Christianity Oasis Ministry
Behold, I Seek My Own
My Power Prevails
There’s Power in My Name
Psalms Chapter 20
I am so tired of seeing My people pushed around by the devil! I am grieved that so many dear saints are chewing their nails worrying about which part of their lives satan might wreck next. Will he attack their marriage, health, finances, or even their physical safety? I did not put you here on this earth to be abused by the devil, or to provide amusement for him, but to overcome him through the Blood of the Lamb.
So many Christians are forced to focus on defending themselves against a vicious devil for most of their lives, and it takes just as long for them to recover from a lifetime of devastating onslaughts by the powers of darkness. Some never recover at all, till they leave this world; especially in cases where they are not being fortified by sound ministry from a church rooted and grounded in My faith, love, and power. So many cry: "Where is the power You promised us, Lord? Why is the devil having such an easy time of it? Why can't I ever score any significant victory over him?"
Remember, the devil is a liar. He'll send his imps to lie to you all day, seeking to wear you down and get you resigned to a life of defeat. But I have already triumphed over those forces of darkness, and in My Name you will see the outworking of that victory in the physical realm where your earthly life is played out. By faith, receive the victory I have already won for you through My death on the Cross. Receive My resurrection power in your soul, and in your earthly body. Proclaim to saint and sinner alike that I alone am the Lord of Hosts Who fights on behalf of My loved ones to restore all that was lost through the Fall of Adam. Don't try to triumph in your own name, or in your own ability, for you cannot do this. By faith, seize upon that victory Christ has already won. Proclaim to the enemy his defeat, and I will honor your confession by releasing My power on your behalf.
The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength
Nehemiah 8:10; Psalms 66:8-9; Romans 15:13
A certain cynical saint observed the joy of a new convert and thought:
The poor thing. His joy is like a shiny new penny now, but just wait till the trials come. He'll wind up like me in a few years, just barely hanging on by a thread to his sanity.
This older saint, a veteran of many battles with the devil, was astounded to see signs and wonders follow the new ministry of the younger man. Whenever the new convert prayed for sick people, he'd get quick results, whereas the older saint found praying for miracles a daunting challenge he'd given up on a long time ago.
The difference? The battle-hardened veteran of trials and testings had been wrongly taught that the Christian life is a heavy burden, rather than a joyful gift I bestow. He thought it was up to him to produce the fruits of that life, period. He'd been taught that joy is a mere fringe benefit that comes with the Christian life, and it comes and goes like the wind. But it is my joy that gives you the victory, for it is an inner witness that I am in control of things, and will solve the problem at hand.
Your joy is always there, though it is not always at the forefront of your consciousness, especially in times of stress or sorrow. But it lies deep within the core of your being, in the deep chamber of your spirit, where My Spirit is constantly upholding you and renewing your inner life. Within your soul lies the outer periphery of consciousness which deals directly with the world. Sometimes you feel your joy has been tarnished from having to interact with such a soiled world, though that doesn't necessarily mean you've sinned. Whenever you feel your joy receding and heaviness coming to the forefront, ask Me to cleanse away the tarnish of this tainted world you must come in contact with everyday.
Joy is not a mere frill you can dispense with. The Joy of the Lord is your strength!
I MAINTAIN You in Blessing
Job 1: 9-10; Psalms 16:5-6
Many Christians have little to do with Me unless they are in need of My supernatural help. They are what I call Sunday saints. I am gracious, and willing to act on behalf of those souls who call upon Me. The vast majority of Sunday saints' prayers are prayers of petition for earthly things, chiefly for themselves, or for a few loved ones. Even then they tend to come to Me only when money or other natural resources run short. Rarely do I receive heartfelt prayers of thanksgiving or prayers of consecration from such lukewarm souls. These people find it burdensome to offer up such prayers, and usually attempt such spiritual exercises only when a gnawing sense of guilt impels them to do it.
I often feel like a hard-working mother who toils all day to provide a special meal for her family, only to receive little appreciation for it afterward. My lukewarm children eagerly flock to My Table of Blessing, greedily wolf down the pleasant things, then rush away, until the next time they decide they need Me. Satan lulls them into a false sense of security, as they set their heart more and more on earthly things.
A wise believer will realize that he or she must lean on Me at all times, even when things seem to be going well. Since the Fall of Adam, the universe has degenerated steadily into decay and disorder. Ideal life circumstances in this world are fleeting, and you will always need My help to counteract forces of chaos coming against the blessings I have already provided for you. Remember Job. Once the hedge of protection was temporarily removed from his circumstances, everything fell apart. In the end, I restored that hedge, and he ended his days in prosperity.
I must uphold you in blessing continually, through the Power of My Holy Spirit, that the powers of darkness may be rendered powerless to harm or rob you.. During times of stress or trial, I must maintain you in peace until the trial is over and My peace once again rests upon your circumstances.
Your Deliverance is Maintained by Faith
Deuteronomy 28: 27-28,63-68; 32:20-21; Psalms 5:12; Chapter 106
I would never want My people to live in daily anxiety about My faithfulness, because that can never change. I cannot deny Myself. It is people who wander away from Me, and the blessed sphere of My Presence, either through rebellion or idolatry of some sort. Then they no longer enjoy the Rest of Faith I have called them into. They become easy prey for the devil, who is eager to rob them of victories I have already given them.
How jubilant were the children of Israel when I had just delivered them out of the Land of Egypt. They were set free from their captivity of 400 years.
It was through forgetting the mighty works of God that discontent set in, and their hearts grew colder toward Me. I warned them repeatedly through My servant Moses what would befall their nation if they stopped loving Me and worshipped other gods, which were no gods at all but demons in disguise.
I warned them that if they did not serve me with thankfulness and joyfulness of heart because of all the good I had done for them, evil would come upon them. I had promised them that so long as they remained faithful to Me, there would be no danger of their being taken captive again. They would never even see the Land of Egypt again. But if they rebelled against Me and My commandments, they would return to their old captivity in Egypt. They would be scattered all over the earth, and be heavily oppressed by their enemies. They would return to a life of fear, bondage, and anxiety, because they had forsaken Me, their Haven of Rest. Once Israel rebelled, I called them "children in whom is no faith".
I have seen so many of my saints lose their answer to prayer, or be bound once more by a captivity situation. They become ensnared in the same old situations they were in before; because once they got their prayers answered, they forgot all about Me. They went back to their old destructive ways and thought patterns instead of walking in close communion with Me. I am a shield to those who trust in Me, but I cannot do this for those who forsake Me.
Weapons of Faith
Prov. 14:4; Romans 15:18-19; I Corinthians 2:5; and 12:7-11; II Corinthians 10:4; Ephesians 3:7
What army on earth is more demoralized than My own? For I behold My own Church laying down the weapons of the Spirit in the most critical moments of the battle. Even now your enemy satan is frantically deploying the most hideous weapons in his own arsenal, which he has largely reserved for these end times.
Except for certain church properties and homes, the entire earth is yet under his usurped dominion. He is the prince of this world, while My people are strangers and pilgrims in it. The enemy continually strives to tear down My beloved ones at work, at school, in every circumstance of life. The eyes of the saints are assaulted by pornography on newspaper racks in supermarkets and elsewhere, and the very atmosphere of this world reeks of Sodom. I continually receive evil reports from My holy angels about the unutterable wickedness of this present-day earth.
My Church is meant to be an oasis of refreshing in the wasteland of this world, a wellspring of Living Water to revive weary souls, and a place to fortify saints to engage in spiritual warfare.
I gave the nine Gifts of the Spirit for the edifying of My Body the Church. They were meant to be an expression of My Love manifested through the workings of My Holy Spirit.
I long to speak to My assemblies through the utterance Gifts of Prophecy, Tongues and Interpretation. Many a weary, discouraged saint has been uplifted and encouraged by receiving a word in due season through these verbal gifts. Many lethargic believers have been inspired to renew their first Love for Me and to forsake lukewarmness through the ministry of the Prophetic Word.
There are times when the battle gets so heated that the human spirit would fail if I did not impart a special anointing of faith for victory over the works of satan. Ordinary faith will not suffice for every situation. Let there be those in your midst who seek Me for the Gift of Anointed Faith, so that victory can be achieved every time on behalf of weaker saints who might grow discouraged and fall by the wayside.
It took a miracle to part the Red Sea. It took an even greater miracle to raise the shattered form of My precious Son from death. There are times when one must operate by faith in the supernatural realm, when the laws of nature are suspended for the outworking of My own purposes. Let those held captive by satan find deliverance from his prison house through the operation of the Gift of Miracles.
Let My Church be a place of healing. I have no hands in this world but those yielded to Me, hands which are willing to anoint the sick with oil and pray the Prayer of Faith, that these afflicted ones might recover. Sometimes the healing will be instantaneous; other times it will manifest itself gradually. At times I will empower one saint to pray successfully for the healing of cancer; at other times, some other saint might have the anointing to pray for the healing of chronic illnesses or even blindness. In time of need, there should be manifestations of the Gifts of Healing, imparted to consecrated believers by the Spirit as He will; But My spirit is a Gentleman. He will not force My Gifts upon those unwilling to accept them.
Every army needs its intelligence operation, keeping track of enemy strategy, and planning its own strategy accordingly. Through the Gift of Divine Knowledge, My Spirit imparts crucial information on people, places, and things. He sheds light on hidden needs and areas of conflict. He uncovers the secret workings of satan, who has often tried to infiltrate My Church with false brethren and damaging heresies. Lives have been preserved from natural disasters and from criminal attack because of the working of the Gift of Knowledge.
Through the operation of the Gift of Discerning of Spirits, My Spirit can reveal the demonic origin of illnesses. I can help you detect a false, deceiving spirit trying to make inroads into the life of a person or an entire congregation. I will bestow an anointing upon believers to empower them to take authority over the evil spirits, and cast them out in the Name of Jesus. Many people have been set free from physical and mental disorders through the operation of this gift. Many churches have avoided splitting over doctrinal disputes or turning into cults because the insidious workings of satan were detected in time.
If wisdom was needed in the days of King Solomon, how much more is it needed now in these days of gross darkness. Far better that a believer seek MY way out of a deep difficulty than to resort to hit-and-miss tactics to repulse the attacks of the enemy. My special Anointing of Divine Wisdom will preserve lives from needless tragedies and help saints to steer clear of spiritual or circumstantial shipwreck.
Supernatural works of the Spirit were part of My commission I gave to My disciples just before ascending to heaven. Not for the sake of vainglory or show, but because the multitudes are perishing for want of deliverance from the works of satan. I came to destroy the works of the devil!
Yet My Church is rapidly veering away from My original commission to engage in spiritual warfare against the works of the devil. Genuine interest was shown by saints of the previous generation, and a beginning was made during that last great outpouring of My Spirit.
But now apathy has set in. My services have been "dressed for success", choreographed and even planned in advance down to the minutest detail and I can't get a word in edgewise at some places. Just as businessmen are trussed up in their suits and ties, My anointing has been bound by the prevailing "success" culture. The flavor of the world has seeped into the sanctuary. In the interest of preserving so-called "order", My Spirit is quenched. Often, very little effort is made by My pastors to even study about the operation of the Nine Gifts of the Spirit. There is a deeply entrenched fear that chaos and confusion would result if My people were set free to actually begin to move in the Gifts of the Spirit. So My soldiers are obliged to throw down their weapons. Only the devil benefits from that!
When an ox stall has no ox in it, there is never any mess to clean up. If the gifts are banned, no mistakes can possibly be made in their use. But the power a church gains from them is missing.
It's so easy to fall into the "someday" trap. SOMEDAY the Glory will fall down. SOMEDAY God will do great and mighty things. SOMEDAY the multitudes will be delivered, and a mighty work will be accomplished for the Glory of God.
This complacency has resulted from a loss of the expectancy of the imminency of My soon Appearing to receive My people to Myself. Predictions of My Appearing in the last generation failed to materialize, because My Father had other plans. So there is a false belief that you will be here many more years. But I would have you all to seek My face and plead with Me to send a fresh Revival of the Spirit among My people, even greater than the wonderful Jesus Revolution of the 60's and early 70's, which fizzled out because satan sneaked the false Prosperity Doctrine into My ranks, so that My people got too obsessed with earthly desires. Error has no power, and it diverts you from what I really want to accomplish for these last few days of your sojourn on earth. I would love to impart a fresh anointing upon you all to do My wonderful works of deliverance on behalf of the multitudes bound by satan.
Sickness: A Fish or a Serpent?
Matt. 7:7-11; John 11:1-46; I John 3:8
Some skeptics argue that you've got to accept all illness as being from my hand and give Me thanks for it because Paul said in Ephesians 5:20: Give thanks for all things. Truly when you receive a gift of love from someone, you thank the one who gave it, not the one who didn't give it.
Every good and perfect gift comes from My hand, saith the Lord. But if you ask Me for a fish, would I give you a serpent instead? If you pray for health and satan tries you for a time with a severe illness, who gave you that sickness, Me or the devil? And if you are blind enough to you see your condition as a precious gift from My hand, are you not contradicting yourself when you pray for deliverance from it?
The wrong interpretation of Paul's message is ludicrous. Taken to extremes, it means you could thank Me for every abortion, blasphemy, rape, murder, carjacking, drug-dealing, robbery and war going on in the world today. No, that verse means you should give Me due thanks for bestowing kindness and favor I bestow upon you as a child of God.
It was a sad day when Lazarus died of illness. But Jesus was still able to give Me thanks. He thanked Me that My glory would be manifest in the situation by raising Lazarus back to life in perfect health. Jesus did not thank Me that Lazarus had had such a miserable time, and did not thank Me for the illness itself. Christ knew it was the devil who had kept Lazarus sick, not Me. But because of the mighty miracle Jesus performed, many believed unto everlasting life. That which the devil meant for harm was used for good.
My Son came to destroy the works of the devil, not give thanks for them!
Mighty Works: Essentials or Extra Frills?
Matt. 10:8; 11:21; 24:12; Rom. 15: 18-19; I Cor. 2:4; II Tim. 3:3
For many centuries My Church has, on the whole, been hobbled by unbelief in My miracle-working power. Evangelists have faced the daunting task of trying to reach the lost multitudes without convincing evidence of signs and wonders or visible miracles. This lack of outward signs did not discourage the most faithful of soul winners, although they had been conditioned by their churches to believe that the age of miracles was past. These men and women continued to pray and travel to the ends of the earth to spread the great glad message of My love. I, in My great compassion, would still give them fruit for their efforts. There were always hurting, lonely souls who needed to be reached with the Good News that there was a Friend Who sticks closer than any brother, and a Savior Who could redeem them from the wretched lives they had been leading. Such people as this would respond to the Good News of Salvation and pray for My mercy so they could go to be with Me in heaven after death.
Telling the multitudes that I love them is wonderful and necessary, but many missionaries miss the other part of the Great Commission altogether: Multitudes need to be delivered of actual physical diseases beyond the power of medical science to heal. Millions need to be set free from demonic oppression. I could even raise the dead if My power were sought for and received in the modern church.
