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6

Ask Donnell - Who Did Jesus Say Would Be Cast Into Outer Darkness?

Ask Donnell - Who Did Jesus Say Would Be Cast Into Outer Darkness?

We received this question from Owen;

"In Matthew 8, what did Jesus mean by; 'The Children of the Kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness?' Who are the children of the Kingdom?"

Owen, this is a big question. We're going to have to work a little to find this answer so let's get to work. In the scriptures there are three distinct references to outer darkness and in each case, different people are being cast there.

Case 1 - The Children of the Kingdom

Matthew 8:10-12(KJV) - When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Case 2 - The Improperly Dressed Guest at the Wedding

Matthew 22:11-13(KJV) - And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Case 3 - The Unprofitable Servant

Matthew 25:28-30(KJV) - Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

So what exactly did Jesus mean by outer darkness? I think the first clue to finding the answer is the phrase that follows; "there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth". Just in case we're not sure where outer darkness is, Jesus made it clear that it's the place where you'll find weeping and gnashing of teeth. This leads to the next question; "Where do you find weeping and gnashing of teeth?" We know one place where we don't need to look. Heaven! According to Revelation 21, there is no crying in heaven. Nonetheless, let's see what The Bible says.

Matthew 13:41-42(KJV) - The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 13:49-50(KJV) - So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 24:48-51(KJV) - But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Luke 13:27-28(KJV) - But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

In Matthew 13:42 and 50, Jesus said that weeping and gnashing of teeth will be found in the furnace of fire. This obviously is a reference to hell which in Revelation 20:14 will eventually be thrown into the Lake of Fire. In Matthew 24:51, the evil servant will be cut to pieces and given the same portion as the hypocrites. So what is their portion? The Bible says in Job 27:8 that God will take away the soul of the hypocrite. Also, Luke 13:27-28 says that workers of iniquity will be weeping and gnashing their teeth when they are thrown out of God's Kingdom. Hence, those who are sent into outer darkness will lose their soul and be thrown out of God's Kingdom.

What does this all mean? Outer darkness is a reference to hell. It's the place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for eternity. It's what my Apostle in Atlanta calls "the smoking section". So when Jesus says that The Children of The Kingdom will be cast into outer darkness He means they will be cast into hell. Now let's understand exactly who he's referring to.

Matthew 8:10-12(KJV) - When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

In this passage, Jesus is comparing the faith of a foreign centurion to the faith of people in Israel. This foreigner had more faith than God's chosen people. When Jesus said that many would come from the east and west, and shall sit down in the kingdom while the children of the kingdom shall be cast into outer darkness He was continuing the same comparison. Those coming from the east and west are the foreigners and the children of the kingdom are God's chosen people. In other words, He was pointing out that several people of Israel would reject Him and end up in hell while outsiders (Gentiles) like the centurion would accept Him and end up in heaven.

John 1:10-13(NKJV) - He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Surprise! Surprise! 🙂 What Jesus said is exactly what happened. Many of the Jews rejected Jesus and in fact, some still reject Him. They are awaiting their Messiah, totally unaware that He came already. On the other hand, salvation was offered to the Gentiles and many of us accepted. That's how we reserved our spots in The Kingdom. We are part of the many who came from the east and west. We accepted Jesus so we are going to sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in heaven while some of the Children of The Kingdom (Jews) chose to reject Jesus and will spend eternity in hell. Until Jesus died, The Children of The Kingdom referred only to the Jews. The rest of us became a part of The Kingdom through Jesus.

6

Ask Donnell - How Do I Live Among Sin Yet Remain Pure?

Ask Donnell - How Do I Live Among Sin Yet Remain Pure?

We received the following question from Rosh;

"Living among sin but not being part of it.

Good night Donnell and Angel.
You are influenced and become what you see, hear and surround yourself with. Removing yourself from people, places and situations is possible but what if you cannot. I live where obscenity is a norm in my house. I too was part of it. Now that I am saved I try my best not to use it - but it's in the house. When upset it may initially not come out of my mouth but I say it in my mind but finally when I get really mad it comes out my mouth. What can I do to rid myself of it?"

