Romans 8:18 For we consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. v19 For the whole creation hopes for and eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God. v20 For the creation was subjected to futility (mat'-ah-yos…frustration) not of it’s own choosing, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope… v21 For the creation shall also be freed from the bondage of destruction into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. v22 For we know that all created things groan and are in labor until this very day. v23 And we also, who have in us the first fruits of The Spirit, groan within ourselves as we look for the adoption of sons and the redemption of our bodies, v24 Because we live within that hope, but hope that is seen is not hope, for if we see it, why do we still look for it? v25 But we hope for what is not seen, therefore, we wait patiently for it.
When you get to chapter 6 in the book of Romans, Paul shares with us, the benefits of the gospel, and they run all the way through verse 39 of chapter 8. So we have chapter 6 and chapter 7, which we could call the “no-longer section” of Romans. You’re no longer under the law. You’re no longer a bond slave or a slave to sin. You are no longer under the curse. You are no longer dead, you’ve come into life. You are no longer a victim of your flesh.
So you have a list here of freedoms, which include freedom from the law, freedom from sin, freedom from punishment, and freedom from death.
As you come into chapter 8 of Romans, you come into the positive aspects and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8, is about what the Holy Spirit does in us, for us, with us.
The Father, Creator, laid out the plan, the Son, who is the Demonstrated Word, made the plan visible and touchable, and the Holy Spirit who is the Dunamos is the empowering presence of the plan and the word, and makes it all work together in the expressed will, and purpose of God.
Chapter 8, is a launching pad that sends us all over the New Testament to find connecting truths which expand our understanding of who we are, why we’re here and what is the Kingdom objective that God has ahead for us.
That’s what Romans 8:27 and 28 is telling us…. “And He that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. v28 And we know that all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose”.
The Father designed and initiated salvation, the Son validated and confirmed salvation, and the Holy Spirit applies the reality of the experience of salvation.
The Father is the one who chose us, the Son is the one who redeemed us, the Spirit is the one who sanctifies us.
Election is the work of the Father who has chosen us, justification is the work of the Son who represents us, and sanctification is the work of the Spirit who is continually separating us for the Father’s purposes. The Trinity in glorious unity is engaged in this wondrous reality that allows us to be called the Children of God!!
We’re involved through the Spirit’s working within us, in an ongoing process of being transformed from grace to glory.
We’re no longer under condemnation but we are accepted in the beloved. We’re no longer under the sentence of death by the law but we are being brought under the higher law, which delivers us from the law of sin and death.
We have been given new life for we are called “New Creatures in Christ”. We have been regenerated, re-directed, re-fired, and re-aligned. We begin to experience the powerful ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit and Paul tells us that we are going from “Glory unto Glory”….
And this is so critical for us to understand, because this is where we now are living.
We don’t have to camp out at yesterday’s blessing, or yesterday’s glory. We don’t have to try to reproduce something that scored a “10” on our spiritual “Wow” chart. For we are going from “Glory unto Glory”…..
God is saying, to keep moving forward, keep believing, keep surrendering, keep allowing the work of sanctification….because you ain’t seen nothing yet!!!!
Another thing…. We no longer have to allow the valleys of life to determine things that we can only see from the mountain tops. But we draw strength in the valleys and we allow His power to rise up in our weaknesses. We surrender to His work of Grace in the trials and tests and as we pass through.
Instead of becoming victims, we are made victors, instead of condemnation, we are clothed in the garments of a conqueror! We eat the meat and spit out the bones…we delight in the season we’re in because that’s the season the Father has given us.
Romans 8:19 says that this season and this place we’re in is “eagerly awaiting and anxiously expecting the manifestation of the sons of God”!!!!
We believe that “The Glory Is Greater than the groaning”…..
He’s changing our nature. Have you known folks who say they’ve been redeemed and yet they still have the same old negative, stinking nature. Romans says there aught to be a demonstration of the inner working of the Holy Spirit in a manifestation which looks like Jesus.
If we’re still talking, behaving, responding and reacting as we were before we invited Christ into our lives….We’ve got a leak somewhere!
I should be moving from Glory to Glory….. not from Glory to Groaning!
We are being empowered and glorified to continually allow His righteousness to overwhelm all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. Notice the word “From” which is very different from “for” unrighteousness. He didn’t cleanse us to just make room for more unrighteousness in our lives…..
Paul gives a clear list of “unrighteousness” in Romans 1:29
“Being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit. They are gossips, v30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, proud, boastful, inventing things for evil purposes, disobedient toward parents, v31 without understanding, the make promises they don’t keep, without natural affection, calloused, and unmerciful.” Just to mention a few…..for self-examination!
Romans tells us that we have the firstfruits of the Spirit or the seal of the Spirit, which confirms our adoption as sons of God. Whatever is happening in our lives, He’s not about to give up on us. We’re not foster children, who are waiting for someone to claim us….He has claimed us with His own blood. It is certified, sealed and registered in heaven, so let’s get on with it, and start acting like members of God’s family!
And Praise God, we are also told that He is guaranteeing or securing our future eternal glory. We move from Grace to Glory and from Glory to Glory here, and one day soon we will move on and transition into eternal glory!
God who chose us, called us, and justified us, is securing our eternal glory!
John 14:2 “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. v3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also”.
The Holy Spirit is sanctifying us for His glory and guaranteeing His Glory for us!
Ephesians 1:13 tells us that “After we heard the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation, in whom also we believed, we were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise”.
We have the guarantee of the Spirit. Or as it says in verse 23, we have “the first fruits of the Spirit”, so that God is giving us the first fruits as a foretaste of the full measure of glory that is available to us. We have the down payment which is our guarantee of the Glory now, and all the future glory that lies ahead for our journey. By means of the glory, we are being conformed to the image of Christ. This is the transformative nature of the glory….
In Romans 8:17 Paul says… “If we are His children, then we are His heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us”.
As we looked at our opening passage of scripture, we see that there’s a lot of groaning going on. It says that all of Creation is groaning. It says that it is the anxious longing of creation, And then it says that we ourselves who have the first fruits of the Spirit, are groaning. And then it speaks of the groaning of the Holy Spirit. This indicates that the creation, and ourselves, and the Holy Spirit are going through certain groanings, certain agonies, until the final realization of eternal glory.
If we were Jewish, we would have a greater understanding of this…. It is the groaning of anticipation. It is the groaning of unfulfillment. It is the kind of suffering that occurs when you’re waiting for the promise to be fulfilled…..Like the time You needed to go to the bathroom, but there are 3 people ahead of you….You rush to the airport, only to discover that your flight has been delayed for 4 hours and you already have a tight schedule. You have a big appointment, but you go outside and your car battery is dead.
Paul is describing all that we deal with in this this present age of sin and sickness and suffering and decay and corruption and fallen-ness and the frustration it can cause. While seeing all this, there is a knowing at the same time that the age to come is the age of the new heaven and the new earth and righteousness and purity and holiness and virtue and glory and the absence of the constant ups and downs, disappointments and failings, loss and denial, sickness and death and all that is part of living in a groaning world will be glorious beyond description.
You will notice that Romans tells us that “all creation hopes for and eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God”. This is the “go to” part of this entire scripture…..
For example, in Isaiah 35:1, Isaiah says, “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad.”
And again in Isaiah 55:12: “The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
God really meant what He told Adam and Eve when he presented His creation to them. He wanted them to practice in the garden, so that they could handle the whole earth! Jesus told us that those who were faithful in what they had would be given more…. and then God made an incredible covenant in Genesis 1:26
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. v27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. v28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth”.
Someone said, (not me of course) that God created the heaven and earth and rested, then He created man and He rested, then He created woman and every since, neither God nor man have rested…..(I guess a lot of men have been a pain in the neck as well… Someone else said that God made man and said I think I can do better, so He made woman….(now don’t look for that in the King James Bible.)……
Even though the first man and woman, allowed Satan to break that covenant which was given them by God with the earth, it was renewed through Jesus who is the second Adam, and this is made clear in…
1Corinthians 15:45 “For it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. v47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. v49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly”.
Our new family tree, rises up from the second Adam, Jesus Christ. It is from that tree, we trace our linage. It is from that tree, we trace our new covenant. It is from that tree, we receive the glory which was lost by the first Adam. It is from that tree, all creation groans in anxious anticipation for the linage of Christ, through faith, to arise and demonstrate that the old is gone, the new is come…. That death has lost and abundant life has won… That faith is now the victory that overcomes the world, the flesh and the devil!!
As we have born the image of the earthly, we now bear the image of the heavenly!!!! The environmentalists, who are of the first Adam, can measure it but they can’t manifest it! Climate change advocates, who are of the first Adam, may monitor it but they can’t modify it! The change must come in the big and small ways of life, by the children of the Second Adam!
All that is part of the first Adam, will continue in a downward cycle, but those who look to the Second Adam, will move from Glory to Glory!!!!
Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government (power, rulership, authority and dominion) shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. v7 Of the increase of His government (power, rulership, authority, dominion) and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David (his linage), and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this”.
Somebody needs to get a vision of this….somebody needs to get their hands on some of this…..
The entire generation in which Enoch lived were all drowned in the flood except for eight people? Do you know how rare Enoch was? Can you imagine what it would be like to be the only guy other than Noah’s family in the entire world who was walking with God? You’re looking at a hero if ever there was a hero. (tell someone, “thank you for being someone’s hero)….Enoch was a man who lived against the grain of a culture that was so corrupt, God allowed millions of them in one world-wide flood, to be eliminated from the face of the globe.
