Adam invited the devil into our world and when evil came, death came with him. The devil turned Cain against Able. This was the first conflict of man and we have had too many wars to count. God ordained armies and soldiers in Israel and Judah, He helped them defeat the devil’s armies. God helped the United States defeat Germany and Japan, by raising up an intercessor by the name of Reese Howells. The Holy Spirit led Reese to pray during the war and our soldiers were victorious. Because evil lurks among us, we will continue to see wars until the devil is locked up in his pit forever.
John 15:13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
No soldier goes to war expecting to die but many do. The rest return home with wounds that you can see and some you cannot see. They are called wounded warriors and many of them have this testimony; they would return to the battlefield if they were able. Every soldier enters a war zone in fear but their duty to country and their brothers is replaced with guts. I knew a man who survived the Bataan Death March in the Philippines. The Japanese beat him relentlessly, they starved him and he contracted Malaria. He came home unable to hold a job, he became an alcoholic and died, a victim of his wounds. But despite his addiction he was a hero in our town, a title he rightfully earned.
Number 32:21-22 You will go before the Lord well armed and drive out the enemies before Him and afterward you shall return guiltless before the Lord and the land shall be your possession before the Lord.
Christians make good soldiers because they take the Lord into battle. Kenneth Copeland tells the story of the commander of a squad of Green Beret, he called Kenneth for prayer. Kenneth prayed for him and he went off to his tour of duty. The Commander returned home and called Kenneth to testify. He and his men had many skirmishes over the year they were in the field and not one casualty. Praise the Lord. Many soldiers return full of guilt but God says they will not be held in contempt. If God will not lay this charge to their account then they ought not to as well. A soldier does what he has to do whether he approves of it or not. God bless them.
2 Timothy 2:3 Therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
There are no civilians in God’s Army, every believer is called to fight God’s enemy. We are the best equipped army in the world, we have been issued God’s personal armor. We have the most powerful weapons, no enemy is a match for our equipping. We don’t shoot our wounded, we lay our hands on them and get them healed and restored. A soldier cannot adequately explain for you why he joins the armed forces, there is a courage within him that must be exploited. A soldier does not require understanding, what he does deserve is honor and respect. When you see a soldier, thank him or her for their sacrifice. Remember this, you are the one they were willing to lay their life down for. God bless soldiers.
When the Apostle Paul was on his missionary journey he met some interesting people. Some of them were significant and some made no difference. The encounters that he did have were recorded for our benefit and enlightenment. When he came to the coasts of Ephesus he met twelve men who were disciples of Christ. He asked them if they had received the Holy Ghost since they believed. They told Paul they had never heard of any Holy Ghost.
Acts 19:3-4 Paul said to them, what then were you baptized? They said it was John’s baptism. Paul said, John baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying they should believe on Him who is coming Christ Jesus.
So, these twelve men were baptized in water which means they had repented of their sins. This is an important event but it did not save them!. I grew up in a church that taught me that I could not be saved without water baptism. They also taught that I had to confess my sins to the pastor and then pray for punishment. Then I had to take “holy communion” in order to enter a state of grace. And then if I sinned I lost my place in heaven and I had to start the process over again. Let us progress along with these disciples and we will revisit “baptism”.
Acts 19:5 When the twelve men heard what Paul said they were baptized into the Name of the Lord Jesus.
To keep you from getting confused, let me point out to you what Paul said in the sixth chapter of Hebrews. In this letter Paul says he wants to teach the church about the doctrine of baptisms. So, baptism is not a one size fits all kind of deal. In fact, there are three baptisms we need to experience. So, when the twelve disciples were baptized in the Name of Jesus, they were born-again. Now they are progressing, they began with water baptism and now they are baptized into the Body of Christ, but Paul wasn’t done with them yet.
Acts 19:6 Then Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
Now in the space of some minutes the twelve disciples experienced all three baptisms, these are progressive Christians. I watch Christians receive a promise of God and they become satisfied and don’t seem to want any more. Part of the reason for this is that no one is telling them that they are entitled to more.
Acts 2:38 Repent, be baptized in the Name of Jesus for the remission of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
This is not water baptism, this is being born-again where all of our sins are washed away. This is our birthday and Father gives us a gift, He is the Holy Spirit. If we will permit Him, the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. The truth is what God has prepared for us to possess over the span of our life. The Progressive Christian.
