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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.

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The Power Of Self-Control

The Heart of The Anointing

Galatians 5:22-23(NLT) - But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Proverbs 16:32(NLT) - Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.

What better way to start this month than with the Spiritual Fruit of Self-Control? It's this fruit that determines whether or not you will discipline yourself to develop all of the others. One of the hallmark characteristics of the greatest men and women of God in The Bible is their self-control. They never just followed their natural impulses when making decisions but they subjected themselves to the rules by which they chose to live. Unfortunately, whenever a man of God did not exhibit self-control, he paid a high price and Samson is the perfect example.

Like The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27, we must discipline ourselves and put our fleshly desires into subjection to The Spirit of God. Growing spiritually and developing spiritual fruit won't come easy. Your flesh will resist it and conditions may never be perfect for the process to continue. However, you have to make the decision to pursue God's plan for your life and never give up on it. You will be identified by your fruit so regardless of what you think, unless it's seen on the outside nobody really knows what's in your heart but God.

Meditate on Proverbs 5:23, 25:28, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 and 1 Peter 1:13

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The Spiritual Fruit Of Gentleness

The Peace of God

THE FRUIT OF GENTLENESS

Galatians 5:22-23(NLT) - But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

2 Timothy 2:23-25(NKJV) - But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,

God expects His people to be gentle. In several scriptures, gentleness is mentioned simultaneously with humility and meekness because they are clearly related. It takes humility to speak to people with consistent gentleness. King Solomon said in Proverbs 15:1; “ A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” God wants us to be peace-makers which requires us to use gentleness to diffuse very volatile situations. When someone sees you operate gently when you're being dealt with harshly they have the opportunity to see true spirituality in action.

Make a decision to be gentle today. You won't get it right away but become conscious of your responses to people. A soft answer might pour cold water on a flaming remark that was only designed to steal your peace. Let The Holy Spirit give you the words you need when your own words are dripping with sarcasm and anger. Evidence of your changed heart witnesses to someone else that Jesus Christ is the Lord of your life and His Spirit lives inside of you. They may never understand the depths of your spiritual maturity but they can see the fruit that results from it.

Meditate on Titus 3:2 and James 3:7

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Be Faithful...

The Peace of God

THE FRUIT OF FAITHFULNESS

Galatians 5:22-23(NLT) - But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

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.

The Holy Spirit produces faithfulness. Truly spiritual people are reliable and trustworthy. If they say they are going to do something or be somewhere it's as good as done. By its very nature, the fruit of faithfulness takes some time to develop. The Lord chooses those who are faithful for positions of high leadership and ensure that they are well taken care of. God measures your faithfulness by how consistent you are at doing what He has called you to do.

The people of the world cherish faithfulness. They rather have someone they can rely on with minimal talent than someone they can't rely on with lots of talent. That's because most are conditioned to follow the pathway of comfort at the cost of faithfulness. People find difficulty in committing to anything so as soon as they feel uncomfortable they are ready to quit. That's why faithfulness separates a mature Christian from the people of the world. We must always do what God says until He says stop. Faithfulness brings many great rewards.

Meditate on Matthew 25:14-30, 1 Corinthians 4:2 and Luke 12:41-48

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The Fruit of Kindness

The Fruit of Kindness

Galatians 5:22-23(NLT) - But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Ephesians 4:31-32(KJV) - Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

The Bible instructs us to be kind to one another because it doesn't flow naturally. It's human nature to be selfish and it's much easier to have a bad attitude than to exhibit kindness on a regular basis. Truly kind people are rare treasures in our society. Kindness is just no longer a popular quality in a culture where arrogance and rudeness are celebrated. We don't place good manners at the top of our priority lists unless we're dealing with little children.

The kindness with which you treat people demonstrates to them that you are spiritual. A wise man once told me that people don't care what you know until they know that you care. So it's crucial that people know us as exceptionally kind people if we expect them to listen when we preach the gospel of The Kingdom. In this context, another word for kind is gracious. The same way God extends grace to you, He expects you to extend grace to others.

Meditate on Luke 6:27-36

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We Are God's Building (Complete Message)

Sermon Date - Sunday, February 9th, 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

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Patience

The Peace of God

THE FRUIT OF PATIENCE

Galatians 5:22-23(NLT) - But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Luke 8:15(NKJV) - But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.

According to Hebrews 6:12, the combination of faith and patience positions you to inherit the promises of God. However, while faith is gained from The Word of God and proven by actions, patience comes at a high cost. The Apostle Paul said in Romans 5:3 that tribulation works patience and The Apostle James said in James 1:3 that the trying of your faith works patience. Therefore, patience is one fruit of The Spirit that does not exist in a vacuum. It cannot be developed in your secret place or by reading and confessing the scriptures. It only grows under pressure. You have no idea how much patience you have until it is tested.