Those folks had really gotten under the circumstances, and swept away by the cares of this world….The currents of the world are strong and can sweep you away from God, but Enoch survived because He walked with God in the glory, till the glory took him home. And for us church, we shall not only survive, but thrive as we walk in God’s grace and Glory that is greater than all the groaning going on around us.
Ephesians 2:4 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, v5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace are you saved;) v6 And we have been raised up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
The key to turning it around is to understand that you are not under the circumstances, you are not in a rut, you are not looking up to see the bottom, and you are not in the situation you’re in to be brought down and come under it’s power, but you are the head and not the tail, you are above only and not beneath. You have been raised up and made to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus!!!!
They say that Country music describes losing the spouse, losing the house, losing your dog named scout, losing your money and your car and now you’re sitting at misery’s bar, busted and disgusted.
But Gospel music is about getting it back, getting your power back, getting your authority back, getting your dominion back, getting your joy back, getting your peace back, getting your love back!!! “I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see”…Remember this is all past tense, because what is, has always been, but I haven’t always seen it clearly enough to get on board and take the trip!
He made us alive…(that’s already done) He raised us up (that’s already done) He made us to sit in heavenly places in Christ (that’s already done!) His part is already done, we need to see it, believe it and act like it!!! If we are in Christ, then He is not only where we are, we are where He is! You can’t be in Christ and not be where He is!
Philippians 3:20 “For our conversation is in heaven also, where we look upon the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Hebrews 12:22 “But you are now come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, v23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, v24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and the blood of sprinkling, that speaks of better things.”
This is speaking of the realms of the spirit, it is the unseen dimension that is more real than what you can now see and feel with your five senses. It is the realm where God’s rule, authority and dominion can be tapped into so that we can bring influence and bring pressure to bear upon the physical world that is groaning for release all around us.
1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things may be lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient (to my best interest or advantageous) all things may be lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any”. We have been born again….Born back into the realm of spiritual authority and dominion that was lost in the garden, but regained in Christ. We are in a process of discovery, we are discovering the height, the breadth, the width and the length of God’s love for all of His creation .
I want you to see something in Ephesians 2:13 “But now in Christ Jesus you who were sometimes far off are brought near by the blood of Christ. v14 For He is our peace, who has made us complete, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us and Himself. v15 Having abolished in his flesh all that separated us, even the law that was against us, to make us one with Him, so making peace.”
The Lord is lifting you above your enemy, Satan and that automatically places Him under your feet, along with all the works that he is devising against you…. The way you defeat him is to take your rightful place in Christ, over Satan and above him!
The great obstacle, and the great hindrance to the spread of this message, is that we its champions, have not walked as "sons of God." The world will believe in the power of Jesus, our Lord and Master when it sees it manifested and reflected in us.
What if Billy Graham had just followed his family’s legacy and become a farmer in North Carolina like those before him, millions all over the world would never have come to Christ…..What if Martin Luther had become a lawyer as he had planned to be, there would have been no “Great Reformation” where the message of grace which had been distorted, was revived and went through all the earth…. What if Mother Teresa, who was just another teacher in a catholic school, had not gotten a calling to care for the poor of Calcutta India… Or what if the person who led you to Christ had been too busy with other cares and responsibilities…..
None of us can possibly fathom what an immense work will be set in motion by the manifestation in us of "a son of God," but we can see the distress and the groanings of this world. If we do not thirst sufficiently to be transformed, to see the work of God fulfilled and reflected in our hearts and lives, then the whole of Creation will feel the effects of our hesitation because it delays the desired deliverance and let’s the Devil win!
*…..Isaiah 35:2….”For they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. v3 Strengthen the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. v4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence, He will come and save you. v5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. v6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
v7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and in the thirsty land shall be springs of water. In the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. v8 And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, and fools, shall not err therein. v9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go thereon, they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.
v10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and groaning shall flee away”. HALLELUJAH!
I believe the streams of healing, deliverance from fear and worry, streams of peace, and streams of His redemptive work in bringing restoration into your life, is flowing for you today….
In this life, there are many collectors who get all they can and can all they get. They hoard, and grasp and store up, for the rainy days and days when all you have is what’s left over. But unlike the natural realm, the things of the Spirit are diminished when we try to hoard them, they are lost when we try to store them up. We can’t keep the anointing by hoarding it for ourselves. The only way to keep the anointing is to give it away!
Luke 4:18-19 "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD."
Walking in the anointing, leads us outward, away from and outside ourselves. Away from what the anointing can do just for us, to paths of service and ministry and what the anointing can do for others through us. Our nation, our culture, and the nations of the earth are starving for the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
The empty husks of humanism, intellectualism and false religions cannot fill the empty place, or hold back the darkness that wants to envelop and paralyze us. The world is hungry to see Jesus and His power. We, His Church, are the Bride of Christ, filled, prepared and anointed to share His life, His light and His healing power to a desperate and dying world. The Spirit of the Lord is upon us, and He has anointed us to preach, to heal and to liberate those who are in bondage.
The anointing oil was contained in and poured out of the horn of a sacrificed animal.. 1 Samuel 16:13 “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah”.
Horns are the weapons of attack and defense for animals that have them. They are the means of demonstrating their POWER! When they are attacked, they defend themselves with their horns. Their horns are part of who they are, just like the anointing is who we are, in Christ, the anointed one. The anointing is our defensive strategy and offensive weapons for taking back what the Devil has stolen!
Isaiah 10:27 27 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing”.
The composition of the Holy Anointing Oil illustrates the anointing of the Holy Spirit resting upon Christ and upon the new Testament Church. The Holy Anointing Oil with all its specified ingredients point to the excellences that are found in Christ. Those same ingredients are found in the anointing for today's saints.
Exodus chapter 30:30-34, the LORD tells Moses to make a very special and “holy anointing oil” of “the finest of spices”, including “flowing (liquid) myrrh”, “sweet-smelling cinnamon”, “fragrant cane”, “cassia”, and “olive oil”. This highly perfumed oil was used to consecrate (and set apart) the articles used in Temple worship, including the ark of the testimony, the holy tabernacle, and all its furnishings, which made them “Holy” (or Kodesh in the Hebrew) unto the Lord.
Exodus 30:32 says, "neither shall you make any other like it, after the composition of it." There is nothing that can be compared to the anointing the Spirit places upon one's life. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of excellence.
V-33 lets us know that we cannot merchandise the anointing. We see also that it is the Lord that names the spices and the weight of each. He uses the words "principal spices" which refers to the very best and that which exceeds all others in quality and excellence. There is nothing second rate with the Lord. The anointing oil, contained Myrrh…which was used for embalming. It is a symbol of death to the old man, and death to the self- life. It is through Jesus death that we are given liberty.
We are not our own, we belong to Christ. “Not my will, but Thy will be done”, is now the mission of our lives. In that mission, we experience freedom from the bondages of the past, and freedom from Satan’s snares. 2 Corinthians 3:17 Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty... a free and pure flow of anointing. Isaiah,… prophesying of Jesus in
Isaiah 61:1-2, tells us that He was anointed to proclaim liberty to the captives. The only way to avoid the snare of resentment, regret, disappointment and discouragement with people, ourselves, and our situations and circumstances, is through the Myrrh of the anointing. It assures that we can continue to minister healing, comfort, and restoration, regardless of our environment or personal challenges….
The anointing oil, contained Cinnamon, which means, "to burn with zeal"... "to be hot with jealousy" for the Lord, for righteousness, holiness and truth.. The tree from which this spice is extracted was an evergreen, passing through no periods of inertness. So likewise, the anointing is unchanging for those in Christ, whose leaf does not wither in time of drought, cold or harsh conditions. There is no laziness in the anointing ... there is a"zeal" to do good works and to minister to the needs of mankind under the direction of the Holy Spirit.
In the Song of Solomon 4:14 “A garden inclosed is my spouse; a spring guarded and protected, a fountain with the king’s seal upon it. v13 Your fruits are from an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, v14 and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices.”
The Bridegroom is describing His bride here, symbolizing Christ and the church—he’s referring to that which the oil and spices of grace has imparted unto her. It is because of the foundational balm of the Myrrh which is mixed with the zeal of the Cinnamon, that allows this to be possible.
Misguided zeal, without the sweetness of Grace, can be harmful, fleshly, and destructive and misguided humility can condone, empower and sanction evil activities. The challenge we have, is to be zealous without becoming harsh or judgmental. To be loyal without becoming fanatical, to be cautious without being timid, to be free without it becoming a license, to be confident without becoming arrogant, to be humble without becoming the spineless pawns of others.
Psalm 45: 7-8 God says, "You love righteousness, and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness. So that all your garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made you glad" .
The Holy anointing oil contained Cassia, meaning, "to bow down"... "to bend the body"... SUBMISSION AND HUMILITY. True submission says, "Not my will but thine be done."
This was Jesus' attitude as seen in John 5:30. "I can of myself do nothing"... "I seek not my own will, but the will of my Father which has sent me." In John 15:5 Jesus says, "Without me you can do nothing." This is a submission to God, which results in deferring to one another in the realization that none of us has it all. But together we form the body of Christ, each part fitted together to form the whole.
