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Sermon of the Week 
Wednesday, December 18 2019

With Christmas just 10 calendar days away, it is the season that we can truly say, changes the atmosphere. First we see wise men whose lives were changed as they followed a star which brought them to a manger in Bethlehem. 

Then Angel choirs appeared from heaven to fill the atmosphere with the news that the long-awaited Savior had been born. The atmosphere of fear, and darkness and uncertainty was replaced with the light of prophetic promise fulfilled… Peace on earth good will toward men, began to enter hearts and change lives. The rulers of darkness were served notice that the king of righteousness, truth, and kingdom values had entered earth’s atmosphere

The Christmas song says it well, “The whole world in darkness lay”…. Satan is referred to as the prince of the power of the air ( or the atmosphere) …. That atmosphere is the world system which was corrupt and ruled by the dark prince….

When Jesus came as a babe at Christmas, He stated clearly His purpose for coming to earth…. He was bringing heaven into earth. He came to change the spiritual climate…and the pervading atmosphere…

“For this purpose was the Son of God manifest, to destroy the works of the evil one!”

The High altitude atmosphere of heaven had invaded the low places of the earth!

Then God told us to pray and release the atmosphere of “His will to be done in earth as it is in heaven”…

The song “When you walk into the room” beautifully describes that…                                                 “When you walk into the room, everything changes

Darkness starts to tremble at the light that you bring

And when you walk into the room, every heart starts burning

And nothing matters more than just to sit here at your feet

and worship you.                                                                                                                               When you walk into the room, sickness vanishes as a mist

Every hopeless situation ceases to exist                                                                                 And when you walk into the room, the dead are quickened too                               ‘Cause there is resurrection life in all You do”.

Paul writes about this process of changing the atmosphere in                                   Ephesians 2:5 “But God, has quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ  (by grace you have been saved), v6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” 

That should make clear to us, our part in changing the atmosphere…                        The atmosphere at the high elevation of a mountain, is different than the atmosphere at the foot of the mountain. It’s about elevation.

God is declaring that if we will increase our elevation by rising up into heaven’s atmosphere, it will change the atmosphere in the earth around usas we bring heaven into the earth. 

Are we giving the Lord acceptable praise…..If you only praise God when things are going well, your praise has not matured yet. If you only praise God when you feel like it, your praise has not matured yet. If you only praise God when you come to church, your praise has not matured yet. If you don’t understand that praise is Spiritual warfare, your praise has not matured yet. If you only praise God for what He does and not for who He is, your praise hasn’t matured yet…. 

Emotionalism and how you feel, is the lowest form of connecting with Godand it will fall short in changing the atmosphere….When I was a kid, there was a popular phrase that said… “It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”

So when the bible tells us to give Him high praises, it is praise that has moved to another elevation, and has become mature and rises above the carnal mind and the emotions and fleshly feelings.

Yes, we’re not there yet as totally mature praisers, but we start praising Him whereever we are and even though we may fall short, it’s not where we set up our permanent camp. We’re growing and expanding in our praise….Oh, yes, Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and come into His courts with praise….

Matthew 6:33 But seek first (continually seek) His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you”. The mission we have been given in every situation, is changing the atmosphere…..

When the Israelites entered Canaan, God gave them a unique command,

Numbers 33:53 “And you shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein, for I have given you the land to possess it”. The word that comes to my mind is “leveraging” …. God was saying, I give you my power to overwhelm the inhabitants of the land, to bring about a huge return and the very best outcome as you invest in the land I have promised you. 

The command to “dispossess”, occurs 48 times in the Old Testament. 

It means to replace something that is there, with something that never existed before…. To set up a new standard, To build a new culture, To serve a new king….

Look at this statement from Jesus Himself…. Matthew 11:12 “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it”.

Someone was flying for the first time, in order to get home for Christmas. They were very nervous, they even lifted their feet when the plane took off to lighten the airplane…. But something happened that changed the atmosphere for them, from fearful and worried, to calm and assurance. You see, she looked up 3 seats in front of her and there sat Kenneth Copeland. Later on, he flew in his own plane, but in the early days, he had to get to meetings by flying commercial. Well, that woman knew that nothing was going to happen to THAT PLANE as long as he was on board. What happened…. Brother Copeland was carrying faith, blessed assurance, grace and favor, the presence of Christ, the anointing of an overcomer, and the ambassadorship of the kingdom…And he was there to teach her to change the atmosphere, and not be overcome by the atmosphere!