When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed so earnestly that His sweat turned to blood. Jesus was born to this end, He was about to endure the worst death any man has ever experienced. He asked the Father if there was another way He could do this but His Father said “no”.
Luke 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him.
After the visitation of the angel Jesus appeared to have a certain strength, a resolve. I believe the angel was His personal angel and that He was sent to impart the anointing Jesus needed to endure the cross.
I don’t believe the man Jesus was capable of enduring the physical and spiritual horror he was about to yield to. He was anointed to taste death for all men, this is not to say He was spared any suffering. The Apostle Paul had this same anointing but he called it grace.
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 I besought the Lord three times to remove my thorn in the flesh. But every time I did the Lord would tell me that “My grace is sufficient for you.”
Paul was dealing with the same devil Jesus had to deal with. Paul was beaten with thirty-nine stripes five different times, Jesus was beaten once. They stoned Paul one day, they caved in his skull and killed him. His disciples prayed for him, he arose and the very next day he traveled to Derbe to hold a crusade. Man does not have this kind of fortitude within himself, the power to overcome such adversity must come from God Himself.
Psalm 28:8 The Lord is their strength, and He is the saving strength of His anointed.
When the Lord gives a man an assignment and the man accepts the mission, the man will be given a grace, a supernatural empowerment, to accomplish His will. Many of the Old Testament prophets had this grace. Several enemies of God tried to kill Elijah but they could not get past his anointing. God’s grace does not exempt us from hardship, on the contrary, it empowers us to endure the opposition. I can only imagine how frustrating this is for the devil, he tries so hard to scuttle God’s plans.
2 Corinthians 1:21 Now He which establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God.
As born-again children of God we all have assignments, as we accept God’s plan for our lives He anoints us to accomplish His will. The anointing empowers us to overcome adversity but the Lord warns us about suffering as an evildoer. There is no grace for those who willfully sin and disregard God and His will.
1 Timothy 4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in you . . .
When Paul wrote to Timothy he was having issues in the church at Ephesus, Paul reminded him about the gift God gave him. The Holy Spirit is that gift; He is our anointing, our grace, our empowerment. When things become too hard stir up the gift in you, He will anoint you to victory.
I have pondered this question over and over in my mind and spirit: Can a liberal be a Christian? In order to begin to answer this question we must define what a Christian is. A Christian is a little Christ, they actively display the fruits or attributes of Christ.
Jesus said, if you see Me you have seen the Father. Now we say this, if you have seen me you have seen the Son.
So, what are the beliefs or fruits of a liberal? They justify lies, they believe in same-sex marriage, they support abortion and they hate their political opponents. The doctrine of liberalism is not consistent with the teachings of Christ. Can a liberal identify as a Christian?
1 Corinthians 3:3 For you are yet carnal: for there is among you envying, strife and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men?
A carnal Christian is a Christian in name only, they cater more to their flesh than the Spirit. Because they don’t agree with the Lord, He does not bless them as He does the obedient. A liberal may call himself whatever he chooses, but God calls them carnal and only they can change their label through repentance.
Revelation 3:16 Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will spit you out of My mouth.
God does not answer every prayer, in fact, He ignores a lot of what we call “prayers”. One day His disciples came to Him and asked Him to teach them how to pray. I believe Jesus was impressed by their request because prayer is a matter of life and death for a believer.
Luke 11:2 And Jesus said, when you pray say, Our Father which art in heaven, Holy is Your Name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done as in heaven so in earth.
In order to pray effectively we need to know the Father’s will for us in the earth. How do we find out what His will is? His word is His will. As a young Catholic boy I would pray all the prayers listed in my catechism. I would say the rosary, the Our Father, the hail Mary, novenas and acts of contrition. Then whatever happened good or bad I laid it all on God. Needless to say, I had a very negative view of the Lord, it was impossible for me to please Him. God can only deal with prayers that are His will, He is not responsible for words prayed amiss!