We are taught that we are His body, and that He gave Himself for it, loves it and washed it with His blood and the washing of the Word. Exodus tells us that about 15 pounds of this spice was used each time a new batch of anointing oil was produced. The number 15 in Bible numerics is the number of "rest." There is a rest in submission. Submission is gentle and of excellent conduct. Submission means that we are under the authority of the Lord. There is no rebellion in true submission. This principal spice of the Holy anointing oil was used to anoint priests, kings and their garments. In Psalm 45:8 The coming King Messiah’s robes will smell of cassia (humility, being stripped of pride, set apart or holy with a servant’s heart)….
The anointing oil contained sweet calamus, which is also the ‘spikenard’ of Scripture, meaning "to stand upright, "to contain the power to recover and remain standing".. Though this plant grows in muddy miry soil, the pull of heaven, causes it to stand straight and tall. While many around us grovel and wallow in the mire, the child of God, is drawn heavenward and in the same conditions, still stands straight and tall.
The fragrance of the sweet calamus is released as it is crushed. Likewise, as we are crushed and broken by the things of life, instead of bitterness, there is a fragrance of His grace that is released, to fill the air, and sweeten the very trial that we pass through. When this spice is ground into powder, a sweet smelling oil is produced that promotes healing and kills the root of the disease.
Calamus also is emblematic of internal feelings such as caring, calming, compassion and mercy. All of these systemic emotions that have healing properties. In the anointing is the "power of recovery." Emotional, Spiritual and physical healing can be released by the fruit of the Spirit ... love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance,. These ingredients were in Christ as He ministered. He was moved with compassion, Divine love rose up within Him as He was compelled by the hurts and diseases caused by the curse, to pour forth the sweet Calamus of the anointing…..
Last of the ingredients for the Holy anointing oil, is Olive oil. This was the catalyst that sustained the four Ingredients and bound them together for delivery to the appointed task. All of the "principal spices" are gathered and infused into the oil. Then they are strained out - leaving a penetrating, prevailing fragrance in the oil.
When God anoints us, He doesn't overlook or bypass our personality but He redeems it. He uses our individuality. Therefore, the "spices" would be the gifts, talents, experiences, and knowledge which He has given to us. We don’t just have gifts, we are the gift!! He takes us and infuses us with the "oil" or workings of the Spirit. Then through the process of "pressing and crushing”, He strains out the fleshly, carnal appetites, desires and thought patterns - leaving a sweet anointing on our lives –
The word Oil, means “that which flows from the source”. It comes from a root word meaning, " the source of illumination".. What is in the anointing?.... ILLUMINATION THAT IS CARRIED BY THE SPIRIT... KNOWLEDGE GIVEN BY THE SPIRIT... AUTHORITY FLOWING FROM THE SPIRIT.
Without the Holy Spirit there would be no free flow of liberty… compassion ... zeal ... healing... comfort... the power of recovery... mercy ... submission and much more. The ingredients of the anointing reach out through those who carry and release it’s properties, to touch and meet the needs of mankind. It is by the Spirit of God that we are graciously equipping for priestly ministry, whereby we stand before God and man, as intercessors and reconcilers.
2 Corinthians 2:14, 15, "Thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ." Our “savor” will be determined by how long we linger and soak in God’s glory. 1 John 2:20 “But you have an unction from the Holy One, and you know all things”. The word “unction” in the scriptures, actually means, “ointment that is rubbed in.”
New Testament anointing was much different than Old Testament anointing. In the Old Testament, the anointing was poured upon, in the New Testament, the anointing was rubbed in. Your effectiveness will never be determined by what is poured out in a single moment but what is rubbed in by prolonged times of worship and waiting in His presence. The unction is always given for a specific purpose – not just to make us feel good.
Through out the Bible we learn what happens when people receive the unction. Apostles move in miracles, signs and wonders….Evangelist, evangelize….Pastors pastor, Prophets prophecy, Teachers give inspired teaching and Kings and rulers concern themselves with justice, truth, and righteous judgment. In the New Testament we learn that a rag tag assortment of disciples who had no recognizable purpose, where they were, are trans-formed into bold preachers and demonstrators of God’s power.
The church began to hear from God, the people begin to pray with fervency and miracles became common place. Jails were open, the dead were raised, missionaries were sent out and God added to the church daily, 3,000, 5,000 and multitudes were persuaded by the Holy Spirit into the church. This is not just a common phenomenon, it was produced by the unction of the Holy Spirit.
James 5:14 “Is any sick (astheneo) among you? let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord”. The word here for sickness, is astheneo, and literally means “without strength” and may refer to spiritual depression, emotional distress, as well as physical sickness. In verse 15 the word sick is the Greek kamnos and is translated “be wearied”. The familiar twenty-third Psalm says, “You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over.”
Here is a detailed description of this account. “At the sheep fold where the sheep are kept in safety, for the night, there is a large bowl of olive oil mingled with spices, and a large container of water. As the sheep pass through the gate, the shepherd examines each one for wounds. These are carefully cleaned as the shepherd dips his hand into the oil to anoint the injury. A cup is dipped into the water and comes out overflowing and the sheep drinks until refreshed.” We should never presume upon the Holy Spirit’s anointing – but cherish it – pursue it – and guard it. If you put the old flesh nature to death every day and live for Jesus, and if you dealing with others in grace, and if you allow life to make you “better not bitter”, and if you daily seek God’s face in prayer and fellowship with the Holy Spirit – THEN, you won’t just have an occasional anointing.
God’s anointing will be cultivated in your life, and equip you for every good work. You’ll reside in the anointing, even as it resides in you. We are commanded to put on Jesus Christ; and as He clothes us more and more, His perfumes will be more and more perceptible to those about us.
We usually don’t realize how ill-smelling our own attributes are, and how many flies have gotten into the oil which the great Perfumer has commenced to put within us. But we understand the difference when we have drawn close enough to Him to discern the fragrance of His pure oils. We begin to detect the offensive odor of our pride when we smell the goodly fragrance of His humility. We detest the vile odors of our flesh, when we encounter the sweetness of His purity and holiness, His submission to God's will, His love and longsuffering, breaks in upon us.
We realize the offensive odor of our impatience and unforgiving spirit toward one another when we smell the perfume of His patience and forgiveness toward us. It is the sweet spices of His attributes that we need the most, which call to us and draw us as it drew John the beloved disciple, who laid his head upon Jesus chest.
It is Jesus who taught us “Give and it shall be given unto you full measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.” So we truly come to realize that to increase the anointing, we must give it away, freely, and unreservedly at every opportunity. Let us all join together as we close in a Prayer of Agreement…..
”Father we address every curse that has entered anywhere, that would limit, take away from, diminish or cancel the anointing upon our lives. You will be broken in the name of Jesus. Let everything that gives strength to any evil covenant against us be taken away today. Blood of Jesus, shield our birthright from every attack of spiritual armed robbers, for we receive the power from above to fulfill our divine assignment this time forward, in the name of Jesus. Let the strongholds of the emptiers fashioned against our destiny this year be scattered and destroyed by the anointing, in Jesus name. We now take back everything the enemy has stolen from our lives in the name of Jesus. Lord, let Your healing, creative, restoring power flow into every area relevant to growth, increase, and wholeness. Lord, correct any disorder and dysfunction, so that every cycle of insufficiency, in our lives, be broken away from us and turned around in the name of Jesus. We tear down and dismantle the roadblock to our breakthrough, let the arm of the Lord, arise, O Lord and before this time next week, we claim unexpected income, sickness healed, deliverance realized, and the joy and freedom of the Lord, enjoyed and embraced. Through the anointing, we receive victory over all the forces of wickedness, and we declare that we are no longer the tail, but the head, no longer beneath, but above, for we take our rightful place as power changes hands in every area of our lives, and signs, wonders and miracles begin to abound. Lord, we receive your mandate to break every curse and to put to flight every enemy of our high calling in Christ. And now, in the name of Jesus, and we thank You, Lord for giving us the victory for your glory, honor and praise, Amen!!
As For Me and My House We Shall Serve The Lord
The scripture we stand on as we believe for our family members our friends and neighbors to come to salvation in Christ is… Acts 16:31 “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.”
God has a plan for your family and neighbors. Your salvation is just the beginning of a great flood of grace that will sweep them into the kingdom. The human family is most precious to our Creator God. In Genesis chapters 1 and 2, upon creating the first 2 human beings, Adam and Eve, God ordained the human family. He ordained it to be close, intimate relationships of love among its members. Therefore it should be a most heart breaking thing for any Christian believer to know that he or she has family members who are without Christ, and not interested in Christ as their Savior, and therefore headed for the eternity without Him.
Imagine that you would never again see them or be able to visit for all eternity, while you yourself are enjoying all that God has prepared in heaven. God is not desirous that any person departs this life without knowing Christ as savior. Because God found Noah to be a just and obedient person, God chose to save him from drowning in the great flood. The Bible does not give us any description of the spiritual condition of the rest of Noah’s family at that time. Each of them could have been similar to the above description of Noah, or each of them could have been much less than that.
So, let’s look at what God does for Noah’s family. Genesis 6:18 “But with you I will establish my covenant; and you shall come into the ark, you, and your sons, and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.” There is a good chance that the remainder of the family was included because of the faith and trustworthiness of Noah in God’s eyes.
