Make no mistakes about it, the Lord our God authored the Bible exclusively. The Bible which is the Word and will of God was not written to Americans. Americans did not exist when the Bible was being penned. It was written to the Jews and it addressed their traditions and God’s will. In order for us Yankees to understand the Word of God we must often times view it from the Jewish perspective.
1Corinthians 12:11 All the gifts work by the same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.
If we read this Scripture using our definition for words we will conclude that spirit-filled Christians can only be used in three gifts. But the Word “severally” in the Greek language does not mean three, it means his own. So the Holy Spirit imparts all the gifts to each man according to what he needs to fulfill the will of God. Many Christians have allowed themselves to be misled because they did not rightly divide the Word of God.
Deuteronomy 28:27 The Lord will smite you with the botch of Egypt, and with the scab and the itch where you can’t be healed.
Robert Young wrote a Hebrew and Greek concordance, his books are accepted by all major institutions as the most accurate. In his book he reveals that the Hebrew language had a permissive verb. In light of this, it should read this way: I will permit these diseases to come on you, so God permits things but He does not commission them. You could leave your church today and go rob a convenience store. God would permit you but He would not commission you. Furthermore, the Hebrew and Greek language does not use punctuation marks. When King James ordered the original Bible books to be recorded in English, the translators put in punctuation marks at their discretion. They also added words to help the translation to make sense. All the words they added are italicized. We can leave them or remove them at our discretion.
Isaiah 59:19 When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.
This Scripture is an example of the translators adding punctuation marks to a text that originally never had any. They put the comma in the wrong place and it made it appear that the enemy will come in like a flood. They should have put the comma after the word “in”. Thus, it should read like this: like a flood the Spirit of God shall overcome him. God always has a place of supreme prominence in the Bible despite the errors of the translators. If you read the Jewish translations of the Bible you will have a more accurate account.
Luke 4:4 Jesus said: It is written that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God.
If we must live by His Word, then it’s His responsibility to give us this Word. I totally believe He did. He has given us the Word of life. If there is any error in the Bible we are not accountable for it and God must honor it. I believe He said what He meant and meant what He said. If you’re going to misunderstand the Bible you will need to get help.
The Holy Ghost is far more than a Spirit that dwells in the hearts of believers. He has been sent for a specific purpose that most Christians never comprehend. Jesus said it was important for Him to go away so the Holy Spirit could come to us and take His place.
John 16:13 When the Holy Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth, for whatsoever He hears, that shall He speak.
The Holy Ghost has a voice and He can speak to us but that is not His only way to communicate. When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives we can on occasion “feel” Him. I am not saying that the Holy Spirit is a feeling, I am saying that you can “feel” Him as a means of Him attempting to lead us. The Bible calls it the “inward witness”, much more reliable than any natural feeling we could have. Getting to know and understand the Holy Ghost is like getting to know your best friend. You know what makes your friend happy and what makes them sad, you can “feel” their emotions.
1John 5:10 He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in Himself.
Jesus went to hell and back in order to cleanse us of all of our sins. The Holy Spirit does not indwell sinners. He will speak to them on occasion but His purpose is to draw them into the Kingdom. As we work our way through life the Holy Spirit endeavors to keep us on the straight and narrow path. You will not always hear His voice but you can always “hear” His “feelings”. In the natural you know what it is like to feel good or feel bad. In the spirit you can feel the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can be grieved and He can be full of joy. He can express “feelings” of everything between these two. No matter how strongly you “feel” the Holy Ghost, you can choose to ignore Him or obey Him.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
As you live as a Christian and you seek to please God, you will live in a constant state of peace. The peace of God is not the absence of problems, it’s the presence of the Lord. His peace is not an overwhelming force, in fact you become scarcely aware of it. That is until something tries to hinder it and then you must do whatever is necessary to protect that peace. If something is not good for you the Holy Spirit will “feel” it and pass it on to you for your consideration. If it doesn’t “feel” right you don’t want to embrace it, you want to abstain from it. The Holy Spirit will not make you do anything. You can graciously accept His ministry or you can oppose Him.
