Thoughts on Recent Events

Two weeks ago The Lord instructed me to begin reading the sermons of John Wesley, so I pulled out the two double volumes and began with volume one, sermon one. Since that time there have been two high profile leaders renounce their faith and a international revivalist accused of some very dark stuff. I believe these events and as much as I hate to say it, others like them that will continue in the coming months, is part of the reason I am reading Wesley right now.

I have no desire to discuss these three situations. The truth is I didn’t follow their ministries or any of the ministries around them. In the charismatic/pentecostal part of the body I have grown up in there has always been lots of talk about a great end time revival. What we are seeing now is the beginning of a great end time apostasy.

My heart grieves for the Church right now, for victims, for those questioning their faith and I am praying for those involved. I am praying for people to have grace to repent and for leaders to have the courage to speak up and enact discipline.

HOW DID ALL THIS START

Granted I don’t and most of us don’t know specifics on things but speaking to the charismatic body of Christ I honestly believe these type of things have begun to take hold because we don’t have a strong theology. Pentecostal and charismatic believer’s are known for emphasizing revival, miracles and signs and wonders and that is our problem. Those things are supposed to be the result not the focus.

Hebrews 12:1-4 NIV ” Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

We all say that Jesus is the focus but if we are honest, much of the pentecostal/charismatic church quit focusing on Jesus a long time ago and started focusing on revival, crowd size and signs and wonders.

THE RESULT OF A SHIFTED FOCUS

Because there has been such an over emphasis on signs and wonders we have valued gifting over character and the spectacular over the steady. Do I believe in healing and miracles? Yes. Do I believe in restoration? Yes. Restoration to God, first and foremost.

My heart breaks right now because many members and leaders are taking the restore passage in Galatians six while totally dismissing the qualifications set for ministry in Timothy. This out of balance emphasis makes it seem like as long as your flowing in the gifts God winks at your sin. We have mistaken the mercy of God to give time to repent for his approval because signs and wonders are happening.

Hebrews 12:4-13 “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”

WHAT DOES GOD VALUE

First and foremost, God values sons and daughters over their ministry. This is why Paul said I have turned such a one over to satan for the destruction of their flesh that they may be saved on the day of judgment. There are gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is more important. A tree is known by its fruit. Many have mistaken that to mean the fruit of ministry is signs and wonders. How can that be when Jesus said, many will come to me saying I prophesied in your name, I cast demons out in your name, yet I will say, depart from me I never knew you. Hebrews says without holiness no man shall see the Lord. Considering none of the qualifications of ministry list anything spectacular, I think if we are honest we would say as a whole the charismatic emphasis has missed the boat.

WHAT DO WE DO

The most important thing we can do is guard and examine our own hearts. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas in our own lives that are not pleasing to Him. In holding to standards of righteousness we must remember to do so in love and pray for those who have walked away or fallen to be restored to their relationship with Jesus.

As I have been praying for several days and reading different things, one thing seems to be clear concerning exposure of unrepented sin, this is just the beginning. Judgment begins in the house of God and we need to be ready for that. As believer’s we need to make sure our focus is on Jesus and not our favorite preacher, author, or singer.

As I said at the beginning, I have been reading John Wesley. he was known for preaching holiness and for teaching something called the middle road. Basically meaning, stay out of ditches. The pentecostal/charismatic world has fallen into a revival ditch full of signs and wonders. We need to quit looking for revival and look to the reviver. Our theological roots of holiness need to be revived. We need to put character over gifting and emphasize sanctification over supernatural manifestation. On Sunday we enter the Hebrew month of Elul which includes thirty days of Teshuvah, meaning to return. With all that is going on, I believe The Lord is calling us to return to holiness, to return to what He holds dear.

