you will receive exactly what you've been praying for. - Apostle Emanuel Vivian Duncan

When you receive a Word from God you have to do what it says you need to do first, then you can expect to see what it says God will do for you.

Welcome to Part 12 of our blog series on The Power of God. See Part 1, "Unleashing The Power Of God In Your Life" for seven dimensions of God's power described in The New Testament. Today we continue our study of the third dimension of God's power; Exousia which means "the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege), the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)." Click here for Part 11, "Exousia - The Authority Of God"

Today's blog is another excerpt from the book, "The Mysterious Kingdom of Heaven" available right here at The Cracked Door.

Limited Results Due to Limited Obedience

2 Kings 13:14-19 - Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows. And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king's hands. And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the Lord's deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them. And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.

King Joash was given a simple instruction by the prophet Elisha to hit the ground with his arrows. It was quite an unusual request but he obliged. He had no idea what the prophet was doing so he didn’t have much enthusiasm in his obedience. For that reason, he limited the miraculous ability of God to bring him victory over the Syrians. This is a perfect example of the problem with many naturally brilliant Christians in the Western Church. Many of us won’t completely disobey God’s Word but that doesn’t mean we’ll enthusiastically obey it with all of our hearts.

There is a new brand of religious Christianity that no longer demands total devotion to the Word of God. It’s alright to obey God in some areas and disregard Him in others. As long as the commandment is convenient, the average Western Christian is willing to obey. The problem only arises when God’s Word forces an individual out of his comfort zone. A lack of passion for God has resulted in a nonchalant group of fruitless people pretending to operate in the power of God.

How many times have you received instructions and didn’t follow them earnestly? The Bible says to pray without ceasing but how much prayer time do you really get in a week? The Bible says to give and it will come back to you so how much do you give? The Bible says to forsake not the assembling of yourselves together but do you care if you regularly miss church? The Bible says to flee fornication but how many people grow up in church and don’t keep their virginity until marriage. The Bible says that wine is a mocker but some Christian people are reading this book right now with a glass of wine in their hands.

Revelation 3:14-22 - And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

The Power Of A Word From God

Jesus knew that the day would come when certain groups within the church community would lose their passion. He also knew that when that day came, the possibility of miracles would decrease. You can’t straddle the fence and experience the fullness of God. You’re either in God’s Kingdom or you’re out. When Christian people get complacent they undo what God has done for them. Accordingly, the assumption of wealth and security turns into despair once God’s grace is lifted.

The Western Church is famous for talking about power. We know what the Bible says and can claim it for our lives but unless we are willing to pay the price of dedication to God’s Kingdom we’ll remain powerless. Something changes in a ministry when people become passionate about God. What once seemed difficult becomes easy. Where there once were obstacles, the favor of God becomes prevalent. The impossible becomes possible where God locates total obedience.

2 Kings 4:1-7 - Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen. And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full. So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out. And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.

Elisha told the woman to borrow as many vessels as possible, close the door and fill them with oil. The point I want to make is that the miracle extended to the number of available vessels. As long as there were vessels available, there was a miracle to fill them. Accordingly, if King Joash in 2 Kings 13 had any idea of this miracle he would have known the importance of enthusiastic obedience. As many times as he would have hit the ground with arrows in obedience to the prophet, God would have shown him favor.

The woman could have borrowed two vessels and God would have given her a miracle fit for two. She could have borrowed fifty vessels and her miracle would have been fit for fifty. The oil only stopped when the capacity to receive it was exhausted. Now relate that to your own life. If God says He will increase your life in a particular area, how have you set up the infrastructure to receive it? Do you know that even if He does more than you can handle, you can only benefit from what you can handle?

The possible miracles in your life end when you can’t receive any more. God loves you enough to know when to stop doing something that could possibly destroy your life. Your inability to handle money limits God’s ability to give more to you. Your inability to handle relationships limits the people God can bring into your life. Your inability to be an effective leader puts a glass ceiling over your own advancement. Your need for character development can slow down the time of your progress. It’s not God holding you back from anything, it’s your inability to receive.


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