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Ask Donnell: Does The Holy Spirit Dwell In Or Fall Upon You?

Ask Donnell: Does The Holy Spirit Dwell In Or Fall Upon You?

We received the following questions from Vernell;

"Could you enlighten me as to whether or not Holy Ghost falls upon your flesh or does He dwell in your spirit? Also, what caused men like Elijah, Moses and others to perform miracles apart from living right before God and the fact that Holy Ghost came after Christ left? Were they empowered for any other reason?"

Vernell, these are some good questions that definitely need to be answered. Let's answer them one by one.

1) Does The Holy Ghost fall upon your flesh?

Joel 2:28(KJV) - And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

The Hebrew word for flesh used here is "basar" which means "of the body, the body itself, all living things and mankind".

Acts 2:17(KJV) - And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

The Greek word for flesh used here is "sarx" which means "the soft outer covering of the human body, the human body itself, a living creature and human nature".

Therefore, when The Bible refers to The Holy Spirit coming upon flesh it simply means that The Holy Spirit will rest upon human beings. This reference to the word "flesh" is not the sinful nature of man. It's just referring to mankind in general. In other places in The Bible it is used to represent the sinful nature of man but not in this case. It simply is a figure of speech with the intention to identify humanity as the recipients of The Holy Spirit.

2) Does The Holy Spirit Dwell in Your Spirit?

Romans 8:9-12(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. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

1 Corinthians 3:16(KJV) - Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1 John 4:13(KJV) - Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

The Holy Spirit dwells in all Christians. We know that from the scriptures. Does He dwell in our spirits? I won't say that. Our spirits lives in our physical bodies and The Holy Spirit also lives in our physical bodies. That's about all we know based on the scriptures. I won't take the liberty to say anything more than what The Bible says concerning that.

Luke 4:17-19(NKJV) - And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

We know The Holy Spirit lives in us. We also know that He can rest upon us because that's what it means to be anointed. The anointing is the "chrism" or residue of The Holy Spirit after He rests upon you. When The Holy Spirit rested upon Jesus that was His anointing ceremony. Therefore, The Holy Spirit not only lives inside of us but can rest upon or anoint us at any moment so that we can walk in His power.

Isaiah 11:2(NKJV) - There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

When The Holy Spirit rests upon you, His power becomes readily available for wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and the fear of The Lord. When The Holy Spirit rests upon you He manifests in your life and people can see it. You have to submit yourself to Him for that to happen.

3) How were the Old Testament prophets like Moses and Elijah able to operate in such miraculous power even before The Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost?

James 5:13-18(NKJV) - Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.

God guarantees results in response to only one type of prayer; the prayer of faith. Elijah was a human just as we are but he was able to stop the rain and start it later with his prayer of faith. That's really all that made him special. He heard from God and did what God said so He walked in God's power. The same goes for everyone else in The Old Testament.

Hebrews 11:32-34(NLT) - How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight.

Read Hebrews 11 where over and over you will see that faith was the key that opened the door to the miraculous for all of them. It worked then and it will work now. Do you want to see miracles like the prophets of old, walk in faith like they did. When God spoke, they believed Him and did whatever He said. They believed God. Do you?

Faith is the key to miracles. That's it. The Holy Spirit lives inside of every Christian which makes us all equally capable of the miraculous but what separates those who walk in God's power from those who don't is faith. When people have faith they hear God's Word, believe it and do what it says. That's all God asks of us, the power to do the miracles comes from Him. We're just His vessels.

Mark 9:23(NLT) - “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

Mark 16:15-19(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. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

In summary, faith makes the difference between results and no results. Signs follow those who believe God so if we want to see signs we have to believe and if we believe Him we will do what He says. Does The Holy Spirit dwell in or fall upon you? The answer is both! All Christians have The Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us. However, we have to yield or submit ourselves to His directions for Him to rest upon us empowering us to operate in His power. What made the prophets of old capable of walking in miraculous power? Faith! They believed God and did what He said.

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Ask Donnell: Are Angels Really Sons Of God?