Ephesians 6:17-18 And take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: praying …
Now remember what he taught the disciples, thy will be done in the earth. If it’s not His will He can do nothing but stand aside, His Word is His will. How can a Christian have an effective prayer life if they don’t know God’s will? Sometimes I will hear a person pray this: Dear Lord Jesus be with me today. This isn’t a prayer, it’s a request that is embalmed with doubt and unbelief! Jesus said that we must direct our prayers to the Father, not Him. Before He was taken up the last thing He said was this: I am with you always even unto the end of the world. No believer has any business asking Jesus to be with them unless they don’t believe Him!
Jeremiah 1:12 KJV Then the Lord said to me, I will hasten My Word to perform it.
Jeremiah 1:12 MSG I’m sticking with you, I’ll make every Word I give come true.
I don’t want to complicate this, God spoke it, had it recorded, we read it, we believe it, we confess it and He brings it to pass. One day Kenneth Copeland asked the Lord several times, what He did with all the doubt and unbelief His people were praying in. Finally, the Lord responded, He said what doubt and unbelief? He doesn’t hear it, He doesn’t hear anything. I like to cook and bake things using new recipes and sometimes it will call for one of my favorite ingredients so I will add more than what it calls for. I always end up ruining the finished product because I didn’t follow the instructions.
God’s Word is a recipe for salvation, peace and prosperity, we just need to follow the instructions. If we add something it doesn’t call for or omit something it does call for, we end up with an Ishmael. I wasted a lot of food and time because I didn’t follow the directions. Our prayers are a matter of life and death, we can’t afford to waste our supplies that were given to us to succeed.
No government is perfect and they all have laws that people will complain about. Has grumbling and complaining ever changed anything? Years ago we had a liberal president that I did not agree with and I was whining within myself. Evidently the Lord heard me because he told me to stop whining and start praying. He led me to the Scriptures that deal with intercession.
1 Timothy 2:2 Pray for all those that are in authority; that you may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
At the Lord’s instruction I began to pray and after awhile nothing changed. So, I asked the Lord how long it would take for my prayers to change my president, before I could lead a quiet and peaceable life. The Lord responded, I did not say you would lead a quiet and peaceable life when he changed, I said you would lead a quiet and peaceable life when you prayed. I believe a quiet and peaceable life comes when we obey the Lord.
Proverbs 21:1 The King’s (president’s) heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; He guides it wherever He pleases.
Perhaps the Lord influences a leader based on the intercession of the people. If the Christians don’t pray, God can do very little but when they do pray He can speak into the leaders life. We must trust what the Lord does with our leader because He doesn’t always do what we think He should do. We often become dissatisfied with our Lord because He acts like God and not like us. We have a tendency to want to pull God down to our level and strip Him of the attributes that make Him Almighty God.
Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked bear rule the people mourn.
Some leaders cause me to rejoice and some cause me to mourn, that’s Scriptural but the Scriptures also tell us to pray for our leaders whether they be good or evil. Some of our leaders had some bad intentions but I believe the prayers of the saints hindered their implementation. Perhaps our prayers stopped our leaders from doing a far worse job than what they did. Perhaps our prayers enabled our leaders to pass good laws that benefitted the people.
Proverbs 21:2 You may think that everything you do is right, but remember that the Lord judges your motives.
God has the final say in whatever we think and do, He determines whether it be right or wrong. If we speak and do His Word we will always be right with Him. Have you ever given God permission to correct you and keep you in line with His will? Jesus entered your life by invitation, He becomes the Lord of your life by invitation. Don’t just assume the Lord will intervene at His own volition, He needs an official invitation. This is when you will begin to hear His voice and know His thoughts. This is when your life becomes entwined with His.
As born-again Christians we are redeemed from the curse of the law and the law itself. Why did God give Moses the law knowing full well that it would justify no one? Without the law sinful man would have no reason to seek justification. Before the law was given, lying, cheating, robbery or murder were not sins! The law gave man a list of things that God labeled as sin.
Romans 7:7 I would not have known sin but by the law.
So under the law, men knew what was right and what was wrong. They also knew that the wages of sin was death. Israel made a mistake, they assumed that if they kept the law, they would be the righteous of God. What they didn't understand was that the law was giving them a reason to seek after God’s coming sacrifice. If the blood of bulls and goats could have made them righteous, then they would have needed only one sacrifice.
