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Archive for June 2014

32

Ask Donnell - "What Does God Mean By Come Up Higher?"

Ask Donnell - "What Does It Mean To Come Higher With God?"

We received the following question from Dannie;

"When God wants you to come up higher with Him what exactly does that mean? Does it mean to spend more alone time with Him?"

Dannie, this is a great question. If you've been a Christian for some time it's easy to become religious and make assumptions about God's heart. However, the only way to find out what God means by anything He says is by His Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:11(NKJV) - For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

Yesterday, at The Body Church we studied the role of The Holy Spirit in giving life to the scriptures. Without Him, even if we locate answers in The Bible we wouldn't know what to do with them. Therefore, before we go any further let's humble ourselves and ask The Holy Ghost to guide us through this process. We don't just want the right answer but we want the right answer for you. Let's get some context first, then it will be easier to understand.

Revelation 1:10-13(NKJV) - I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.

In order to write The Book of Revelation, Apostle John was in The Spirit. While in that state, he received a visitation from Jesus. As the last surviving member of the original twelve disciples, John knew Jesus firsthand. However, even though John had walked the earth with Jesus in human form for three years this encounter recorded in Revelation 1 was on a whole new level. Since Jesus showed up in His glorified form, John had to be in The Spirit to engage in this supernatural encounter.

Why is this so important? Being in the Spirit is the master key to engaging God in His glory and hearing His voice. However, this is just the beginning. There are different dimensions of The Spirit and Apostle John was only in the dimension that allowed him to receive a visitation from Jesus. To many of us, that's the highest level we can imagine. How many of us dream of an encounter with Jesus like this one? Nonetheless, three chapters later, God was ready for John to enter the next dimension. This is where we get the answer to today's question.

Revelation 4:1-2(NKJV) - After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.

Pay close attention to what's happening here. Wasn't Apostle John already in the Spirit since the beginning of his encounter with Jesus in Revelation 1? Yes, he was. However, God wanted him to come up higher. He had already received a visit from Jesus on earth but it was time for him to leave earth and enter heaven to see the future. For this to happen, God called him into a deeper dimension of the Spirit. So let's summarize the three dimensions of the spiritual journey of Apostle John. In Dimension One, he walked the earth with Jesus in His earthly form. In Dimension Two, he received a holy visitation from the glorified Jesus. In Dimension Three, he was invited to heaven to see the future. Now, let's bring this home to your situation.

2 Corinthians 12:1-10(NLT) - This boasting will do no good, but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. 3 Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know 4 that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell. 5 That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. 6 If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, 7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. 8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

God's calling you to the next dimension of the Spirit. Where you are right now might be better than where you used to be but you've been there too long. One of the worst things that could ever happen to a Christian is stagnation. Complacency is the enemy of progress. When you no longer desire a deeper walk with The Lord you're stuck. God wants to show you things you've never seen before and tell you things you've never heard before. If you've walked with him before He's ready to visit you. If He's visited you already in His glory He's ready to invite you to heaven.

Now that you understand what God desires of you, this comes with a warning. As you go deeper into the Spirit remain humble. It's your humility that got you this far and it's your humility that will keep you going in the right direction. Two nights ago I was at a meeting in Atlanta hosted by Pastor Benny Hinn and he talked about this same thing. He referenced recent historical accounts of great men and women of God who experienced such advanced encounters with the Spirit that they walked in the power to change nature. He also talked about men of God in The Bible who entered deep spiritual dimensions and struggled to handle it.

Therefore, when God asks you to come up higher, like Apostle Paul, your weaknesses are going to be exposed. The trials and tribulations you will face will only allow you to see how helpless you are without the mighty hand of God on your life. It's this call to a deeper walk with The Lord that should trigger an intense desire in your heart for purity, humility and spiritual sobriety. Regardless, this is nothing to be afraid of. Your response to God's invitation should be a resounding yes. Prepare your heart for the ride of your life.

Last, but not least. What does The Bible mean by being "in the spirit"? In short, it means letting The Spirit direct your life. In other words, you see things according to what you see with your spiritual eyes, you hear things according to what you hear with your spiritual ears and you only say what The Spirit says. For example, in 1 Corinthians 14:2,14-15 and Ephesians 6:18, praying "in the spirit" means praying in tongues which is simply allowing The Holy Spirit to direct the words that come out of your mouth. In Ezekiel 37:1, the prophet carried in the spirit to the valley of dry bones to prophesy. What does that mean? He was led by The Holy Spirit and his spiritual eyes were opened so that He could see the reality of the spirit realm.

Romans 8:9(KJV) - But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

You can experience The Spirit during a time of worship or prayer. You can sense the Spirit while studying God's Word. However, you can only be in The Spirit when the Spirit of God dwells in you and takes control of your entire life. It's time for you to come up higher and be in a whole new dimension of The Spirit. God's extended the invitation so respond.