Rosh, this is a valid question. Thanks for asking. The answer is not that straightforward because your situation isn't. Regardless, let's see what we can extract from The Word of God.

Option A - God Can Present The Opportunity To Move Somewhere Else

2 Peter 2:6-9(NLT) - Later, God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned them into heaps of ashes. He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people. But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him. Yes, Lot was a righteous man who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day. So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment.

If Lot were here today he would tell you that he knows exactly how you feel. The sin around him was tearing him up on the inside so much that it made him feel sick. God's response was very simple. He got Lot out of there. Even though Lot had to endure the wickedness for a while, God ensured that the experience was only temporary and eventually came to an end. Using this example as proof, The Apostle Peter said that The Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials. In this case, God's rescue plan is a complete exit from the situation.

Option B - God Can Present A Way Of Escape In The Midst Of Your Situation

1 Corinthians 10:12-14(NKJV) - Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

I always thought that when The Apostle Paul used the phrase; "a way of escape" he meant a way to physically get out of the situation completely. This is supported by the Greek word it is translated from, "ekbasis" which means "an egress, way out, exit". My assumption was that my awareness of a way of escape is what gives me the ability to bear my situation. However, as I was writing this response, The Holy Spirit opened my eyes to another dimension of understanding.

Think about this. Read the reason given in 1 Corinthians 10:14 for why the way of escape is created. It is not created so that you can exit the situation but so that you can bear it. If God creates a way of physical escape from the situation how is that giving you the ability to bear it? You don't need the ability to bear something if you can physically escape it and not experience it at all. Therefore, when you find yourself in a challenging situation if God chooses not to take you out of it completely, He reassures you in two ways. First, He guarantees that you have what it takes to handle it and second He gives you a way to escape it while you're still in the middle of it. How is that even possible? I'm glad you asked.

John 17:14-20(AMP) - I have given and delivered to them Your word (message) and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world [do not belong to the world], just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that You will take them out of the world, but that You will keep and protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world (worldly, belonging to the world), [just] as I am not of the world. Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth. Just as You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And so for their sake and on their behalf I sanctify (dedicate, consecrate) Myself, that they also may be sanctified (dedicated, consecrated, made holy) in the Truth. Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me through their word and teaching,

Based on this scripture, every single Christian on this earth is living in the middle of a sinful world. Therefore, from a big picture perspective, we are really all in the same situation. However, Jesus gave us His plan. It is very different to the plan of physical escape God had for Lot. Pay close attention to the prayer Jesus prayed. He asked God not to take us out of the world but to keep and protect us from the evil within it. Yup, that's what He said. Physical escape was not an option.

We have to stay in the middle of the world yet not let any of the world's evil get in the middle of us. How can we be kept from the evil in the world if we live in the middle of it? Four words... The Word of God! Jesus said that the truth of God's Word will purify, consecrate and separate us from the evil in the world. That's your answer! If Jesus could live in the middle of a sinful world and not sin even once, He knows what He's talking about.

Conclusion

God is sovereign. If He doesn't want you there anymore He will open the door for you to move. However, if God doesn't open the door for you to leave your situation then your way of escape is The Word of God. You should spend more time listening to God's Word than you do listening to the profanity being spoken around you. If you have your own room that's even better. You can fill your room with The Word of God through books, music, videos and The Internet. At the very least, you can control the atmosphere in your head whenever you have to be in the house by enjoying private time in your room with a pair of headphones.

Matthew 5:13-16(NKJV) - “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Sometimes we want to leave the world in darkness and go where there is only light. However, that's not always God's plan. If He puts you in the middle of the darkness you should shine right there for as long as you have to. The Word of God is your way of escape mentally, emotionally and spiritually when you cannot physically escape your situation. Use it and escape the evil around you. You can't control the physical environment in your house but you can control the environment in your heart.

For every profane word spoken around you, there should be two encouraging words from God's Word entering your heart. What you can't control, you can't control but what you can control, you should control. Control what you put into your heart whenever you can control it. Overcome evil with good. It's not an ideal situation but you can handle it. Pray that God transforms your family and volunteer yourself to be used by Him to do it.