If God sends His Spirit to lead you and you won’t accept His gift, He won’t call you His son. A son wants to please his father, he trusts in the wisdom of his father. A good father won’t tell you what you want to hear but rather what you need to hear. We must commit to yield to what the Spirit gives witness to us about and just let God bless us. Yielding to the witness of the Holy Spirit needs to become our lifestyle. He knows what is good for us and what is not. He knows what we should buy and what to say no to. God has sent His Spirit so we could have a discerning heart to know right from wrong.
As we read through our holy Bible we become aware that the Lord loves to bless and reward His people. Perhaps it is our heavenly Father that has influenced us fathers with the desire to bless our obedient children. Many of God’s children do not receive very many blessings, some have none at all. Does this mean God is selective? Does He reward only His favorites?
Hebrews 11:6 Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
God does not bless someone just because they call themselves a Christian. He rewards those who live like one. I never set out to obey God in order to get blessings off of Him. I live to please my heavenly Father because I’m eternally grateful that He saved me. When He wants to bless me, I have no problem accepting whatever He offers. I would serve Him even if there were no rewards in this life. Just because a Christian speaks highly of the Lord, that means very little. The key that opens the door to the treasury of His blessings is diligence. The diligent believer will put God’s needs before his own. He will do whatever the Lord asks him to do. This is the soul that will be blessed.
Psalms 115:13-14 He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great. The Lord will increase you more and more.
God puts no limits on His blessings. He will bless the man who has little and the man who has much. The determining factor is reverence. He will bless those who demonstrate their faith with acts of obedience. This whole process begins with one simple question: where would I be without God? The obvious response is: on my way to hell! But don’t stop there, assess your life now and where you will be spending eternity. If you’re honest with God and yourself, you will develop an attitude of gratitude. Man’s greatest mistake is thinking more of himself than the One who gave him life and the ability to think.
Mathew 5:19 Whoever breaks the least commandment and shall teach others to do the same will be called the least in heaven: but whoever shall do and teach them, they shall be called great in heaven.
People who compromise God’s Word in this life will be known throughout eternity as compromisers. People who love God and His Word will be known throughout eternity as great and diligent. We don’t give much thought to our time and place in heaven, but when we’re there everyone will know how serious our relationship with the Lord was. No one will regret being in heaven and everyone will share all the blessing, however some will wish they would have been more diligent. God is so eager to bless His children. Now His children need to be just as eager to obey Him and diligently seek Him daily. How can anyone neglect to honor and worship the One who gave them eternal life? Perhaps they have never met their Savior? Be grateful and go out of your way to offer thanksgiving. God is waiting to reward your affection.
2Corinthians 6:14 What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness?
The natural man, one who has yet to accept Jesus as his Lord, is unable to have any kind of meaningful relationship with the Lord. If they think they are communing with God it’s all fabricated in their mind. The word communion in our text means to communicate, well the righteous has no ear for the unrighteous. But you are the righteousness of God on account of the new birth and God’s ears and heart are open to you 24/7. Let me give you a personal revelation. God loves to fellowship with you. He loves to hear your voice directed to Him.
John 14:23 And Jesus said,If a man love me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and we will come to Him and make our abode with Him.
If Jesus and His Father comes to live in your heart, don’t you think it would be rude to ignore Him? Why would almighty God want to live in the inner most being of a man? Because the man touched the heart of his Lord with his obedience. Obedience is a welcome mat to the Lord, it indicates a willingness to advance the relationship. When God sent the angel Gabriel to ask Mary to give birth to His Son Jesus, the angel began the conversation with a type of introduction.
Luke 1:29 When Mary saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
The only time God gave me a salutation or a formal greeting was when He came that day to make His abode in me. From that day He has never left me or forsaken me. He has not always approved of my behavior but He has never left me alone. So when it’s time for a conversation with the Lord, He just starts talking. He has never called me Jerry, He always calls me son. Sometimes He just begins to speak and it takes me a while to recognize His voice because I am not paying attention.