Souls are hardening in resistance to the Gospel because the love of many is growing cold and mankind in general is becoming deadened to the ability to feel even natural affection toward others. Sinners are involved in all sorts of occultic activity and are no longer impressed by mere tenderness of heart. They demand to see evidence that the true God of heaven is still powerful and able to make a difference in their lives.
I declared in My Word that seeing the wonderful works of God often leads sinners to repentance. So how can signs and wonders be considered extra frills you can just forget about? There is power in My love!
Recklessness Vs. Valor
I Samuel 17:47; Matthew 6:13; John 15:5; Romans 16:20; Ephesians 6:10; Hebrews 4:16; James 5: 16-18
My beloved Son was brave in his fight against the devil, but He was never reckless. Before He undertook the greatest battle of His life, He humbly sought Me, His Father, in prayer, acknowledging His utter dependence upon My help. He certainly had no shortage of love for you as He contemplated going to the Cross to die for your sins. But like every other man faced with martyrdom, He had to overcome the very necessary survival instinct which I built into every living creature on earth. Christ harboured no illusions about the bitterness of the battle which lay ahead of Him, or the impending pain He would suffer on your behalf. And He knew that vicious demons of hatred and malice would come against Him to tempt Him, and struggle against the goodness of Christ in an effort to gain the mastery over His emotions so that He would become furious with His persecutors and hate them.
The devil wasn't trying to get Christ's enemies to kill Him in order to provide an Atonement for your sins. Satan and his demons were shut out of the councils of heaven where I designed the marvellous Plan of Salvation and its mysterious outworking on the stage of history. All satan knew was he wanted to bully Jesus and kill Him in the most merciless way, he despised Him so much.
Having come from heaven, where My Love permeates all things, the kind of hatred Christ experienced hurt Him even more than the whipping post and the cruel nails in His hands and feet. Apart from My help He could never have won the victory and stayed on that Cross to provide salvation for you! He could have called legions of angels to set Him free and destroy His tormentors.
A false teaching is circulating in these last days. Some contend that ever since Calvary, I have done all I'm going to do about the devil until My Son returns to this earth to imprison satan for 1000 years. Until then, it is strictly up to you to do all your fighting on your own, simply by confessing My Word.
But Who breathes upon that written Word to give it life? My Spirit does. You must resist the devil by using the Sword of Truth, which is the Word of God. But truth twisted or carried to extremes gives rise to heresy. The danger lies in relying on yourself to win the war. Without Me you can do nothing. You are to be strong in Me, and in the power of My might, not in your own self.
Many a saint has ceased to labour in intercessory prayer. Why? Reckless, impulsive self-confidence is one of the greatest pitfalls Christians must resist in the Life of Faith.
Some are misled into believing that the devil has been so completely divested of his power that even the weakest believer can whip him with one hand tied behind his back. In many fellowships, emphasis has shifted from fervent prayer to positive confession. Endless intonations into the air have replaced intimate communication with a loving Heavenly Father Who alone is able to dispatch mighty warrior angels to defeat the forces of darkness. Saints have been made to feel ashamed that they have to ask Me to deliver them from evil, although Christ taught His followers to pray that way. Instead, they are taught by "faith" teachers to rely solely on the power of speaking the Word, rather than approaching the Throne of Grace for My help in time of need. Thus, faith is directed at the Word of God printed on a page rather than the One Who inspired that Word. In their zeal to prove themselves mature saints who can stand on their own two feet and easily handle any situation, some Christians shoot themselves in the foot spiritually. They to take a shortcut to victory by neglecting prayer and focusing solely upon proper confession of Bible verses. Thus they bypass the Throne of Grace where they ought to approach Me to find help in time of need. It is even possible to make an idol out of the printed Bible, in your zeal to prove to others that your confessions are even more powerful than petitioning Me for help. Satan is a very religious guy, and that is one of his most subtle and ingenious latter-day deceptions. Self-sufficiency hamstrings many churches which otherwise could bring glory to Me, if only they realized the crucial importance of effectual fervent prayer.
This dangerous doctrine of self-reliance can be so thoroughly instilled that a Christian may resist the enemy with a false bravado gained by psyching himself up on popular catch-slogans. Clever confession is an anaemic substitute for the anointed faith which comes from seeking Me continually. One erroneous doctrine is that all believers have to do is mouth the right platitudes at the devil and he'll take off running, regardless of the quality of their prayer life.
Some saints get tired of resorting to tried-and-true Scriptures in their war against satan. They're so frustrated by their trials that they end up calling the devil dirty names or using some catchy barb they learned at church. That is just as stupid as firing a pea shooter at an angry bear. Oh, you might sting him a little, but you only rile him up and get ripped to shreds for your trouble. It is like an army private grabbing his gun and charging a line of enemy troops without first awaiting the orders of his commanding officer. Discretion is truly an essential part of valor.
It is I alone Who bruise the devil under your feet, and subdue the giants which come against you to trample you underfoot. Remember, the battle is the Lord's.
Cutting Giants Down to Size
Numbers 13:33; I Samuel Chapter 17
The Philistines were grinning with self-assured smugness. They saw no way they could lose. Saul, who once had fought valiantly in the Name of the Lord of Hosts, was too scared to take up their challenge himself, as were all his men. There were daily skirmishes in the valley between the two opposing armies, whose camps were situated on opposing hills. But no decisive victory was being won by either side. But it was only a matter of time, the Philistines thought, before Israel would give up completely. How could the powerful Philistines, with their superior technology, possibly be defeated ?
So confident were those heathens that they got to slinging crass insults at the Israelites and making fun of the Holy One of Israel. Now, isn't that just like the devil?
The psychological warfare being waged against the Israelites was wearing King Saul down. This man been told by My prophet Samuel that I would no longer be with him to fight his battles, and he would soon be deposed as king. This happened to Saul because of his stubborn disobedience and rebellion against My expressly revealed will. Sin will rob a saint of holy boldness in the face of any enemy. The vision of such a one becomes distorted. Then the problem appears much greater than the Lord.
Something had to be done to dispel any lingering doubt that the Philistines were invincible. This was their challenge to the men of Israel: "We'll make it easy on you," they said. "Instead of prolonging the bloodshed, let's solve the problem this way: Let each army send its champion down into the valley. Then they'll fight each other till one of them dies. If your man kills our man, we'll serve you. If our man kills your man, you'll be our slaves." How reasonable the devil always seems to be. He is such a crafty deceiver.
But the Israelites had seen the size of Goliath. Their already low morale had plummeted to zero. Not a single man had the guts to go down to the valley to do battle in My Name. Goliath was a thick-set, brawny giant nearly ten feet tall, encased in a massive coat of armor. His spear tip alone weighed some fifteen pounds.
King Saul, a man once admired for his great bravery and tall stature, sat trembling in his tent. Having lost the favor and the anointing of the Lord, he was in no position to encourage his men to believe in their God and take up the challenge. He even offered tempting rewards to any man who would go kill Goliath and restore Israel's honor. But there were no takers. Without faith in My might, any challenger Saul could have sent against Goliath would have been killed, and the people of Israel would have remained under the tyranny of the Philistines, enslaved by them.
Forty days went by. Still no takers. A young shepherd boy came to the Israelite camp to deliver food for his elder brothers who were in the army. He overheard the loud boasting of the big noisy braggart, and was incensed that no one would go kill the one who was insulting the Nation of Israel and her God.
Without hesitation David offered to do it himself, small though he was. By faith, he considered not his own diminutive size in the face of such a powerful giant. He considered only the victories I had already given him in so many other dangerous situations. Through the eyes of faith, he saw only the size of the God he served. He refused to wear King Saul's armor, relying instead upon the protection of My Presence.
The anointing which I had placed upon little David not only enabled him to defeat the Philistine, but dispelled the spirit of fear hobbling the Israelite soldiers. Through the godly example of their future king, they were greatly strengthened in their hearts, so that they completely routed the enemy.
By faith, David had already won before he even cast the stone at the giant.
Faith Works By Love
John 13:35; Acts 4:32-33; Galatians 5:6; I John 4:7-8
Some churches ignore the centrality of My Love to the outworking of My divine will and purposes in the earth. These groups are unaware that outsiders perceive their churches to be cloistered social clubs closed to those who are unable to merge into their exclusive cliques.
Once My Glory has departed from their midst, there comes a persistent dryness in the life of such a church which will alarm any of its members who are still sensitive to the voice of My Spirit. They are shocked to realize the fruitlessness of their church in the things of the Kingdom of God. They are driven to despair by their own powerlessness to win the lost; and their inability to see signs and wonders occurring in their midst to meet needs.
Unless they care enough to prayerfully examine their collective condition in the light of Scripture and discover what the root of the problem is, they will bypass My solution: keeping my most fundamental commandment, which is: Love one another as I have loved you.
Instead, I have seen desperate measures taken to try to remedy the problem of a powerless church. Lengthy fasts of many days' duration in which some saints try to go the whole period taking only water or fruit juice. Frequent prayer vigils in the sanctuary. Surely, those saints think, if they impose enough discomfort upon their flesh, the Lord will take notice and transform their churches into replicas of the first-century churches.
I have already shown you what the problem is. I cannot operate effectively in any church where cultural and social strictures stifle the flow of My Spirit of Life and Love. I absolutely will not be hidden beneath a bushel basket of carnality any longer. I will pour out My Spirit of power upon those assemblies which conform not to the cold, uncaring apathy of this present evil age, but to that Spirit of Love which so transformed the early believers that outsiders testified of them: Behold, how they love one another!
Diverse Ministries of My Body
Exodus 17:8-13; Numbers 11:16-17; Ephesians 4:11-13
Many congregations have perpetuated a tradition that one man_the pastor_is responsible for all the spiritual work of the Church, while the deacon gets the church bulletins printed up and oversees the janitorial work. This is all wrong. I have set office ministries within My Body to teach and edify My other sheep, but I never ordained the man-made pecking order of clergy and laity in My New Testament Church. My Church began to lose its power when carnal clergymen began to substitute man-made structures for the Church blueprint which had originally been ordained through apostles and prophets, using the excuse that My Divine Order for the Church had been "done away with" with the death of the original twelve apostles.
All of you who belong to My Church are given a place and a ministry to fulfill. Not everyone is placed in one of the full-time Office Ministries of the Church, for these carry a heavy weight of responsibility and authority. Although women are not to rule over men and everyone is to pay due respect to godly leaders, operation of the spiritual gifts is open to all to whom I impart them. I anoint many for the performance of specific types of tasks in My Body. And when I give you a task to do, I expect you to be faithful in executing it, not to use the excuse that you're just an ordinary lay-person and haven't been ordained by an earthly theological school. I Myself have ordained each one and every one of you to impart to others that same degree of blessing and wisdom which I have shared with you. And I will give you discretion and specific guidance as to how, when, and to whom to minister.
No, I never intended that the pastor should bear the burden alone. My original plan was that there should be seven office ministries and many other supporting ministries in the Church. Five of the office ministries comprise the fundamental Five-fold Ministry, fulfilled in the life of Christ on earth. These are:
APOSTLE-One of the two Foundational Ministries upon which the Church is built, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). The Apostle Paul was divinely appointed as an Apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13). He was given the oversight of many widely scattered churches. These congregations would receive periodic visits from him, in order that he might strengthen them in their faith and impart new revelations to them for their edification (Romans 1:10-11). He would also minister rebukes to backsliders whenever necessary (I Corinthians chapter 5). Christ Himself is the Apostle and High Priest of your profession as a believer (Hebrews 3:1).
PROPHET-The other foundational ministry. Together with the apostle, the prophet has the authority to set foundational truths in the Church. While the foundation of My Church has already been laid by the original apostles and prophets, modern apostles and prophets wisely build upon the originally laid foundation in the edifying of My Body the Church, without adding to or changing the explicit instructions of My Word already given. While all believers may seek the Gift of Prophecy and exercise this gift to edify the Church, the Office of Prophet carries leadership responsibility with it. This anointed minister may be given visions of catastrophes to come affecting the congregation, or divine insight into steps which ought to be taken to forestall problems brewing within the Church. At times the Holy Spirit will address particular issues or spiritual matters affecting the Church of that place or time in history. The Holy Spirit revealed to Agabus the Prophet that there would be a widespread famine. Because of this revelation, believers prepared to send relief to their persecuted brethren in Jerusalem (Acts 11:237:30). That same prophet later gave Paul the Apostle a special sign. He bound his own hands and feet with Paul's belt, and proclaimed that that the Jewish authorities in Jerusalem would bind the owner of that belt, and turn him over to Gentile authorities to be tried as a criminal. Thus Paul received advance warning of what would happen if he took a planned trip to Jerusalem. His brethren wept and pleaded with him to heed the warning and not go, but Paul decided to go anyway, his sense of duty outweighing concern for his own safety. Christ Jesus is My divine Prophet Whose words must be heeded. Eternal life is forfeited by those who reject or rebel against His message (Deuteronomy 18:15,18-19; Acts 3:22).
EVANGELIST-He is specially called to minister on the mission field. A very special anointing to harvest souls rests upon him. Philip was called an evangelist. He had four daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:8-9), although they did not hold the Office of Prophet. Philip was one of seven deacons who had been appointed to relieve the Apostles of the details of food distribution (Acts 6:1-6), With maturity, he was given the greater task of a full-time evangelization and healing ministry. He converted many Samaritans, and I confirmed My Word by pouring out miracles of healing upon the afflicted (Acts 8:5-7). Because of this great visitation of My Holy Spirit, Samaria was filled with joy. Gifts of Miracles and Healings were manifested through this faithful man. Philip was specially directed by the Holy Spirit to join an African official in his chariot, explain to him a Scripture he was reading, lead him to Christ, and baptize him (Acts 8: 26-40). Christ fulfilled the calling of evangelist during His own ministry, for He came to seek and to save those who are lost (Matthew 18:11; Luke 19:10).
PASTOR-Oversees a local congregation. He is a shepherd of souls, and ministers under the authority of Christ, Who is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11); Who alone is the Chief Shepherd ( I Peter 5:1-4). The pastor is set into the Church by the Lord to feed his flock with knowledge and understanding of the Word (Jeremiah 3:15). A good shepherd is vigilant, and will guard against the intrusion of false teachers (Galatians 2:4-5; Hebrews 13:17). He is to minister to those of his congregation who are in need of wise counsel, or beset by either spiritual or physical sickness (Ezekiel 34:4).
TEACHER-Occupies a position of authority in My Church, and is anointed to expound upon the Scriptures. New revelations come to him from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Fresh insights are given into My Word. It comes to life in the congregation as My revelations are prayerfully applied to individual lives, and to the operation of daily Church life. The main goal of a teacher should be to impart to his hearers a clearer understanding of the nature and workings of Christ in and through His Body. The Apostle Paul was a teacher of the Gentiles, who generally had no prior teaching about the God of Israel (I Timothy 2:7). Jesus faithfully taught His flock the precepts of the Kingdom of God as He received the from the Father (John 7:16; 8:28; Matthew 7:28-29).