I am praying for the Church as things continue to unfold. I am praying for our faith to be rooted and grounded in the Word of God. I am praying each individuals faith will be able to stand the test that is coming as the idolatry of celebrity preachers, unbalanced teachings and more are exposed in the coming months. I encourage all of us to take this next month as an appointed time of heart searching and consecration. Ask for a heart of holiness to be given to you, ask to be sanctified and taught what it is to live like Jesus.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

I think it would be helpful for those who have grown up in or are part of pentecostal and charismatic churches to read Donald W. Dayton’s book, Theological Roots of Pentecostalism. Even though most of the doctrinal statements emphasize sanctification and holiness many of us don’t know what that looks like to live it and this book will help.

I also want to take this time to say I am spending 2020 in the New Testament. I have studied faith this year and the path I was lead on looked nothing like I thought it would. At the beginning of August the Holy Spirit told me New testament 2020. What that looks like is beginning to take shape and I know I will see a major holiness emphasis next year.

As things continue to be exposed in leadership and in your own life, make the determination now that Scripture is your standard. Unfortunately we have already begun to see people walk away from faith and this will continue. If ministries you support or your church puts someone’s gifting over their character, make the decision now that you will walk away. If you have to choose between holiness or healing at your church or in a ministry, choose holiness. I believe there are some emotional days ahead for many; keep your eyes on Jesus, meditate on the Scriptures, pray, walk in love and worship Jesus and you will make it through the house cleaning that has begun.

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Bible Study Tips

I just finished reading through the New Testament, which got me to thinking about Bible study. Bible study isn’t boring and knowing theology isn’t just for preachers. Granted pastors should go deeper and spend more time in study do to the fact that they are teaching a church, however study is for the believer. In this post I am going to share a few ways I study and a few things you can do to make your Bible study more meaningful.

Most of us have a Bible APP that gives us a verse of the day and that’s fine but we all know we need more than just one verse a day. The same kind of thing is true for studying the Bible. If you’re going to study verses, read the chapter. If you’re going to study a chapter, read the book. Context is key and honestly, I think we get more out of Scripture when we at times purposefully set aside an hour or two (the same amount of time as a movie) and read a book of the Bible in one sitting.

Most of us don’t know Hebrew and Greek but there are tools out there like the Strong’s Concordance that can give us the meaning of the original language. It’s not necessary to look up every word of a verse that you’re studying but there will be times when your interest is peaked and you’ll want to dive a little deeper into the meaning.

I probably should have started with this but pray before you read and ask Holy Spirit to teach you. That’s His role in our lives, so we need to ask Him for that help.

Always take notes on what you’re learning or thoughts you have while you’re reading. One thought can develop at a later time and become a great study.

Phones can be helpful when it comes to finding a verse but have a real, leather bound Bible you use to study out of. It cuts down on distraction, ( which reminds me, put your phone on silent). When we sit down to study we need to give that time and God the respect of our attention being on Him.

Use different translations. I recommend using a good “word-for-word” translation (NASB, ESV, NKJV, MEV) and a “thought-for-thought” or Paraphrase as well (NIV, NLT and The Message). When you study you should have at minimum two translations to look at. I also recommend the Amplified Classic Edition Bible and The Passion Translation. If you like to use a study Bible I would recommend the Spirit Filled Life Bible and the Life Application Study Bible.

Take your time when you study, you won’t always finish a study in one sitting. Allow time to meditate on what you are getting out of your study. Talk to friends about what you’re studying and see what they get as well.

You can take a look at the recommended reading page for Bible Study tools and other books. As you study the Bible, include a study of the history of the places you are reading about to get a more complete understanding of what is going on. Make a general study of church history and theology to help you better understand the text.

One last thing, have a spot that is designated for study, make it comfortable, have your stuff all in one place so you can get immersed in going through the Word, running references, looking up words and getting to know the people in the book. It may take a few times to really get into study but one day you’ll look up and realize you’ve been sitting there for three hours and only think it has been fifteen minutes.