God has a very unique way of communicating. He says very little but you receive much. He does not waste words and He always gives you something to ponder. One word from God can change your life forever.
John 6:63 It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.
We cannot compare the words of man with the words of Jesus. The flesh or the words of man profit nothing. The words of God have the power to raise the dead. The words of man cannot raise the dead but the they can kill another man. We are taken by the words of our mouth, we will have what we say. If we will speak the words of life given to us by Jesus, we can put off the words of man that have no life. As mere flesh and blood, we tend to “shoot the bull”. Shooting the bull is a term that describes a conversation between two men that has no value. God never shoots the bull, all of His words are aimed at giving life or enhancing the life one already has.
Hey God, what’s up?
Every born again believer has an assignment from God, the Bible calls it a course. Not every Christian is on the course God has ordained for them. If a believer does not make Jesus the Lord of their lives, then they will not find the course God intends for them to be on.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
The priority for staying on one’s course is to keep the faith. This means you make God’s Word the final authority over your entire life. I just wonder how many Christians live and die and never set foot on the course God had planned for them. I know I’m on my course and I also know I was late getting on it. Paul said he had to fight a good fight in order to remain on his course. Evidently the devil is not content to just let us please our Lord. Now we know we don’t wrestle with flesh and blood, so people are not the real problem. The real problem is us. Because we have been empowered to prosper we make our decisions, not the devil.
Psalm 16:11 In thy presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures
When you set yourself on the course God has for you, you will live in a constant state of joy. No matter how hard the way becomes, the joy of the Lord is present to strengthen you. It will not always be easy walking on His course but it will always be rewarding. Not everyone is an apostle like Paul was. You don’t need to be a part of the five fold ministry in order to have a course. Most of the people that God puts on a course are assigned to the office of “helps”. This is a very important calling, a lot of ministries cannot fulfill their calling without the helps ministries.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace , whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts You.
If we are going to successfully walk out and finish our course, God must be in the forefront of our thoughts. He must be a factor in every decision we make. If you trust Him, you will not hesitate to consider His ways. I once heard someone say that God can run your life better than you can. I didn’t believe it the first time I heard it, but faith cometh by hearing. I have heard enough of God’s Word to know I can trust Him with my life. Jesus didn’t save me and then take a leave of absence. He forgave all my sins in order to establish a relationship with me. I am never alone as I walk out my course. Jesus said He would never leave me or forsake me.
2 Timothy 4:6 I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
Paul knew he had done everything his Lord gave him to do, now it was reward time. I believe that if we keep our minds stayed on Him we will know the time of our departure. I knew several people who knew it was their time, they just laid down and quietly slipped away. Every saint of God who is on their course knows where it will end and that it is not a sad day. Paul had finished his course and he was so looking forward to his heavenly rewards. Not all of God’s people get the same reward, some will have the reward of heaven and that’s all. But there will be those who will be rewarded in heaven after they arrive. Find the course God has ordained for you. Get on it and stay on it until you finish it. You will never regret it.
Several dudes were praying that one day I would be saved, and some women were praying as well. After I was saved, I was mentored by a lady who was an ex-nun. We would make this woman teach us the Word of God for hours on end. Many times she would begin to teach us in the evening and not go home until the next morning. The dudes were not pleased with me that I was submitted to a woman teacher. I told my lady mentor what the dudes told me. She gave me a question: Jerry, what do you prefer to eat your cereal out of, a pink bowl or a blue bowl? I don’t care what people think of me, women are just as capable of teaching as men.
Acts 18:26 Apollos began to speak boldly in the synagogue: when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
Apollos was taught the Word of God by a man and his wife. I have been thoroughly criticized for letting women teach in the church and consenting to their ordination. Pastors have ostracized me for treating women as equals in the ministration. This is what Christians need to understand, it is not the anatomy of a person that qualifies them for ministry.
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.
If a man or woman is born again by the Spirit of God, their sexual identity is no longer an issue. It is the spirit in them that fulfils God’s will. Over the years there were men in the church that had no spiritual respect for women in a teaching position. I think they held to that old stupid cliché, women, keep them barefoot and pregnant! There are no second class citizens in the body of Christ, all the born again saints bear the image of the Father.