Notice it says in Ephesians 2;5 that “He has (already) quickened us together in heavenly places with Christ”

The authority and dominion which the Lord Jesus walked in, has become the right and privilege of all believers:

Jesus physically ROSE from the dead, so, we have spiritually risen above the death process that works in the earth. We are being renewed, revived and restored….

Jesus physically ASCENDED into heaven , so, we have spiritually ascended into heaven, and have access to the throne of God….

Jesus physically SAT DOWN in heaven, so, we have spiritually sat down in heaven which is a description of having access to fellowship and counsel with the Father.

One day every Christian will physically rise, ascend, and sit down in heaven, but RIGHT NOW this is true of us spiritually.

Ephesians 2:5 uses the term “Heavenly places”….What does the phrase "THE HEAVENLY PLACES" mean?

Some translations say "the heavenly realms," "the heavenly sphere," "the heavenly world," "the heavens," "the heavenlies," and "heaven."

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:2 that he was once "caught up to the third heaven." The first heaven is the atmosphere. The second heaven is space. The third heaven is the dwelling place of God. The third heaven is the same as "the heavenly places."

Ephesians 2:6 describes every Christian as seated in heaven with Christ. What does that mean for us right now?

THE CHRISTIAN NO LONGER BELONGS TO THE WORLD—HE IS GRAFTED

INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD. (That’s what the salvation quickening does for us)

The Bible commands us, Romans 12:2 "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”. . .

Let’s call this “You can’t walk with God while holding hands with the devil”

So, let’s suppose that in a certain community lives a man and his wife who love each other very much. Across the street lives a man who develops a hatred for the woman’s husband. One night he invades their home and kills the husband. Although he is arrested, a loophole in the law allows him to escape punishment, and he is released to return to the community. Now imagine that in a few short weeks you see the widow and her husband’s murderer walking down the street together. Her hand is holding his hand and she looks lovingly into his face. She says to him, "I’m so happy now that I’m with you." What would you say about a woman like that? Surely you would brand her as a traitor and disloyal to her husband’s memory and unworthy to have born his name.

We must never forget that this godless world hated Jesus enough to kill Himand keep you out of the kingdom. How can a person say they love the Lord and walk hand in hand with Satan’s system.

I know, some would say, but pastor, we should love our enemies…The bible says,       1 John 2:15 “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in them".

Christ commissioned Paul to go to the Gentiles Acts 26:18 "to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and FROM THE POWER OF SATAN UNTO GOD".

Our calling is now and always, to change the atmosphere. The reason you have been under such heavy attacks from the enemy, is because he knows that you have the potential to change the atmosphere and sway people’s hearts towards God. So he sets up detours, and pitfalls and snares along the way. He hits you with matters of the heart, for he knows that where your heart is, your treasure is also… He distracts, he manipulates, he deceives and gets you so busy, you don’t take care of important things because you’reto busy fighting alligators!!! 

Satan’s greatest fear is that you will become what God always intended for you to be…. 

Philippians 3:20 (The Passion Bible) Paul talks about this " But we are the people of heaven on earth as we cling tightly to our life-giver, the Lord Jesus Christ…”

The Christian lives a life which overcomes the world. 1 John 5:4-5 "WHATSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD OVERCOMES THE WORLD: AND THIS IS THE SOURCE OF OUR VICTORY " 

I hope you know that when you go to the store, there’s a greater reason than the milk, bread and eggs on your list…. When you go to the mechanicyou’re going for a greater reason than getting your car fixed… When you’re on the job, you’re there for much more than a pay check. God has put you there to change the atmosphere!

What is it that has captured your heart, your affections, your desires?

A man once found a $100 bill on the street and he resolved that from that time on he would never lift his eyes while walking. He went a step further and bought a   metal detector. The paper went on to say that over the years he had found, 29,516 metal buttons, 54,172 bottle caps, 15,000 nails, two sets of false teeth, a nose ring, 18 pennies, a bent back, and a miserable disposition. But he also lost something—the glory of sunrise and sunset, the radiance of the stars, the smiles of friends, and the wonder of the world all around him.