In the context of spiritual fruit, the Greek word used for patience is “hupomone” which can also be translated as cheerful or hopeful endurance, constancy and the ability to wait. Your spirituality can be measured by how steady you are in trials. As disaster stares you in the face, if you continue to believe and remain hopeful in God's deliverance, your patience has manifested. Patience is one fruit of The Spirit that we have to judge for ourselves because none of us knows what we will do until we are in the same situation. Continue to believe what God has already said to you in the middle of intense trials and allow the fruit of patience to develop in your life.

Meditate on Hebrews 6:11-12, Romans 5:1-5 and James 1:2-4

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The Peace of God

The Peace of God

Galatians 5:22-23(NLT) - But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

John 14:27-28(NKJV) - Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

When your peace is gone, the enemy has won. According to Hebrews 4:3, when we believe, we enter into a state of rest. Therefore, the enemy tries with all of his power to bring doubt into your life and rob you or your peace. If He could get you to stop believing what God's Word says your spirituality comes into question. People who are spiritual trust God. Even if you operate in spiritual gifts, when challenged, if you lose your peace, you are not spiritual. Nothing by the fruit of the Spirit can be used to measure spirituality.

Philippians 4:6-7(NKJV) - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Today, remember how important your peace is. Let nobody and I do mean nobody come into your life and take it away for any reason. It doesn't matter what they say or do, hold on to your peace for dear life. Sometimes, just for the sake of peace, you have to get away from certain people or situations if you have to. That's an acceptable response if your peace is under attack. The Holy Spirit will monitor your peace and guide your steps so that it can be maintained. Look out today for opportunities to test the strength of your peace. If you continue to believe what God's Word says about you, you'll continue to have peace.

4

The Joy Of The Lord

Galatians 5:22-23(NLT) - But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Nehemiah 8:10(NKJV) - Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

Anybody who walks around burdened and heavy all the time is not spiritual. Even if they claim to have a burden from The Lord and they're intercessors from heaven who are watchmen on the wall, they're not spiritual. The second Fruit of The Spirit is the joy of The Lord. Hence, no joy, no spirituality. Now let's get some balance. There is a time for everything according to Ecclesiastes 3 and when it's time to be penitent a spiritual person knows that. However, if joy is completely absent from a person's life the spiritual transformation that may have started is incomplete.

Jesus was anointed with The Holy Spirit who provided us with the garment of praise for The Spirit of Heaviness. Every time of weeping must come to an end and a period of joy must begin. It was never God's plan for mankind to live in anything less than His joy. According to Matthew 25:21, His eternal reward for faithfulness is entrance into The Joy of The Lord. In sum, ensure that nothing steals your joy from you today. People will know that you are spiritual by your joy in spite of challenging situations. Start developing this character trait today and watch it manifest in your life as the fruit of joy.

Meditate on Isaiah 61:3, Psalm 30:5, John 15:1-11 and John 16:19-24

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The Mystery of Divine Unity

The Mystery of Divine Unity

Today's blog is an excerpt from my book, The Mysterious Kingdom of Heaven.

John 17:20-23(NLT) - “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

Jesus prayed that all who believe in Him would be one, just as He and His Father are one. He then asked for all of us to experience the perfect unity He shared with His Father. Here is the problem. We think that means we have to all agree with each other. We think Jesus wanted us to agree on everything so we continue to frustrate ourselves in pursuit of this type of unity that continues to escape us. We think that if we talk things out among ourselves we can arrive at a consensus.

Maybe then, we can work together to represent Jesus on the earth. We really think we can do it so we’ll continue to try and continue to fail because we don’t understand what Jesus said. He didn’t expect us to negotiate with each other, compromise our standards, accommodate people’s opposing opinions or pretend to agree because that was not His definition of unity.

Yes, I agree that in Genesis 11, mankind was united during the construction of The Tower of Babel and God had to confound their languages to prevent them from accomplishing anything sinister. I agree that in Acts 2, on The Day of Pentecost, they were all in one accord in The Upper Room and received the promise of The Holy Spirit. Those are established facts that cannot be denied but there is something significant in these two illustrations that must not be overlooked. God destroyed the unity He observed in the Genesis 11 and embraced the unity in Acts 2. If unity among human beings was the goal, why were His responses so drastically different? Jesus didn’t want us to have unity among ourselves as a reflection of The Trinity. He wanted us to have unity with The Trinity. That is what He said in John 17:21-23.