Genesis 6:22 “In this, Noah did according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” Noah’s personal total obedience to God was key to the rest of his family being saved from drowning in the flood. When Noah and family finished building the ark, look at the invitation God gives to them. Genesis 7:1 “And the Lord said unto Noah, come with all of your house into the ark; for I have seen your righteous before me in this generation.” In this verse God issued all of them an invitation to come into that ark of salvation. And because God, at the time of this invitation, commended Noah for his own, personal righteousness, likely the invitation to the rest of the family hinged upon Noah’s righteousness before God. When God prepared a way of salvation for Noah, He commanded Noah's whole house to enter the ark. Therefore, the household, not just an individual, entered the ark.
A new believer should bring every member of his household into the ark. You can say to the Lord, "I have believed in You. You have said that my whole household can enter into the ark. Lord, according to your word, I bring my whole household into the ark now." Because it’s God’s word, He will honor your faith. In Exodus 12, God struck dead all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast, to motivate Pharaoh to let God’s people go. But God prepared salvation for His people, Israel, so that none of them would be smitten dead when God’s death angel passed through Egypt at midnight. And in thus “saving” them, He again dealt with them by households.
Exodus12:1-3 “And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying…Speak unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house.”
At this time, God ordains the feast of the Passover for His Nation, Israel. This lamb is to be killed as a sacrifice for that feast. Each Israeli family is to prepare a sacrificial lamb for their house. Verses 6-7 “And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.” The family member who applied the blood for each household would take the stick with hyssop tied to the end, dip the hyssop into a bason containing the fresh blood and strike each of the side posts and then the upper post over the door, thus forming a cross with that motion, a foreshadow of the cross our Saviour, the Lamb of God, would die on over 1000 years later.
Exodus 12:3-7 says, " take a lamb, for each house of their fathers, a lamb for a house...." The Passover lamb was clearly given to a household, not to an individual alone. Again we see the importance of a household before God. A lamb was not prepared for each individual, but for each household. The blood struck on the doorpost and side posts was to protect the household. The angel of destruction would pass over an entire household. It is marvelous to see that the salvation prepared by the Lord Jesus Christ is not for an individual alone but for the entire household, just like the Passover lamb. If one man eats the lamb, it means that only he is being saved. But if the household eats the lamb, it means that the household is being saved. Salvation is for the entire household. The household eats the lamb, and similarly the household strikes the blood upon the entry way. The entire household enjoys these things together. May God open our eyes to see that salvation is a matter of the household, not individuals.
When Joshua sent spies to spy out the fortress city of Jericho which was slated for destruction, a woman named Rahab hid the spies, so they could escape and report back. God made a covenant promise with Rahab, which reveals His desire for the household. Joshua 6:17 says, "And the city shall be devoted to Jehovah for destruction, it and all that is in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in her house, because she hid the messengers we sent." Here we see Rahab the harlot and her household being saved. What did she do? She protected the spies. When she became a co-worker in God’s plan, He gave her a sign. She was to tie a line of scarlet thread in the window. All who were in the house which had the scarlet thread were spared, while the rest of the entire walled city came down, only her section remained intact. While the rest of the inhabitants of Jericho were killed, all those of her house were safe. The scarlet thread signifies salvation. The scarlet-thread salvation saved Rahab's entire household; it did not save just her. We need to be very clear about the scope of salvation. Chapter two of Joshua gives the promise, and chapter six gives the actual execution. Both the promise in chapter two and the execution in chapter six show us that Rahab and her household were saved. All who were in the house which had the scarlet thread were saved. God's desired work of salvation is for the entire household, not just for individuals.
The blood in the child, is produced by the father, so if God was Jesus’ father, then it was the blood of God that flowed from Jesus, to cancel sin and the judgment which accompanies it. The cross of Jesus, deals with and acts upon our ongoing capacity to sin. Paul says, “I am crucified daily, yet I live…” He also speaks of taking up our cross daily and following Jesus.
If you are a Christian believer and there are members of your house (immediate family) who are not Christian believers, they are on their way to an eternity without God, to be spent with Satan, his demons, mass murderers, thieves, rapists, and all sorts of vile lawless people. But God has ordained that you, as a Christian believer, also enter into the role of being a “Co-worker” with Him in introducing the savior to your house. God has ordained that you enter into the toil, travail, and labor with our Lord to “birth” them, bringing your lost family members into the new birth, and doing your part to lead them to Christ and His salvation. To have the marvelous joy of seeing your lost family get saved, no toil, sacrifice, suffering or cost should be too much! We hope that all the children who are born among us will not need our extra effort in the future to bring them to salvation and to rescue them out of the world.
Some have already been born into our fleshly family. We should make sure that they are born into our spiritual family also. We cannot afford to lose them year by year and then fight to rescue them back year by year. We cannot just beget them into the world; we still must bring them to the Lord. If all the brothers and sisters agree that this is simply the way it should be, we will have at least as many saved ones as the number of children in our midst. The Lord has placed them in our hands. We should not let them go; we must make sure that they are saved. Otherwise, it will take considerable effort to bring them back from the world. All the little fishes born of our big fishes should be on our side; we should not let them go back into the sea and then have to struggle to catch them again.
When Paul was supernaturally released from prison by the angel, Paul used it as an opportunity to preach household salvation. Acts 16:31 he said to the jailer, "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household." This is one of the most outstanding verses in Christianity. Throughout the entire Old Testament, God dealt with man by households. Likewise in the New Testament, He deals with man by households. This is the smallest unit; one cannot reduce it to a smaller one. It is the understanding that God’s desire is, If anyone believes in the Lord Jesus, his household shall be saved. This is indeed a wonderful thing. I do not know why this is so, but the Lord's Word says it is so.
The Old Testament and the New Testament are consistent and both recognize the same household salvation. The church in Philippi started with a jailer. Acts 16:34 says, "And he (the jailer) brought them up into his house and set a table before them; and he rejoiced because he had believed in God with all his household." Here we see a wonderful picture. In the beginning the promise was given to the jailer; no one else heard it. "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household." Later, the jailer brought his household to Paul. After Paul spoke to them, they were baptized. Then the jailer brought them into his house and set a table before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God. This is not something difficult to achieve. The apostle gave the jailer a promise, and his entire household was saved. Everyone listened, everyone was baptized, and everyone rejoiced.
Suppose the apostle told the jailer, "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved." If this was the case, we would have to wait until after a person was saved, teach him something, and hope that he would understand. Then he might gradually testify to his family, and his family might eventually believe and be saved. If this had been the case, how long would it have taken for the jailer's household to be saved? The apostle did not preach the gospel this way. He did not deal with individuals one by one, instead, he addressed the entire household. He said, "You and your household" shall be saved. You need to see this: The salvation of a household is no different and certainly no more difficult than the salvation of one person. You should never forfeit the wonderful privilege of seeing the entire household saved. Whether or not the church will continue with its second and third generation depends on whether we have brought our children to the Lord.
God has ordained a blessing upon households, when the leaders of the home, walk in obedience to Him. A striking example of this is on the occasion of recapturing the ark after it had been taken by the Philistines. Because Uzziah touched the ark and was struck dead, they left it at the house of Obed-edom so that preparations could be made to bring it to the temple in the prescribed manner which God had commanded. 2 Samuel 6:11 says, "And the ark of Jehovah remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months; and Jehovah blessed Obed-edom and all his household." Jehovah's blessing in the Old Testament was to the household. While the ark remained in the house of Obed-edom, Jehovah blessed his entire household as he cooperated with God’s greater plan. Once again, we see that the unit of the Divine blessing is upon the household, not just the individual.
This is clear in the New Testament as well. One day while Jesus was ministering, he saw a tax collector named Zaccheus, who had climbed up in a tree, to get a better view, since he was short in stature. In Luke 19:9 it says that, "Jesus said to him, Today salvation has come to your house." This is wonderful. The New Testament declares the same principle. I am afraid that many people have been preaching for over twenty years about personal salvation only. However, the Lord tells us that "salvation has come to this house." We are told that Zaccheus became a transformed follower of Christ and everyone could see what had happened in his life, by his transformed behavior and actions. One thing that will draw your family members to Christ is for them to see you live your Christian life before them as an example and a testimony.
Ask God to show you any ways in which you, as a Christian, have failed your family, by any way in which you wronged your family before you became a Christian. Some of those wrongs may have been done in ignorance because you did not yet know the Bible and what God commands us in the Bible. God readily forgives, but you need to confess and ask for forgiveness on any such matter the Holy Spirit brings to light to ensure that it ceases to be any barrier between you and God, and also that it ceases to be any hindrance to you being used by God to help bring your family to salvation. So many Christians have married unbelievers, only to find out that the devil is their father-in-law. It is time for you to truly repent of knowingly and willingly disobeying God’s command forbidding you to yoke up with an unbeliever.
Ask God to have mercy on you, forgive you, and to save your house. Ask God to give you the courage to fully offer your life as a living sacrifice to God to allow Him to do anything that He wills to do for the purpose of bringing your lost family members to salvation in Christ. Totally yielding yourself to Him during this life is the one thing you will never regret for all eternity. Make your daily declaration over your unsaved family members according to 2 Corinthians 6:2 “Behold, now is the day of salvation.” God will always honor His word out of your mouth! Our God has unlimited power and He has promised us in Mark 9:23 that, “If we can believe, all things are possible to those that believe.”