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Get Free And Stay Free

God gave us Passover to help us stay and get back on the right path if we get off. You can see as you read through the Old Testament, Israel constantly got on the wrong path and went after other gods. We do the same thing, it just doesn’t take the same form. And we can get just as religious as the Pharisees we always pick on. Some even become legalistic in their freedom by attributing legalism to others who are just walking in holiness. Some even use freedom to disregard reverence completely.

I start this post in this way because I want one thing clear as we go forward, look at yourself as you read this post. Don’t look at your friend, or that person at the church you don’t like. (By the way, go ahead and forgive that person, it’s the only way freedom will stick).

Here’s the hard truth about getting free and staying free, we make it harder than it has to be. James 4:7-8 MEV “Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded.”

Most of us when we face temptation, we tend not to go to God or resist the temptation, most of the time we yield to it fairly soon after it shows up. Temptation doesn’t come out of nowhere. James 1:14-15 MEV “But each man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed. Then, when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and when sin is finished, it brings forth death.” There is a process to temptation being acted on and becoming sin and that sin becoming long-term bondage. It all starts in the mind, which we addressed in the last post.

Each of the feasts are given to not only help us stay on track, but to continue moving forward and growing each year. Each month in the Hebrew has a specific purpose to it. God has each day, each week through Sabbath, each month through Rosh-Chodesh (the beginning of the month) and each year with its three feast times lined up for us to grow in Him and advance the Kingdom. These things are given to help us stay clear of the enemies traps.

James says, when we draw near to God that He draws near to us. Adam could have gone to God instead of hiding and there would have been a different outcome. The first step to freedom is running to God and not from Him. There is no formula or three-step program to bring any of us to that point. We have to choose to believe God’s love over the enemies fear.

As I was studying for this post the Holy Spirit took me off my course and said just give them James and tell them that you have made freedom too hard. If we are honest with ourselves, we know that it’s true. I think we try to come up with formulas and programs partly because we’ve bought the enemies lie that freedom can’t begin that easy. Notice I said begin, because changing the way we think and training ourselves to resist temptation does take work. Yet the work isn’t as hard as we make it out to be either. When we fully trust the love of God and yield to the help of the Holy Spirit, the enemy has no choice but to leave. Sure he may throw a fit and try to make his bondage seem big to us, but the truth is, he’s already defeated. We just have to enforce the victory.

Here is my encouragement to you; spend the next 21 days reading, studying and meditating on the book of James and the book of Ephesians. Learn who you are and your authority. Knowing those things is how you stay free. Resisting the enemy is easy, it starts with the choice of taking thoughts captive and it continues with speaking in line with the Word of God. These things are enforced by taking your authority over the enemy.

In the coming weeks we will look at who we are and our authority as well as the power of the Holy Spirit in us through receiving the baptism of the Spirit.

Recommend reading:

The Believers Authority: Kenneth E. Hagin
Reclaiming Our Forgotten Heritage: Curt Landry
A Time to Advance – Understanding the Hebrew Tribes and Months: Pierce & Heidler

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Passover And Good Friday

All throughout Egypt you could smell the roasting of a lamb for each household. Normally the smell of food would have one sense with it, happiness. But this barbecue brought a somber feeling as the Hebrews then applied the blood of the lamb to the doorpost that the destroyer may pass over as the death of the firstborn is carried out.

Have you ever stopped to think about the death of the firstborn? It wasn’t just babies, but someone’s dad, grandfather and great grandfather may have been someone’s first born. Have you ever thought of the principle of sowing and reaping where this is concerned? The only reason there is a Moses was because his mother put him in a basket to save his life and later he delivered his people.

Fast forward a few thousand years and Herod issued a decree that all children two years and younger be killed. An angel warned Joseph to flee with the mother and child. The blood of the first Passover allowed for the blood of the lamb slain for the foundation of the world.

Without a Passover there could have been no crucifixion. Without a Red Sea crossing there could have been no resurrection. We are free on Good Friday because they were freed on the first Passover.

