The world is in a state of chaos because so very many people have a reprobate mind. These folks have rejected the fundamental truth as presented by our Lord Jesus. They have no foundation on which to build their lives on, they are unable to judge and their conscience has been seared with a hot iron. The secular humanists believe that they are capable of self-righteousness without belief in God! The saddest part of these chaotic days is that Christians are forsaking God just like the Apostle Paul said they would. The devil is tickling the ears of the nominal believer with his doctrine that has been adopted by many churches. The committed Christian is observing all of these events and they “think” that surely this will hasten the return of Jesus.
Mathew 24:44 Be ready (willing): for in such an hour as you think not the Son of Man cometh.
It is obvious that the events of the day play a part in determining the day of our catching away. I personally don’t believe these current events are a green light for the return of Jesus, because folks “think” he is coming. Jesus said He would return when we do not “think” about Him coming. So, what would need to happen in order for us to not even consider His return at a specific time? The Bible gives us a clue to consider.
Ephesians 5:27 That Jesus might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.
At the risk of over simplifying this, let us conclude that a glorious church is a select group of people that have been entrusted with the glory of God. The glory of God is His manifest presence, His power and His goodness. Now, if Jesus was appearing in your midst and His glory was preforming signs and wonders, I don’t believe you would give much thought to His return. Based on the Scriptures I believe we will be “caught up” in the middle of the most glorious time the church has ever experienced. We will be so enamored with His manifest presence, we won’t even be thinking of His return. One does not think about heaven when they have heaven on earth and that is what Jesus taught His disciples to pray for.
1 Thessalonians 5:1 But of the times and the seasons brethren, you have no need that I write unto you.
The believers that lived in the day of Christ knew that Jesus would return, there was no question, no doubt. Paul referred to them as “times” and “seasons”, these are defined as being a short while. God’s idea of a short while is not the same as ours, He just wants us to know that it’s on His schedule. All moves of the Spirit are transitional, He takes men from glory to glory. God is not “religious”, He does not turn a move of His Spirit into a tradition. Perhaps this is why the Master ordains an outpouring to be temporal. The implementation of several denominations were based on a move of God many years ago. We don’t think about God when we are in His presence, I don’t know, you know.
It’s kind of difficult to imagine God almighty entering into a partnership with mere men. He needs us just as we need Him, like the head needs its body.
1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
So, Paul and Apollos were working with the Lord in a partnership, they sowed the Word and reinforced if again and again. But it was the power of God that made it grow and produce what it was intended to create. God is a Spirit, therefore He does not preach in the earth, He has partners that do that part. Men can plant and water, but only God can make their labor produce the increase, it is a partnership.
Partnership - two or more parties working together to accomplish a common goal.
Every partnership needs a leader, so who qualifies for the leadership position? The one with the vision! The vision is the blueprint, it is the assignment, the goal. In order for a partnership to be successful, the leader must communicate the vision so all the partners can run with it.
Mark 16:20 The believers went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the Word with signs and wonders.
The Lord God, creator of heaven and earth, needs folks who will go out to speak for Him, then He can demonstrate whatsoever He has spoken. We are instrumental in proving to the world that our God reigns. God is our exclusive leader, He has the vision, He wants all men to come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved. No partner should be ignorant of God’s will because often times the ignorant can be a hindrance. If a man does not know the will of his leader he cannot be a fruitful partner.
2 Corinthians 3:2 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.
An epistle is a written message. When a man receives the Word of God and the full affects of it, everyone knows who he represents. A believer who partners with his Lord does not live in the fashion of the heathen, he lives a separate life apart from the world. This man does not need to advertise his faith on a t-shirt, nor does he need to publish his faith on the internet. Folks ought to be able to watch this man and know that he is influenced by the Lord Jesus. His entire life reflects the glory of His Lord, they are the light of the world and Jesus is that light.