Psalm 27:8(NLT) - My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
2

The Intercession of The Holy Spirit

The Intercession of The Holy Spirit

Romans 8:26(NKJV) - Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

For many Christians, the biggest dilemma they have ever faced is figuring out The Will of God for their lives. If they only knew what God was thinking in a given situation so much stress would instantly disappear. Instead, they just pray to the Father in the name of Jesus according to John 15:16 hoping that He would just work it out in their favor. What about you? Have you ever considered what The Holy Spirit would pray for if He was praying to The Father directly? Since 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that all scripture is God-breathed shouldn't we be fine if we just pray scriptures?

Maybe that's true but depending on the context, certain scriptures appear to contradict themselves. In fact, are you considering merely reciting them in hopes that your situation changes or declaring your interpretation of their meaning? Well that problem is solved by the intercession of The Holy Spirit. Since none of us know how to pray the way we should, He volunteered Himself to pray on our behalf. He knows what's on The Father's heart and how it can become a reality. So acknowledge The Holy Spirit today and thank Him for a job well done as your personal intercessor.

Meditate on Isaiah 26:3-4

2

The Body Church - Sunday Worship With Prayer

Date - Sunday, June 15th, 2014

The Body Church
Courtyard Atlanta Midtown/ Georgia Tech
1132 Techwood Dr NW, Atlanta
GA 30318

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

Sundays
10:00 AM - Worship With Prayer
11:00 AM - Worship With The Word

www.TheBodyChurchInc.org

0

The Body Church - The Seed of God's Word

Date - Sunday, June 15th, 2014

The Body Church
Courtyard Atlanta Midtown/ Georgia Tech
1132 Techwood Dr NW, Atlanta
GA 30318

Galatians 5:22-23(KJV) - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Sundays

10:00 AM - Worship With Prayer
11:00 AM - Worship With The Word

www.TheBodyChurchInc.org

4

Satisfying The Desires Of The Holy Spirit

Satisfying The Desires Of The Holy Spirit

Romans 8:5-9(NIV) - Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

The Holy Spirit is a Person who has desires. He likes certain things and doesn't like other things. He knows what He wants and does not compromise His standards. However, since He made the rules by which we live, every Christian needs to share in His desires. If you think in agreement with Him you will have life and peace but if you constantly disagree in any area, death is your portion right there. So the question that must be answered is, “How can I discover the desires of The Spirit so that I can agree with them?”

The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” The Spirit of God is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous and deserving of praise. If you focus on Him and embrace the heavenly standards you will find peace even if storms surround you. Anytime you want what God wants, if you ask Him, you will have it.

Meditate on 1 Corinthians 13:1-10 and Galatians 5:22-25

10

Undercover Spiritual Warfare

Undercover Spiritual Warfare

Today's blog is dedicated to Janice. She reached out to us yesterday asking for the daily messages to return. Saying we're a little busy these days is an understatement. As you should already know, we started The Body Church a few months ago. We will also be releasing a new book soon. We also have some new developments in other areas. Nonetheless, if you enjoy reading these daily devotionals let us know so we'll make sure you get them. We need to hear from you. 🙂

2 Corinthians 10:4-6(NIV) - The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

Do you know that one of the most popular spiritual warfare scriptures in the Charismatic Christian church is usually not used in its proper context? 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 is not necessarily referring to evil spiritual forces roaming the earth. It’s directed to mental strongholds on the inside of people that cause them to disobey God. This type of spiritual warfare is really a war for control of our minds. We win or lose this war by the decisions we make in response to God’s directions.

James 4:7(KJV) - Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

When a Christian submits to God’s directions he is resisting the devil by resisting his temptations. When the devil cannot influence a Christian to disobey God, the devil is powerless and has to run. Hence, spiritual warfare in this context is really pulling down disobedient mindsets with the simple decision to be obedient. Every Christian has The Spirit of Obedient Fear of The Lord so every Christian can win the war for their minds.

Meditate on James 1:12-17

2

The Fruit of The Spirit

Date - Sunday, June 8th, 2014

The Body Church
Courtyard Atlanta Midtown/ Georgia Tech
1132 Techwood Dr NW, Atlanta
GA 30318

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

Sundays

10:00 AM - Worship With Prayer
11:00 AM - Worship With The Word

www.TheBodyChurchInc.org

9

Ask Donnell - Why Is Dan Not Sealed By God in Revelation 7?

Ask Donnell - Why Is Dan Not Sealed By God in Revelation 7?

We received the following question from Deborah;

"Hi Donnell. I have been looking at your youtube vids "living in the last days". I have a question concerning the 144,000 that were sealed of the tribes of Israel. Manasses was sealed but the tribe of Dan was not mentioned. Is there any scripture stating why he was not mentioned? I asked this also on the youtube but I think this is the most appropriate place. Thanks."