Angels

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

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

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

Angels as sons of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's how The Bible describes them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus as The Son of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christians as sons of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 8:19-20(KJV) - For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
3

Ask Donnell: How Do I Respond To Criticism From Atheists And Other Non-Believers?

Ask Donnell: How Do I Respond To Criticism From Atheists And Other Non-Believers?

We received the following questions from Moses;

"Many non-believers criticize The Bible for contradictions and then criticize Christians as being hypocrites for not following parts of The Bible. For example, they criticize how The Bible says to kill anyone who works on the Sabbath and not to wear clothes of wool and linen woven together. How do you answer to these? And also I feel that whenever there is a question I am not able to answer, it hurts my faith and doubt enters...have you had your own personal experiences with this and how do you continue to believe?"

Moses, these are some great questions and I can see that they come from a genuine heart. Over the years I've engaged in many debates with atheists, agnostics, backslidden Christians and other non-believers. Some were public, some were private, some were cordial and some were not so cordial. Those experiences have allowed me to learn many things. Along the journey to this stage of my life I picked up certain tools that I use in these types of situations. I'll share some of them with you today.

This is in no way comprehensive but it's a good place to start building your toolbox. It will take some time for you to become comfortable defending your faith so enjoy the process. Start by reading Matthew 22:15-46. Consistently, the religious scholars tried to trap Jesus and each time He had a brilliant comeback. Let's learn how to argue like Jesus. Some people pick an argument with Christians just to hear themselves talk. Don't let them frustrate you. Judge the merits of an argument before you get involved.

Responding To The Criticism Of Christianity By Non-Believers

1) Determine what type of "non-believer" you're dealing with.

First, the term "non-believer" taken by itself is a misnomer. There's no such thing. Everyone believes something. Those who claim to be "non-believers" may not believe what you believe but they believe something. Some may not believe in God but they do believe in something else. Nonetheless, for the sake of argument we'll consider "non-believers" as those who don't believe in God and most importantly, Jesus Christ. For simplicity, there are two main categories they can be placed into; those who never believed and former believers. That's where you need to start.

Group 1 - Those Who Never Believed

Psalm 14:1(KJV) - The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

Romans 1:20-22, 25(NLT) - For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools..... They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.

The people in this first group of "non-believers" have convinced themselves that God does not exist and have believed that all along. Even though they consider themselves reasonable you won't be able to reason with many of them. They also have no understanding of spiritual things so engaging with them on a spiritual level is a complete waste of time. That includes the use of scripture. Some may even have an academic understanding of The Bible but are incapable of seeing the truth. Do not argue with people like this. They do not want to know the truth so you can just give it to them and walk away. They just want to argue and you can do better things with your time.

Winning an argument never won a soul to Christ so even if you win the argument what do you really win? What's more important is winning the person's heart with God's Love. Show them love and if one day they genuinely have questions because they finally want truth, feel free to answer them. The Apostle Paul addresses this group as follows; "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." - 2 Corinthians 4:3-4(NKJV)

Group 2 - Those Who Once Believed

Hebrews 6:4-6(KJV) - For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

This group is where most of the "non-believers" I've encountered come from. It's easy to identify them. They seem to have a personal issue with anything Christian. They have an intimate knowledge of scripture and know how to use it against Christians to confuse them. These are the most dangerous "non-believers" because they once knew the truth but chose to accept a lie. They may say otherwise but look carefully behind what they say. It is not about logic. It is not about truth. It is personal. Something happened which caused them to walk away from God. Now they are using every excuse they can think of to justify their decision.

Once you determine the type of "non-believer" you're dealing with you're one step closer to responding properly. How do you figure out what you're up against? Ask! I've done it and that's why I know the background of several people who have challenged my faith. Be very suspicious when you hear someone attacking Christianity with a very intimate knowledge of scripture and the inner workings of God's Kingdom.

Your antennas should go up immediately when the person uses certain phrases and innuendos that should only be familiar to Christians. Even if the information is publicly available you have to know what you're talking about to know how to use such information properly in an argument. There are many bitter, confused, "backslidden" Christians parading around as atheists out there. They think they're really smart but they've become fools.