Heaven has factory reps, people who go around demonstrating the power of God. They demonstrate what God has done to and for them, they share their encounter and offer the same experience. These folks are called Christ-ians, often referred to as little Christs, little anointed ones. They act more like Christ than mortal men, they are connected to something greater than themselves and they prefer it. God offers partnership positions to all men, those who accept always get the better part of the deal. Men are blessed of the better but the better gets all the praise and glory. Brethren take your partnership very serious, it has great recompense of reward.
Jesus said that we could prosper in His promises if we could avoid being offended. The word offense comes from the Greek word skandalon which means trap stick or stumbling block. Hunters in this particular region use a technique to catch primates. I don’t know what they do with these monkeys and it’s not the issue, the point is they are captured. The hunters will hollow out an oblong hole in a large stone. Then they will put a stick, a skandalon, in the hole. A monkey is a curious creature and they will reach in and grab the stick but they can’t remove it. They have too much pride to let go of the trap stick and so they are taken into captivity.
Jesus gave us this illustration so we could be wiser than the primates. The devil is the hunter and he puts out sticks, worthless sticks all the time and our curiosity leads us to take hold of them. We can be too prideful to drop the stupid stick and he takes us captive. The Lord says an offense has the same value as a stick and we won’t let go of it. So how do we get ourselves free?
John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Often times we struggle with the truth because we must admit we were wrong. Taking responsibility for our lives is like letting go of a stupid stick, something you really don’t need.
Far too many folks are looking over their shoulder at their past, as if they could go back and change things. The Lord spoke something years ago, “if you live in the past you will have no future”. So, we have a past and we have a future, but what about the present? We are to live in the present in such a way that we have a good future. This incident is based on God’s Holy Word, “we reap tomorrow what we sow today”. If your future means nothing to you, you will sow any ole thing. Tomorrow never dies, it will come whether you want it or not, whether you’re prepared or not tomorrow is coming.
Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers, I don’t know everything, but I do this one thing, I forget the past and reach for all the things in my future. I stretch towards the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Everything in our past can become an anchor that holds us at a standstill, even the good things we have had. I knew a lady that had a supernatural encounter with the Lord, it’s all she talked about for years. Does God limit us with manifestations of His glory? No, we limit ourselves when we don’t know Him as we ought to. I realize every day will not be sound and perfect but God’s goodness can be seen every day. The devil tries to obscure our vision by flooding us with programs, but a wise man can see through all of it. We can see everything but what do you choose to focus on? When I was a young boy my family went through Yellowstone park, we stopped at the cliffs that stand high over the Yellowstone river, everyone is pointing to the raw beauty. But my brother and I were mesmerized by a spider in its web, we were too immature to see what we should have seen.
Luke 10:23 And Jesus said to His disciples, blessed are the eyes that see the things that you see.
God is the Word and the Word became flesh and revealed Himself to all men, but few could see Him as He was. God published a book documenting everything any man needs to know about God, despite all this information most men are ignorant of the one they need more than any. Their minds are adrift in the waters of uncertainty struggling to find their identity. Jesus openly displayed the Father to them and they couldn’t see Him, no man can have a worthwhile future without the Lord Jesus. Because of the faith that comes from hearing the Word, we are blessed because we see what the disciples see.
Ephesians 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your understanding be enlightened, that you may know the hope of His calling, and the riches of your inheritance in Him.
If Paul prayed for the church to have this revelation then God has been offering this light to whosoever will take it! Every day of the world we ought to be looking to receive something from the Lord, it’s our heritage after all. Because of what the Lord spoke to me today, I look forward to tomorrow.
Psalms 68:19 Bless the Lord who daily loads us with benefits.
Today, I have benefits, tomorrow I will have benefits, because tomorrow never dies.
The devil is a trapper, he sets traps for his prey, which are people. I know a lot of people who as children grew up in church, but they have been kid-napped by the devil. The devil caught them and used the bait of the world to entice them away from their Father. So, some folks live freely in this world and some are taken captive of the devil. How does one maintain their freedom?