Sanctify, purify, consecrate and separate yourself with the truth of God's Word on a consistent basis. Also, remember that faith without works is dead and you cannot only be a hearer of The Word but a doer also. Hence, let The Word of God be seen through your actions so that you can be a light in the darkness around you. Instead of joining in the profanity live out the holiness of God's Word right in the midst of it. God might be keeping you there just for that reason. Don't let them change you, let The Word of God in you change them. Impose The Kingdom of God on the Kingdom of darkness. Let them see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

12

Ask Donnell - What Is Iniquity?

Ask Donnell - What Is Iniquity?

We received the following question from Vanessa;

"Hi Donnell, what is iniquity? In exodus 20:5 God spoke about visiting iniquity of fathers upon third and fourth generations then He said in Num 23:21 that He did not see any in Jacob. He wiped his slate clean! Then He spoke about it in Job 4 those who plow iniquity shall reap it. Is it a curse? Is it habitually sinning without repentance? Is it sin that we try to cover up? Is it like the David and Bathsheba scandal which Nathan exposed? I'm looking forward to your response."

This is a deep question, Vanessa. I can only remember hearing one message ever preached on the topic. It came from my father close to two decades ago. Since then, whenever I hear the term, iniquity, it's generally assumed that we all know what it means. However, no assumption is safe when you're dealing with people. Therefore, it's good to settle any potential misunderstanding with a responsible analysis of the scriptures.

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

In this scripture, the Hebrew word translated into "iniquity" is "`avon" which means "perversity, depravity, iniquity, guilt or punishment of iniquity". It comes from the root word, "`avah" which means "to bend, twist, distort" and "to commit iniquity, do wrong, pervert".

Numbers 23:21(KJV) - He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.

Job 4:8(KJV) - Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.

In these scriptures, the Hebrew word translated into "iniquity" is " 'aven" which means "trouble, wickedness and sorrow".

Based on the definitions, it's clear to see that iniquity is more than just a reference to the action of sin but refers to a perverse mindset or a depraved mind. In other words, repeated sinful actions do not constitute iniquity but are the result of it. The actions of iniquity are merely the symptoms of thoughts rooted in wickedness. It is a mental stronghold that is not easily removed. When someone is caught up in iniquity, sin is established in that person's heart and has become a lifestyle. The word, "iniquity" also means the punishment that comes as a result of it. That's how iniquity can be inherited.

Also, the root word for iniquity, "`avah" gives a startling revelation. The root of iniquity is perversion. It's the act of bending, twisting and distorting the truth. That's what the devil did in The Garden of Eden when He fooled Eve into believing a lie in Genesis 3. He knew what God said and proceeded to bend, twist, distort and pervert it. Iniquity can only be established in the heart of someone if their understanding of truth is perverted. Why? Jesus said in John 8:32 that when you know the truth, it will make you free. However, if you bend, twist or distort the truth the "truth" you know is no longer the truth. It has become a lie which no longer has the power to bring freedom but has the opposite effect.

So what is iniquity? Is it a curse? Yes! The punishment for iniquity is also called iniquity. Is it habitually sinning without repentance? Kind of! Habitual sin is the result of it! Is it sin that we try to cover up? Kind of! It will definitely result in you wanting to cover up your sin. Is it like the David and Bathsheba scandal which Nathan exposed? A little! Initially, David tried to hide his sin but he repented the moment it was exposed.

Psalm 66:18(KJV) - If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Harboring iniquity shuts the door of your heart to the voice of God and the ears of God to your voice. That's serious. If there's iniquity in your heart it's a result of a lie that you have accepted. Even if you have access to the truth that doesn't mean anything. Twisting, bending or perverting the truth opens the door wide for iniquity.

How Do You Break The Hold Of Iniquity?

Accept the truth!

John 8:32(KJV) - And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

The truth can only make you free if you choose to accept it. When the prophet Nathan exposed King David's sin in 2 Samuel 12 he accepted the truth and repented. Instantly, the iniquity that was in his heart was broken. He still faced some punishment and it did visit his children. However, it eventually came to an end because Jesus is known as the Son of David. On the other hand, when the prophet Samuel exposed King Saul's sin in 1 Samuel 15, Saul would not accept the truth but continued to deny that he sinned. God took away Saul's throne from his family forever. Therefore, when you're caught up in iniquity and someone calls you out with the truth it's better to repent quickly. There's no way to win without repentance.