Mark 16:14 Jesus appeared to the eleven apostles and rebuked them with their unbelief and hardness of heart because they did not believe the woman who saw Him after He was risen.
Jesus chose to appear to women first after He arose from the dead. He had no problem entrusting the “girls” with the Gospel. If women are good enough for Jesus to use in ministry then we need to show them the same respect. Years ago several single women joined themselves to my church. They all came from a certain church in the city. The pastor of those women started a rumor that I had started a “harem”. The women were fleeing bondage and they came here because I honored them, respected them and loved them.
Men and women have strengths and weaknesses and when we work together we have maximum strength. I have yet things to learn that only a woman can teach me. I have things I can teach the ladies. Just because you know something no one else knows, that doesn’t make you the lead dog. None of us are yet perfect. I laugh at my weakness, I don’t let them control my life. I just sewed my own boat cover back together. If a woman looked at my needle work she would laugh and I would laugh with her. Tammy Baker once said “don’t take yourself so seriously”.
In the beginning God gave all dominion and authority to Adam. He gave Adam a name that was above all names. One day God rounded up all the animals and brought them to Adam so he could give them names. But when Adam obeyed the serpent he put all that he had under satan’s headship. He was no longer in the image of God so his name was severed from the dominion he once had. There was no name in the earth for four thousand years. Mankind was at the mercy of satan.
Hebrews 2:14-15 Jesus became flesh that through death, He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lives subject to bondage.
From Adam to Jesus men feared death because they didn’t know what would become of them. Religion exploited the minds of men, offering them a comfortable place in the “after life” if they would adhere to the tenets of the religion. Everyone who died went to hell, some in torment, some in the bosom of Abraham.
If a man’s religion is true, then a man in that religion could die and be raised to life.
If a man is raised from the dead, then everything he said was true. Jesus was a man with all the limitations of a man. He was the second Adam, a man born without sin. He was God’s Lamb. He would be offered for all the sins of all men forever. We talk about Jesus defeating the devil on the cross but that’s not real accurate. The devil was defeated when Jesus rose from the dead, He never sinned but was made to be sin. The devil lost the power of death when Jesus was raised from the dead. What He endured, He did for all mankind. The man Jesus defeated the devil so at the Name of Jesus the devil must submit to Him.
Mark 16:17 These signs shall follow them that believe; in My Name you will cast out devils and you shall take up serpents.
What are these serpents? Anything or anyone the devil uses to do his dirty work. If you believe Jesus died and rose again and confess this with your mouth, He has given you His Name. Now the roles are reversed. You were afraid of the devil, but now he is afraid of you. If you rightly discern the Word of God and practice it, you will make the devil homeless. If the Lord would have given power to our own name like He did Adam, we would lose it the first time we sinned. His Name will always have power because He will never sin. We can’t lose our dominion because it’s all in His Name.
Philippians 2:9 God has highly exalted Jesus and gave Him a Name above every name.
We should be using the Name of Jesus more than our own name. When it comes to spiritual authority, our name means nothing to the devil, he doesn’t even care about our connection to Christ. But when he hears that Name, he has no choice but to follow orders. I dearly love to keep that Name before the devil. Sometimes I command him to worship the Lord with me. If he gets a little too pesky, I remind him where he will spend eternity and where I will be. The Father has given us a Name, don’t neglect such a gift, use it every day and keep the devil out of your life.
There are a lot of things in this world that will never change until prayer is applied to them.
Prayer changes things
The sinner prays his way into the Kingdom of God. The food we eat is sanctified by prayer. Prayer is the line of communication between us and our Heavenly Father. We use our words to communicate with one another; we use God’s Words to communicate with Him.
Mathew 6:8 Your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him.
God knows what everyone of us needs, but we still must ask in prayer. A lot of people leave their well being totally up to God. When things go well, they thank Him and when things don’t go so well, they have a repertoire of reasons. The more of God’s Word you know, the more you have to ask Him for. If we don’t pray, then we become susceptible to the course of the world. Prayer will put us on the right course and prayer will keep us there.