We must not believe that any sinner, no matter how vile, rebellious, evil and boisterous is greater than the conviction of the Holy Spirit, because we serve an Almighty God Who never lies and Who has promised to save our household. Always conclude your prayers for your family with praise to God for saving them even before they get saved. There is much power in doing that. I cannot emphasize that enough. It is a most bold exercise of faith that honors, glorifies, and pleases God greatly, thanking Him for what He promises to do, even though it is not yet done experientially, but positionally by faith. Offering up your thanksgiving and praise in advance, is one thing that will keep you from slipping into discouragement, despair, and disbelief. Boldly declare to God that you believe Him instead of believing the enemy.
Confess to Him that you praise His High and Holy Name because your family member is going to be saved. If lost family members grow stronger in their opposition to you and to God, do not let that bring on any level of discouragement, but rejoice that they are under conviction by the Holy Spirit! Praise is a most powerful weapon in our spiritual warfare. By all means, do not fail to use it. How foolish to be engaged in such important warfare where the eternal fate of your household hangs in the balance, and fail to use the most powerful weapons of warfare that God has provided. Ephesians 3:19 is another good verse to declare over your unsaved loved ones… “And to know the love of Christ, which surpasses all knowledge, that they might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Always keep in mind that you are on the victorious side.
Almighty God, Who promised to save your house, is your Captain. He is fighting for you and He has all power over Satan and your lost family members. Believe Him fully and totally trust as you absolutely refuse to believe the devil and your wicked, sinful, lost family members in their defiance against God. You need to see your family members serving God, attending church, and living a Christian life style. In your spirit, see them reading and sharing God’s word, praying for others, and serving through their gifts. Remember that scripture tells us in Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish..” Richard Foster was quoted as saying.. ”Prayer involves transformed passions. In prayer, real prayer, we begin to think God’s thoughts and desire the things He desires, to love the things He loves and to will the things He wills.”
Christ promises us that there is extra strength and power in unity, so all of your saved family members should join together in faith, believing God to save the remainder of your house. Matthew 18:19 “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” Let’s say that you have 1 brother and 2 sisters who are each married with children, and every person in those 3 households is lost and on their way to an eternity without Christ. First, you believe God to save your brother and 2 sisters, because they are of your house. Then when God honors your faith and saves these 3 siblings of yours, then tell them everything in this study, ask them to read it, and from there teach them how that they are each to be a co-worker with Christ to their own house and believe God to save their houses (their spouses and children).
When those 3 spouses get saved, then each of them is to become a co-worker to each of their houses (parents and siblings). Proclaim that to them and pray that God will get them to work, sacrifice, intercede, and spare no effort, for the salvation of their houses. When all the family members of those spouses get saved, then that branches out into more in-laws and such additional family members who then can claim this promise for all their house, parents, siblings, spouses, and children. Think seriously on how this saving of souls will spread if each Christian believer will come to be the co-worker with Christ of their house, as God has ordained that we do. 2Timothy 2:2 “And the things that you have heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also”. Keep the cycle of household salvation going as you pray and share with other families and friends, interceding for the salvation of their house.
Speak to them the words God gives you to encourage them to have strong faith and to not despair and give up, but rather to believe the words of Christ until all their house is saved. Each and every Christian believer is assigned a definite mission field, his or her house, and we are given a definite and wonderful promise that the lost ones in that mission field will definitely be saved. God forbid that we allow any precious family member to perish because we failed to do our part. In the Jewish culture, circumcision was a household covenant between God and each Jewish family. Genesis 17:12-13 says, "Every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of your seed. He that is born in your house, and he that is bought with your money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant."
God called Abraham and made a covenant with him, saying, (v.7) "I will establish my covenant between you and Me and your seed after you" The sign of the covenant between God and Abraham was circumcision. All who were circumcised belonged to God, and all who were not circumcised were not of God. God also told Abraham that every male of his household needed to be circumcised, since they would be the heads of families, including those who were born in his house and those who were bought with his money. Therefore, the promise of circumcision was not given to Abraham alone but to his whole household. Circumcision takes the household as a unit. God's promise came to Abraham's house, not to him alone. You have a calling and anointing to set a salvation domino effect in motion, everywhere that there is opportunity.
Your family and neighbors will respond to the 3 t’s….Time- spending quality and quantity time with them..Talent- using your skills in areas they need help in..Treasure- giving a financial blessing to them as a seed for harvest. You determine the size of your harvest by your faith. 2 Kings 7:3 Then Elisha said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few.”
When the woman was called upon by God to participate in the miracle of the oil and meal in famine, her faith was the only limitation on her miracle. The more empty vessels she gathered, the greater the miracle she would experience. Because she continued to get empty vessels from her neighbors and fill them, her neighborhood was spared from the terrible famine that devastated the land. People are the empty vessels in your life. They have lost their direction and their purpose. They are dry, wasted, and tossed aside. They desperately need fresh oil.
We must develop a yearning for their empty household vessels around you to be filled. Millions of Christian believers on this earth are not aware that the lost people in their household are their mission field. Jesus said to begin in Jerusalem, and Jerusalem represents your home base and it is specially assigned for every believer to develop their evangelistic gift and they are duty bound to act on God’s promise to save their household.
Many Christians are neglecting their own personal mission field, which is their lost family members. May God help us to make other Christians aware of this grave responsibility which they have been given and guide them into being faithful in their mission field. Whatever else we do in this life, may we believe on and act upon this wonderful promise. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and all your house.” Joshua declared over His household…Joshua 24:15 “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
In Acts 10:24, Cornelius is a perfect example of household salvation.“Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends.” The Holy Spirit fell upon all his relatives and close friends. He brought them into his home, and the Holy Spirit filled all the vessels. What vessels would the Lord like to use you to fill this week? What family members are waiting for the miracle of God’s amazing oil of grace and salvation?
the scripture we’re launching from is Isaiah 66:9…
“I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born," says the Lord. "If I cause you the pain, I will never keep you from giving birth to your new thing," says your God”.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." So begins the first line of the Charles Dickens' classic “Tale of Two Cities”. That’s certainly true when you are talking about labor pains, and that same statement could also be said of our world today. Modern medicine has eliminated a vast majority of diseases that just a century or two ago were killing and crippling millions of people. Smallpox, polio, and leprosy are just a few dreaded diseases practically eliminated from the face of the earth. Here in America the life expectancy is the highest in history.
More than 2,000 medical drugs have been discovered since 1900, and 75% of all drugs have been discovered since World War II.
Financially it could be called the best of times. Never has the world seen such opulence, such comfort as it sees today. Ordinary people, who centuries ago would have lived like peasants, now live like kings. There have never been more billionaires nor millionaires in the world as there are today.
Educationally there has been a virtual explosion of knowledge in the last thirty years. Seventy-five percent of all the scientists who have ever lived are alive today. One super computer can do in a minute what it would have taken thousands of men a year to do. This is the age of information, communication, and transportation. Smart phones can now connect us with the world, and give us access to everything imaginable…
But in other ways it is the worst of times. Aids, the deadliest and the most fearful transmitted disease ever known to man, has cut a path of devastation through this earth many miles wide. While the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer. There have never been as many hungry and starving people in the world as there are today. It seems like the more we know the less we learn. And with all the knowledge, there’s less common sense than ever before….And without good examples in leadership…to mentor us, things will not get any better.
A minister was called away unexpectedly by the illness of a close family member. He entrusted his new assistant with filling the pulpit. The Pastor's wife stayed home and when he returned, the Pastor asked his wife what she thought of the young man's sermon. "The poorest I've ever heard," she said. "There was nothing in it, nothing at all. It didn't even make sense. It was very unorganized. I was disappointed." Later that day, the concerned minister met his assistant and asked him, "How'd the Sunday service and the sermon go? Did everthing go OK? "All went very well, sir, absolutely wonderful," he said. "I didn't have time to prepare a new sermon of my own on such short notice, so I got on your computer and pulled up one of your old sermons to preach!!!!
Well, it seems with all our learning, One thing we have learned is to create more and more ways to blow ourselves up. Terrorism is a constant and imminent threat and someone has described the global community as a monkey with a blow torch in a room full of dynamite.
A French Catholic philosopher, has stated that "The end of the Roman Empire was a minor event compared with what we now behold. We are now looking at the liquidation of what is known as the 'modern world.”
A British journalist said, "I have to report the affairs of a world which has lost its faith and is like a fish out of water floundering desperately to find it’s breath”.
A German sociologist has said that, "Civilization is collapsing before our eyes.” Most of society is not sure what the future holds, all we know is, that we’re getting there faster than anyone has ever gotten there before. We are moving faster than we've ever moved before. It’s all peaches and cream….but most folks still haven’t gotten it yet, that the best things in life are not about things!
But this Labor Day, as students of the word of God, and disciples of Christ, we know exactly where we are headed. We are headed for the day of the Lord, we read in Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. v4 And He shall judge among the nations, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks… nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. v5 Come, and let us walk in the light of the LORD”..
The earth is now experiencing it’s labor pains….and while folks may succeed in ignoring this fact for a while…there will come a point where it will no longer be ignored….
A woman cannot get a little bit pregnant….she is either pregnant or she is not….she may try to hide it, but there comes a point where it can no longer be hidden….because she is no longer in charge, the baby has taken charge of when it will come….She can’t say, “it’s not my circus and this is not my monkey”!!!!
In the same way, this earth is beginning to feel the labor pains of an end time deliverance….