2 Corinthians 10:4-6(KJV) - (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Strongholds, imaginations, high things that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God and disobedient thoughts all refer to iniquity. The only weapon that destroys iniquity is The Word of God which is the best source of truth. Concerning this, Jesus said in John 17:17(KJV); "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."

Psalm 119:11(KJV) - Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Fill your heart with God's Word on a daily basis. Iniquity cannot stay when the truth of The Word of God is present in your heart.

Hebrews 4:12-13(KJV) - For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Nothing is hidden before God. Nothing can stand in the face of God's Word. Iniquity is nothing that The Word of God can't fix.

2

"The Body" Session 4 Highlights - Discover Your Gifts, Discover Your Purpose

Romans 11:29(AMP) - For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]

You are personally invited to join us in Atlanta (Vinings), GA for our exciting, new monthly bible study; "The Body". Our mission is to bring people into The Body of Christ, help them to discover where they fit and show them how to execute their purpose with a burning passion for Jesus! Join us every 2nd Saturday as we address Biblical steps toward discovering and executing The Will of God for your life.

If you're out of town, you're invited to join The Body Online where you will receive access to the same interactive information from anywhere in the world. By the time we're finished you will be well on your way to fulfilling your destiny. Contact us for more details and to RSVP.

0

Join The Body In Atlanta, GA: The Revolution Will Be Televised (Online)

Isaiah 43:19(KJV) - Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Last night at Coffee Shop Conversations we talked about being the tip of God's arrow or living on the cutting edge of what God is doing in the earth. We won't be satisfied with a reactionary lifestyle where we are always following what everyone else is doing. The best place to be is where God is and not where He was. What's God saying now? What's happening next? He speaks the end from the beginning so are we listening? It's time for us to be proactive on this earth. It's time to be the future.

You are personally invited to join us in Atlanta (Vinings), GA for our exciting, new monthly bible study; "The Body". Our mission is to bring people into The Body of Christ, help them to discover where they fit and show them how to execute their purpose with a burning passion for Jesus! Join us every 2nd Saturday as we address Biblical steps toward discovering and executing The Will of God for your life.

If you're out of town, you're invited to join The Body Online where you will receive access to the same interactive information from anywhere in the world. By the time we're finished you will be well on your way to fulfilling your destiny. Contact us for more details and to RSVP. Invite a friend.

Discover Your Purpose With The Body Bible Study!

Next Session - Saturday, September 14th, 2013

Atlanta, GA

6:00PM

2

Oneness With God

Oneness With God

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

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.

6

Faith Which Results in Promotion

Faith Which Results in Promotion

We just completed a whirlwind trip to Trinidad where we were able to experience new dimensions of God's goodness. Let's first give a big shout-out to Apostles Emanuel and Jemma Duncan of Divine Destiny Worship Centre for providing the platform for us to minister the gospel. Thanks to Sis Michelle and the youth ministry of David's Company for an amazing youth conference. Thanks to Sis Franceine and the Coffee Shop Conversations team for an excellent session. Thanks to the Police Academy for allowing us to address the upcoming graduating class of recruits.

Now Atlanta, it's your turn. Coffee Shop Conversations returns to Starbucks in Midtown this Thursday night and The Body Bible Study returns to Vinings on Saturday. If you want to join us let us know. Nonetheless, today's blog is an excerpt from my latest book, "Faith Science".

And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Hebrews 11:32–34 kjv (emphasis mine)

Let’s continue looking at case studies that support our hypothesis: biblical faith is “complete trust in the invisible evidence provided by the Word of God confirmed by commensurate action.” Near the end of the Hall of Faith, the Apostle Paul grouped several men together, including the prophets. He then listed their accomplishments. We’ve looked at each person whose name is mentioned on the list. In an effort to be thorough, let’s look at those men whose accomplishments were mentioned but their names were not. Among the names mentioned, we have studied faith that subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, and obtained promises.

Now let’s deal with the faith of the prophet that stopped the mouths of lions. This speaks of none other than the outstanding faith of the Prophet Daniel. His recorded visions are some of the most detailed concerning the end times, and as history proceeds, they will increase in importance. All the same, before we get too deep in his life, let’s build a foundation first.