Galatians 5:16, 18 This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. If you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the law.
So, how does one walk in the Spirit? How are we led of the Spirit? Jesus said, “My Words are Spirit”. So, be led of the Spirit, we must be willing to do what He says to do. We begin by doing the written Word recorded in our Bibles. As we grow and advance, the Lord will speak to us a personal Word, custom made to fit our situation. Whatever He speaks to us can be substantiated in His recorded Word, so there can be no doubt of its authenticity.
The law was a book of rules, a lot of do’s and don’ts, it made no provision for the Spirit. So, when you choose to be led of the Spirit you transition from flesh to Spirit. You are no longer bound to the limits of the natural man, you become a supernatural being. When a person is led by the Holy Spirit of God they drive the devil crazy because he cannot figure out their next move. The devil can easily snare a creature of habit, but a man who receives instructions from the Lord is totally unpredictable.
2 Kings 6:9 Elisha sent word to the king of Israel, warning him not to go near a certain place, because the Syrians were waiting in ambush there.
The devil is always plotting an ambush against God’s people, but the Holy Spirit always has an alternative plan. We must constantly choose between making our own way or being led by God’s Holy Spirit. We cannot see where God sees but He can clearly see what the devil is plotting against us. Sometimes God will lead us right into the valley of death and He will empower us to come out unscathed. Other times He will lead us around an impending storm and we won’t ever know how blessed we were!
Acts 19:2 And Paul said, have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? And they said, we have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
The devil knows that once a Christian receives and is led of the Holy Spirit, he will have a difficult time trying to ensnare him. So, the devil does his best to keep the Holy Ghost out of the churches. Without the Spirit of God the people will grope around in the dark and stumble into the traps of the devil. A wise man is not a self made man, he knows he cannot be successful in this life without the Spirit of God.
When a man enters into the covenant of salvation with the Lord Jesus, God expects that man to be faithful all the days of his life. Most converts are excited early on in their relationship, but if God doesn’t pamper them they become bored with the whole Christian thing! There are some converts who know from the beginning where they would be without their Lord. These folks are the faithful ones, if God never did one more thing for them it wouldn’t matter, they are in it until the end.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
A dedicated believer is not reward minded, they are grateful minded, they know where they would be without the Lord. A man’s commitment, no matter the level, will be rewarded. Some will have a great reward and some will have a little, if any. It should be the quest of every believer to hear the Lord say, “well done thou good and faithful servant”. Fox news has just reported on two different polls, they claim that the number of people who attend a church frequently has dropped by fifty percent. Some have let themselves be offended, some have been seduced by the devil and some have just become lukewarm. When life is good and life is comfortable people don’t see a need for God!
Romans 10:9 If you will confess with your mouth and believe in your heart the Lord Jesus, and believe God raised Him from the dead you will be saved.
I am grateful to the Catholics who taught me about God and heaven, and about the devil and hell. From the time of my earliest recollection I wanted to go to heaven but I didn’t know the way. But God honored my desire and He sent some folks who would show me the way. Now I know the way and nothing is going to keep me from my appointment, not even myself. We are more detrimental to our well being than the devil because the power of life and death is in the tongue. A person does not need to attend a church in order to use his words! Church is for people who care about one another, a place where they can worship and praise their Lord. Church is for people who need to be built up after being torn down in the world, it is a place to have fresh manna.
Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the day of the Lord is coming nearer.
Jesus said one of the signs just before His return would be that the days would be like the days of Noah. People would be going about their lives void of the presence of the Lord. Noah and his righteous family were lifted off the earth and the rest of the world remained. When we gather together as one it is easier to resist temptation because we have a purpose. Whenever the disciples spent time with Jesus they were emboldened and had a greater level of confidence. I implore you in Jesus Name, remain faithful to your Savior, you will never regret it.