As Christians we must watch out for spiritual pride because Paul wrote in Romans that we need to remember that as wild branches the root supports us, we do not support the root. In Galatians 3:9, 13-14 MEV “So then those who are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by being made a curse for us—as it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” — so that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

This Passover and Good Friday my prayer is that we as Christians would see our connection to our Jewish roots so that we can enter in to a full understanding and appreciation for what this season represents.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 MEV “Therefore purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new batch, since you are unleavened. For even Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old yeast, nor with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

In the Old Testament (First Covenant) blood was sprinkled seven times. The blood of the New Covenant (New Testament/Renewed Covenant) was shed by Jesus in seven places; the garden, whipping post, crown of thorns, nails in his hands and feet, pierced at His side, and His bruised heel when He defeated the enemy.

Read and meditate on the words of the Prophet Isaiah concerning The Messiah. Isaiah 53:3-11 AMPC “He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him. Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. [Matt. 8:17.] But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all. [I Pet. 2:24, 25.] He was oppressed, [yet when] He was afflicted, He was submissive and opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who among them considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living [stricken to His death] for the transgression of my [Isaiah’s] people, to whom the stroke was due? And they assigned Him a grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in His death, although He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth. [Matt. 27:57-60; I Pet. 2:22, 23.] Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief and made Him sick. When You and He make His life an offering for sin [and He has risen from the dead, in time to come], He shall see His [spiritual] offspring, He shall prolong His days, and the will and pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see [the fruit] of the travail of His soul and be satisfied; by His knowledge of Himself [which He possesses and imparts to others] shall My [uncompromisingly] righteous One, My Servant, justify many and make many righteous (upright and in right standing with God), for He shall bear their iniquities and their guilt [with the consequences, says the Lord].”

It is because of this that I remember Moses and the children of Israel. It is because Jesus and His disciples celebrated Passover that I celebrate. Because Christ my Passover has been sacrificed I celebrate with joy my own salvation and deliverance.

As you reflect on this Good Friday, as you read the account of Jesus’s last week, read Exodus chapters one through twelve. Ask Holy Spirit to show you the connections between Passover and Good Friday. If you can watch Pastor Larry Huch teach tonight on Christ in the Passover at 7pm CST. You can watch online, on YouTube and on Facebook. To go deeper in your studies of Jewish roots, read the other series on the blog and check the recommended reading page.

Connect to your Jewish roots during this Passover season and continue through to Pentecost and beyond. It is an amazing journey that will impact your relationship with Jesus in ways you could have never imagined.

If you would like to celebrate the feast by giving an offering, I invite you to join me in partnering with Larry Huch Ministries and supporting Project Aliyah which brings persecuted Jews home to Israel and helps them get settled in the land.

Have a BLESSED Passover and Resurrection weekend. Next week we will close our Passover 2019 series by looking at steps to freedom and how to stay free.

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Developing A New Way of Thinking

One of the most interesting things in the Exodus story to me is the verse when they come to the border of Cannan. While this happens after the exodus, the statement points back to the picture of prosperity the roasted lamb represented. Exodus 16:35 MEV “The children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land. They ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.”

If you listen to the prophetic words coming forth from the prophets today, a central theme is that we are entering a new era. Passover is a time to cross over and develop new ways of thinking. The children of Israel ate manna until they came to the border of the new, then the manna ceased.

This Passover each of us must choose to have a new way of thinking. As Scripture says, we must be renewed in our minds through the washing of the water of the Word. Many of us don’t even realize how TV, music, and social media fogs are minds and pulls us away from the Word of God.

If we were to start recording our daily conversations would we be surprised at the amount of fear, doubt, and unbelief we speak without even realizing it?

Our words create our world. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that life and death are in our tongue. Proverbs 6:2 tells us we are snared by the words of our mouth. We speak what dominates our thinking. One of the seven places Jesus shed His blood was the crown of thorns. We are redeemed from poverty and wrong thinking through His shed blood. Philippians 2:5 says we have the mind of Christ. So why don’t we operate in it? The truth is, most of our minds are filled more with the world than they are the Word.