I’m afraid that some Christians are like that man. While they may not walk around, constantly staring at the ground, they are so engrossed with the things of this life that they give little attention to heavenly values. How can they change the atmosphere anywhere….?                                                    

The secular Christian thinks only about the “desires” of their fleshly nature. The secular Christian may appear to be spiritual, but they only want things of the spirit that satisfy or glorify them…. “God, give me an ‘A’ on this test.”  “God, get me this job I want.”  “God, give me this promotion.” “God, take away this sickness, because I don’t like feeling SICK.” 

A secular Christian may believe in God and pray for things, but God is only a means to their “personal desires.” (what about, that God may be glorified in your healing)

James 4:3 says, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may have what you get for your own pleasures.”                                                                                             You can’t give something you don’t have…. You can’t call others to a place you have not come to yourself… You can’t teach what you have not learned…You can’t impart what you have not received….

The transformed Christian is no longer under the control of the world and Satan, He is under the control of heaven, through the Holy Spirit. 

Ephesians 1:3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, WHO HAS BLESSED US WITH ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST”.

A truly born-again person desires what the Spirit of God desires. They ultimately want God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. They understand that when they seek first the kingdom, then all these other things shall be added unto them….

Romans 8:6 “They who seek the things of the Spirit shall receive the fruit of life and peace”. Do you see this…. When you put God first, all that you need is supplied unto you…..

There is a wonderful statement in Ephesians, about changing the atmosphere in the earth, and creating an open heaven….                                                                                                                     Ephesians 1:19 “and what is the surpassing greatness of His power unto us who believe. These are the working of His strength and His might v20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places”.

Strength and might are two attributes that flood the atmosphere where His presence is. Strength and might are released into the spirit of God’s people enabling them to cast off their burdens and supernaturally believe the impossible is possible. It ushers us into a “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us”!                                   Samson changed the atmosphere and brought down the house…. He shook himself and Strength and might became manifest in his life…. As a result, he changed the environment from one of oppression, captivity, bondage and intimidation by the Philistines, to one of liberty, praise, worship and fulfillment of destiny!

Oh, what an amazing thing it is to see the glory of the King saturate a place and to witness the release of His holy zeal that transforms downcast souls into mighty ones! Strength and might come when we usher in His presence, when the mighty ones “give unto the Lord, the glory due to His name,” when we “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness”

When the atmosphere changes, repentance comes! Yes! The Spirit of Truth begins to convict our hearts, and causes folks to be conscious of righteousness and holiness….                                                                                                                                                   The Spirit of Truth is manifested to reveal things hidden and things veiled in shadows. In this atmosphere, believers who are bound by deceptions and dark manipulations, step into the light and are released from the weights and encumbrances which have hindered and distracted them.

A holy zone is ushered in, where amazing things happen and transformation can take place. Bondages are broken, the light of heaven begins to shine, truth has the power of penetration and lives are changed forever. 

It is an atmosphere where every knee must bow, and every tongue must confess the Lordship of Jesus to the glory of God…..

It’s like throwing a stone in a lake and the circle of change gets bigger and bigger and the ripples get wider and wider until they touch every part of the lake. 

Listen to David’s declaration of a change in the atmosphere in 

Psalm 29 Give unto the LORD, O you mighty ones, Give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the LORD is over the waters; The God of glory thunders. The LORD is over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; The voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars, Yes, the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon. And in His temple everyone says, "Glory!" The LORD sits enthroned over the Flood, and the LORD sits as King forever. The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with His Shalom.  

David is likening an open heaven like a great wall of water breaking through and flowing over everything. Imagine rivers of waters breaking the banks, overflowing the land, and overturning all that stands in its way. The force of nature is overwhelming when it comes to tsunami, tornado, hurricane or flood… David is using these forces in a good way to describe an atmosphere of God breaking in upon the world systems. What can stand against it, and what can hold it back….. Nothing!

In an atmosphere of breakthrough, everything of heaven in earth is intensified and amplified. Everything increases because the atmosphere of breakthrough has come! Expect a new level of ministry, of gifting, of signs, of the anointing, of wonders, of healings, of miracles, of finances, of wisdom, of revelation, of understanding, and of destiny in your life! Expect more than you have experienced before….. I have experienced it and I know what it is like.