Sometimes, it's okay to engage with people in this group because they need to know that they're living a dream and reality is that they're in big trouble. You're not going to argue these people back into The Body of Christ. It's just not going to happen but they will have to wrestle with the truth after you're finished and that's good. Jesus said in John 6:44(NKJV) - "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day." Feel free to plant The Word of God into their hearts but they will only respond to the drawing of The Father. If He can't reach their hearts neither can you.

2) Educate Yourself In God's Word

Genesis 3:1-5(NKJV) - Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Do you want to know why the devil was able to fool Eve? She didn't really understand God's Word. If she understood what God had said she would have easily recognized the lie that the devil was presenting to her. I've met many lazy Christians who refuse to invest the time it takes to really understand God's Word. As a result, at the first sign of opposition from a "non-believer" they are flustered and have no idea what to say.

That's especially sad when it's a question from The Bible commonly used by "non-believers" to fool Christians. How can a Christian who believes The Bible lose an argument based in The Bible to someone who does not believe The Bible? It's simple. When the "non-believer" knows The Bible better than the Christian. That needs to stop! Christians need to know The Bible. Jesus and Apostle Paul set the standard in this area. They knew how to handle "trap" questions from The Bible.

2 Timothy 2:15(KJV) - Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

I study The Word of God all the time and you should too. If The Word of God is your sword you have to practise using it consistently before you step into a battle. There are so many books written to help us understand God's Word that we have no excuse for not educating ourselves. Unfortunately, some Christians don't see the value in a solid Biblical foundation until it's too late. They want to pull out their sword and use it when they're under attack having never mastered it. Sadly, they look clumsy and uncoordinated while the "non-believers" pick them apart.

I once got into a public debate with an executive board member of American Atheists on a radio interview. He tried to argue about Genesis 1:1, a scripture that I had studied in Hebrew and in every English translation of The Bible I could find. I even wrote about it in several of my books. As he opened his mouth he exposed his lack of understanding and I jumped all over him. He was bluffing all along pretending to be a Bible expert so I called his bluff. I knew what the scripture was saying so I went in on him. If you study The Bible more than they study The Bible you will be able to call them out when they come at you trying to twist the truth.

3) Educate Yourself In Secular Areas Like History, Science And Philosophy

Daniel 1:3-6(KJV) - And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:

Daniel was an advisor to kings and his position of influence spanned several generations. Take it not lightly why he and his friends were selected to be in the king's house in the first place. The king only wanted the following;" Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science." Some of the most popular arguments from "non-believers" come in the areas of philosophy and science. Hence, it really helps to have a working understanding of both.

I recently got into a debate with a gentleman concerning some aspects of scripture and I was relentless. Eventually, he thought he was smart so he made a comment about The Big Bang in an effort to take me out of my comfort zone. However, that was good news to me because Cosmology is a great place to have a discussion. Once I told him about my background in Physics and shared a couple things from my research the discussion was over. Sometimes we don't know enough to even have a decent conversation about science with a "non-believer" and that's not good.

I remember when I wrote my book, Faith Science, I really thought people would eat it up. It was my effort to help people of faith see some simple aspects of science that are consistent with scripture. Many "non-believers" you will encounter are not scholars. They have a limited understanding of science and scripture so they try to bluff their way through arguments using trap questions or complex scientific or philosophical terms they heard from someone else. After a while you'll start hearing the same arguments over and over. If you know what they are talking about you can respond intelligently. It's important for us to understand the natural environment the same way we understand spiritual truth. Let me tell you why.

1 Corinthians 2:14-15(NKJV) - But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.

People with only natural understanding cannot understand spiritual things so you have to talk to them on their level. Do you know that many of the founders of Science were men of faith? Do you know that some of the top scientists in the world right now are men of faith? If not, you need to educate yourself because it will help to strengthen your own faith. I can recommend some great books that have helped me to understand areas of science, philosophy or history that support my Christian faith. The scholars at "Reasons To Believe" have provided books, forums and courses for our learning. I'm also an avid listener of Bible teachers like Ravi Zacharias. You can also learn from the movement called "The Veritas Forum".