The other two anointed office ministries assist the pastor in the work of the local congregation. These are:
ELDER-Under the authority of the pastor, he helps tend to the spiritual needs of the Church. They are to anoint sick saints with oil and pray for their healing, and for forgiveness of any sins the sufferer might have committed (James 5:14-15). There are times when sin brings on sickness (John 5:14; Isaiah 33:24), and this type of prayer is necessary. Peter exhorted elders to be faithful to feed the flock. Not for money or out of a grudging sense of obligation, but with a godly attitude. These were not to lord it over My heritage, but to walk as living examples of My grace. A Crown of Glory is promised all faithful Church elders (I Peter 5:1-5). Christ is your elder Brother, the Firstborn among many brethren (Rom.8:29).
DEACON-He is responsible for fulfilling practical duties in My Church. Even Christ fed His followers bread and fish on several occasions, even prepared a meal for the Apostles after His resurrection (John 21:9, 13). Indeed, He speaks of Himself as a Servant (Matthew 20:25-28; Luke 22:24-27). I demand a high standard of godliness in the lives of men called to this office, just as in all the other ministries of My Church (I Timothy 3:8-13); for if a deacon fails to keep his own life and house in order, how shall he take care of the House of God (I Timothy 3:5)? Blessed is that man who is faithful, even in seemingly insignificant things.. His Lord will give him authority over even greater things (Matthew 25:23).
Every Believer is Important to Me
I Corinthians 12:31
All believers are called to serve Me, whether or not they occupy one of the seven office ministries. There has often been a misconception about the significance of subordinate ministries, particularly the Ministry of Helps (I Corinthians 12:28). I've heard many women complain that it's the men who get to do all the important things, because only they can be church authorities. Some have even said: "Helps? That's what's left over after all the other ministries have been taken."
I can foresee what will happen at the Believers' Judgment Seat, held just after the Rapture of the Church. Many a woman's face is going to light up with joy when she realizes just how highly I valued her lonely prayer vigils for foreign missionaries. That dear saint who contributed her sewing or cooking skills to aid in a church charity project. That one who baked an extra plate of cookies for a lonely shut-in, or delivered a big bag of foodstuffs to a hungry family. That skilled typist who labored over boring church reports in order to free up her pastor for other duties. Nothing is more precious to Me than the faithfulness of My people. I have not called you to be a superstar, but to be faithful, and to keep on keeping on being that way.
The Ministry of Helps is an honorable one, and is carried out by faithful individuals who love their Savior and His Church. Some mistakenly think Paul considered women second-class Christians, just because they are not called to authoritative office ministries. But he knew My divine order, and he faithfully stuck to it in his teachings. Paul was grateful for the help of women disciples (Romans 16:1-4, 6; Philippians 4:3).
Everything I call you to do in My Name, I grant you a special grace to do it. Indeed, it is a wonderful gift I have bestowed upon your life (Romans 12:6). Even giving and showing compassion for others are extremely important expressions of the Life of Christ (verse 8). The disciple Dorcas was loved by many because of her works of charity in distributing handmade garments to the poor (Acts (: 36-42). Someone who gives a cup of cold water in My Name will be rewarded for that (Matthew 10:42). I treasure all your kindnesses toward other believers, and I will never forget them (Hebrews 6:10).
No, your pastor can't do the entire job all by himself. Moses was physically unable to attend to the needs of all his people single-handedly, and began to unravel from the stress. He cried out to Me to relieve him of the practical burdens of people's whining demands for food and reassurance. I appointed seventy men to help him, and put the same anointing of My Spirit upon them for their task as was upon Moses. Moses was saved from a nervous breakdown, and the people's needs were attended to (Numbers 11:10-17). These men were Moses' faithful elders, and they also performed a Ministry of Helps.
The Amalekites came to Rephidim to fight a battle with the Children of Israel. Moses, along with Aaron and Hur, climbed to the top of a hill overlooking the battleground. So long as Moses held up his rod, Israel prevailed against the Amalekites. But when Moses' arms grew weary and he had to drop them, the Amalekites got the upper hand. Finally, Moses just had to sit. Hoping I would understand Moses' human weakness, his friends brought him a large stone to sit on, and held up his hands for him. I was gracious toward My faithful servants. Those who supported Moses' ministry merited the same reward for service as he did, for he could not have completed his ministry without their faithful, consistent help. It was needful that My standard be lifted up to defeat the enemy, but I never insisted that one person should bear the burden all alone. Because of this vital Ministry of Helps, Moses didn't fail in his own ministry and the Israelites were able to win the battle (Exodus 17: 8-13).
Never forget, My people, the great need you have of one another.
The Spirit of Prophecy
Proverbs 14:4; I Thessalonians 5:19-21; Revelation 19:10b
The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy. I long to impart a fresh Word to encourage My embattled people, but all too often My voice is silenced by church leaders who fear the misuse of the spiritual gifts. Several of my anointed saints out in the congregation might feel My message of love burning in their hearts and long to share it with people who need to hear it. But they are implicitly or expressly forbidden to do so by their leaders. My people long for refreshing from heaven, but the avenue of prophecy has been sealed off by pastors over-zealous to keep their sheep fenced in.
In a desperate bid to prevent the barn from getting dirty, the ox is sold down the river. The pastor then wonders where the power has gone and why the harvest fields are left unplowed. Such leaders fail to realize that I am able to forgive even slips of the tongue and errors made by devout Christians in their first efforts to move in the gifts. When you first began to walk, weren't there occasions when you stumbled and fell? But you got right back up and tried again until you acquired correct balance. So long as prophecy is open to judgment and correction, no one will be any the worse because some saint obeyed Me and began to venture out in faith to speak in My Name.
My Spirit of Prophecy will not be extinguished from the earth just because men try to quench it. A fresh word is always needed to impart strength to the weary, and hope to the failing soul. I will not be stopped by the repression of lukewarm church leaders. If I cannot operate within the context of a formal church setting, I must speak to My children outside the church building. But I will not be muzzled.
Remember how David was driven from the congregation of Israel by a jealous Saul? He had temporarily lost access to the rituals of the Tabernacle of Meeting. But he was in danger and needed to know that I was still with him and willing to guide him and protect him. Out there in the wilderness, Abiathar the priest used the sacred ephod to obtain help for David, for that was an important way of obtaining My guidance during that Old Testament dispensation. I did not refuse David My succor just because he had been cut off from formal church services. Nor will I withhold divine help from My children, just because their pastors do not really believe that My supernatural power is relevant in modern times.
Indeed, there is coming such a mighty outpouring of My waters of blessing that it would be just as futile to try to dam up the waters of the sea as to try to keep it under wraps.
Set My Spirit Free
II Corinthians 3:17 I Thessalonians 5:19
I say to My lukewarm congregations, who claim to possess the Full Gospel: Why are you so ashamed of Me? With every head bowed and every eye closed you wheedle and beg sinners to get up out of their seats and come to the front to repent.
Must you encourage timidity in new converts from the very outset of their walk with Me? If these spiritual babes lack the courage to acknowledge Me before the congregation, how will they bear witness of My salvation before this lost and dying world?
Why should any of you be ashamed of Me to begin with? I certainly wasn't ashamed to die for you on the Cross of Calvary. If you act ashamed of Me before men, then I will also be ashamed to acknowledge you before the Throne of My Father in heaven.
If you claim to be a Full Gospel congregation, why are you always looking for ways to put the damper on supernatural manifestations of My Life? "We don't want to offend visitors," you say. So you quench the Fire of My Spirit in your service as you preach your powerless, non-offensive message in a well-modulated tone which only serves as a lullaby for slumbering saints.
What good is a perfectly formed corpse with no life in it? Many churches are beautiful mausoleums devoid of My life-changing Power. Not because I am withholding it, but because you just won't let it in the front door. I can barely sneak in through the back to take My rightful place in your church! The Power of the Gospel has been banished and barred by pastors who want to keep the atmosphere of the Sunday morning service "nice" for visitors dead in sin. They really need to be resurrected to newness of Life.
I can barely get a word in edgewise even on Sunday evenings, or during the midweek service. I just don't get star billing on your program.
Far better that you be cold or hot, rather than lukewarm. At least if you're cold, you have no excuse to be complacent, and will more likely seek Me for the Fire of My Spirit. Lukewarm souls congratulate themselves on not being so deficient as others, and able to squeeze through the Pearly Gates "by the skin of their teeth."
But I said in Revelation that I'll spew you out of My mouth if you settle for a lukewarm condition. Nothing is more dangerous to a Christian than to lose his awareness of his continual need of me!
I hold the pastors responsible for discouraging the flow of the Spirit in My congregations. I command them to seek Me for wisdom and guidance on the operation of the spiritual gifts. They are responsible to incite My people to boldness, and to encourage them to glory in the God of their salvation before a lost and dying world.
Shutting Me Out
Matthew 13:22; John 15:4-5
Oh, the myriad distractions that divert My children from Me! Television programs. Radio. The stereo. The Internet. Work projects. Hobbies. Other people. Worthless books and empty novels. Social engagements. Whenever I call My people to seek My face, there are all sorts of reasons to put Me off.
You've often wondered why your prayers lack power, why the answers don't seem to come quickly enough. But you have distanced yourself from Christ, your Source of power.
When I try to speak to you about sin in your life, you shrink from Me, tune Me out, and tune in the TV instead, just to create a welcome diversion. But the joy of your salvation is missing.
When a miracle is needed to solve a pressing problem, it is often the result of ignoring My clear warnings about smaller problems which weren't nipped in the bud and had time to grow into great difficulties.
Repent now, you who have put me last on your "TO DO List". I would have our broken fellowship to be restored, that our joy may be full and your prayers be not hindered.
"If It Be Thy Will"
Exodus 15:26; 23:25; Isaiah 53:4-6; James 1: 5-8; Hebrews 11:6; I Peter 2:24 ; I John 3:8b
There is no place for vacillation in the Prayer of Faith, for true faith imparts a deep certainty in your spirit that I have heard you, and will grant your petition. It is the earnest Prayer of Faith which will raise up the sick from his bed of suffering, not a feeble prayer which makes allowances for possible failure of that prayer. If you think your prayer will probably fail, it will fail, because you don't really have that deep knowledge in your spirit that I will answer it! Before you go to pray for someone to receive a miracle,draw aside to be alone with Me first, that I might infuse into your heart My Assurance of Faith that I will be present in power to bring healing, or grant any other miracle which is needed to resolve a crisis.
My sovereign will must always be respected, and when I do not give assurance of immediate healing, there is always a reason for it. But I have promised in My Word to heal My people, and to forgive their sins. Stripes were laid upon the back of My own precious Son to provide healing for the total person, for there was no sickness in this earth before the Fall of Adam. Through Christ's sufferings for sin, He purchased your right to be made whole, and to walk in divine health and healing. He came to earth to destroy the works of the devil, among which are sicknesses and diseases of every sort. The Children of Israel were promised freedom from sickness and disease, so long as they remained obedient to Me.
Sometimes healing is gradual, or there is a reason it doesn't immediately manifest. I had My reasons for not removing the Apostle Paul's thorn in the flesh, even after he had petitioned me three times to do it. Your body is still awaiting its redemption, and is still corruptible. I must constantly renew your strength.
I have seen many ministers pray over sick folk, but these servants of God possessed no more faith than the afflicted one. Some are bound by the constraints of their denominations, and will not receive certain promises of My Word. These men fear invoking the displeasure of their church board or other earthly authority.
I have always taught My people to be submissive toward duly appointed authorities, whether secular or in the Church. But I am the ultimate Authority, and every one of My people must first answer to Me for what they believe, teach and practice. Whenever My Truth is suppressed, My people always pay a bitter price, and the enemy triumphs. Many well-meaning saints have died prematurely because they thought divine healing was no longer for today. It rejoices My heart when one of My children comes home to heaven and is finally freed from earthly suffering. But it is never My perfect will for a life of service for the Kingdom of God to be cut short by sickness and disease.
There are even those preachers who insist that I find sickness a valuable tool to make saints more patient, or to get sin out of their lives. Their faith in the power of Christ's Blood to sanctify a soul is weak, and they cannot pray for a sick saint's healing with any confidence. They themselves have been wrongly taught that it brings Me great glory to see My people patiently putting up with the attacks of satan, so it must be My will for them remain ill indefinitely. But these same preachers will rush to the medicine chest whenever they get the slightest headache or feel the first signs of flu. They will pay high insurance premiums so they can rush to their doctors at the first sign of a complaint. If they truly believe that sickness brings Me glory, why don't they pray for an even worse headache, instead of taking aspirin?
My Son instructed His people to pray that My will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. Are there any sick angels in heaven? Are the saints in Glory sick? If it is My will for them to be well, why shouldn't you desire to be whole also?
That's why the spiritual gifts of healing, faith and miracles must be sought for by My people.
Put No Confidence in the Flesh
Do not depend on the gifts of nature to maintain your health day by day. If you reject the healing Christ, you must, of necessity, place your confidence in something far inferior, the flesh. Some will reason: "I don't believe God heals anymore, so it's a good thing I've got good genes and won't end up as sick as some people. At least that's in my favor."
By all means eat properly, rest and take daily exercise in moderation, but don't put your confidence in the flesh. Let your confidence be in the power of Christ within you to strengthen and enable you to be well and strong enough to complete what I have given you to do in this world. Remember that even the most dedicated and skillful of doctors are also created beings, bright though they may be. Appreciate them, for they have their place in My scheme of things. Don't look down on them, for even the apostle Luke was a physician and served Me in that capacity. Yet remember that while their understanding of how the body ticks is great, My own is immeasurable. Always pray at the first sign of illness or trouble and I will show you what further steps to take. Never treat prayer as a last resort, though I in My mercy will always receive your petition because you are My dear child.
The old order of things shall soon pass away. You shall soon be completely rid of the weak cocoon of the flesh nature and clothed in glorious immortality. Then it will be easy to trust only in Me to maintain you in eternal health and life.
Getting There Quicker
Through the operation of the Gift of Faith I would even cause answers to come to prayers you prayed long ago, prayers you felt like giving up on. This Gift, when activated by My Spirit, gives the saint confidence to see mountains of great difficulty moved.
It is true that sometimes in My wisdom certain prayers take a great while to be answered. Other times I would do a quick work, and the Gift of Faith is often the channel through which this comes about. When the answer seems to come more quickly than usual, with far less struggle in spiritual warfare, this can be compared to the difference between getting to California by travelling over the Mojave desert in a covered wagon and flying over it in an air-conditioned jet.
Either way you get there, but the Gift of Faith is a miraculous work of my grace in the life of any believer through whom it is manifested.
Sickness is No Virtue
I Corinthians 11:30-32
Many preachers insist on extolling the power of sickness to work the fruits of the Spirit into a person's life. Therefore, I am said to use pain and sickness to make a person more Christlike.
Sickness does not sanctify an individual, although maintaining faith in Me in the midst of suffering has sometimes served to provide a good testimony to others. Conversely, a person who feels terrible may take it out on others, or even accuse Me of being unfaithful to My Word. A sick person may become more self-centered and cantankerous than ever, and so engrossed in his own world of pain that the needs of others are far from his mind.
Certain individuals, like Job, have endured terrible trials, in order that My own purposes for them, in them, and through them might be realized. There are mysteries of My will which mortal saints cannot fathom in this present evil world. Through Job's suffering, an enduring testimony to his faith in God was left behind for the blessing of future generations, and his eternal reward for his faithfulness is very great.