1Timothy 2:1 I desire first of all that prayers and intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men.
Why does the Lord want us to pray for all men? There are two reasons. The first reason is God does not hear the prayers of the sinner. Someone must intercede for these temporary non-believers. An intercessor offers prayers on their behalf. They pray for what that person needs. Primarily it’s salvation, but it can also be for a healing. I asked the Lord one day what I should pray on behalf of some of these folks. His response: pray for the things you would want and need if you were in their place.
Galatians 4:19 My little children, I travail in birth (intercede) again until Christ be formed in you.
If the believers don’t pray, there will be no new births; travail is when an intercessor “feels” the weight of sin on a potential convert. Sheep beget sheep, the herd will not grow unless seed is sown. An intercessor is a selfless person, most of the people they pray for don’t even like them. Some sinners will convert and the intercessor will not ever be aware of it. A true intercessor is never moved by conversions or rejections, they are committed to pray.
James 5:16 Pray for one another that you may be healed.
What you pray for others will come back to you, this is why it’s so important we speak the Word of God praying. This is the second reason we pray for other folks besides ourselves. We are all called to be intercessors. The calling is not for just a select few. I have asked God many, many times to save a person. Then he would anoint and raise that person up to pray for their family. If you have family members who are yet to be saved, you should be praying for them. The rewards of the intercessor will be great in Heaven and they will be a memorial forever.
I don’t think most of us realize how simple our time of ministry truly is. Men and women went before us and plowed the ground we are now sowing in. The ground was hard because the “believers” did not eagerly grasp hold of their message. Men like Oral Roberts, Kenneth Hagin, TL Osborn, Kenneth Copeland and Smith Wigglesworth plowed the ground in preparation for the seed of faith. Unbelieving believers made the ground hard. They hated Oral Roberts, they did not want to believe he was working miracles.
But they persevered by the Holy Ghost because God knew some folks would receive their witness. They plowed and plowed, then they sowed the seeds of faith for God’s Word. We heard the Word, we accepted the seed, now we are a church that is re-sowing the harvest of the Word of God they sowed. God is confirming His Word, this is the harvest from the seeds the men of faith have sown. We are reaping from the ground they plowed and the seed they put in the ground.
Isaiah 28:24 Does the plowman plow all day to sow? Does he open and break the clods of his ground?
If the plowman does not break up the ground first and foremost it will not accept any seed. You cannot force seed into hard ground. You cannot give people what they need until they are convinced they need it. We are sowing the seeds of faith into the ground our fathers plowed for us some forty and fifty years ago. The harvest from those seeds are enabling us to plow more ground for the next generation should the Lord tarry. We are plowing the ground in preparation for the seeds of prosperity in hard ground because “religion” convinced the people that it is wrong to have wealth. People are so respectful of clergy they refuse to challenge what they are being taught.
Luke 9:62 And Jesus said, no man having put his hand to the plow, and looking back is fit for the Kingdom of God.
The plow and the plowing represents our future, not only for ourselves but for the believers who are seeking God. When we begin to plow, it can be hard going so we look back to where we came from when life was easier. Anybody can sow in ground someone plowed but it takes a committed believer to plow the ground for himself and others. Churches are carrying a lot of debt, they have become servants to the lender. God has called for the ground to be plowed and the seeds of prosperity to be sown. The ground is the hearts of the people and the seed is the Word of God. We have demonstrated that whosoever can have this revelation and all the blessings of the Kingdom.
1Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
When the Lord gave Paul the revelation that included the non-Jews, the devil sent a crowd of men to oppose and to hinder those revelations. Paul had to plow the ground before he could sow. God’s grace made him determined. There can be no manifestation until the seed is sown, God cannot bring increase until the seed is sown. When the revelation of prosperity is sown and harvested everyone will be blessed, the folks will prosper, the church will prosper, and the Word will prosper.
Pastor Jerry Lamping
Born and raised in Helena, MT, has been a Pastor for over 20 years.