I don’t have any steps for you in this post, I just have a simple challenge; study one chapter a day. Don’t just read it, bug dig into it. Get a Strong’s Concordance and look up definitions, pray over the chapter and read it in different translations. Instead of listening to music, even Christian music in the car, listen to teaching and get the Word in you.

The only way we can change the way we think is to change what we’re putting into our minds. Each of us has a choice, the reality is, we simply find it easier to turn on Netflix than a teaching or scroll through Instagram than read our Bibles. Only you, only I can make the decision – Passover is the time to say, I’m crossing over into a new way of thinking, a new way of talking and a new way of being. It starts with a choice, read and study a chapter each day. I suggest starting with James and Ephesians. They are both short and powerful books.

GIVE A PASSOVER OFFERING

During this Passover season, don’t miss the window of heaven that is open right now. Three times a year God has specific BLESSINGS prepared for us. We are BLESSED to be a BLESSING. As you give to Project AliyahProject Aliyah to help persecuted Jews go home to Israel, you are helping God’s chosen people and those who BLESS Israel and the Jewish people will be BLESSED.

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Receiving Passover BLESSINGS

Last week we looked at why we give during the feasts of the Lord. As I said in the last post, we are free to give or not give a first fruit offering. I teach and participate in first fruits because even though I can come to God at any time, three times a year He sets aside a specific time to come near to us as we give.

In this post I want us to look at the specific BLESSINGS God desires to release on us as we present our first fruit offering to Him.

1. Divine Protection

The first sign of divine protection is seen the night Passover is instituted. The Hebrews were protected from losing their first born by putting blood on the door posts of their houses (Exodus 12:7). They received continual protection from an angel sent to guard them along their way (Exodus 23:20). The shed blood of Jesus is our protection, we don’t have to shed the blood of the lamb every year. Giving our Passover offering connects us to that divine protection for the year.

2. An Enemy of our Enemies

Exodus 23:22 says that God will be an enemy to our enemies. Just like God protected Israel from the army that pursued them, God is an enemy to our enemy, the devil. John 10:10 says the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. The enemy must steal the Word before he can kill or destroy anything. That’s why he stole the revelation of the Jewish roots from the Church. When we celebrate God’s appointed times we are connecting back to that truth and back to having the windows of heaven (Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles) opened over our lives.

3. Prosperity

Exodus 23:25 MEV “You shall serve the LORD your God, and He will BLESS your bread and your water…” The first picture of prosperity we see is on the night of the Passover, when God instructed them to roast the lamb (Exodus 12:7-10). You can’t keep the leftovers of a roasted lamb. God was already preparing them for a higher level of living. They began walking in that prosperity as they left Egypt because they plundered the Egyptians and took articles of silver and gold and clothing (Exodus 12:35-36). As you sow your Passover offering expect to receive ABUNDANT prosperity.

4. No Sickness or Disease

Verse twenty-five continues, “and I will remove sickness from your midst..” Exodus 15:26 MEV ““He said, “If you diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will not afflict you with any of the diseases with which I have afflicted the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.” Healing is a covenant right that Jesus purchased for us (Isaiah 53:4-5 AMPC and Psalm 103:3). Receive your healing this Passover.

5. Long Life

Exodus 23:25 ends by saying you will fulfill the number of your days. Scripture continually talks about living a long and satisfied life. It says of Caleb, he was as strong at eighty as forty. Believe God to live long and live strong. We are redeemed from the curse, we all get old, but we don’t have to get old and become weak and sick. Feed on long life and health Scriptures and take care of your body and watch how God takes care of you as you age.

6. Increase and Inheritance

The Hebrews inherited a land flowing with milk and honey. They went from slavery to prosperity. THE BLESSING of Abraham was working in their lives and it can work for us too. Galatians three tells us we are BLESSED with believing Abraham and redeemed from the curse. Poverty and lack are a curse (Deuteronomy 28:38, 48). Build your faith in the goodness of God. He delights in the prosperity of His servant and God’s BLESSING makes life rich!