No, it was not because of sin that Job was sick for a long time. This applies to many true-hearted believers who are resisting the devil and standing on My promises in this war zone of a world. My promises may not always manifest immediately in the visible realm, but ultimately they must be proven true, and My Word must ultimately triumph.
Unfortunately, there are times when a believer rebels against My Lordship and refuses to humble himself before Me. As a result, he removes himself from under the Blood Covering and leaves himself wide open to satanic attack. Sickness can come as a result of unrepented sin, and be a chastisement for it. Only when the backslider gets his priorities straight with Me can I undertake to heal him.
While much sickness springs from direct demonic attack, sometimes it comes from natural causes like strong resentment toward another person, smoking, alcoholism, bad nutrition, or overeating. I am able to show each person where the problem lies, so appropriate steps can be taken to resolve the situation. Insufficient intake of pure water has caused much physical infirmity.
Victory comes to all My children who trust in Me, though sometimes the manifestation of the promise is delayed. Remember that your ultimate victory, and the total redemption of your body, will only be realized when you are changed into immortality. Never let another Christian make you feel like a failure just because you have prayed for healing and are still waiting for it to manifest in your body.
Eating for Spiritual Health
Numbers 11:4-34; Psalms 78: 20-31; Eph. 4:14-16; Col. 2:8; Heb. 13:9
Many of My people tend to be far more concerned about their overall diet quality and the types of food they put into their bodies than the sort of stuff they take into their soul. And they will go to great lengths to insure the purity of their groceries, making sure there are no artificial additives and chemicals. They will keep their refrigerators and kitchenware scrupulously clean, they are so cautious about what goes into their mouths.
But they can be indifferent about the quality of their spiritual nourishment. Pure truth can become tainted beyond recognition. Even after I provided manna for My people in the wilderness to satisfy their hunger, they did not rest content. The bread which fell from heaven met every nutritional need they had, but they aroused My wrath by demanding flesh food, because its taste was much more exciting. Many are turning back to go sit by the flesh pots of Egypt once again. They forsake from the Bread of Heaven in favor of exciting fleshly doctrines of men which cannot satisfy the deepest needs of the soul. Only Jesus is able to impart eternal life. Substituting carnal things for Him leads to perdition.
Even if a doctrine or teaching is partially based on the Bible, undiscerning saints are liable to swallow a lot of New Age error mixed into it. Strange doctrines spun from personal speculation or popular philosophies are passed off as gospel truth by ministers who often don't know any better themselves, the enemy has them so blind. That is just another of satan's tactics to move Christ out of the center of your focus, and to confuse you as to what My Word really does say on an issue.
Beware of spiritual junk food!
A Time to Ask Abundantly
John 16:23-24; James 1:5
You never have to back off from Me with the reserve you sometimes show towards human friends. People love to play cat-and-mouse games with each other. A lack of openness can damage or even destroy human relationships. Some transparent souls never master the shadowy art of tit-for-tat, give-and-take personal interaction. That's why their "friends" are so few, and why the world looks down on them. Worldly people are very careful about which buttons they push in the give-and-take of human friendship. They are calculatedly cautious about how they approach even those who profess to like them.
You've heard this one countless times: "Oh, no bother at all. Ask me anytime, night or day. I'll always be there for you, you can always count on me."
But if you take their promises at face value, you pay a heavy price for being so naive. Those people usually begin to freeze you out. Or, they'll just drop you abruptly. Alas, you can seldom trust people to say exactly what they mean, or mean what they say, can you?
Oh, My precious child, I am not that way. Although many well-meaning Christians will tell you: "Be careful not to present too many petitions to God in one day, or He might consider you a spoiled brat instead of a dutiful child of His. After all, you mustn't treat God like your personal errand boy."
There are lots of Christians who act just that way, begging Me for material "blessings" for no higher reason than to keep abreast of all the latest fashion trends and innovations in consumer goods. I am not interested in pandering to people's lusts for unnecessary things.
How true, Paul's inspired words: "Having food and clothing, let us be content." So long as you and your loved ones are well and able to serve Me in this world, you should never see a half-empty cup, but be grateful that I have made your lives complete in Myself.
But there are times when genuine, pressing needs pile up in your life. When your personal well-being is truly at stake, or you lack something you need to serve Christ effectively, you must give extra attention to prayers of petition. It is then your cup must be viewed as partially empty.
No, I don't get irritated when you come to Me again and again and again to meet your personal needs, nor does My supply ever fall short of your need. Human love and patience are indeed limited, but My love for you is infinitely more wonderful than human love!
Don't ever be ashamed to ask. Come to Me with all your needs, both great and small, and I will gladly meet them all.
Take Time to Plant a Tiny Seed
Exodus 4:10-16; I Cor.3:6-7; II Cor.3:5
My dear children, so many of you tend to look only at your personal shortcomings, and focus on your lack of talent and abilities in the area of people skills. You find a ready-made opt out when it comes to witnessing because you are shy, or inarticulate in speaking, either to individuals or crowds. You somehow have bought into satan's suggestion that only trained, certified experts have the right to share the Good News. After all, whispers satan, what if you make a big blunder and do far more harm than good?
Even the great prophet Moses pleaded earnestly with me to be let out of his assignment. He had been caring for dumb sheep in the wilderness for forty years, hardly uttering a word to a solitary soul. His public speaking skills were abysmal, he pleaded, so can't You please appoint someone else to do this difficult job, O Lord?
I found a ready mouthpiece for Moses in Aaron, though Moses retained the position I'd chosen for him. Moses' very humility was a tremendous asset to him. I never could have used a proud, haughty man to lead multitudes of Israelites out of the Promised Land.
Yes, you are but dust. But I have breathed My own everlasting Life into your nostrils and I have anointed thy tongue to speak a word in good season to him that is weary. There are those who will coldly rebuff you when you get past a certain point and throw up defenses of all kinds. But at least say something which glorifies Christ and what He has done for you, and how you could never get by in this difficult world without Him. Perhaps the other person is a stubborn intellectual or other type who seems hard as a rock and cold as ice. But all people want to feel loved and secure, especially where it pertains to their ultimate destiny.
Don't fool yourselves, my people. These so-called atheists will ofttimes lie awake at night and wonder, "What on earth am I here for?" There are secrets lurking within their consciousness which they would never dare tell even their own mother. People of this age are extremely proud, boasting of their self-sufficiency, that they are full, and rich, and in need of nothing. But when infirmities, weakness or creeping age eats away at their self-bravado, it is then they feel their fragile fortress of pride beginning to crumble and it is then they just might remember the word of encouragement you shared concerning Christ. It is then the seed begins to sprout.
Romans 8:1-2; Gal. 1:6-9
A certain couple sallied forth into the woods to collect mushrooms for supper. The husband was a stubborn fellow, too proud to take advice from his wife, for he thought he knew everything about mushroom hunting. The wife was a more prudent person, willing to wait until she was certain she'd found the genuine article.
The man spied some pretty fungi beneath a tree. Swayed solely by their appearance, he picked a few and tossed them in his basket.
"Leave them alone," said his wife. "I just know they're poisonous!"
"No,' said the man, "these are rare morels. You can't get them at the supermarket."
"Well, I'd rather stick with mushrooms I know for sure to be safe," the woman said, "and I'd rather do without than risk poisoning."
"Not me!" said her husband. "I didn't come all the way out here for nothing. We've been out here for an hour and I'm not going home without any mushrooms."
"Harry, please," she begged. "Really, it's just not worth the risk."
But he refused to heed her warning. He argued that the fungi were so beautiful they couldn't possibly be harmful, and it would be a waste not to eat them. That night, he cooked them up and ate them over her protestations. He ended up being driven to the hospital to get his stomach pumped. Harry lived, but he was mighty sick for several days.
Lots of my children swallow religious teaching that appears breathtakingly beautiful, deeply stirring a person's religious sentiment. It might even be flashy and exciting, such as the get-rich-quick gospel. Or it might be on the opposite spectrum and lay heavy emphasis on denying the flesh and asceticism to gain points with Me. Either way, it is harmful and often deadly to your faith. Satan often appears in gorgeous religious robes to get you to veer off the Narrow Way to Life, faith in Christ and Him Crucified.
Spiritual Rat Poison
Psalms 58:4-5; 140:3; Eccl. 10:11; Jere. 8:17; Matt. 12: 33-37; 17:21; James 3:1-12
Any expert toxicologist knows how hard it is to remove all traces of poison from a person's system. Even after death arsenic remains in the corpse. It can even be detected in the bones and hair centuries after the person was poisoned. The passage of time fails to flush poison out of a system.
How much more insidious is spiritual poison left in hearts by insensitive individuals who systematically ridicule and berate others? Especially if the offender is a professing Christian who ought to know better. You can much more easily brush off digs and insults from an unbeliever, but when some professing believer piles on the abuse it sinks deep into the marrow of your psyche.
The spirit and soul comprise that part of a person that endures for eternity. Why should you think it is easier to recover from spiritual abuse than physical? Whenever you notice yourself spitting up poison you swallowed years ago, it's time to seek My face for deliverance from the power of satan. Fast, pray, at least for a few solid hours a day until you feel My power is at work in your innermost parts to completely cleanse you of poison some spiritual viper injected into you.
Beware of Spiritual Butchers
Matt. 5:7, 44-45; 9:12; John 8:1-11; Acts Chapter 10; Rom. 2:4; 12:14; Gal. 3:13; I Cor. 6:17; 13:1-7;II Cor. 5:17; Col. 2:14; II Tim. 1:16-18; I Pet. 2:20; 4:8
Beware of which pastures you graze in, and I speak especially to those who are geographically cut off from true agape fellowship, those people who must glean what prayer support and edification they can through means other than a sound local church.
Some of those who claim to be "deliverance ministries" are little better than spiritual butchers, the clumsy way they handle hurting, seeking souls. They know much about the fearful penalties cited in the Old Testament for breaking My Law. But they know precious little about My grace and willingness to forgive. Those with plenty of knowledge but no love minister hopelessness and fear to hurting people who seek from Me a word of reassurance, comfort, and hope.
One problem is the way the curse of the Law is held over the head of people whom I have redeemed, who have diligently prayed for and pleaded My Blood over the souls of their loved ones. People being what they are, sometimes these much-prayed-for souls will stray into occult practices despite the warnings and prayers of saints who love them.
If you have received a word of reassurance in your spirit about your son or your daughter or your spouse concerning their salvation, then I will be true to My Word and will be gracious unto them. I see not only their sin but the motive behind it. If a person is deeply troubled, grief-stricken or confused, the enemy will rush in to take advantage of this. This is a different case from when a person hates Me and dabbles in the occult to spite me. Many of the children of Israel tired of Me and of My rule over their lives. So they opted for demonic "gods" who gave them plenty of excitement but made no inconvenient demands on their lives. This led to sorcery, witchcraft, astrology and even to human sacrifice. My punishment upon those apostates was very severe. Even then My goal was to lead the nation of Israel back to Myself by withdrawing My blessings and protection for a time.
If your troubled loved one strays into any occult practice, don't give up on them. Keep on praying for them. I am able to save them just as assuredly as if the offense was non-occultic in nature, such as as lying, swearing, cheating, adultery or theft. I have even forgiven and restored murderers at various points in history.
Some people have gone to the wrong ministry for prayer for their loved ones. Instead of getting reassurance of My power to save and restore sinners and backsliders, all they have gotten is reassurance that I have already put a terrible curse on their loved one for the offense committed against My Word.
It would be grossly unfair for Me to demand a higher standard of conduct from human beings than I do from Myself. I have commanded My people to bless those who curse them , and pray for people who despitefully use them and persecute them. Why? In order that you might act like the children of your Father Who is in heaven: for I make My sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and I send My rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. And I have said: Bless those who persecute you. Bless, and curse not. Why, then, should I expect fragile human beings like you to bless hostile brutes who curse you, but you should expect Me to be eager to curse people who stumble in other ways?
I know the frailty of My people, and if people who walk closely with Me can be tempted, why should I not expect that unconverted people and backsliders will be even more apt to sin because of fallen human nature? In many cases the offender has shown vastly more kindness and charity toward the saint praying for them than the saint has received from other believers. And when that lost loved one shows kindness toward you, He is also ministering to My own need. Will I repay evil for good, and bite the hand that feeds Me?
A thousand times, no. Truth spoken without love and carried to extremes can be mingled with unscriptural folklore and mysticism to make it even more sensational. It is then that a so-called "deliverance ministry" strays into harmful error. Whenever unbalanced "deliverance ministers" tell someone that I have already laid a curse upon their erring loved one to several generations, satan feels like popping open the champagne. Not only does this create despair in the heart of the intercessor and makes that saint feel like giving up on the person he's praying for, it diminishes his faith in My mercy and grace and can even put a distance and coldness between us. Religious deception is satan's favorite crowbar to pry people apart from an intimate love and trust toward Me.
Love beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Time and again I have asked My people to dare to believe that even the very worst sinners could be saved. When I promise one of My children that I will eventually save their loved one, no matter how impossible a case that one seems to be, I ask My child to see that person through eyes of faith, rather than give up on him or her. That is love "believing all things and hoping all things" As for bearing all things and enduring all things, one prime example is the way Peter taught Christian slaves to patiently endure the abuse of cruel masters. Now if I am so patient with belligerent people like that, why wouldn't I also show compassion toward a person who has been good to you, but has made a bad decision, not out of meanness or malice, but because the enemy sowed seeds of confusion in his or her mind?
I didn't consign Cornelius to hell because he had been a heathen Roman who believed in many gods before he sought the true God of Israel. Even when he was still unconverted, Cornelius' many acts of charity arose before My Throne in heaven as a sweet savor of delight. I went out of My way to make a means to save that man, and he responded to me in faith. And when Paul evangelized the Gentiles and many of them came to Christ, Paul did not say to those new converts: "Fine and well you're saved, but now God must lay a 160-year curse upon you for your earlier sorcery and divination! If he had, Christ Himself would have shared in that long curse, because when you come to Christ in repentant faith, you become one spirit with Christ the Lord. And if I can see your loved one's salvation from afar off, why would I lay such a terrible curse upon someone who is destined to be made one spirit with My own dear Son?
From My own perspective in eternity, I can see the entire length of the train track of time, even the end of it, all at the same time. But you dwell in the dimension of time. Unless I anoint your eyes to see as I do, all you can see is the point in time where you stand now. Because I dwell in eternity I can see from afar off the outcome of a situation. I am able to give you bedrock-solid reassurance about specific promises you have received from Me, for I have already witnessed the fulfillment of them all. I have already seen the eventual salvation of that person you're praying for through eternal eyes of faith, and that is why you can see in this way also.
Religious extremists make the Law My master, not the other way around. If I choose to be gracious and defer judgment as an act of My grace, who in heaven or earth can stop Me? The law demanded that a woman taken in adultery be stoned to death. But what did Jesus do when self-righteous men (who harbored hidden sins of their own) asked Him what should be done about her? He forgave the woman and said: Let him who is without sin cast the first stone at her.