4) Keep The Focus On The Foundation of Christianity!

When you defend Christianity be sure that you know exactly what you're defending. You're not defending the application of all the laws recorded in The Old Testament nor are you defending a list of practices or customs that may be listed in The New Testament. You're defending... 🙂 We'll continue from here tomorrow...

6

Expect Opposition

Expect Opposition

Jesus offered a crash course in ministry to the seventy in Luke 10:1-24. In one compact leadership seminar He taught them the salient points that must be considered when answering the call to ministry by God’s standard. This is one of the greatest mysteries of the Kingdom of God that few people realize is so obvious in the Bible. In fact, Jesus first gave a similar ministry training seminar to His disciples in Luke 9:1-6. In this chapter from my book; "Mysterious Kingdom Of Heaven", we will witness the mysteries of ministry revealed by Jesus during His time as a man on the earth. Click here for Part 2 - What's Your Vision?

Luke 10:2&3 - Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

What’s a good ministry without stiff opposition? I hope you don’t think that you’re going to walk into this perfect stage of your life in ministry without someone trying to stop you? The wolves are part of the package. This life includes constant warfare between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world. At no point does the enemy overlook an individual with enough brevity to step forward in ministry.

I once thought that strict obedience to the Word of God would prevent the accusations of the enemy but I was totally wrong. He is a relentless foe and as a result, we should be just as relentless. We should never assume that he is taking a break even when things seem to be calm around us. Always be wary of his plans and never get complacent.

John 16:33 - These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Jesus told us to expect trouble in this world but He also offered Himself as peace. It’s important to have a very strong relationship with God if you plan to survive the trials that come with ministry. The world is a very rough place and it’s designed for the survival of the fittest. A weak heart is the recipe for failure. Don’t expect the world to like what you are doing even if it looks like they initially do. They are still wolves, whether or not they look or sound like sheep.

John 15:18 - If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

James 4:4 - Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Jesus was hated by the world. He came to earth to give His life for the world and they still hated Him. In fact, even though hindsight is 20-20 and we all know what Jesus did for the world, they still hate Him. Therefore, they will hate you! That's why, anytime you are active in ministry and they seem to really like you something is wrong. Either you’re not doing your job or they have something sinister up their sleeves. Sometimes, they push ministers to the top of the world and if they fall, the same world is quick to say, “I told you so” and step all over them.

If people hate Jesus but love you it’s important to judge yourself. You might need to spend some time looking into the mirror of the Word of God at your reflection to ensure that nothing is wrong. I’ve been to several discussion forums and have read some of the nastiest things said about precious men of God. People are so jealous of the success of ministers today that they make accusations of impropriety against even those who are obedient to the Spirit of God.

Matthew 5:11 - Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Psalms 2:4 - He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.

It really is amazing to hear some of the things that come out of the mouths of the critics. Do they really think that their words can stop what God is doing? I hope not, because while they assume success, the entire host of heaven is laughing at them. Sometimes, I also like to do a little laughing myself. It really is good medicine to laugh at the “haters” because if you let them frustrate you, it is your fault. I let critics entertain me with their ramblings and join the laughter with my Heavenly Father. One of these days, they will have to acknowledge the truth, whether they like it or not. Expect opposition!

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July 15, 2013 Posted by admin in Kingdom

Jesus Christ School Of Ministry - Have You Been Chosen By God?

Jesus Christ School Of Ministry

Jesus offered a crash course in ministry to the seventy in Luke 10:1-24. In one compact leadership seminar He taught them the salient points that must be considered when answering the call to ministry by God’s standard. This is one of the greatest mysteries of the Kingdom of God that few people realize is so obvious in the Bible. In fact, Jesus first gave a similar ministry training seminar to His disciples in Luke 9:1-6. In this chapter from my book; "Mysterious Kingdom Of Heaven", we will witness the mysteries of ministry revealed by Jesus during His time as a man on the earth.