Heaven collides with the world system, which has held your job, your home, your community in it’s grip…. Do you need wisdom and direction? Do you want to take your spiritual experience a couple of mega notches upward? Are there brass doors, bars of iron, or hard, impenetrable ground that has prevented breakthrough of any kind in your life – it has withheld your financial break through, spiritual break through, or a break through in the areas of healing and deliverance? Do you have a heart for souls but haven’t seen the harvest?                                                                                                                                            Genesis tells us that at a time when the earth was without form and void, God spoke forth and His words collided with the chaos and the darkness…..He spoke forth and commanded “LET THERE BE LIGHT”! And the atmosphere changed…. Light broke through, boundaries were established for all things, harmony and order began to take the place of a chaotic earth as the darkness was driven back….

God is causing a great exchange to take place through His agents in the earth. The words that drove back the darkness, the chaos, and the toxic atmosphere in Genesis, is in our Spirit now, waiting to be spoken out of our mouths. 

Matthew 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”.

Sometimes letting go of the old so we can receive the new thing of God that will change the atmosphere, and usher in the fulfillment of all that God has promised, is our greatest challenge. We want what we’re comfortable with, while at the same time we desire what deep down, we know He has in store for us. But this new wine cannot be contained in the old containers of our comfort zones.                                                            May we be so consumed with His pleasure in and through us, that it will neutralize the strength of our need to hang on. Lord, we let Go! That we may receive every good and perfect thing which comes from the Father who now invites us to enter in …. 

Let me close with the words Paul received of the Lord…..

2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in your weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me”. 

Paul is describing a mature faith, which fully understands the concept… “Not I but Christ in me, the hope of glory”.

He is declaring that we must never give in to the fallacy that we can ever do it without His working through us. Remember that with all the miracles, signs, and awesome works of God, Paul experienced, he said that he counted his life as “dung” without the power of Christ. It is this complete surrender and submission which brought the power of God into and through Paul’s life.

The donkey that Jesus rode into Jerusalem knew that all the applause wasn’t for him, but it was only because he was bringing Jesus into town that there was anything to celebrate….We must be like that donkey, our job is to bring Jesus everywhere we can, and He’ll do the rest! The quickest way to destroy the heavenly atmosphere, is to start thinking that you are some great thing, because God is using you. When we feel like it all depends on us, we have opened the door to paralyzing fear, intimidation, doubt, guilt and limitations everywhere we go and in everything we do….Hey, we are just the mail man, delivering the mail. Just be God’s delivery system, and there is no end to what He can do in your life!!!

Isaiah 43:19 “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”.

I want to close with this prophetic word God put in my spirit… I wrote it down…

This is the hour that Jesus is shaking up our world view. And I am so glad He is!! I see Him calling out to many who have been sick, frail, in tremendous pain, weak, wounded, plundered and some even left for dead. He says over us, “Dead bones – (our life, our families, our churches) – COME TOGETHER. Be joined, built up and restored.” And there is a rattling sound happening now. Right Now Today! With every connection and organ and cell in place working properly. Be brought together and be made whole.” And we are coming together, we are being healed and being united. We are being given the strength to stand in the brilliant, transformative truth that is pouring through us and regenerating us. 

“Breath of the Spirit – fill with Life! It is time. Now is the time. So, Arise My Love! The grave and the grip of death, which wants to send us backward instead of forward, no longer has a hold! It’s time to dance!! Sing with me as I sing with you, Beautiful songs of the Spirit arise. As we Praise, see what He is about to do! The bells of Freedom are ringing!” Shouts that shatter barriers and break down dividing walls have been amplified! Holy Spirit, enter into us in a fresh visitation. Open wide our hearts and spirits to You. Help our unbelief. We invite You into our bodies, minds and desires. Strengthen our spirits to be able to receive revelation of who You really are and Your great design, in and through us. 

Open the dusty drawers, clean out things in our closets that simply clutter and take up space, with no purpose or profit. Cleanse, purge, prune us of all that is not of You. Reveal to us the places we are full of unbelief or pride, fear or doubt, anger or bitterness. Root it all out, Jesus. Plow up our hearts to be ready with good soil for all the seeds of Your Word You want to plant in us. Fruitful, beautiful things from You that can now grow and abound. We now take up the weapons, tools and authority You have given us and bring every thought captive for Christ. We now receive creative designs, fresh insight, new direction, and knowledge and wisdom that is from above. To the praise of Your glorious grace!

Let us receive it, in Jesus name!!

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