Christ has already redeemed My people from the curse of the Law and nailed the Handwriting of ordinances that was against you to His Cross. Included in your deliverance is redemption from every curse which comes from breaking the laws against divination, witchcraft, sorcery, or mediums. By faith your slate is wiped clean. By faith you are made a new creature in Christ Jesus. Old things are passed away, and all things are become new.
Jesus knew demons were out there. But He also knew Who the demons were afraid of. He ate with publicans and sinners. Christ did not cloister Himself to hide from their demons. Instead, He reached out to heal those people spiritually just like He reached out to lepers to heal them. And if any demons were present, Jesus had the power to cast them out. Christ's critics asked Him: Why do you eat with such people? And He said: They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. The Good Shepherd did not go out to curse sinners and backsliders but to gather them into His fold.
What about sins still unrepented-of by weak souls who don't know any better, especially people who are not deliberately defying Me in an attitude of hardened rebellion and malice? Indeed, you must personally repent and trust in the Blood of Christ to have your sins removed as far as east is from west. In this case, you can't remove the cat mess out of the house till the cat repents of making it. But you can cover his mess over with cat litter until he does repent, and fervent love covers a multitude of sins. Before the coming of the Savior to make atonement for sin, the ancient patriarchs would offer up sacrifices to plead with Me for mercy for their erring loved ones. They intreated Me to cover those sins and not look upon them, that their loved ones might be granted space to finally repent. And I heard their entreaties, for I am gracious. I did not immediately punish the wicked Jezebel of Revelation with sickness and death, or immediately afflict her followers. Rather, I gave her extra space to repent. Jezebel didn't repent and had to suffer the consequences. But who will tell Me, the Creator of all flesh, that I have no right to be gracious toward saint and sinner alike?
It is My goodness which leads men to repentance. Don't give up, whatever the sin your loved ones have committed. Keep bringing them before My Throne of Grace in prayer and I will surely hear you on their behalf.
Isaiah 33:24; 35:4-10; Matthew 10:7-8; 11:1-6; 12:28; Mark 16:17-18; Hebrews 13:20-21
There is a widespread belief that although Christians have been redeemed from the Curse of the Law through the Blood of the Lamb, they must suffer a penalty of physical infirmity for being descended from Adam and Eve, who fell in the Garden. There is much teaching today on how I can use weakness, tragedy or sickness to make a person more Christlike, so it is assumed that personal suffering is indispensable in sanctifying My people and I can do it no other way. Many even think I cannot be pleased with them unless they are in a state of continual pain or distress. Such a viewpoint robs Me of glory, for the central focus ought to be on the merits of My suffering on the Cross of Calvary, and the power of the Blood of the Lamb to purify your inward parts.
The mortal believers who shall be born into My Kingdom during My 1000-year Reign will be physical descendants of Adam and Eve, even as saints of today are. They also will have to strive to overcome the resistance of the Adamic flesh nature. Yet they will not have to suffer physical infirmities or tragedies in order to be perfected into My likeness. During the blessed Kingdom Age, all faithful believers will live out their lives in perfect health, contentment, and joy. The devil will have been banished from the scene, and so will not be there to put their faith under fire through burdensome trials.
In this present dispensation the righteous do suffer, though you will not always understand why until you see Me face to face. When he was thrown into prison, John the Baptist wondered why I did not use My power to release him from captivity. He needed further assurance that I was indeed the promised Deliverer. John received a reply which satisfied him: He was told of how I raised the dead, restored sight to the blind, made the lame walk again and the deaf to hear, and how the poor were hearing the Good News of Peace With God. These are the signs and wonders of My Kingdom which has triumphed over that of satan, and will soon be fully manifest in the earth.
I sent My disciples to proclaim the glad tidings of the coming of My Kingdom on earth. Physical healing is one of the many benefits of My Gospel message, along with salvation and daily sanctification. Even now, in these last days before I return to personally rule over this world, I want My people to have a foretaste of what Paradise on earth will be like. I want them to be healthy and strong, to receive miracles of intervention in time of need, and to go from strength to strength each day. I want them to experience Kingdom Victory in their lives right now.
Do Not Ascribe Omnipotence to satan
Judges 16:4-19; Luke 10:18; Col. 2:15; I Pet. 5: 8-9
I warn you in My Word repeatedly to beware of the wiles of the devil, to be sober, to be vigilant in a world full of deadly snares. But one common misconception about satan is that he is all-knowing, all-present, and all-powerful. The devil is nothing more than a fallen cherub assisted by other fallen angels who were cast out of heaven long ago. He lost the brightness of My glory. He was defeated at Calvary by My Son the Lord Jesus. He cannot be everywhere at once and he does not know everything. I am about to ambush him from every side, in preparation for the day in which his illicit kingdom on earth will be totally demolished. He will look for My attack to come from one direction and it will come from another. He will strike out at Me from one side but be hit from seven different vantage points in heavenly places. He who has sown seeds of confusion and destruction in My earth will be totally confused and dismayed as I launch My heavenly missiles at his kingdom of darkness from every side.
You have often felt intimidated by the devil's people. But they are not all-knowing or all-powerful either. Take Delilah as an example. She had no idea where the mighty Samson got his strength, how he could successfully fend off so many attacks at the same time and kill so many of the Lord's enemies in one fell swoop. Her own strength lay not in her tiny arms but in the enchanting wiles she used on this great warrior. Had Samson steadfastly clung to the Word of the Lord against intermarrying with the heathen he would never have fallen into her dainty hands and suffered disgrace and defeat.
In great measure the battle is against your own human frailty. You must resist the temptation to push the parameters of My patience with you, the temptation to play with fire.
Satan is like a thief who siphons gas out of people's cars in the middle of the night, and like a cockroach who grows bolder under cover of darkness. Gross darkness is his domain, and his sphere of operation.
Little by little he'll siphon off your joy in the Lord and faith in My Word, if you do not exercise daily vigilance against his wiles. He'll rob you of inner vitality and whisper subtle lies about My faithfulness as you contend with daily problems or deal with difficult people. He'll do it so gradually that you'll hardly know what you've lost.
Satan's Cluster Bombs
I Samuel 30:6; Psalms 91: 13-15;Galatians 6:2; James 4:7
The devil inspired the invention of napalm, nuclear weaponry, and "smart" war technology. Parallel spiritual weapons are in his arsenal, and he does not hesitate to deploy them against My people.
Whenever satan spots a believer who is not getting the love and prayer support he needs from other saints, he takes advantage of this by setting off his own brand of cluster bombs in the life of that believer. A particularly nasty trial may strike, which leaves the believer feeling shattered enough. But many devastating repercussions follow the original strike. He is left feeling helpless and unable to cope, and hopes to find someone spiritually strong enough to confide in.
Other saints, whose trials are of a more "respectable" variety, recoil from him and leave him feeling very much on his own. Thus the enemy steals solid friendships as well as rest and peace from the saint he has targeted. Whenever I manage to restore such a wounded individual, it is always a miracle of My sovereign grace.
O My people, regardless of how terrible you feel, don't ever give in to satan's lies. Build yourselves up by praying always in the Spirit and meditating continually upon those portions of My Word which are applicable to your situation. David, My mighty warrior, was sometimes discouraged and greatly misunderstood even by his friends, but he learned how to encourage himself in the Lord, and thus gain victory over daunting foes. He said: I will go in the strength of the Lord my God. Even as David emerged triumphant, so I will enable you to trample underfoot the minions of darkness. In the midst of sorrow I will even give you a supernatural anointing of My joy, fill you with hope and drive away the spirit of heaviness which besets you.
Pray one for another. Bear one another's burdens in love, as I impart the ability. Corporately, as well as individually, take up the mighty Sword of the Spirit, resist the Thief, and he will flee from you.
I Work Behind the Scenes
Not all My mighty acts are dramatic events. Daily I work in less conspicuous ways to protect you, often from dangers you are unaware of. If I waited until you became aware of the danger to intervene, it would be too late. I miraculously order the right set of circumstances to bring about answers to urgent problems or needs. Many tragedies and accidents have been prevented by angelic intervention.
Sometimes you recover from an injury or illness much more rapidly and completely than you would have, had I not infused My Resurrection Life into your body. During times of stress, I am able to infuse a pervasive peace into your soul. There have been occasions when it was miraculous that you did not break down and cry or lose your temper. It was I Who gave you the strength to endure, not nature.
The next time satan tells you your faith has never once resulted in a miracle, encourage yourself in Me by remembering My behind-the-scenes faithfulness.
Your Impossibilities: My Opportunities to Work Miracles
Matthew 5:5; II Corinthians 3:17;
I am not limited by the barriers you confront every day, for where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. I am not bound by time and space, or by the sordid state of this world's economy. I know that a few evil men think they have commandeered the lion's share of this world's wealth to hoard for themselves, but they are only laying it up in store for the meek who shall inherit all things. It has even been argued that there is only one pie, and many of My people are only poor little pilgrims just barely scraping by, marking time till they are cut loose from the fetters of this world's cares, and finally get to walk the streets of gold.
My people need eyes of faith to see the reality of the Kingdom Life which transcends the wretched way this present evil world system puts the squeeze on My weary ones. Ask Me for an anointing of faith which enables you to see that you are receiving the benefits of My Kingdom, to know that you have an enduring substance in heaven which is impervious to the ups and downs of this earthly economy. I would even have you to remember that I inhabit the Glory World, where there is never any scarcity, and where righteousness reigns.
Proclaim that you are a citizen of My Kingdom, an heir of the Father of Light, and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. Even Paul, when he was severely tried in material things could say: Though I seem to have nothing, yet I possess all things.
In times of vexation or trial, draw upon My resources, for I have promised to always meet the needs of My faithful ones. I will make a way for you where there seems to be no way.
If it is beyond the range of human possibility to meet the need, then you must petition Me for a miracle. With Me, nothing shall be impossible.
Hindered by Unbelief
When you pray for a need to be met, let your subsequent words and actions reflect the faith which is within you. If, following your petition for success, I have imparted to your heart the assurance that all will be well, do not make contingency plans in case of failure. If I have matured you spiritually to the point where you have full inner assurance of possessing divine health, do not contradict this by acting as if you expect to get sick or stay sick . If you are certain I have directed you to go pray for a sick person, do not rehearse an excuse to offer him "in case he doesn't get any better".
There is no sadder scene than an unbelieving preacher visiting a member of his flock who lies sick in bed, only to have that person end up in worse condition after the visit. In studied religious vernacular the faithless preacher tells the patient that the days of miracles are past, and he must accept his disease as part of My sovereign will. Sometimes a prayer is offered up that I will give attending doctors and nurses skill in performing their duties, and will make the medication work to maximum effectiveness. This kind of prayer shows a degree of care and concern, but is sometimes just thinly veiled unbelief. Some preachers feel they are on a very tight leash and dare not step beyond the boundaries of faith and practice permitted by their church board. They stop well short of petitioning Me to intervene directly and touch the patient with My healing power. They want to make sure their prayers are "fool-proof", and that the answer is not beyond the scope of modern medicine.
When the modern marvels of science fail, where will deniers of My power turn for help?
Do Not Limit Me to Natural Possibilities
Psalms 78:41; Mark 9:23; John Chapter 11: 1-46
It isn't much of an exercise in faith for a rich man to pray this prayer over a bountiful table: "Father, give us this day our daily bread". Nor does it take much faith for that same man to pray for a new automobile or computer when he already possesses the funds to go out and purchase it.
A less affluent believer might need a hundred dollars to meet an emergency. This, of course, would take some faith to obtain if all a man has left over from paying his bills is a ten. If he knows there are ways he can earn or borrow the hundred in time to meet the need, then he finds the prayer relatively simple.
But if he isn't truly moving in faith, he will be floored by the enemy when a crisis arises which requires thousands of dollars to resolve. He looks all round him, but knows there is no way he can even come close to getting such a large sum in time. True faith in Me is always accompanied by the realization that apart from Me, you are completely powerless and have nothing!
So long as a sick person is alive, people can cling to hopes of a breakthrough. But once death comes, hope for a continuance of that one's mortal life is vain. When Lazarus died, there was no natural way his friends and family could have brought him back to the world of the living. When life hits rock bottom there seems to be absolutely NO hope of improvement. Your back is against the wall, and there's no light at the end of the tunnel.
What anguish it brought to My heart to see his dear sisters crying. For much of Lazarus' life, they had been concerned over his fragile health and the possibility that his life might not be a long one. Martha, the elder sister, and hardiest of the three, had had to assume the lion's share of the responsibilities for running their home and business. How depressing for the two sisters, that in spite of all their tender solicitude for this weak man, he had died.
When I delayed coming to them for four days, I met with all sorts of criticism. Why, they wanted to know, hadn't I come to work a miracle when it was still within the pale of reasonable possibility?
How human it was for those people to be so short-sighted. Had I arrived on the scene to resurrect Lazarus just immediately after his death, the authenticity of the miracle could have been called into question. My enemies could have cast doubts on My integrity, and accused Me of chicanery.
Sometimes a situation get so hopelessly bad it stinks, and you're simply tired of praying about it. Martha was right when she told me Lazarus' corpse had already begun to stink. The climate was a hot one, and decomposition had already set in. I didn't even have decent-looking remains to infuse life back into. I looked unto My Father in faith, knowing that only through His mighty power could the dead one return to life. I depended on the limitless power of My Father to create new life, not what was available in the hopeless circumstances surrounding the problem. I spoke these few words of faith: "Lazarus, come forth!". And it worked, to the greater glory of My Father.
Don't Depend on Pretty Props
Isaiah 53:2; I Corinthians 2:3-5
When I appeared on the scene to resurrect Lazarus, I did not make a very impressive entrance. I was not introduced with great fanfare. Nor did I enter that tragic scene with self-assured air, smiling and waving greetings. My head was bowed with grief, much more for the wretched spiritual condition of those about me than for the departed man. My eyes were red with weeping, for I, the Great Shepherd, felt great compassion for those wandering sheep of Mine. My heart was so heavy. I knew that Lazarus would be resurrected, but I also knew he would return to this world only to be hated by evil Pharisees who would want him dead again.
There was no flowery music playing to create the mood for a miracle. I did cut a very dazzling figure. I had just travelled down dusty roads, and My homespun garment reeked of sweat. Not everyone was pleased to see Me, and I received no wild applause. I was not introduced by a silver-tongued promoter, but faced despairing tears from mourners and scattered jeers from skeptics. Only My faithful disciples and the two sisters of the dead man still believed in Me. But in spite of those unpolished circumstances, the power of God was present, and the miracle came.
An Evil Heart of Unbelief
Matthew 27:50-53, 62-66; 28:11-15; Mark 15:37-38; Luke 23:45; John 11:37-50; Hebrews 3:12; 4:16; 6:19-20; 9:1-15
The Way Into the Holiest had been opened at terrible cost to Myself. Because of this wondrous display of divine love, many believed on My Son and acknowledged that He was truly the Promised One of Israel. Not even His enemies could deny that a notable miracle had been performed, and it could not be explained away. But the chief priests and the Pharisees wanted to maintain the status quo, and they perceived My Son as a threat to their way of life. They cared not that I had come to visit their nation in mercy, or that the Son of the Blessed was walking among them. They were willingly blind to the truth. They were without excuse.