Daniel: Faith to Pass the Food Test

Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego. But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Daniel 1:3–8 nkjv

The food test is common in God’s kingdom. Adam and Eve failed the food test in the garden of Eden. Jesus passed the food test in the wilderness after a forty-day fast. Let’s take a look at how this one was conducted. Daniel was the chosen of the chosen. After the Babylonians had taken over Judah, he was one of the outstanding young men who were handpicked to serve the king. In contrast to the rest of their people, they were the elite. Not only were they royalty in their own kingdom, but they were placed among royalty in the kingdom that captured them.

Hence, they could easily have developed a sense of complacency toward the things of the Lord. Except for Daniel and his three friends, that’s exactly what happened. Most of them succumbed to the pressure of their new environment. How many of us do the same thing in our own lives? Instead of maintaining the standard of God, we conform ourselves to fit into a certain social circle. We try so hard to be socially acceptable that we gladly do what we know contradicts the Word of God.

It’s that attitude which causes those who are chosen by God to fade into the background. A desire to blend in or stick with the status quo limits the impact of many Christian people. Daniel separated himself by maintaining his faith in God and refusing to compromise his standards. As a result, God chose him out of his peers for a special role in history that spanned several kingdoms and generations. Long before Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den and saw God shut their mouths he was in preparation. Like the lion and bear that David slew before he ever heard of Goliath, Daniel grew with each test. Even though great emphasis should be placed on his victory in the lion’s den, there is much more we can learn from his preparation.

Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.” So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days. And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.
Daniel 1:9–16 nkjv

In direct response to Daniel’s decision to maintain his integrity, God gave him favor with his superior. What an important lesson for all of us! One of my favorite pastors has the following saying: “You will lose anything you compromise to keep.” If you are willing to drop your godly standards to gain something he doesn’t want you to have, you will eventually lose what you gained. In contrast, the Scriptures say, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires,” (Psalms 37:4 nlt).

While other young men tried to fit in by doing just what they were ordered, Daniel obeyed God and stood out for all the right reasons. The Bible says, “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another,” (Psalm 75:6–7 kjv). It also says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him,” (2 Chronicles 16:9 kjv). God judges based on the content of our hearts, so when it’s time for promotion the people with integrity will rise. Let’s examine the first physical miracle recorded in Daniel’s life.

By the wisdom of God, Daniel and his friends made an offer that could not be refused. Instead of expecting the eunuchs to accept their position based on moral grounds, they chose to put their faith into action for a physical manifestation. Their choice to believe in God’s Word was not based on physical evidence but only on faith. In fact, Jesus said, “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed,” ( John 20:29 kjv). On the other hand, when dealing with someone carnal, they understood the need to provide tangible evidence.

We should learn from their example. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.
1 Corinthians 2:14 nlt

Sometimes people need to see that God’s way is the best because even though we believe what we cannot see, they don’t. What happened with those young men was nothing short of a miracle. In only ten days, from a biological perspective, a diet of vegetables and water won’t have such dramatic effects on your appearance. Yet, when done in obedience to a word from the Lord, nothing is impossible. The lesson learned from Daniel and his friends passing the food test is that faith in God’s invisible Word can visibly affect your physical body.

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Pride: A Major Obstacle To Your Miracle

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

2 Kings 5:9-14 - So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

Naaman’s pride owing to his position in Syrian society almost cost him his healing. At first, he would not accept directives that were below his standard. Why would Elijah send him to a dirty river when there were nicer rivers available? That’s one of the greatest deceptions of the enemy. Some people really think that God considers their positions in society when He delivers instructions. God doesn’t care who you are, He just expects you to obey Him. He is no respecter of persons and will do as He pleases. Pride cost Satan His place in heaven and can cost any Christian a place in God’s Kingdom.

Naaman’s deliverance from leprosy could have been attributed to his humble servants. His wife’s maid opened the door by first mentioning the healing ability of the prophet in 2 Kings 5:1. His personal servants kept the door opened by reasoning with him when his pride took control. He thought that he knew how God worked through his prophet but he had no idea. In the Kingdom of God, individuals considered great by the world might find themselves at the bottom of the ladder.