Steps to Finding your Place in Ministry

Ensure that you are selected by God for the specific ministry.

Luke 10:1 – AFTER THESE things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

Finding the perfect position of service in the Kingdom of God can sometimes be overwhelming. There are so many available ministries and they all need help. As a result, people have come up with some of the most innovative reasons for going in a particular direction.

Some pick a ministry where they can be seen. Others pick a ministry where they can hide. Some like to serve while the pastor is preaching at church on a Sunday morning while others prefer to participate in a ministry that only meets on a business day.

Nonetheless, it’s great to volunteer for ministry whenever help is needed. God has called all of us to show His love on the earth by serving His people. However, there is a higher level of effectiveness in ministry that can only be attained when an individual serves exactly where God desires.

Romans 10:13-15 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

The seventy ministers in Luke 10 were personally selected by Jesus and were commissioned for service. The same can be said of His twelve disciples. Is it really important to be selected by God or is it acceptable to invite yourself? Shouldn’t He appreciate true enthusiasm?

Every ministry needs support staff so if your intention is to support what the leader of the ministry is doing then you can volunteer. However, if you’re going to be taking a leadership position, you’ll have to be selected by the Leader of all ministries; God.

In Romans 10:15 the question is asked, “How shall they preach, except they be sent?” Is it acceptable to be in the front line of ministry if God didn’t send you there? Well, based on this verse, it is not a very good idea. The Word of God is life, so in the very act of sending someone, God empowers the person to do exactly what he is being sent to do. Therefore, if you volunteer yourself for a leadership position in ministry, you may be getting into a bad situation.

Unfortunately, what you are doing when you appoint yourself is operating outside of your empowerment and you have set yourself up for failure. Within the Will of God for your life is everything you need but outside of it is lack and frustration. In sum, good intentions are wonderful but like a pastor in Atlanta always says, “It’s better to be a sent one than a went one!”

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Ask The Body: Can Someone Walk In God's Power And Still Go To Hell?

Ask The Body: Can Someone Walk In God's Power And Still Go To Hell?

We received the following question from Deborah at The Body Online;

"Hi Donnell and Angel. My questions come from Matthew 7:21-23. These people prophesied etc in the name of the Lord. On that day He then tells them "I never knew you, depart from me you that work iniquity." Is He telling them they have no part in eternity? and how is it they did these things in His name and he doesn't know them?"

Deborah, that's a great question. Let's start with the scripture;

Matthew 7:21-23(NKJV) - “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

First, the power behind the prophesying, casting out demons and working of miracles is the name of Jesus and only the name of Jesus. Why do I say that? The power is not in the people Jesus is referring to. Therefore, even though these people were personally in rebellion to God, the name of Jesus still had the same power. Therefore, the power of the name of Jesus was able to work through them even though it didn't work in them. These people will be guilty of breaking the 6th commandment;

Exodus 20:7(NKJV) - "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain."

Why would God allow people to abuse His name and still see results? We have no idea. However, it's entirely possible because Jesus did that while He was on the earth.

Luke 9:1-2(KJV) - Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

John 6:70-71(KJV) - Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

Do you know that Judas was one of the twelve disciples who received the power and authority of Jesus? His character was zero and Jesus still chose him to receive power. Jesus did it then and it's possible now that some people are walking around operating in the power of God and their character is zero. Only God knows why He still chooses to use them. Nonetheless, it's possible that it can happen because it happened before. It didn't work for the 7 sons of Sciva but it worked for Judas. King Saul prophesied in 1 Samuel 10:11 but was demon possessed by 1 Samuel 18. Even Balaam's donkey prophesied in Numbers 22.

We are just vessels through whom God's power operates. Therefore, even though God's power operates through us it doesn't preclude our responsibility to obey God and do His Will. He'll do whatever He wants on the earth and if He needs to use us He will. However, if we're not willing, obedient vessels we'll pay the price for eternity.

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

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Trust God's Timing

Trust God's Timing

Psalm 31:15(KJV) - My times are in thy hand...