Then, as now, class divisions permeated society. Most of the influential men of wealth would not tolerate a man from the working classes preaching about a God Who highly valued poor saints, One Who condescended to call Himself their Father. The blind leaders of the blind had reinvented Me to suit themselves. When Lazarus was raised, it did not soften their hearts one bit. It only hardened their resolve to fight that much harder against the Truth.
I tell you truly, I could inundate the entire earth with spectacular miracles if I so chose. But there would still be a sizable majority of people who would reject faith in Me. These self-obsessed people fear that if they were to embrace the life of faith, they would also have to acknowledge My Lordship, and submit to the teachings of My Word. Most are not prepared to do this. Those wicked chief priests and Pharisees were much too proud to own the lowly Christ as their Master.
Consider the awfulness of such an evil heart of unbelief. It is deliberate enmity against My love and holiness. It is not even content to confine its depravity to itself. Those wicked men knew they were lying to themselves about My true nature, even as they lampooned and scorned "that carpenter yokel from Nazareth". They had their own program of evangelism-in-reverse, lying to others about Jesus, maligning Him and mocking His miracles. They were even determined to murder both the Miracle-worker and His living evidence.
A most wondrous miracle occurred at the moment of Christ's death. He, the spotless Lamb of God, had just made atonement once and for all for all the sins of humankind. Animal sacrifices had served as temporary promissory notes pointing toward the final payment for sin. At the moment of Christ's death, these were no longer needed. Now the Way into the Holiest Place of all had just been opened for all who would come to Me for everlasting life. No longer was access to My Presence severely restricted as it was before. So the heavy curtain concealing the Most Holy Place in the Temple was ripped in two from top to bottom.
The chief priests knew this miracle had transpired. Moreover they knew there was no rational explanation for it outside of a miracle. Not even the recent earthquake could have caused such stout fabric to rip apart. They even understood the spiritual significance of the divide between the Holy of Holies and the outer courts of the Temple. These learned men understood that the function of the Temple Veil dividing the Holiest Place from the outer courts had been to isolate the Holy Glory of the divine Presence from sinners, lest they be slain in My Presence. So these religious leaders should have acknowledged the true meaning of the tearing of the Temple Veil. They should have fallen on their faces in worship, praise and thanksgiving for this unspeakable sign of grace and favor on My part. The breach between a Holy God and repentant worshippers had finally been healed through the death of My own precious Son.
For centuries saints and prophets had yearned to be brought into a greater intimacy with Myself, for the distance between God and man to be bridged by a Final Atonement for sin which would remove it from My sight forever. But instead of giving Me thanks for this unspeakable grace, these murderers of Christ were angered that they had not heard the last of Someone they viewed as their rival. They refused to acknowledge that I had torn the Veil of Separation Myself and opened the Way into My Holy Presence. Instead they either attributed this miracle to satan or came up with other ludicrous explanations. Not only did these evil men refuse to enter in themselves, but they blinded the people in unbelief with their deceptions, thus sealing the doom of their City of Jerusalem and its Temple.
A word to the wise: Beware that you never despise or war against the supernatural side of My nature.
My Power is Priceless
Acts Chapter 3; 4:1-4
When Peter and John approached the lame beggar at the Gate Beautiful, they had no extra change to spare. "Silver and gold have I none," said Peter, "but I'll give you what I do have. In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."
Not only did that beggar walk, he leaped for very joy, praising Me as he entered the Temple with the two apostles. This miracle opened up an opportunity for Peter to share My Gospel with unbelievers, and many were converted that day.
Today money-obsessed congregations can boast: "Silver and gold have I plenty." The love of money can take souls captive, but money cannot ransom the captives of satan.
Your Privilege is Unspeakably Great
Joel 2: 28-29; Matt. 11:11; Luke 7:28; Gal. 5:6; 6:15; II Cor. 5:17; 6:16; Eph. 3:16-21
Some of My people bemoan the fact they live in the Last Days rather than in the ancient dispensation of the Law. They'll say: "If only I had been in Moses's shoes, or in David's. Such saints have but a superficial understanding of My Word and so they focus only on the glorious highlights of these men's lives. They forget the deep, dark, dangerous valleys which separated the mountaintops of their greatest achievements.
If either of these men could speak to you today, they would say they envy you your greatest privilege, one which they did not enjoy or have the benefit of during their mortal lifetimes: the personal Indwelling of My Blessed Presence. During their time on earth they had to approach Me indirectly through the outward symbols of ritual and sacrifice. Only after the sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of My dear Son made the continuance of animal sacrifice obsolete were My people brought into the secret Place of My direct Presence. Only then did I breathe upon them from on High and fill them with the Life of My Spirit. Only then was it no longer Law written on tables of Stone which governed their lives; now it was the Law of Love operating within their hearts by faith through the Power of My Spirit.
No Room for Me on The Program
II Corinthians 2:4; I Timothy 3:5
How do you think the present state of affairs makes Me feel? Some modern congregations are so determined not to believe in My supernatural workings that were I to walk into their churches, I would be taken aside and briefed on how to comport Myself in order to "establish rapport with the congregation, and avoid offending anyone's finer sensibilities". Some ministers are in a perpetual state of denial. Deep inside they know that in spite of all their fancy education, they are spiritually bankrupt. They also know that because they reject the supernatural element of the Gospel, they have nothing of lasting value to offer those who carry a weight of care on their souls. When they fish for souls, they go without proper bait, then wonder why so few enthusiastically support the church evangelistic program.
The best these skeptical ministers can offer the anemic souls out in the pews is the possibility of a more pleasant afterlife in store for good people, to compensate them for the troubles of this present world. As faith-denying ministers pontificate endlessly on all the reasons why miracles "are not for this dispensation", the hands of the Great Physician are tied.
The Foolish Fisherman
There was a religious fisherman who didn't believe in live bait because he considered it too unrefined and messy. He went to a pond at a time of day when the fish weren't biting, because it was inconvenient to go when the fish were hungry.
These particular fish were way too smart to get hooked on the artificial lures the fisherman used.
The man sat by the bank for hours with hardly a nibble. Finally he got up and preached the fish a rousing sermon: "Fish, I take authority over you and I command you to bite! This bait is the very best human ingenuity could invent, so why hasn't God rewarded me with a big catch?"
Angered, he began to dress down the fish with a vehement voice. He used his fishing rod to flail at the water, as if punishing it for refusing to yield up its bounty. His shouts of rage only drove the fish away.
If you want to catch souls for Jesus you'd better lure them with the same bait Jesus used.
Water Into Wine
John 2:1-11; 16:24
Many of you hesitate to offer up prayer petitions which seem too self-centered, in view of the fact that others have much more pressing needs. But remember, I am a personal God Who is present everywhere at the same time. I have millions of children, but still have lots of time for each one. And I am not limited like some weary healing evangelist praying for individuals in an interminable line, one by one. I invite you to come into My Holy Presence any time, night or day, whenever you sense a need in your life, either great or small. Even a seemingly tiny problem can hinder your life. A minuscule pebble in the bottom of your shoe can hamper the race you are running, and you need to take the time to have it removed in order to make further progress.
I love to shower gifts upon My loved ones, although I do not spoil them to the point of ruination. I sometimes surprise you with blessings you did not pray for or expect. I turned brackish water into rich wine for a wedding party which had run dry. I know that had I not done this, no one would have died of thirst. But I wanted to show you in a practical way that My will is for My Wine of Joy to fill your life and make your cup overflow with thanksgiving, to replace the brackish water of sorrow.
I Deliver From Evil
Jeremiah 1:8; Matthew 6:13; John 17:15
Millions are crying out for deliverance, wondering why they feel themselves perpetually beneath a crushing weight of gloom, unable to break free of bad habits or overcome temptations. Many wonder why thoughts of suicide burst in on their consciousness at unexpected moments.
It grieves Me to see even Bible-believing Christians hounded by the devil to their graves, beset by chronic afflictions and obsessions, literally worrying themselves to death, because of satanic oppression.
How absurd, how tragic, the way ministers try to sermonize, rationalize, and theorize the devil away. He is not afraid of liberal theologians who relegate spiritual warfare to a "less enlightened era" of church history. But he is terrified of those whose hearts are receptive to My Word, and have prepared themselves to do the will of their Heavenly Father.
Sighs and Wonders
When will My people put less emphasis on staging "orderly" services, and more on fearlessly doing the will of their Heavenly Father? Jesus promised that signs would follow those who believe; and when He made that statement prior to His Ascension to heaven, He did not restrict that promise to the twelve apostles or believers of the first century only.
But I am continually hampered by unbelief. Instead of signs and wonders occurring in the church, the Lord is left on the sidelines. He sighs and wonders when the anemic church service will end.
Exorcism: A Socially Unacceptable Ministry
Matthew 10:8; Mark 7:9
One of the most important assignments I gave My faithful ones before My ascent to heaven was to cast out devils. Yet there is a woeful shortage of anointed men and women who are willing to be used to deliver those who are bound by the devil.
The greatest hindrance to the manifestation of this vital ministry in My church is cultural bias. It simply isn't a "nice" ministry, and few want it. Those who believe in a literal devil, and demonic possession in particular, are apt to have their intelligence or educational credentials questioned by their peers.
There have been many centuries of opposition to the miraculous outworkings of My Spirit, particularly those things which are labeled as uncouth, and unbefitting the refined atmosphere of a setting of worship. Many otherwise devout ministers shudder at the thought that they could be labeled as fanatics, if they take the directives of Christ too literally. They fear being placed in the same category as snake handlers or other cultists if they get down to the nitty-gritty of casting demons out of the lives of sinners or oppressed believers.
It is much more respectable to tell a severely depressed person that all he needs is a good psychiatrist to make his troubles go away. It is easier to tell a person whose sleep is disturbed by hellish nightmares that all he needs to do is practice more positive thinking. But in the case of demonic oppression or possession, that dear one is powerless to pull himself up by his own bootstraps.
The devil is at work in the lives of many distressed people, and my anointed ministers must not whitewash him by calling him by such names as a negative attitude, or a mild personality quirk. He laughs at Christians who ignore or explain away passages referring to the deliverance ministry, although they know My Word, and are well aware that Christ and his disciples cast out demons.
In seeking to preserve their own dubious reputations, fearful ministers are downplaying the viciousness of the Prince of Darkness.
Satan in the Sanctuary
II Cor. 12:20; I Tim. 4:12; 5:2
My, but the devil loves to go to church. Nobody is more religious than he is. Wherever meetings are filled with foolish frivolity and humanistic oratory instead of fellowship around the Lord Jesus Christ, satan can and often does infiltrate the gathering of church people. He will even linger for after-church socialization.
This happens for several reasons. One problem is My people neglect to pray for the service. This can be done at home, or a few minutes at church, before the formal meeting begins. And it needn't always be a long prayer session. I appreciate a few minutes of heartfelt intercession from busy saints who have little control over how hectic their schedule is. I ask for what you can give, not for what you can't.
It is hard to shift gears to an attitude of communion with Me when you are still feeling steamed from an argument in the car on the way to church. But when such problems occur, don't let the devil hassle you about it. Just join hands as a family and pray a quick prayer of sincere repentance and reconciliation before you get out of the car and go into the sanctuary. I will forgive you and you will feel clean again.
Another reason satan gains easy access to the sanctuary is ignorance of the Gift of Discerning of Spirits. This Gift makes a saint sensitive to the workings of evil spirits in the congregation, such as destructive spirits of obsession. It has occasionally happened that the line between acceptable behavior and foolishness is blurred in the minds of those who let down their guard and let their human passions gain control. I have seen cases where a rash of obsession breaks out among the unmarried members of the congregation that they must find a mate, and soon. Friendly greetings between brothers and sisters in the sanctuary can easily degenerate into subtle flirting. Some examples might be: "I love you in the Lord, brother", or "I can see the love of Christ in you, sister." Or "I really get blessed by your ministry." These are perfectly legitimate expressions, but they can also spring from a subconscious stratagem to overcome the other person's reserve, so as to pave the way for carnal lust. Sometimes people of opposite sexes will look for any excuse to be alone with the object of their desire, or to follow them around the church to keep talking with them. This causes the pursued person to feel intimidated and irritated. In the meantime, I am all but forgotten about.
Another example of enemy infiltration is a spirit of gossip going around. It reaches the point where parishioners genuinely hope the pastor or elder is guilty as charged. And when this problem affects a number of people in the church, and not just one or two individuals, the spirit of malicious gossip needs to be bound in the Name of Jesus and cast out.
My Word Must Always Have the Final Word
Ex. 20:4-5; Deut. 6:4-5; Psalms 14:1-3; 138:2; Isaiah 53: 6; Jere. 7: 18; 44:17-19; Matt. 4:10; 23:8-9; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 11:27-28; Acts 10:25-26; 14:8-18; Romans 3:9, 23; 11:32; Galatians 1:6-9; 3:22; I Tim. 2:5
Beware, My children. Judge all things in the light of My Word illuminated to the eyes of your understanding by My Holy Spirit. Regardless of how beautiful a spiritual experience seems to be, it must pass muster with early apostolic teaching to be acceptable to Me.
I say this in love, for I love even those who are led astray by any sort of doctrinal error. Where, oh, where do you ever read in Scripture that I exalted Peter to a place where he ought to have men kneel before him and kiss his ring in submission as the one true vicar of Christ on earth? Where is he appointed as the first 'Father of the Faithful'? Rather, I said: "Call no man on earth 'Father', for you have one Father in heaven." When Cornelius the Roman centurion knelt before the humbly clad Peter to reverence him, Peter rejected his homage and said, "Stand up. I AM ONLY A MAN!"
And as for Mary, the mother of Jesus; if, as many claim, she is appearing in visions to teach men doctrine today, why didn't she do that while she was still alive on earth? If her authority is second only to Christ's, why didn't she preside over the councils of the early apostles who studied My Word so that they could guide the churches of God in doctrinal matters? Not only was she not able to impart quick and easy answers to the apostles to save them days of prayerful deliberation over complex issues, she wasn't even present in those councils. But she was present at Pentecost to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit along with the other believers, both great and small.
Does even one New Testament apostolic epistle ever enjoin obedience to Mary, or quote any doctrine set forth by Christ's earthly mother, much less invest authority in her to rule over My churches, either on earth or from heaven? Christ alone is Head of His Body the Church, under the authority of God the Father.
On one occasion Jesus was notified that His mother and brothers were standing outside waiting to see him. Rather than deferring to His mother as the Queen of heaven (a pagan Babylonian concept) He turned to His disciples and said: "Behold, my mother and brothers.Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother."
When one woman proclaimed a blessing on the womb which bore Jesus and the breasts which nursed Him, Christ replied, "Yea, rather, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and do it." Christ was far more concerned with spiritual than physical kinship.
How repugnant it would be to Mary or other original believers in Christ to know that statues have been erected in their honor! These people were Jewish, by race and upbringing. They knew the Law of Moses prohibited the making of graven images of any living creature, much less veneration before them. Paul the apostle rebuked a group of Gentiles who wanted to do him homage. He certainly would not be pleased to see statues of him in churches today. And he knew by divine revelation and Scripture the need of every descendant of fallen Adam to be saved from sin, with no exceptions. Only Jesus never sinned.