The devil has had thousands of years to study man and discover his weaknesses. In most cases he knows us better than we know ourselves. We are creatures of habit and our habits can be anticipated and plotted against. All humans have a sense of self-preservation, we have a guarded kind of life. We tend to become independent, trusting in very few people and reluctant to reach out. We become our own watch dog, thus we become militant when others appear to encroach our space.
Mathew 11:6 Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me.
If we are to lead and live the blessed life we must be willing to yield our life to Jesus. When a believer “feels” like they are called to surrender too much they are easily offended at what Jesus calls them to do. We spend our entire lives “raising ourselves” and now the Lord is asking for that responsibility. We really don’t realize it but we take offense at the way the Lord wants to bless us. When Jesus came to His own people He began to testify of the works He saw His Father do.
Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary along with his brothers and sisters? And they were offended at Him.
These people did not accept Jesus as Messiah or even a minister because they didn’t believe He came from the right family. They were offended at Him and so He could not minister to them as the Son of God. The bait of satan is offense and it manifests commonly in ignorant people. When folks do not understand what God wants to do in their life, they snub Him and rely on themselves. That spirit is still among us today, some Christians won’t receive an anointed man unless they are of the same denomination. We get offended at the power of others when all the while God sends His ministers to everyone. We are so foolish, we just stand there and let the devil rob us of our blessings. As I previously stated, people who think too highly of themselves are easily offended.
2 Corinthians 5:17 If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away: all things are become new.
When you were born-again you became a new person, your old self was forgiven and forgotten, now it’s time for a new attitude. In the spirit you got a new lease on life but in the natural nothing changed. We do not become this new creature until we begin to renew our mind and this does not happen over night. Some born-again Christians never change, they remain the same old man. They do not feed their spirit with the food it needs to become more Godlike. Consequently, the devil still has a voice in their life and the fruit of Christ is very obscure.
I talked to a dying friend one day, I wanted to be sure he was saved. Here is what he told me, “Jerry, I always believed, I just didn’t act like it”. My friend never renewed his mind, I had no clue he was a believer. I am not ashamed of the Gospel, I want the world to know Jesus is my Lord and satan is defeated.
As a Catholic boy growing up I loved Easter because I really liked the taste of dyed Easter eggs. I knew it was a “religious” holiday because we had to attend a long, boring high mass. I was too naïve to understand that it was a celebration of Christ’s resurrection. I did not understand the significance of Jesus being raised from the dead, after all He was God and could do whatever He wanted. Religion is man’s concept of God’s will and it is totally void of revelation. But one night I was saved and the teacher of the church came and made His abode in my heart. From that day until now the Holy Spirit has begun to impart revelation knowledge to me and all my “religion” is fading away. Thank God.
John 20:6-7 Then Peter went into the sepulcher and saw the linen clothes lying there. And the napkin, that was about His head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
The linen Jesus was buried in was not disturbed, it was not cut away from Him like the priests would have us believe. His burial linen was undisturbed, He just came out of them in His glorified body. According to Jewish custom, when you were invited to eat at a Jewish home you were given a napkin like the one Jesus was wrapped in. If you enjoyed your time with the people you folded the napkin a certain way and left it on the table. This would signify that you enjoy your visit and you would return. According to Jewish custom, the napkin of Jesus indicated that He would come back.
Romans 8:11 The Holy Spirit of God raised up Jesus from the dead.
On the third day the Holy Ghost descended into hell and brought the Spirit of Jesus back into His body. The man Jesus was powerless to get Himself out of hell, God was His only hope. Nothing has changed, no man has the power to get himself free of his impending judgement. Sinful man’s only hope is Jesus the Christ, all he needs is humility. God created hell for the devil, not men, Jesus knows how terrible that place is and He is doing everything He can to keep all men out of that pit. All men deserve hell but no one has to go there, Jesus tasted death for all men. How foolish of any man to neglect so great a gift as salvation.