Today's devotional is a continuation from yesterday, "Trust God For Today".

Have you ever asked the question; "When Lord, when?" Did you get an answer? I doubt it. God is not beholden to our schedules so He doesn't owe any answers to that question. Nonetheless, in the rare occasion that you do get an answer it will probably be along the lines of, "When I'm ready" or "When the time is right". The Word of The Lord to us is trust His timing. You can't force His hand so save your energy. He's sovereign and will remind you of that if you ever need a refresher.

Our times are in His hand. God's perspective is eternal and time is a created entity that only exists within the constraints of the natural realm. Everything is "now" in God's eyes. He sees all and knows all so He knows the exact sequence of events that must take place to reach any desired future outcome. Hence, He orders the steps of a good man and delights in his way (Psalms 37:23). With that understanding I have concluded and you should too that the safest place you could ever be is in the midst of God's Will.

Isaiah 46:9-10(NLT) - Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.

God knows the future. Just think about that a little. He knows the future. Not just that but He can tell you the future before it even happens. He's showed me my future and it looks amazing. What about you? Has He shown you what it looks like or told you what to expect? For example, have you ever received a prophetic Word concerning your life? That's a glimpse into your future. Have you ever seen consistent God-given dreams or visions of your life in a different time or place? That's a glimpse into your future. Whatever God has shown you is guaranteed. Your job is to remain in God's Will and His job is to make the future happen just as He planned it.

What you cannot do is rush God. I once drove behind a huge, commercial, 18 wheel truck that had a bumper sticker which said, "Don't push!" 🙂 That's pretty funny. No, I didn't try to push. That would be silly. Even if I tried to push, the truck won't move. God is the same way. Don't push! Don't push like Abram and Sarai or you'll end up with an Ishmael instead of Isaac. Don't push like Adam and Eve or you'll end up struggling in a wilderness instead of the fruitful Garden of Eden. Don't push like Lucifer or you'll end up flying out of heaven, headfirst on a one way trip to earth. Whatever you do, don't push.

Isaiah 40:30-31(KJV) - Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

This scripture is becoming more and more real to me everyday. It pays to wait on The Lord. Patience does give you strength. When you trust God's timing it gives you peace. It saves you the stress that comes when you take everything in your own hands. When you wait on The Lord you stop working yourself into a frazzle trying to make things happen that should not happen outside of God's Will anyway. Your energy is renewed as you focus on what God requires of you right now while you wait on what He has for you next.

Psalm 105:17-22(NKJV) - He sent a man before them— Joseph—who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him. The king sent and released him, The ruler of the people let him go free. He made him lord of his house, And ruler of all his possessions, To bind his princes at his pleasure, And teach his elders wisdom.

Have you been waiting patiently for certain dreams to come true? Stay faithful to God while you wait. What you do while you wait is very important. You might not be able to speed up God's plan with your faithfulness but you sure can delay it with unfaithfulness. Joseph had to wait a long time to see the fulfillment of the dream God gave to him as a youth. However, He stayed faithful to God throughout the lengthy process. As the scripture says above, "Until the time that his word came to pass, The Word of The Lord tested him." Will you pass the test of The Word of The Lord to you?

Hebrews 10:36(KJV) - For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
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July 8, 2013 Posted by admin in Faith

Trust God For Today

Trust God For Today

Matthew 6:33-34(NKJV) - But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

One day at a time. Focus on today. You can deal with tomorrow tomorrow. That's what Jesus said in The Bible and that's The Word of The Lord today! Don't stress yourself out over something that has not even happened yet and don't waste today by worrying about tomorrow. When you get a revelation of trusting God for each day you will be able to sleep peacefully every night. You might not have a clue about what's going to happen to you tomorrow but you just have to trust God.

It makes no sense suffering today because of something that MIGHT happen tomorrow. The truth is that you do not control what will happen tomorrow but you can control what you do today. If you do today what you need to do today you will be best positioned to do tomorrow what you need to do tomorrow. With that approach to life you eliminate more stress than you can imagine. The Will of God for your life today is all that you are responsible for today.