My Word says: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord is One, and Him ONLY shalt thou serve." And: "There is one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus."
Liberty is Not the Same as Carelessness
I Cor. 11: 23-32
Sadly I behold in certain churches a slipshod attitude to the ordinance of Holy Communion. Some groups who could easily afford grape juice, substitute water or soda pop for the fruit of the vine in their ritual, and then pass it out as indifferently as they would hand out flyers, with no preliminary teaching and no prayer to speak of. People are not instructed in the meaning of eating and drinking Christ's Body and Blood by faith to gain strength from it, nor are they taught to see by faith the Bond of the Spirit which knits My people together in Love as they partake of the elements. They are not warned about the dangers of having the wrong attitude to the Body and Blood of Christ, nor are they taught about the mysterious union of the members of My Body with one another and with Me. People whose minds are still full of pre-service chitchat carelessly swallow the bread bits and soft drink. These things hold little meaning for the participants except it is a regular ritual.
In their zeal to cast off conformity to the legalisms of large institutional churches these groups go to the other extreme and fail to remember that if you seek to build up My Body in the faith it must be done according to My instructions. This applies to every other part of the service as well.
That is why those particular churches are withering away and drying up. Because they do not seek to partake of and share My Life.
Cutting Off the Flow of My Life
Isaiah 58:6; Luke 12:47
Why are so many millions of devout Christians leaving the organized church? Because of a great tragedy taking place in My Body the Church, which ought to know better.
Instead of godly humility and reaching out to men of lowly estate, I behold haughtiness of mind and arrogance as Christians go through the motions of "doing what Christians are supposed to do"; i.e.showing up at meetings, paying their money, listening to sleepy sermons, slipping home before they get caught in traffic.
But don't suppose for one moment that this applies only to nominal churchgoers. A spirit of elitism and snobbery is manifesting itself even among those who seem to be on fire for me, those who hop from conference to conference to "get recharged for Jesus". There are many I called into the deliverance ministry years and decades ago who have not taken the first steps to prepare themselves for My call on their lives, and woe unto the servant who knew his Lord's will, yet prepared not himself to do it. Why? Because of fear of being branded as a fanatic by carnal men. Woe, woe, woe unto religious leaders who have denounced the ministry of untying the heavy yokes, that ye may let the oppressed go free.
The church of today is likened to a once healthy and beautiful body, which used to continually minister nourishment and life to all its many diverse parts, so it could live and ward off diseases and thrive. But then an evil deceiving spirit came and told Christians to apply tight tourniquets to less favoured parts of My Body. Once in awhile the tight bands would be loosed just a little to allow life-giving blood to just barely keep these My members from dying and dropping off. Satan lies that it's "good discipline" to see how long certain believers can take this neglect and abuse, while all along all he wants is to destroy them and persuade them that I no longer care for them.
How I lament over millions of My sheep who get only very sporadic nurture and love from My Body on earth. It has gotten so bad that they are being driven back out into the world as occasions where they can see Christ in the gathering of saints become fewer and fewer. It's not that I don't dwell in the hearts of My people; they are being bound by apathy and traditions of men so that they cannot let My five-fold ministry and other manifestations of My divine love flow through them. Where it concerns working through bound members of the Church, I have effectively been bound Myself!
I will untie all those perverse tourniquets which cut off nourishment to very necessary parts of My Body and cause them to die and drop off. I will infuse New Life into those who have fallen under satanic oppression because of this spiritual famine of "faith which worketh by love" in the midst of My congregation. Even if I the Head of the Church must go it alone, I am determined that the heavy burdens shall be undone and the bands of enemy oppression shall be unloosed so that My beloved ones may live and not die.
Driven out to the Mud Puddles
Ezekiel 34:17-22; Luke 6:24-26; I Cor. 12:23
Those deemed unattractive, or poor, or uninfluential are often shunned by the "elite" of My church as not belonging in their pretty scenario. I see the spiritually fat sheep jetting around from one spiritual high to another, "soaking up My Word", surrounded by friends who love them and pat them on the back all the time for being spiritual giants.
In the meantime, I see isolated saints who felt unloved, took a hint and left the institutional church. They feel like they have to fight their spiritual battles all alone. Satan often attacks them with health problems they never had before, bad finances, marital breakups, family disputes, calamities which come out of nowhere and there is not a single soul who cares for them or intercedes for them. No one is around to stand with them in the furnace of trial to hold up their weary hands or dry their tears or encourage them in the Lord. These valiant souls are struggling for their very spiritual life, bitterly tried but determined not to die in their own personal wilderness. They are determined that even if the whole world disowns them because they obey My will for their lives, My Love will suffice. Far better that the whole world hate you and I love you than that the whole world love you and I turn My back on you because you compromise the truth of My Holy Word!
Others, not nearly so strong, abhor the vacuum that lack of true fellowship brings. So they'll suck in every religious error that happens along. They may be outwardly obese or physically thin, but all of them are spiritual skeletons who have been shoved out of the way by spiritual gluttons who are concerned only for their own eternal and temporal well-being. Thus, they are relegated to quenching their thirst at spiritual mud-holes fouled by the feet of hypocrites who miss the whole point of what My church is supposed to be about: Church is not something you go to, but something you are: a family of believers united in the Spirit of My Love.
Behold, I shall save My flock, and they will no more be a prey to every wild beast that comes along. Many who are famished inside shall be nourished and strengthened, even without visible human help, while a few of My blind carnal saints will be jolted out of their comatose state and realize at last that even though they stuffed their heads with truths and filled their belly with "fellowship", they are spiritually poor, blind and naked in My sight.
I give more abundant honor to the part which lacked, saith the Lord, and those who have been desolate shall feel that they are especially close to the bosom of the Great Shepherd Who nourished and preserved them in the wilderness, even as I did for Elijah the Tishbite.
The Works of the Devil
Isaiah 42:7; 61:1; Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38; I John 3:8b
What are some typical evidences of demonic oppression or possession? Whereas I give sleep to My beloved, the enemy will rob his victims of it, often causing severe persistent insomnia which has no underlying medical cause. He'll keep a devout believer awake nights, accusing him of sins I pardoned years ago. He'll make that precious one worry that he can't pay his bills on time. He'll make a godly woman worry that her spouse is being unfaithful behind her back, or that others are gossiping about her. He'll make tomorrow's anticipated difficulties loom so large that rest is impossible. Instead of sleeping, that person will toss and turn fitfully all night, and be drowsy and irritable all the next day.
Other common symptoms of demonic oppression: Hideous nightmares; Gnawing feelings of spiritual uncleanness, although that person knows he has repented before Me; Inexplicable urges to do something malicious or self-destructive; Impulses to do or say rash, foolish things; Other personalities supplanting that of the victim; Severe asceticism or pitiless self-castigation resulting from a false religious spirit in a believer's life; Inability to show compassion or love; Uncontrollable lusts; explosive temper tantrums; Frequent use of foul language; Contempt for holy things; Aversion toward prayer or devotions; Overpowering, unfounded fears of carrying out daily activities; Sudden panic attacks; Obsessions and superstitions of every sort; Psychosomatic illnesses; Precognitive abilities; Dark premonitions of disaster, accompanied by feelings of helplessness; Powers of witchcraft.
If you are bound by any of these works of the enemy, call upon My Name for deliverance. Ask Me to dispatch My warring angels to do battle against the devil on your behalf. Ask Me to guide you to someone who is imbued with My holy anointing to tear down the strongholds of satan and set you free.
Open Doors to Demonic Oppression
Ephesians 4:27; 6: 10-18
Satan is still furious that My Son defeated him on the Cross, and that the Blood of Jesus has set many of his prisoners free. He wants to regain at least some of the territory lost to My Son. If he cannot snatch back a redeemed soul, he will at least try to render that Christian's life and ministry as ineffective as possible. If the devil cannot regain total custody of his erstwhile prisoner, he will strive to keep as many areas of that person's life under subjugation to him as he can. Partial sway over a soul, he reasons, is better than none at all.
The devil is more slippery than an eel, and will do his utmost to slither into any unguarded area of your life. He seeks lodgement anywhere it can be found, for where he no longer has a legal right to be, he resides as a squatter with squatter's rights. Many Christians wonder why they are entangled in so many bondages and messy situations, why their lives are so powerless and unfruitful.
Although My Holy Spirit indwells the heart of a true believer in Christ, there remains the element of free choice. I did not create robots to slavishly serve and obey Me. People are still free to choose so many things which can influence them for good or evil. Ungodly companions or unwholesome recreational activities can provide a wide-open door for the enemy.
So many things can do this: Violent sporting events or films; Horror movies; Soap operas; Lust-arousing films or videos; Any style of music which promotes immorality, crime, perversion or lust; Mind-altering drugs; Dirty jokes; Pornography; Gambling; Sexual perversions; Drunkenness; Malicious gossiping; Secret societies; Astrology; Necromancy; Palmistry; Ouija Boards; Tarot Cards; Phone Psychics; Phone Sex lines; Internet porn; Shamanism; So-called spirit guides; Mantras; ESP; False religions; "Healing" methods or philosophies which oppose My Word; Persistent disobedience to Me; Failure to repent of any known sin; Rebellion against My duly appointed authorities; Clinging to old grudges instead of nailing them to the Cross of Christ. All these and any similar things will serve to give the enemy entrance into a believer's life to oppress him.
Satan Swoops In: Taking Full Possession
James 5:16; II Peter 2:20-22
Satan has gained near-complete control over millions of individuals throughout the earth. He doesn't just have his foot firmly in the door, but he has set up housekeeping in the body and soul of the totally possessed individual. Usually, a possessed person is either an unbeliever or unconverted religious person. But it is also possible for one who once knew Me to rebel against My Lordship and abandon His Holy Faith. Woe unto Him! His final condition is far worse than before he knew Me. It would have been better for that one if he had never known of the Gospel, than that he should desert Me to give his allegiance back to satan. Once the devil gets his slave back, he abuses him to make up for lost time.
The devil delights in a terminal backslider who postpones repentance until his deadened conscience will no longer respond to the promptings of My sweet Spirit of Grace. Remember how Judas Iscariot fell, how he exchanged the Lord of Glory for a bag of coins. The enemy enjoyed driving Judas to his doom afterward. Always keep short accounts with Me, lest you become hardened in heart and give satan inroads into your life.
Only Jesus Can Deliver
Matthew 12:43-45; Mark 5: 1-20
The Gadarene demoniac was powerless to help himself. So overpowered was he by an infestation of demons that he wandered in burial grounds, howling like a wild animal and cutting himself with sharp stones. He was too far gone to realize he needed help.
Jesus was there for him, when he was unable even to pray for My help. Jesus took the initiative and exercised His authority over those demons. He served an eviction notice on satan, and the evil spirits were driven out. The man was restored to full sanity, and became a devout witness to the power of Christ.
Those of you who are empowered by My Spirit and are taught in My Word, pray for those whom satan has bound. Some of your relatives, friends, acquaintances, or co-workers might be enslaved to powers of hell and not even realize it. Plead the Power of the Blood of Christ to break every chain of darkness. Hold your ground against satan and stand upon the victory I have won over the Gates of Hell. Anointed, earnest prayer in the Spirit is mighty, even to the pulling down of strongholds. Tarry long at prayer when the need merits it. Some of you will be led to fast meals until the victory is won.
Don't back down. Order satan to pack up and get out. If you yourself have given ground to the enemy in times past, confess that sin to Me and I will blot it out. Once you are certain you have repented of every known sin, tell the devil you belong completely to Me and he has no further right to oppress you. He will try to put up a fight, but he must finally yield to the authority I have invested in you.
Use sanctified common sense in directly approaching individuals who are under the enemy's control. If the problem is beyond your present level of training or faith, be content to pray for them from a safe distance. Get the support of a wise, mature prayer warrior who has a special anointing for the deliverance ministry. The devil fights dirty, and it is dangerous for unqualified individuals to physically approach a possessed person to attempt exorcism. Instead, prayerfully seek the intervention of those whom I have already prepared to undertake difficult cases of deliverance.
I Give Provision for the Vision
I have given certain of you a clear vision of what I have in store for your life, but be patient and wait on My time, that it may unfold according to My will and providence. Never jump ahead of Me, eager though you may be. I never send you out to do any kind of job without fully equipping you for it first. It is the usual practice for earthly employers to assume responsibility for providing all the equipment and supplies for their employees. Do you think I would do any less for My own children who faithfully serve Me?
A little child looked at a rose bush which was putting out fresh buds. In his eagerness to present his mother with a lovely rose, he got a screwdriver out of the garage. Then he began to peel away the troublesome green part which concealed the glory of the unfurled flower.
He forced open the bud case, but to his dismay, the tiny rosebud so prematurely opened fell apart.
Sometimes your answer to prayer is already there, but in an embryonic form which must be allowed to unfurl in its appointed time.
Led By Men, or By God?
The same principle applies to the cases of well-meaning saints who push and prod one another into ministry for which they are not yet ready, or castigate one another for not yet attaining to a lofty degree of spiritual growth. Christ the wise, mature, fruitful minister of the Gospel already dwells within the hearts of these maturing Christians. He has already won the victory. But patience must be shown as this victory unfolds in its full glory.
Foolish Presumption-A Counterfeit of Faith
Matthew 4:5-7; Mark 16:18; Acts 28: 3-6
The devil is out to dupe as many as possible. If he cannot prevent people from reading My Word, he hopes to at least get them to twist it or misapply it in order to discourage them or entrap them in dangerous situations.
One case in point is the promise of Christ that His disciples would be able to pick up serpents without suffering any harm. Christ never intended for snake handling to become a church ordinance! Paul the Apostle was divinely protected from snake bite when he went hunting for firewood and a viper attached itself to his hand. But Paul didn't go hunting for a snake to bite him and try his faith!
Wicked King Herod wanted Jesus to perform a big display of miracles just to provide cheap thrills for him. I am not in the entertainment business, nor do I feel the need to do miracles just to prove to skeptics that I have not lost My power! Miracles are given to meet valid needs in the lives of those who trust in Me, and the resultant thanksgiving brings glory to My Holy Name.
The devil tempted Christ to jump off a high precipice, just to see if I really would break His fall and preserve His life. The enemy was clever about it. He is quite a religious character, and uses religion to further his own perverse ends. He even quoted Psalms 91: 11 to My Son, urging Him to hurl Himself from the cliff. But My Spirit of Wisdom sustained My dear Son, and in his fast-weakened state He was upheld through My power. He replied with a Scripture selection of His own: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God (Deuteronomy 6:16). In the mouth of My Holy Son, Scripture was brought to life by the power of the Spirit, and the enemy was defeated.
Sometimes people overreach the boundaries of their faith, and immediately throw away their medications. This can be disastrous. Unless there is absolute certainty I've directed such an action, it amounts to presumption. Never do anything rash, just because someone else pressures you to do it to prove your faith! My Son didn't resort to such tactics to put the heat on people's faith.
Never be presumptuous. If your attitude is other than reverent and submissive toward Me, don't ask Me to perform a miracle. I will not do it to make you fabulously wealthy, to get someone you're infatuated with to fall in love with you, to flatter your ego, or impress your loved ones.
I do not grant miracles to those whose petitions are contrary to the expressly revealed will of My Son.