Matt 18:1-4 - At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

God respects humility more than any earthly accolade or accomplishment. That’s why the most successful Christian assemblies are those where people of different classes in society serve God side by side. Whenever societal status causes separation in the Body of Christ, miracles evaporate. It’s impossible for God to function correctly in an environment sullied by pride.

Once again, the illustration of the little child clearly depicts the attitude that works in God’s Kingdom. Little children are supposed to follow the directions of their parents without question. In an old fashioned family the kids do what they are told. Modern society has corrupted that system and now there are children ruling their households from a very young age. Well, that won’t work with God.

You can either humble yourself or you will be humbled. Sometimes God doesn’t need to do anything but just His inactivity in the life of a proud Christian will bring him to his knees. If you think you know better than God then you don’t need Him to do anything for you. If you think you are above God’s instructions then you don’t need a miracle because you’re powerful enough to take care of yourself. That’s a major problem with people in the Western Church. They defeat themselves with the pride of life.

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The Body Bible Study (09.14.13) - See The Future

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.

You are personally invited to join us in Atlanta (Vinings), GA for our exciting, new monthly bible study; "The Body". Our mission is to bring people into The Body of Christ, help them to discover where they fit and show them how to execute their purpose with a burning passion for Jesus! Join us every 2nd Saturday as we address Biblical steps toward discovering and executing The Will of God for your life.

If you're out of town, you're invited to join The Body Online where you will receive access to the same interactive information from anywhere in the world. By the time we're finished you will be well on your way to fulfilling your destiny. Contact us for more details and to RSVP. Invite a friend.

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The Future Of Prophecy

The Future Of Prophecy

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

Numbers 11:24-29 - And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle. And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD'S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!

This scripture reference sets the stage for the future of prophecy. The Holy Spirit came upon seventy men around the tabernacle with Moses and they all prophesied. The time had come for more than just Moses to be anointed with the gift of prophecy. If we want to learn anything from this, we should learn that one exclusive prophet is not God’s best. We should also learn that God will put His Spirit of prophecy upon anyone He feels like and prophets don't have to be isolated as an exclusive group.

I agree that there should be one main pastor in a given assembly. I also agree that there are several people chosen to be evangelists. Also, the gift of teaching is exclusive to those chosen by God and an apostle is one that is sent by God as an ambassador of the Gospel. However, everyone in Christ has access to the prophetic anointing. We may not all operate in the Office of the Prophet or even profess to possess the gift of prophecy, but we should all endeavor to speak under inspiration by God.

A Christian should never stand up in a public forum and speak his opinion on anything in the Kingdom of God. If God is not telling you what to say then you should respectfully turn down the opportunity to speak. We should all desire to only say what our Father wants said and let that suffice.

John 8:28 - Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

John 14:12 - 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.

We should all agree that Christians make up the Body of Christ. We should also agree that Jesus is our perfect example. Therefore, if Jesus did nothing on His own and only spoke words sanctioned by our Father in heaven, we should strive to do the same. In addition, He made it clear that the Holy Ghost within us enables us to do exactly what He did while on the earth and more. This promise is for all who believe so that means all Christians can be prophets just like Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:20 - Despise not prophesyings.

1 Corinthians 14:1 - Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

1 Corinthians 14:39 - Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul continued in the same vein as Moses and encouraged all Christians to prophesy. Therefore, those who deny the existence of prophecy or choose to criticize and demean prophets are opposing the plan of God for The Church. I don’t need to tell you God’s opinion concerning opposition to His plans but I recommend that you avoid it. If you didn’t understand prophecy before you read this chapter, I can’t blame you for your actions. However, things have just changed and you are now responsible for what you know. Romans 10:17 says that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

In sum, let this message increase your faith so that you can strive to reflect the image presented of your life in the Bible. We cannot live by man-made doctrines. We cannot live by concepts formulated in the brilliant minds of Biblical scholars who have no anointing. We only live by the Word of God. The prophetic anointing is available to you right now if you’re already a Christian. However, it will only manifest for those who believe. Be pliable in the Hands of God and despise not prophecy.

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