Romans 8:19 “For the earnest expectation of the creature waits in anticipation for the manifestation of the sons of God….v22 For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in birth pains together until now. v23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruit of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the fulfillment, which is the redemption of our body”.
This birthing process, the bible says, is experienced by every sincere believer….. We, as well as the entire earth, are feeling the birth pains of the Day of The Lord!!!! It’s that sense in the depth of your being that God is about to come back and seriously take care of business…Whatever the world celebrates as “Labor Day”… we who are included in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ….are experiencing the Labor that is about birthing of the coming kingdom of God into the earth with power and great glory!
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps when we know not what we should pray for as we ought, for the Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings (birthing pains) which cannot be uttered.
We need to know who we are, in a world that is floundering in a fog of pleasure, indulgences, fear, addictions, and hopelessness….
And we must respond with clarity, conviction and courage…..
We are the light of the world and We are a city on a hill. (Matt. 5:14).
We are people of the Word (1 Kings 8:56).
We are salt that preserves the rot and decay (Matt. 5:13-16).
We are disciples, witnesses and Christ followers (Matt. 28:16-20).
We are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Eph. 4:11).
We are children of the cross (Rom. 8:17),
We are the fruit of an empty tomb (John 12:24) We are the recipients and the product of an upper room (Acts 2).
We are the redeemed of the Lord (Ps. 107:2).
We are the sheep of His pasture (Ps. 100:3).
We are forgiven, free and favored.
We are called and the chosen of God (1 Pet. 2:9).
We are warriors who are worshippers (Ps. 144:1).
We are world changers and we are history makers (Mark 16:15).
We are the church of Jesus Christ, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against us (Matt. 16:18). Hallelujah!
If the blood moons signal His return, wonderful, if not, we’ll do it His way and in His time…. Because the Blood moon signs don’t command Him, He commands the Blood moons! Count me in, either way!!!! We don’t have to be great bible scholars to know the exact time of Jesus’ return….it will be right on time!!!
Phillips Brooks, A great New England preacher, was known for his poise, quiet manner and states man-ship. One day a friend saw him pacing the floor like a caged lion, frustrated and irritable…. "What's the trouble, Dr. Brooks?" the friend asked him? "The trouble is, he said, that I am in a hurry, "but God isn't"!!!!!
As it was when Noah was born, and his mom hid him among the bulrushes of the river bank…. Exodus 2:3 “When she could no longer hide him, she took a papyrus basket for him, and coated it with tar and with pitch. She put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank.” So it will be when the labor pains, intensify and there is a birthing of this Great Day Of The Lord…IT Will Be In Secret!!! It will be a thing, that will be hidden from those who are not looking for Him….Scripture says they will be “unaware”…
1Thessalonians 5:2 “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night”.
The word thief in the Greek is the word “kleptos” which is where we get our word kleptomaniac (the irresistible urge to steal). They can’t help themselves…. Have you ever noticed that thieves have a really bad habit of not telling you when they are going to break into your house. It’s done in secret…..
I remember once we had gone out to eat, and someone got in the house and stole some stuff, and I thought, if only I had known, I would have stayed home…(really) like the thief was going to send a postcard, “Dear whoever, tomorrow I will be at your house at two o'clock, please don’t be home, Love, Kevin the kleptomaniac…(speaking of things being done in secret….)
A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything together. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that, the woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or even to ask her about. For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day she got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, her husband took down the shoe box and took it to his wife's bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two cute little crocheted dolls and $95,000. He asked her about the contents. 'When we were to be married,' she said, ' my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue or stay angry with one another. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.' Her husband was so moved; he had to fight back the tears. Only two Precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two Times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with Happiness. 'Honey,' he said, 'that explains the dolls, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?' 'Oh,' she said, 'that's the money I made from selling all the dolls.' (He should be glad she didn’t take all that anger out on him)
The fact is, if we knew the exact date of this Great Day Of The Lord, then we would make sure on that day to be prayed up, read up, dressed up and ready. But the reason why God does not want us to know the exact date is because we are to be ready all the time. That’s why that day is coming secretly as a thief in the night.
Friend, that day is coming suddenly…. It Is Coming Suddenly
1Thessalonians 5:3"For when they say, 'Peace and safety!' then suddenly it shall come upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman”.
The Bible says that there is going to be a time of a universal psudo-peace, or false peace, which will be orchestrated by the antichrist, and demons will be on every street corner and back alley, making sure that this world unites behind one world ruler. This world will think that utopia has finally arrived. But Things are not always as they appear….
A one-world government will begin to emerge (we are seeing it now), a one-world currency will be put in place (that’s why most experts feel the American dollar will collapse), the interest on the national debt is increasing at the rate of 2 million dollars every minute……or 160 million while we were sitting in church today! THAT’S JUST THE INTEREST!!!
Everyone will accept the one-world ruler, who can solve our problems… and all who take the mark of the beast will be living high, wide, and handsome for a little while. The world will be caught by surprise because they will not hear God's word or heed God's warning.
The Lord Jesus said the last days would be as the days of Noah. Matthew 24:38 "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."
What many will see as the sunset and the end of the old world, to the child of God, will be sunrise and the Glorious beginning of a new world.
Noah was giving birth to the Ark for approximately 100 years…and when the flood came, only 8 people were saved, after all the warnings, and all the preaching….. I wonder how much time we will have left, to get folks into the ark of God’s salvation before the labor day pains have ended, and the birthing is done!
I discovered that you can spell “LABOR”, using only vowels…and it’s spelled…like a woman says it as she’s giving birth…..E-I-E-I-O!!!!! And it’s about keeping a kingdom attitude….
I Want the first E, to stand for Encouragement…. By our example, let us encourage folks to follow Christ and put Him first….
The second vowel is “I” which stands for Insightful, we need to be able to give an answer for what we believe, and why we believe it… and how it is relevant in the world they live in….
The third vowel, is another “E”, which stand for Enthusiastic…Let’s get our passion back…stop reacting to everything and everyone and get proactive for the kingdom….build bridges that folks can cross over and get to Jesus. Get your excitement back about God’s promises, your mission and your calling!
The next letter is the second “I” which is about Initiative… Stop following and be a leader, initiate prayer, initiate the conversation around to Jesus, initiate getting the family ready and out the door to church…Lead, follow, or get out of the way, but get busy somewhere in something!
Now we come to the “O”, which is about Optimistic…In a negative, complaining world, where bad-mouthing is the order of the day, be the voice which points to the positive, be the light in darkness, be a voice of hope, a shadow of a rock in a weary land, a place of refreshing, and a cheerful face in the midst of all the craziness… Be one of those who light a candle instead of cursing the darkness.
We may be birthing a new kingdom order into the earth, and we may feel some labor pains here and there, but let’s not let our faces appear as though our Christian faith is the most painful thing since migraines!
James 1:2 “My brethren, count it all joy when you experience various trials and temptations v3 “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith is working patience. v4 But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting in nothing”.
The return of the Lord Jesus Christ is mentioned in God's word at least 380 times. One out of every twenty-five verses in the Bible points with eager fingers to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the establishment of His kingdom in earth as it is in heaven.
Listen, You can take away the newspaper, the television, the smart phones, and lock the child of God away in a dungeon with nothing but a Bible a candle and the Holy Spirit, and twenty years later, when he comes out, he will know more about what's going on in the world than all the newscasters, the politicians in Washington, the brass at the Pentagon , the CIA and the FBI, all put together."
I John 3:2 "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. v3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."
Winston Churchill was speaking to the House of Commons, and he gave this advice: He said, "We must always be ready in our average moments to meet anything that any possible enemy could hurl against us, at his select, chosen moment”…. We need to keep the breastplate of faith and love on, and have the helmet which is the covering of the mind of Christ… upon our heads. The helmet to protect the head, and the breastplate to protect the heart.
When a jet plane is coming in from a certain city, the airport controller knows all the details of the flight pattern. He knows exactly where it will be at various stages in the flight. He knows when it departed; he knows when it will arrive, but he doesn’t get all excited about it, because it is all known to him.
On the other hand, if a young lady is waiting for that plane to land because her fiance is on the plane, she doesn't know all the details of the flight. She only knows the approximate time of arrival with all the variables. But she is full of joy at the prospect of the coming of that plane. And her heart is leaping for joy, at the first appearance of his form, coming toward her at the gate! ARE YOU EXCITED TO SEE HIM!!!!?
John the Revelator says in Revelation 1:17 “And when I saw Him, I fell at his feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me? saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: v18 I am He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and I have the keys of hell and of death”. Oh, we will know Him!!!!
He is Lord Almighty, Omnipotent King, Lion of Judah, Rock of Ages, Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Provider, Protector, Ruling Lord and Reigning King of all the universe. He is Friend, Helper, Guardian and God. He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End. He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all He keeps. The Architect of the universe and the Manager of all time. He always was, always is, and always will be: He is Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone. He was bruised and brought healing. He was pierced and vanquished pain. He was persecuted and brought freedom. He was dead and brought life. He is risen and brings power. He reigns and brings Peace.
The world can’t understand him, the armies can’t defeat Him, the schools can’t explain Him, and the leaders can’t ignore Him. Herod couldn’t kill Him, the Pharisees couldn’t confuse Him, the people couldn’t hold Him! Nero couldn’t crush Him. Hitler couldn’t silence Him, the New Age can’t replace Him and the liberal media can’t explain Him away! He is light, love, and longevity, and Lord. He is goodness, kindness and gentleness. He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.