He first defined His unity with The Father as them being in each other then He defined our unity as us being in them and He being in us. Nowhere, did He mention in His prayer a request for human unity. He knew that asking us to come together “as one” didn’t really make much sense because built into our humanity is a desire for independence. Even if we tried, we couldn’t do it. So He came up with the master plan that would revolutionize the concept of unity. Even though it is also His desire for this unity to manifest in our earthly relationships, nothing happens until each person is first unified with God. Therefore, first things must be placed first.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20(NLT) - Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

Now that I’ve laid the foundation, I can share with you what I introduced at the beginning of this chapter. The Holy Spirit exploded into my spirit His desire to be one with me. He didn’t want us to be separate. He didn’t want me to follow Him around. Even though it may sound pious, He didn’t want to direct me by signs on the outside. He wanted us to get so close to each other that I could no longer tell where I ended and He began. He wanted us to have the type of unity that Jesus prayed for His disciples and all those who would ever believe in Him. He wanted me to be in Him the same way He was in me. That’s the unity that would enable me to operate like Jesus because it would no longer be me performing miracles, it would be Him performing them through me.

Therefore, any attempt to imitate the unity of The Trinity among humanity is a complete waste of time. If God really wanted humans to unite with each other we would have been able to do it already. The Western Church has more denominations and divisions than many pagan religions. We can’t seem to agree on anything except the basics of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We argue about the age of the earth, the gifts of The Spirit, pre-destination versus free will, etc. The Church in the East may be a little better but also have their issues. Even under intense persecution, the Chinese house churches eventually started splitting among doctrinal lines. Therefore, I can comfortably state that if we continue our traditional approach to unity, Jesus Christ will return and we’ll still be divided.

Decoding the Mystery of Divine Unity

Colossians 3:1-4(NLT) - Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

If you are a Christian, your real life does not exist apart from Christ. Therefore, if your life contains anything that is not in Christ, it’s not real. As a Christian, you have not been living unless you’ve been living in Christ. He is your life! This declaration from The Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:1-4 should completely change your approach to this short period called “time.” In fact, this is the attitude that The Holy Spirit desires of us all as we accept the call of Jesus to Divine Unity.

We must become one with The Head before we can become one with the rest of The Body of Christ. If we desire to “keep it real” then our reality must be heavenly. Our existence as individual human beings separated from God came to an abrupt end when we died to this life and accepted the real life offered by Christ. Hence, Divine Unity is actually the only option available within true Christianity. When this is understood the concept of being “heavenly minded” enters a new dimension.

Acts 17:24-28(NLT) - “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

Real Christian life has no separation from God. In Him we live and move and exist! What a marvelous pronouncement of faith! God is not standing afar off leading us from the outside. He is no longer limited to a cloud, pillar of fire, The Ark of the Covenant or The Holiest of Holies in the temple. When He moves we move with Him. When He stops, we stop. It’s unnecessary for us to do anything for God. It’s worthless trying to work for God in our own strength. There is nothing we can offer Him that compares to His worth! However, He considers us worthy to be His expression on the earth. He wants us to desire Him so much that we offer our bodies for His use.

In Matthew 22:36-38, Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love The Lord with all of our hearts, souls and minds. He then stated in John 14:15 that if we love Him we will obey His commandments. When we make our lives all about Him, we’re proving our love for Him. He must dominate our thoughts and desires so much that no space is left for sin. David said in Psalm 119:11 that hiding the Word of God in our hearts enables us to manifest victory over sin. Isn’t that remarkable? The more we fill ourselves with God the less we’ll fall short of His lofty standards for our lives.

Romans 12:1-2(NLT) - And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

The Apostle Paul says in the King James Version of this scripture that giving God our bodies as a living sacrifice is our reasonable service. If giving God everything is reasonable what can we possibly do to impress Him? Once again, this is the Divine Unity that Jesus shared with The Father and desired for us all. This is one sacrifice we know God will accept. There is no need for you to wonder because God will accept you as you are. Paul confirms this position with the following quote from 2 Corinthians 5:16-17, “So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

In Romans 12:1-2, you can discover the elusive secret to clarifying the ambiguity of God’s Will for your life. You start by offering your body to Him as a form of worship. The next step is ensuring that you live by God’s Word instead of copying the behavior and customs of the world. Lastly, you have to let God transform your mind with His Word. The Book of John starts with, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” For this reason, if you want God to change your mindset, the light of His Word can do it. The scriptures are alive and can revitalize anything that is dead. Jesus said in John 6:63 that the spirit brings life and the words He speaks are spirit and they are life. Therefore, The Word of God is the perfect remedy for the shortcomings of all humanity.

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