Galatians 2:16 A man is not justified by the faith of Jesus Christ.
The Jews were covenant people but they were carnal. They could not grasp the Spirit of their salvation. Their focus was on the works of the flesh, therefore, they could not accept Jesus as the final sacrifice under the Abrahamic covenant. They could not understand the statement of John the Baptist when he said, “Behold the Lamb of God.” When Jesus came preaching and teaching, His Gospel was not in Word only, but also in power. He backed up what He said with signs and wonders.
John 14:11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me or else believe Me for all the miracles you have seen.
Jesus left no doubt that He was Messiah, the Son of God. They knew they were sinners and they believed the law gave them redemption. They received Jesus as a fellow Jew that was under the same law they were under. How could someone under the law be any better than they were? They received Him as a prophet and that’s why He could perform miracles. But they were convinced that He got out of God’s will when He claimed to be one with the Father. So, they felt they were totally justified to kill Him. They had no idea they were fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah the Prophet.
1 Timothy 1:8 We know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully.
How does modern man use the law lawfully? He uses the law to know that he is a sinner which leads to death. Then he discovers that Christ is the end of the law, that the law directs every sinner to Jesus. He comes to realize that if he could save himself, there would be no need for Jesus. So, he confesses with his mouth and he believes in his heart that Jesus died for all his sins and was raised from the dead. He thanks God for the law because the law directed him to Jesus and now he is under grace. Thank God for the law that leads us to grace.
The world is treating God’s people like the Jews treated Jesus. It’s the same truth, the same spirit and the same hatred. Jesus touched the Jews’ sacred cow, the law, and they did not appreciate it. So, what is the modern day sacred cow of the world? Power! The world wants to redefine the term democracy, it’s not government of the people, it’s government that they are in charge of. Many in our nation are full of hatred, the people voted them out of power and they are angry.
Romans 13:1-2 Everyone must obey state authorities, because no authority exists without God’s permission. Whoever opposes the existing authority will bring judgement on himself.
Many citizens in our nation hate our president because he is not doing what they think he should do. He is a blessing to our nation but they don’t care, he has the power they think belongs to them. They don’t want America to be great again, they want to be great again. If you listen to their message they “fabricate” problems America has, and only they can fix it. Here is their platform: abortion must be available and paid for by the government, homosex must be protected, the rich must be taxed until they are no longer rich, America must be apologetic for its prosperity, free health care, free college tuition and a government based on liberal ideas, just to name a few.
The true Christians did not agree with the policies of President Obama, but they did not hate him, they prayed for him. If the world persists in its hatred of President Trump they will bring judgement upon themselves. If they think they got it rough now wait until their judgement comes. I don’t know what it is but they will blame President Trump I’m sure. They unwittingly are making things worse for themselves but they will never take responsibility for themselves. They are convinced they can defeat Mr. Trump by turning the American people against him. I believe they are underestimating the integrity of the people and the power of prayer.
A liberal cannot defeat a conservative in the arena of ideas.
The Jews could not resist the wisdom of Jesus, so they set out to discredit His character. The liberals cannot resist the common sense of the right so they attack the character of their opponent. Think it not strange that men today are doing what they did in the day of Christ. How can this be? The devil does not have any new tricks, he still uses the old tried and true things that work for him. These poor, ignorant fools have no idea they are pawns of the devil. Many will not realize who they were serving until the day they receive his punishment and then all hell will break loose.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 I exhort that first of all intercessions be made for all men: For kings and presidents, for all in authority.
If you hate our president and hate the job he’s doing, pray for him. If you like our president and like the job he’s doing, pray for him. Anybody can criticize a man, that does not require any kind of talent, but a man of integrity will pray for all those he’s concerned about.
As Christians we jeopardize our security when we wait for the devil to make his move before we take action. Did you know that we can start the battle before he does? The devil never minds his own business, he makes us his business and he comes to steal, kill and destroy. If he is not bothering you that means he is bothering a brother or sister somewhere else. I enjoy telling the devil what he cannot do. I love thwarting his plans before he can implement them. The Lord gave us dominion so we might as well use it.
Psalm 91:10 No evil will conquer you, no evil plague will come near your home.