His ways are right, His word is eternal, His will is unchanging, and His mind is on me! His is my redeemer, He is my savior, He is my guide, He is my peace, He is my Joy, He is my comfort, He is my Lord and He rules my life. I serve Him because His bond is love, His burden is light, and His goal for me is abundant life.
I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise, the power of the powerful, the ancient of days, the ruler of rulers, the leader of leaders, the overseer of the overcomers, and the sovereign Lord of all that was, and is and is to come. And if that seems impressive to you, try this for size. His goal is a relationship with ME! He will never leave me, forsake me, mislead me, forget me, overlook me, and never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!
When I fall, He lifts me up. When I fail, He forgives me. When I am weak, He is strong. When I am lost, He is The Way. When I am afraid, He is my courage. When I stumble, He steadies me. When I am hurt, He heals me. When I am broken, He mends me. When I am blind, He leads me. When I am hungry, He feeds me. When I face trials, He is with me. When I face persecution, He fights for me. When I face problems, He comforts me. When I face loss, He provides for me. When I face Death, He carries me Home!
He is everything for everyone, everywhere, every time, and in every way. He is God, He is faithful, I am His, and He is mine. My Lord in heaven can whip the God of this world, so, if you’re wondering why I feel so secure, understand this: He said it, and that settles it. God is in control, I am on His side, and He’s coming back and He’s coming soon!!! Hallelujah!!!!
The child of God has every right to expect a glorious tomorrow, even if the present situation does not in any way make their optimism look very realistic. In the face of uncertainty and total economic collapse, the believer who knows his God, will still expect a change for the better, because he knows he serves a God who specializes in giving great and wonderful surprises to His children.
2 Kings 6:25-29 “And there was a great famine in Samara: and, behold, they besieged it, until a mule’s head was sold for eighty pieces of silver,($4,000.00) and the fourth part of a measure of dove's dung (a little more than a quart) for five pieces of silver ($260.00). And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king. And he said, If the LORD do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the barn floor, or out of the winepress? And the king said unto her, What ails you? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give your son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son tomorrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give your son, that we may eat him: and she has now hidden her son”.
Can you say….”THINGS WERE MIGHTY BAD”
First….Things were so bad that there was no fuel to cook with and they were paying top price, $260.00, for a quart of Dove's dung so they could have something to cook with, because they had already burned up everything else that could be burned, to cook what little they had.
I have heard it said that dove's dung represented the place where the dove once was, after the dove has flown away…. It’s coming to that place where you are just getting through with sheer determination and will power….only obligation is left…and that stops being about the flow of the Spirit, and becomes just religious function…the thrill is gone, the excitement and the genuine awe and amazement of new life in Christ has become a memory….It represented the good old days. It represented the revivals of the past when the Holy Spirit was moving in the lives of people. In times of famine, something in us has dried up, and isn't that what we do.
We remember the days when we ate to the full, now we just feel empty all the time, we know something is missing. That's what the Samaritans experienced. They remembered the days when they had plenty, but they had neglected to put God first in their lives….
Phillipians 3:8 “Yea doubtless, I do count all things but dung, that I may win Christ”… without the touch of the Holy Spirit upon it, Paul says “it’s all just dung”….
I can remember days of revival in my own life, but God does not want us hungering for the good old days, He wants us to know and experience that He’s the same today and tomorrow, as He ever has been. When the cloud moved as Israel was journeying to the promised land, they had to move with it, or they would be out from under God’s protection and provision. They would be easy prey for their enemies and for the lack that was all around them….
We must guard God’s presence as the most important thing in our lives…and never stop hungering for Him!
Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled”. Our very hunger is God’s ironclad guarantee that fullness is waiting…..He has promised more than enough, not just enough to survive!
I believe God has some great new days ahead for us. I want to encourage you. If you're down and discouraged I want you to know that the Bible says that God is going to do a new thing
Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert”.
The second thing that describes how bad the famine was, is that these people were eating donkey's heads. Donkey's heads represent stubbornness and refusal to submit. Stubbornness represents misplaced affections and spiritual decline. The cares of life and the love of other things come in and choke out the good word of God in our hearts and we begin to wrestle with our priorities… personal gratification becomes more important than intercession and waiting on God for direction. We can know, there’s a famine about to move into our Spirits when we start eating donkey heads.
We have all heard that saying, "Stubborn as a mule”. That donkey won't go ahead. He simply won't move. He won't submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit" and that's the way people act when they get themselves in a desperate place. They want what they want… They get stubborn. They may say I'm going to sit right here, when God says move. They may say, I'm not going to do anything that I don't want to do! Let the world go to Hell in a hand basket, as long as I make it! Nothing moves them because all they can see and all they can feel, is the famine in their soul and it makes them self-centered….. “Me, Me, Me, I’m in love with me…give me, give me, give me my name is Jimmy…”
The next thing we see in this horrible famine, is people eating their seed. It says they were in such a bad place, they were turning cannibalistic. They were eating their children……
Children represent our seed, that which is our legacy long after we are gone. They were undercutting their own future in their desperation. The danger in a famine, is that people stop sowing their seed; they eat it or they hoard it. They aren't sowing it into missions. They aren't sowing into the lives of people or sowing it into the work of the ministry; they are sowing all their seed into their own interests. They are eating the seed instead of sowing it….
There is a God ordained law of the bread and the seed….Before we call He will answer, so the bread represents what God provides for our consumption….as well as seed to sow to set a harvest cycle in motion which will provide well into the future…..God promises that our seed will produce 30, 60 and 100 fold…and God makes sure we always have something to use as seed.
Isaiah 30:23 “Then shall the Lord give unto you rain for your seed, and you shall sow your seed that you might eat the bread and enjoy the increase of the earth”
Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. v10 For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not until it has watered the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: v11 So shall my word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing which I sent it to do”.
God is telling us that in the law of seed and bread…. Everything which has been placed in our care and our keeping, has two parts…
Seed to sow and bread to eat…. Out seed is not for eating…. Whether it is in the form of money, things, talents, abilities, or our children and families… We have a God ordained responsibility to keep a cycle of harvest going in everything which is in our possession… To think it’s all mine, I’ll do what I want with it, is to diminish our return, here and for eternity! Listen to what God says about that part of everything you have which He describes as seed.
Malachi 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, how have we robbed God? You have robbed Me In tithes and offerings (tithe and offering are seeds).
Some say, “But I invest my seed in my family and I help my friends….. The problem here is to fail to recognize another law of the seed, which God has given us….
That all seed is divided into two parts…. “Tithe and offerings”…. God lets us choose where we invest the offering seed, but the tithe seed is His to decide, it belongs to Him, it is not ours to decide….IT IS HIS!
Malachi 3:10 “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse (what is the storehouse?) that there may be sufficient in My house, (His house is referring to the temple building or the church building) and prove me now in this, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. v11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruit of your ground, neither shall your investments fail before they yield increase, says the LORD of hosts”. (How does it say to prove Him? By giving Him all that is His...)
The Lord promises that instead of crop failure in our finances, our investments, and our families, there would be a good harvest, bringing increase in our lives and in His kingdom in all the areas which are listed and far beyond….
2 Kings 7:3 “And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? v4 If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die. v5 And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there”.
God did not send some great, well trained, band of powerful warriors, He is sending weak vessels with a limp! Not only that, He is sending the weakest of the weakest…like the 4 lepers who had (auto-immune disease) and whose bodies were being eaten away with a dreaded disease, (parts of their bodies were literally, falling off)! As if that wasn’t bad enough, they were being directed by God to leave the walls of what little safety they had, and go out to the enemy’s camp and get enough food to break the famine for the entire city, and bring it back to the people. God was looking for those, through whom He would receive the most glory….Have you ever gotten a word from God and you looked around to see if He was talking to someone else!?? Who does He use? He uses those who get fed up, get up, stand up, show up, pray up, and are ready to go up!
(tell someone, I think He wants to use you!)
He’s not sending superstars, He is sending something supernatural.
He’s the words, we’re the mouth and the voice…. He’s the energizing spirit, we’re the hands and feet…. He’s the power, we are the switch that releases the power….
You can be in the famine, without the famine being in you….You can be in the world, but not of the world….For you are part of a Kingdom within a kingdom….Nothing is going to happen in the heavenlies until men and women who are desperate for God, begin moving and operating in the earth realm as the redeemed, anointed, empowered, supernatural people that we are!
As these four lepers began to move forth….God performed a mighty miracle. Listen, It’s hard to steer a parked car, it has to be moving before you can get it to turn…. Stop waiting to see something happen….start moving and God will take you somewhere, and make something happen…. when they went forth, the host of the Syrians (that’s 185,000 troops) heard the sound of a mighty army. They heard the roaring of the chariots and the noise of horses and they began to flee in terror. God takes the moving forth of faith by four desperate men and magnifies it into a miracle. Isn't that just like God to increase what we offer to him in faith. Give Him a few kernels of corn and He will give you back a whole field of corn in it's place.
Joshua took God at His word and allowed God to do the sending and we read in Joshua 23:8 “But cleave unto the LORD your God, as you have done up unto this day. v9 For the LORD has driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man has been able to stand before you unto this day. v10 For, one man of you shall chase a thousand, for the LORD your God, He it is that fights for you, as He has promised you. v11 Be careful then, that you stay in a close love relationship with the LORD your God”.