Beware of Deception
Luke 10:19; John10:10; II Cor. 11:14
Even the sweetest perfumes can be synthesized in a laboratory without any contribution from real flowers. Satan is oh, so clever. He'll introduce an enticing heresy that seems to have the sweet scent of My Son about it. If he can deceive you into remaining subjugated to his attacks in the name of patient endurance and so-called Christlikeness, he can effectively hobble your ministry. He knows you have but a short time on earth. If he can make you be content with the "ministry of patient suffering" he needn't expect serious resistance from you, just a sweet obliging smile as he chops your life up into tiny pieces.
Beloved, I have given you power to tread on serpents and scorpions which assail you from the kingdom of darkness. It is not My will that they tread on you.
As long as you make excuses for the devil he'll hang around and make himself at home.
Bring Me into Your Situation
Eccl. 3:12; Matt. 12:43-45
My children, it is not enough to merely order the devil out of your home and circumstances. You must do this in the strength of the anointing of the Spirit, standing upon the authority of My Word. Truly satan comes in as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. More often he might sneak in as a subtle snake, through bad influences which crowd your life, such as things friends say, or through bad TV programs or other deceitful things which seem to be harmless but really aren't. In the power and might of the Spirit order satan out and tell him he has no right to invade the inner sanctum of your home and heart. Close off any channel through which the devil might regain access into your life. Tell satan to let go of your loved ones, for he is already defeated. Get the prayer support of deeply spiritual believers wherever you can, for while a single or double cord is strong, a threefold cord is not easily broken, and there is strength in unity.
But even if you succeed in driving the devil out of your home and circumstances, a vacuum must not be left. After the evil spirits are banished out of a person's life, they can come back stronger than ever if that life is swept neat and clean, but left empty and unfilled with good things. Don't just order the devil out; ask Me to fill the void and take up residence in every area of your life. Invite Me into a tough or seemingly hopeless situation, that I might take the burden from your shoulders and carry it myself through My own everlasting strength, where your own strength fails you.
Spiritual Vacuum Cleaners
Nature abhors a vacuum, and so do My spiritually hungry people. Even as a vacuum cleaner will suck up anything in its path indiscriminately, those with little or no access to a loving, balanced fellowship are more likely to hungrily devour any error, or join any crazy cult that comes along just to fill the void. Beware of being blinded by the strong need you feel in your heart. Let Me fill that aching need if you find yourself in a spiritual wasteland and no one else can.
Just Let it Go
II Kings 5:27; Psalms 41:10; Luke 13:11-13; Eph. 6: 10-18; I Tim. 6:20
Illness or debility can persist for such a long time that afflicted saints can begin to feel like it's become a part of them, not some enemy trespassing in their bodies or souls. Just as tree fungus clings to a tree which cannot fend it off, so does a spirit of infirmity cling to people who cannot cast it out by faith. And don't feel condemned by My saying this. The scarcity of miraculous cures is due to a deficiency in My whole Body on earth, much more than to a lack of faith on your part! False religious traditions and faith in modern science to supply all the answers have hurt My Body much more than you realize. Structures of men have been substituted for the "obsolete" ministries of My Body the church; specifically the prophet and apostle, which are ministries of miracle-working power. To say they are no longer necessary is just as ridiculous as cutting your lung out of your own body, then expecting your heart to assume its functions. Very few church leaders are willing to resist satan and break free of wrong ways of thinking and "holding services", so they end up teaching unbelief to sheep who know no better than to follow their errors.
The devil churns out the sweetest-sounding heresies to trick you into hanging onto your sickness: "Even if God no longer heals today, your sickness can be a blessing in disguise. It's your passport into Paradise. You'll get to see Jesus that much sooner if you stay sick. And why fret about a body that's getting old and worn out anyway? It's only the eternal resurrected body that counts."
What sugar-coated deception! Everything from My Hand matters to Me. You should view your present body as a gift, not a nuisance you need to cast off in order to get into heaven! As for thinking I wouldn't waste My power healing your body just because it's a temporary tabernacle of flesh, remember the fair flowers of the field which live only a few days. If they don't matter to Me, then why do I lavish My artistic talent on them?
My children are always welcome to come home to Me, and I am always thrilled to greet them at the Pearly Gates. Within the mystery of My sovereign will, there are those I take home while they are still young. But earnestly desire to fulfill your individual missions here on earth and serve Me to your fullest potential before you retire for greener pastures in Paradise.
"Prayer Requests" Can Be Lethal
Job 1:10; Psalms 20:7; 33:16; Prov. 25:19; Matt. 6:13; Luke 11:4
Satan has his agents everywhere in the earth. Be careful about spreading your special prayer request far and wide, thinking it will only be answered if you muster as many people as possible to pray for it. I am able to bless you even if just one faith-filled friend prays for you. And if you don't have even one prayer partner, My Son ever lives to make intercession for your needs. I will certainly listen to Him! I am not impressed by numbers anyway.
Not everyone is a true disciple of mine. Some only join religious Internet chat rooms or visit church meetings out of mere curiosity. Many religious quacks have a history of dabbling in the occult and have never been set free from the spiritual bondages such things engender. Others are satan's espionage agents trawling the Net to find out who is preaching against popular religious heresies and denouncing the error seeping into the wider church world. Oh, these people might pray for you, all right. They might pray for satan to be loosed on your health, ministry or other circumstances. Other people, being well-intentioned but deceived believers, might pray for trouble to strike your life like what happened to Job, so that you might be "purified." That can give satan and his minions an open door to oppress you if you don't guard your life by standing against satan in faith through the power of the Blood of the Lamb.
If you're undergoing severe setbacks and oppressive trial instead of being blessed by multitudinous prayer, then earnestly pray for Me to deliver you from evil. Ask Me to build a barrier of light round about you and your circumstances, a Biblical "hedge" such as Job enjoyed before he was struck with misfortune.
Guard your heart with all diligence, beloved. Don't bare it to just anybody. Be wary of sharing confidences with people you hardly know or don't know at all.
The Great Physician
Ex. 15:26; Matt. 9:12; 15:5; Acts 9:32-42; James 5:15
Some "faith churches" will flatly deny that it is Christ Himself Who does the actual healing of the sick. Why? They will remind you that Jesus told the disciples to go forth and heal the sick themselves. "It is all wrong to pray to Jesus to heal the sick person," claims the most erroneous "faith theology". God expects YOU to do it!
Jesus said: "Without Me ye can do nothing." It is the Spirit of Christ in you who imparts healing to those who put their trust in Him. Even the most prominent of the apostles, Peter, wasn't above getting down on his knees to pray fervently for a miracle. And he told Aenas in no uncertain terms just Who had healed him of paralysis.
Peter gave the Glory to Christ, the Great Physician.
Remember Who I Am
Exodus 3:14; 15:26; Malachi 3:6; John 8:58; Heb. 13:8
I Am is My very Name. And Who I Am is inseparable from what I do. Meditate on this: I Am the Lord Who heals you. Claim this blessed promise by faith. Stand on it whenever the enemy swoops in and tells you healing is a thing of the past.
I also meant what I said when I said: I Am the Lord. I change not.
Dare to Soar to Great Heights
Deut. 32:11-13; Isaiah 40:31
Consider the great difference between a domestic hen and an eagle, I would say unto My people who are learning to ascend to higher levels of spiritual understanding and power. A chicken knows its limits. Its wings are way too weak to gain much altitude because I did not design it for great heights, just for high jumping. A domestic hen can make a lot of squawks, ruffle its feathers and spring up onto a fence to escape a fox, but it cannot take to the skies for protection.
But I have called you to ascend into the heavenlies as an eagle, My dear ones. An eagle was built for life in the high places. It was not designed to build its nest on the ground, but to dwell at a higher altitude in the cleft of the rock. The eagle's chicks are fed, warmed and cared for in a cozy nest before their wings are strong enough to fly. But when the day comes for them to try out their wings, the mother eagle must shove her reluctant chicks out of the nest to exercise them, first for short periods then for longer times. At first it seems that the chicks are at the mercy of the thin air and doomed if they don't perform well, but even that chick which takes a bit longer to master the art of flying will find that its mother is flying beneath it to catch it lest it fall to the ground.
O My people, fear not to advance to ever higher levels of faith. You fear sometimes that you will look foolish if nothing comes of stepping out in faith, but undergirding you is the Power of God, and beneath you always are the everlasting arms.
I Part the Sea
Exodus Chapter 14
Some ministers dismiss some of the stories in the Bible are being mere legend. Others undercut the greatness of miracles performed in ancient times, just to provide an excuse not to believe in the supernatural. Some even think that it would have been easy for the Israelites to cross the Red Sea without My miraculous intervention, that it was really a shallow stream that was just a few inches deep.
If so, then why did the Israelites feel trapped when they were standing at its very edge, with belligerent Egyptian forces in hot pursuit? Had the sea been only a puddle, they would have attempted to cross it, just out of desperation alone. The water was so abundant that after Moses parted it, it formed high walls on either side of the refugees trekking across the dry sea bed. Once they were safely across, Moses lifted his rod in judgment against their Egyptian pursuers. When these men saw the sea walls collapsing all around them, they panicked. Their chariot wheels got stuck in the wet sand, and they could not escape. All of them drowned in the waters of My judgment.
Sometimes satan pulls out all the stops, and nothing less than a miracle will save you or your loved ones from destruction. Pray that I will raise up individuals who will dare to buck the trend, faith-filled believers who will cry out to Me for a double portion of My miracle-working power. I need a few good men and women who are willing to be used as instruments in My hands to destroy the works of the devil. Many of My people have been stranded on the edge of their own personal Red Sea for years, and it takes an act of My grace to enable them to go on with Me.
Let Your Prayer Ascend
Matt. Psalms 141:2; Rev. 5:8; 8:3
One day a woman was just about to mail a very important petition to a very influential official. She shoved it into the slot of the the mail box but wouldn't let go of it. Because she considered herself a nobody she worried her petition wouldn't even be read unless its wording was flawlessly eloquent. She took it home and reworded it, then went back to the mail box. Again she wouldn't let go of the letter but pulled it back out to work on it some more. She did this several times. Finally she just tore it up and threw it away.
Because she didn't have the courage to let go of her petition, it never did reach its destination and she never did get her answer.
Once you've made your petition just let your prayer ascend like sweet incense unto My Throne Room. I know My own dear children well enough that I can read between the lines.
A Clear Receiver
Daniel 10:1-13; I Cor. 13:12
Some of My people wonder why some important promise they've received from Me doesn't come to pass at the time or in the way they think it will. The reason lies not with the heavenly Transmitter, but with the receiver.
Remember what it was like watching an old black and white TV? Some days the picture was much clearer than others. Other times you got a rolling picture or fuzzy reception because the next-door neighbor was running power tools or there was a thunderstorm scrambling the signal. And noisy static would make the program impossible to hear.
This can be likened to the resistance of evil spirits which inhabit the earth's atmosphere. Satan is called 'the prince of the power of the air'. He reasons that if he is not able to keep My people from hearing from Me, the very least he can do is distort their understanding of what I am saying to them. Due to the resistance of evil spirits Daniel the prophet had to pray and fast for many days before an answer to an important prayer petition was able to get through to him. Pray that I will send warring angels to fend off spirits of confusion which would hamper your personal ministry in the things of the Kingdom of God.
The television has come a long way. Now you get perfect color pictures without any problem. In like manner, the day will come when you will no longer see "through a glass darkly" but your inner receiver will be perfected so that there will be nothing to interfere with receiving the perfect knowledge of the Holy. Never again will your tempestuous carnal nature be present to distort the reception of the signals I send you, but you will always perceive clearly what I am saying to you.
Consistent in Commitment
I Peter 5:8-9
The Christian life is a battle between the Christ in you and the forces of darkness without. But lots of My children act like it's supposed to be nothing more than one long party. Christians hop from one exciting conference to the next to get a spiritual buzz on Glory Mountain. They tend to forget that many of their brothers and sisters are down in the valley below, waging war with an enemy that hates them and is out to destroy them.
It's one thing to do sporadic good deeds to brighten the life of another believer. You get credit even for that. And it's easy to make a commitment to others to always be there for them to hold up their weary hands and pray for them. But how many good intentions ever translate into action, especially consistent action?
I expect consistency from My people, not just sweet emotion. The devil is certainly consistent about attacking you, but you haven't always had the prayer support or love you need from My Body to prevail over him, so you end up wondering why you suffer defeat time and again in various areas of your life. Some of you have gone weeks, months or even years without being edified by another believer! My people find it easy to serve one another in love so long as it never inconveniences them.
Even imperfect body parts can survive so long as blood flows to them. Take your hand as an example. How long would it live if lifeblood flowed through it only intermittently? It is only because of My merciful grace that I can make you survive and thrive in a lonely spiritual wilderness not of your own choosing. I the Head of the Church must take up the slack for disobedient members of My own Body, members who are self-centered and unwilling to go the extra mile to share My Love with a hurting saint.
Many precious saints I dearly love have turned back to the world because every time they looked for support from My Body all they got was a cold rebuff which made them feel ashamed for admitting they couldn't face the onslaughts of the enemy all alone.
Self-reliance has no place in our warfare against the devil. Even an earthly army has enough sense to know they can't win unless they all pull together.
Who Says I Can't Use You?
John 2:13-17; I Corinthians 1:26-29
The lady preacher was beautiful, well-to-do, self-assured, and radiant. She gave an invitation to all those who needed prayer. One person in particular had been struggling through many deep waters over recent years, a woman whose eyes were so vibrantly expressive that her very soul was transparent.
The woman requested prayer for her family's financial recovery. Through calamitous circumstances, they had lost their home, and been knocked clear off their feet. The preacher implied that I could do nothing for her until her loved ones got sorted out spiritually. Looking intently at the troubled one, she added: "You can't minister. You've been hurt."
The woman left the meeting, thinking thus:
I've only known her a short time. She doesn't know my painful past. I never mentioned the abuse I took in school, or all the many ways I've been hurt, even by Christians. She must have seen it in my eyes, and I could not hide it. Well, maybe she's right. If God can't use me in this world, He knows why. If I've ever had any notions of serving the Lord in any meaningful way, I'll just give them up forever, and He'll just have to understand. Serving the Lord is only for the eloquent, the talented, the financially blessed, the soul unscarred, the glamorous...
For years she was deeply convinced that a person with a history of hurt could not be used by Me, that I wanted only placid, soft-spoken saints in My service. There was just too much fire in her soul for her to fit into that category. She supposed that if there was dirt under the rug in My House, it ought to be left lying where it was; for on Judgment Day I could deal with it Myself. But the came when she decided not to keep My end-time message to herself any longer.
Who feels more concern for My scattered sheep than a soul I've filled with My Holy Fire? Can a person who has known only prosperity, conviviality, and sweet acceptance know the same degree of compassion as one whose faith in "Christian friends" has been dashed to pieces? I am looking for ardent hearts who have had to learn to have faith only in Christ Himself. I'm looking for prayer warriors and intercessors who have a zeal to see deliverance come to My Church. I desire to loose My people from bondages put upon them by the devil, and by other people.
There is a ministry I can use only you to do. Yours.
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