Luke 11:1-3(KJV) - And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread.

When Jesus taught His disciples to pray He told them to ask The Father for bread on a daily basis. That still applies to us today. I've had to learn to trust God everyday for my daily bread. This is especially true in some areas of my life where I usually experience a certain level of comfort. However, I accept that there are seasons when God only gives us what we need daily and the next day we have to return to Him for more.

If you are in such a season of your life or have ever been you would know what I'm saying. Just be thankful to God for bringing you through today. You can't even think about tomorrow yet. I know that's not what we always want but sometimes we don't have a choice. However, God does allow these seasons because we learn how to depend on Him for our survival. We quickly realize that if He doesn't come through for us tomorrow like He is coming through today we're done.

Isaiah 26:3(KJV) - Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

God we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. That's out of our hands. We lay it on the altar before you. We ask you for the peace that only you can give. We fill our minds with thoughts of you. We trust you.

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July 8, 2013 Posted by admin in Events

The Stage Is Set: (07.13.13) The Body Bible Study Returns!

Session Two - Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Location: Atlanta, GA (Contact us for details)

Time: 6:00 PM

Are you really living or just going through the motions? Do you ever wonder why you were put on this earth? Your life is not an accident. You were fashioned to be God's unique expression on this earth for this moment in time. Do you desire to fully become the YOU you were created to be?

Network with a group of fun and friendly individuals who are determined to leave our mark on the earth. If you are interested but can't join us in Atlanta, GA please contact us at our website; www.thecrackeddoor.com . We'll provide exclusive access to The Body Online community. You don't need to miss a thing.

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The Word of God - The Foundation Of The Church

The Word of God - The Foundation Of The Church

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it..... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-5, 14 NKJV

In the same way that The Bible describes God as love, it also describes God as The Word. Therefore, just like The Church must be built on the foundation of God's Love it must also be built on the foundation of God's Word. Therefore, properly teaching God's people The Word of God must be the priority of God's builders especially those chosen to be Apostles and Prophets who will be held responsible for the foundation.

When the winds of doctrine blow with contrary teachings to the truth of the scriptures those without a firm foundation in The Word of God will be led astray. Additionally, in times of testing when fiery trials hit God's building it's God's Word which will sustain us. We have to stand on His Word regardless of what we see around us and refuse to give up.

"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."
Matthew 7:24-27 NKJV

As I said earlier in this book, when constructing a building the worst foundation material you can possibly have is sandy soil and the best is solid rock. Jesus consequently could not have used a better illustration to describe the effectiveness of living by His Word. He also introduced some brand new loading conditions as well as a phenomenon known in structural engineering as loading combinations which I will now explain further.

In the process of designing a building a structural engineer must calculate the main loading conditions that will test the strength and stability of the building over its lifetime. These include dead loads (permanent downward/ gravity loads on the building's floors, columns, etc), live loads (temporary/ transient gravity loads), rain/ snow loads, wind loads and earthquake loads.

Additionally, if there are below grade (underground) walls those must be designed for lateral earth pressure loads and hydrostatic loads. These result from the horizontal pressure on the walls due to the weight of soil and groundwater, respectively. Once compiled these individual loads are combined into load combinations based on the probability of any of them occurring simultaneously. Engineers design buildings for the worst load combinations possible during the expected lifetime of the structure.

Jesus in Matthew 7:24-27 introduced a load combination of rain which loads the roof of the building, floods which cause horizontal pressure on the walls and winds which test the stability of the entire structural frame. In other words, Jesus said that the time will come when “all hell will break loose” and each person will face trials from every direction all at the same time.

Now consider The Church as God's building and this scenario Jesus described as a major storm. If the building is built on obedience to God's Word the foundation is secure and the building will stand firm. If the building is built on sand without any specially deep foundation designed to connect it to underground rock somewhere, it won't make it through the storm. That's the situation facing The Church today. If people don't do what God says in His Word, they have no chance when the storm hits.

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