The ark represented giving God’s presence first place in the midst of the conflict…. It wasn’t the mighty in the flesh, but the worshipers and praisers, that God sent out before the army of Israel, they were followed by the ark of His presence…As God’s presence went before them and with them… the victory was not by the might of men, but the power of God!
In Samaria, God used four desperate leperous men to put the enemy to flight and bring deliverance to a whole city.
We see that it's not the number of men, it's the surrender of the man, that God uses to overcome the oppressors of His people. How do you receive salvation….SURRENDER… How do you receive the baptisim in the Spirit…SURRENDER…. How do you receive healing….SURRENDER…. How do you receive your victory…SURRENDER….When you and I move forth, an army moves forth with us…
I want you to grab on to a scripture which is part of the story of a freckled faced, red headed, teenage boy, facing a Giant, a giant who is a trained warrior, who in the natural, was far superior….
1 Samuel 17:37 “David said to king Saul, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with you”. 17:45 “Then said David to the Philistine, you come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of armies, whose name you have defied”.
When the Samaritan lepers got to the camp of the enemy, they found out what is true of every one of us….The God of armies has already shown up, and the enemy had fled and left all their treasures behind, waiting for someone to show up and claim them. Will you be the one!!!!
Proverbs 13:22 says and “the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just”.
It reminds me of those who have promises from the Lord, that they would be sent to lay hands on the sick when they don't even have hands, so they speak the word and God does the touching….. Those who are told to preach the gospel and they have no voice, so they use the silent language of signing and people come to Christ….Those who are told to behold the works of God, but they have no sight, so God brings them dreams, visions, and revelations….
The God of Armies finds a way… if you only sit there and count your losses, you will die, but if you move out and trust God for a future and a hope, then you have one, for He stands in our future and welcomes us to the places we’ve never been.
Adolf Hitler who you may know, was very into the occult, went to see a fortune teller. Hitler asked "What day will I die on?" The fortune teller answered that he would die on a Jewish holiday. Hitler asked the fortune teller "How do you know that?" The fortune teller answered "Sir, whatever day you'll die on WILL be a Jewish holiday!"
So, anyway, the lepers arrived at the Syrian camp and they began to celebrate, they ate till they couldn’t hold any more…..and they moved from one tent to another collecting the silver, the gold and the garments and then they began to hide it. One moment, they were starving, broke, filled with lack, and never enough….then the next moment, they had more than enough…..
God is releasing into someone’s spirit, that one moment you were in lack, in the land of never-enough, and the next, you step over into a place of more than enough! One moment you were in famine and the next, you were in the midst of abundance! With God, it’s never about what we have but what we do with what we have!
You can’t say you’re believing for an “A” and study for a “B”….You can’t pray for a strong faithful spouse and live an unfaithful lifestyle…..You can’t expect your children to live godly lives, if you are not living it before them…. You can’t expect trust and honor and not honor others and be trustworthy yourself….Christianity is not a “do what I say”, but it’s a “do as I do” experience”!
Mark 12:41 “And Jesus sat over near the treasury, and watched how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. v42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, (two pennies) which make a farthing. v43 And he called unto him his disciples, and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow has cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury. v44 For all of them did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living”.
This woman didn’t give according to what she had, she gave according to what she needed and expected to have! She was sowing into her need and her expectations!
So many times folks get a blessing and they bury it as the lepers were tempted to do when they found all the wealth the Syrians had abandoned.
God blesses us according to our intentions and the motives of our heart. God blesses us to be a blessing. We say we want revival, but we refuse to step outside of the four walls of the church building to do something to have it.
This may be where we gather on Sunday, but the city is the field where we sow the seeds for the harvest we pray for. There's a famine because the enemy has cut us off from affecting the world by not moving forward as the lepers did, on the job, in the neighborhood, in our homes and among our friends, understanding that the God of Armies goes with us, to drive away the enemy who wants to stop us and make it possible for us to enjoy the victory!
I want to tell you today, that God wants to use you in His revival. To go forth and face the enemy with the God of armies, when no one else would go! All you need to do is get desperate enough to make the right decision like the lepers did. Move out beyond the walls, whatever they may be, which confine, obstruct, or keep you in. Face the enemies of fear, intimidation, unbelief, discouragement and uncertainty and God will perform a miracle in your life too. There is always a place of action for your faith to take the leap of destiny!.
Who does God use? Whoever shows up!
(I have a Kodak moment of the sending anointing that took us beyond our families, our friends, our jobs, and everything familiar…and out into the unknown with the God of armies….) It’s been a blast! We’ve seen countless miracles, met some of God’s choice servants and come to know the Lord in a way we could never have known him before!
We talk with and we interact with folks every day, all day long….
We talk to people about everything.
(just look at Face Book and you know it’s true)
We talk to them in great detail about sports.
We talk to them about the most personal matters in their lives.
We talk to them about serious health problems.
But we don't talk to them about the most important subject of their lives.
We don't talk to them about where they will spend eternity.
We never ask them if they know they will go to heaven when they die.
We never come right out and ask them if they have received Jesus as their personal savior.
We have never asked them if they will go to church with us, and then go by to pick them up on Sunday to bring them and take them out to lunch.
We have never told them about our experience with Jesus as our Savior and the transformation He made in our lives.
God sent His Son, His only Son, to come down from heaven to live upon this sin-filled world, He didn’t have to but He chose to. He chose to come and suffer an agonizing death on the cross for our sins – though He committed no sins.
Because of Jesus, all our sins have been forgiven.
Because of Jesus, we have been given eternal life.
Because of Jesus, we will not go to hell, forever and forever in that horrible place.
Because of Jesus, we have a home in heaven being prepared for us.
Because of Jesus, our names are written in the Book of Life.
Because of Jesus, our heavenly Father watches over us.
Because of Jesus, we can take our prayers directly to God who hears and answers all our prayers.
Because of Jesus, we have someone who lifts our heavy burdens.
Because of Jesus, all things work together for our good.
Because of Jesus, we have been given all things concerning life and Godliness. (that means righteousness, holiness, peace, joy, and an iron clad blood sealed guarantee that He will stand behind every promise of provision, connection, opportunities and our destinies)
R.A.Torrey went into a restaurant one day with some Christian friends.
Immediately, the Lord spoke to him and said, " Speak to the waiter about Christ." Torrey decided that it was not the time or place to witness to this waiter, since he needed to fellowship with his friends. And besides, he was tired, it had been a difficult week and he needed a break. So, he and his friends continued with their meal, but the conviction became stronger, and Torrey decided that the next time the waiter came to his table, he would speak to him about Jesus.. But he never came back.
When they were leaving the restaurant that evening, Torrey said to the manager, "I would like speak to the man who served our table."
The manager said, "Sir, I'm afraid that's impossible just a short while ago he went in the back and committed suicide." (true story)
There’s a poem titled, “Around The Corner” by Charles Hanson Towne
"Around the corner I have a friend, In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on, And before I know it, a year is gone. And I never see my old friend's face, For life is a swift and terrible race. He knows I like him just as well, As in the days when I rang his bell.
Yes, we were younger then, And now we are busy, tired old men. Tired of playing a foolish game, Tired of trying to make a name. "Tomorrow" I say "I will call on Jim, Just to show that I'm thinking of him." But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes, And, the distance between us grows and grows. Just around the corner!- yet miles away, "Here's a telegram sir - Jim died today."
There was a football coach who always told his team, “if you are going to fall, fall forward, that way eventually, we will get to the goal line.” I believe that’s what the lepers learned, that you could fall forward, no matter what your situation….or how bad it might look!
2 Kings 7:8 When the lepers arrived at the edge of the Syrian camp, they went into one tent after another, eating, drinking wine, and carrying out silver and gold and clothing and hiding it. v9 Finally, they said to each other, "This is not right. This is wonderful news, and we aren't sharing it with anyone! If we wait until morning, some terrible calamity will certainly fall upon us. Come on, let's go back and tell the people at the palace." v10 So they went back to the city and told the gatekeepers what had happened - that they had gone out to the Aramean camp and no one was there! The horses and donkeys were tethered and the tents were all in order, but there was not a single person around. v11 Then the gatekeepers shouted the news to the people in the palace”.
The God of armies is with us….and He has gone before us. Great things are ahead, but we cannot stay in the place we have been and expect to receive them. The lepers said “let us go forth”….it didn’t look very promising in the natural, but God showed them that their potential was far greater than the problem and the persecution could not be compared to the possibilities that lay beyond them….
I’m reminded of the account in 2 Kings 6:15 “And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! How and what shall we do? v16 And Elisha answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. v17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man and he saw (in the spirit, not just the flesh) and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha”.
With Elisha, we pray, “Lord if the situation hasn’t changed yet, open our eyes to see what is really going on” Let us see the God of armies is with us and is waiting for us to move forth! Often before God changes things around us, He changes things within us!
2 Corinthians 3:18 “And all of us have had the veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more and more.”
Oh Lord, open our eyes! Give us Your perspective! And as He does, we shall mount up with wings as eagles, above the famine, we shall run and not be weary, in the battle, we shall walk and not faint through the valleys of our life!!!
When the enemy comes in like a flood, God will lift up the standard. You can’t win in the flood with your X,Y,Z game…..you have to bring your “A” game of faith, obedience and surrender! God will replace your fear with faith, your pain with purpose and your obstacles with opportunities!