1 Peter 2:22 Jesus did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.
If Jesus had sinned, the Holy Spirit would not have been able to free Him from heaven. If a man would sin and never seek forgiveness, the Holy Spirit could not keep him out of hell. If a man would sin and then humble himself before the Lord and repent, the Holy Spirit will not suffer him to visit hell for any time. Easter eggs have lost their allure, I am more attracted to the reason we have Easter day. Jesus was in torment until the Holy Spirit resurrected Him, we will be in heaven with Jesus until the Spirit resurrects our body from the grave. All these tasty Easter eggs remind me of what Jesus did and how it all affects me, I am more blessed at Easter than I am at Christmas. Now He ever liveth and so do we. Selah.
We should all know by now that the devil, as a roaring lion is walking among us seeking someone to swallow up. The Lord gave us ample warnings to be on guard but not to yield to fear. Yes, the devil hates us and yes he would kill us if he could, but greater is He within us than he who walks among us.
Ephesians 6:11Put on all of God’s armor, that you may be able to stand against the wiles (methods, tricks) of the devil.
The devil operates in a spirit realm apart from our own, he is a spirit being. God’s armor is spiritual and it must be worn by faith. The devil is no match for a born-again, Spirit-filled believer. He cannot go head to head with a son of God. So, he resorts to methods and tricks, you could call the devil a methodist. People everywhere are taken captive by the devil because they have neglected the gift of God’s armor. Do you know why the devil could not take out Jesus? Because He was wearing His Father’s armor.
2 Timothy 2:25-26 With humility instruct those that oppose themselves, try to get them to accept the truth, that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil.
The devil set up a snare for these folks and caught a bunch of them. The servant of the Lord must approach these folks in meekness. Why? Because these people are offended, the devil used offense as bait for his snare. People who live under the demonic influence do not want to acknowledge their plight, they do not want to admit they were taken. Offense is the devil’s most successful bait, it works very well on people who think too highly of themselves. Pride is what caused the devil to be evicted from heaven and he knows how to sow it into the hearts of men. Men are constantly being taken advantage of by the devil and they have no clue. Far too many Christians are ignorant of the devils activities in their life. He takes advantage of them and they are totally clueless, they get caught in his snare.
The devil uses deceptive baits to lure men away from the Lord. The only way out and the only way back to the Lord is to acknowledge the truth. If a believer commits to living in the truth the devil cannot get past his armor. So, a captive must accept the truth, they must put on the armor of God to rid the devil from their life.
2 Corinthians 2:11 We are not ignorant of the devil’s devices.
Perhaps Paul should have said it this way: we should not be ignorant of his tricks. Folks who become the prey of the devil have neglected God’s Word, now they must go back and reclaim what they missed. As long as a man remains unteachable, he will remain in the devil’s power. A captive cannot do what the Lord tells him because the Lord speaks the truth only. You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.
The glory of God is here and He is intensifying, I have seen and am hearing about great moves of the Spirit. Are you ready for a move of the Spirit? Are you prepared to be in His presence? The glory comes in degrees and as we become more serious about His presence we will witness more of His divine presence.
Malachi 3:2 Who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when he appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap.
God has been preparing His people but not everyone is all that interested in cleaning up their act. Many want the presence of God but on their own terms, those days are gone forever. It’s God’s game and we play by His rules or we don’t play at all. When I was a little kid I loved playing outside in the dirt, I didn’t want to get “cleaned up”. Perhaps some church folks are that way, they love what they’re doing and they don’t want to clean up.
2 Corinthians 6:14 What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness?
This passage of Scripture has been in our Bible for over two thousand years, have you been caught off guard?
It’s time to clean up.
May 12, 2019
Lord I give You Your tithe, my faith is in Your Word.
I give because of love and obedience, I know You will bless me.
Your Word is my hope, let my blessings be a testimony.
Open the eyes of the reprobates, let them see the truth and Your goodness.
Weekly Prayer Focus
May 19, 2019
Jay & Angela Smith and Family
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