If no evil plague can come near our homes, why wait until it does before we do something about it? The devil is bent on spreading the curse around the whole world, a man’s relationship with the Lord means nothing to him. The devil hates God and he hates you, he has nothing to lose. The devil does not deserve any sympathy whatsoever, he is destined for hell for all eternity. Adam let the devil into our world but Jesus spoiled his works. The devil has presented himself to the world as a man of power and ignorant men believed his lies. The devil is the founder of all fake news and he has a large office of employees!
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper. . . This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord.
The devil does fabricate weapons (plagues) but he does not have the power to make them effective. In order for the devil to launch a successful attack on people, he needs them to cooperate with his plan. He needs the target to agree with him, they must expect to be infected and speak it out. The devil is constantly urging us to say how we “feel”.
I told My people they could have what they say, but they have been saying what they have
People confess sickness into their lives because they don’t know any better and the devil does not want them to know any better. Jesus left but He sent the Holy Spirit to eradicate ignorance out from His body. And right on cue the devil found men who would inject his doctrine into the body of Christ. His doctrine was instrumental in seducing men away from the truth, consequently, most Christians speak more in line with the devil than as the sons of God.
Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is every one that hangs on a tree.
Many Christians do not know what all is included under the curse! The curse is listed in the book of Deuteronomy, it covers every sickness, every disease, poverty, lack, robbery and the destruction of families. There was no death in the earth until Adam released the curse. The curse ran unchecked until it was spoken over Jesus as He hung on the cross. The world had come to accept and live with the curse, despite Jesus redeeming all men. Brothers and sister we are not ignorant concerning the devices of the devil. We will not accept any sickness and we will not know any lack, we are redeemed.
By the time Jesus was born into the earth Israel had drifted far away from the covenant of Abraham. The word preached to Abraham was skewed by the Priests, the Scribes and the Pharisees. They had steadily added their doctrine to the Word and effectively watered down the Word and its power. Jesus came declaring the Word of the Prophets as given to Him by the Father. But Israel had slid so far to the left that His words were foreign to them, they could not understand Him.
John 8:43 Why do you not understand My speech? Even because you cannot hear (comprehend) My Word.
Jesus spoke the Word that was entrusted to Israel but they didn’t hear it because no one afore time ever taught it to them. The people had more faith in the Priests and Pharisees than they did Jesus despite the miracles He worked. Jesus spoke the Word but the people knew only the doctrine of men and they were wary of false prophets like Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus had compassion on the people because they were acting on the deception taught to them by their spiritual leaders. Jesus came preaching the truth because that’s all He was capable of speaking but the people were dull of hearing.
Mark 6:3 Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, Joses, Judah and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us? And they were offended at Him.
Just like their fathers before them they did the same thing, if you don’t agree with the message then attack the messenger. They never even considered what He said, all they knew was that Jesus didn’t fit their mold to be used of God. If the people didn’t believe them, then they made up tales in order to cement their case with fake news. Jesus had only one recourse, He went around the villages and consistently spoke the truth. The only thing that can deliver a man from the bondage of deception is the truth. Some will eventually come to grips with it but others will oppose it to the bitter end even when they know they are wrong.
Acts 7:52 Which of the Prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Messiah.
When the Messenger speaks something the people don’t agree with, they argue and oppose the message. If they cannot resist the wisdom of the messenger and they cannot offer legitimate opposing views, then they launch personal attacks against the messenger.
John 8:40 Now you seek to kill Me, a man that has told you the truth.
They knew Jesus was right and they knew they were wrong, but they were too full of pride to admit it. No problem, just kill the messenger and the problem goes away. But they had one major problem, God would raise up and send more messengers who spoke the same truth! The truth cannot be banished but liars cannot stand.
November 11, 2018
The cross is a symbol of sacrifice, It is a symbol of victory.
The cross reminds me of Jesus, He took my place on that tree.
He totally defeated the devil and then gave me the victory.
I don’t look at my problems,
I look at the cross of His love.
The curse was defeated on the tree, now I will have prosperity.
Weekly Prayer Focus
November 11, 2018
Veterans & Their Families
3. Prosperity (Spirit, Soul & Body)
5. Favor in all areas of their lives
6. Salvation for family members
7. Relationship with God grows stronger everyday