Revelation 7:1-8(NKJV) - After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed: 5 of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed; 6 of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed; 7 of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed; 8 of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.

Pay close attention to Revelation 4 which states that the 144,000 came out of ALL the tribes of Israel. So why was Dan left out? Deborah, that is a good question. It wasn't until you asked it that I noticed the tribe of Dan missing from the 144,000. Since nothing's by chance, let's see what clues exist in The Bible that can help us to understand what could possibly have happened. Let's start with some background information on Dan.

Genesis 35:22-26(NKJV) - ....Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: 23 the sons of Leah were Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; 24 the sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin; 25 the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maidservant, were Dan and Naphtali; 26 and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant, were Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Padan Aram.

Of Jacob's twelve sons, Dan was one of only two born to Rachel's maid, Bilhah. Did the nature of his birth play a factor in Revelation 7? The answer would be no because the tribe of Napthali, Dan's brother, who was also born to Bilhah is named among the 144,000. In addition, the tribes of Gad and Asher, children of Leah's maidservant were also included. Therefore, the tribe of Dan's removal from the list of Israel's tribes in Revelation 7 had nothing to do with the nature of his birth. Let's dig in some more.

Genesis 49:1-2, 16-18(NKJV) - And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days: 2 “Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob, And listen to Israel your father...... “Dan shall judge his people As one of the tribes of Israel. 17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, A viper by the path, That bites the horse’s heels So that its rider shall fall backward. 18 I have waited for your salvation, O Lord!

As Jacob approached his final days he called his sons together in Genesis 49 and prophesied to them concerning what would happen in the last days. He says two interesting things that seem to contradict each other concerning his son, Dan. On one side he said that Dan would judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel but on the other, he said that Dan would become a snake in the path of people trying to pass by. Here's the first stage of the fulfillment of this prophecy.

Joshua 19:40-48(NKJV) - The seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families. 41 And the territory of their inheritance was Zorah, Eshtaol, Ir Shemesh, 42 Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Jethlah, 43 Elon, Timnah, Ekron, 44 Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath, 45 Jehud, Bene Berak, Gath Rimmon, 46 Me Jarkon, and Rakkon, with the region near Joppa. 47 And the border of the children of Dan went beyond these, because the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem and took it; and they struck it with the edge of the sword, took possession of it, and dwelt in it. They called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father. 48 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages.

When the Children of Israel entered The Promised Land they divided it up into portions that were presented to each tribe. Dan didn't feel satisfied with their portion so they did a little extra by conquering a neighboring area called Leshem which they incorporated into their inheritance. They continued this pattern later on and that's how things changed for them. Read Judges 18 and you'll see where the Tribe of Dan went off the right path.

Judges 18:27-31(NKJV) - So they took the things Micah had made, and the priest who had belonged to him, and went to Laish, to a people quiet and secure; and they struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire. 28 There was no deliverer, because it was far from Sidon, and they had no ties with anyone. It was in the valley that belongs to Beth Rehob. So they rebuilt the city and dwelt there. 29 And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born to Israel. However, the name of the city formerly was Laish. 30 Then the children of Dan set up for themselves the carved image; and Jonathan the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land. 31 So they set up for themselves Micah’s carved image which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.

When the tribe of Dan conquered Micah, they took idols into the land of Laish where they settled and became idol worshippers from that day forward. This is where one dimension of the fulfillment of Jacob's prophecy of Dan being a serpent began to take shape. By opening themselves up to the devil who is described as a serpent in The Book of Revelation they became associated with a snake. They developed a reputation as idol worshippers as evidenced by a reference in Amos 8.

Amos 8:13-14(AMP) - In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. 14 Those who swear by Ashimah or the sin of Samaria and say, By the life of your god [the golden calf], O Dan! and [swear], By the life of the way of [idolatrous] Beersheba, they shall fall and rise no more.

The god of Dan was no longer the True and Living God but a mere idol. In the end that could explain why they will be left out when God seals all the tribes of Israel. They were supposed to be included with the rest of their brethren but gave themselves to idols. Hence, even though they are technically Children of Israel 12,000 of them won't get the same protection as those within the 144,000. those who would follow the example of Dan will suffer the same fate. According to the prophet Amos, they shall fall and rise no more.

Leviticus 26:1(KJV)- Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God.

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, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— 6 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.
0

The Body Church - Holy Spirit; The Person

Date - Sunday, June 1st, 2014

The Body Church
Courtyard Atlanta Midtown/ Georgia Tech
1132 Techwood Dr NW, Atlanta
GA 30318

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

Sundays

10:00 AM - Worship With Prayer
11:00 AM - Worship With The Word

www.TheBodyChurchInc.org

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