7. A BLESSED Year

Passover takes place during the first month and it is the first offering. Mark 4:20 says that we can receive thirty, sixty, and one hundred fold. Mark 4:28 teaches us the law of progression; first the blade, then the head, then the full seed in the head. Passover. Pentecost. Tabernacles. Thirty. Sixty. One Hundred.

Deuteronomy 16:16-17 AMPC “Three times a year shall all your males appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed: Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.”

Again, we are free to give or not give. Yet, three times a year God celebrates and He invites us to join in on the celebration through are giving.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 AMPC “[Remember] this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to someone] will also reap generously and with blessings. Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving]. [Prov. 22:9.] And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].”

This Passover, I invite you to join me in supporting Project Aliyah through Larry Huch Ministries. This project pays for persecuted Jews around the world to return to Israel and help them start a new life in their homeland. By participating in this project we are helping fulfill Bible prophecy by helping a Jewish person return home. I invite you to learn more about this project and sow your Passover offering towards it.

Next week we will look at one of the most crucial parts of Passover, developing a new mindset. I will be bringing a lot of fresh revelation in the next three weeks on how we can BE delivered in this passover season and stay delivered as we move toward pentecost.

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PASSOVER: A Time to BE Delivered

Excited does not begin to describe how I feel about this Passover season and my expectancy for this year! I don’t approach Passover and resurrection lightly. Each year we get to remember how God led the Hebrews out of Egypt and how Jesus ultimate sacrifice for us not only brought salvation to us, but complete wholeness; spirit, soul, and body.

As I prayed about this years Passover series I heard the Lord say (in my spirit), “This Passover, it’s time to BE delivered.” The word BE was so big on the inside of me when He said it. Genesis automatically leapt in me. In Hebrew God said light BE and light was, etc.

During the time of Passover (the month of April), expect to BE delivered! Believe to come out of depression and into joy. Believe to come out of sickness and into health. Believe to come out of lack and into prosperity. I won’t have enough time and space in this particular series to cover all the aspects of Passover and the Exodus story, so I encourage you to read and pray through Exodus chapters one through eighteen. Ask Holy Spirit to give you the revelation in the Passover you need this year.

It is important we don’t approach the feasts the same every year. We are called to go from faith to faith and glory to glory. We need to know the basics, yes, but each year we need to let Holy Spirit take us deeper in our understanding. If you are not familiar with Passover or the Jewish roots you can read the Jewish roots series and get some books from the recommended reading page.

As we begin this series we need to establish what it means to be delivered. The word delivered, defined by Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible means; to be drawn out, to bring forth, to escape, to give or be given, to rescue and to passover.

Get your expectancy up to be drawn out of captivity and brought into THE BLESSING! Expect to bring forth the promises and vision of God in your life. Expect the prophetic words for 2019 to come to pass in your life as you obey the word and sow your tithes, offerings and first fruits. Expect to give and be given an ABUNDANT HARVEST this year.

In the next post we will look at the BLESSINGS of Passover and in the rest of the series we will look at how to BE and stay delivered from the specific areas the Spirit leads for this series.

Today, I want to establish the importance and BLESSING in giving during the feasts. Deuteronomy 16:16-17 MEV “Three times a year all your males must appear before the LORD your God in the place where He will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles, and they must not appear before the LORD empty. Every man must give as he is able, in proportion to THE BLESSING of the LORD your God, which He has given you”.

With this verse being read, don’t fall into the enemies trap of thinking this is legalism. You can give or not give. God has a standing invitation three times a year where He wants to give special BLESSINGS to those who will enter in. You can be BLESSED without participating in the feasts but the understanding of thirty, sixty, one hundred fold, and the blade, the ear, and the full corn in the ear (Mark 4:20, 28-29) is found in giving during the three feasts.

Now look at Proverbs 3:9-10 MEV “Honor the LORD with your substance, and with the first fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your presses will burst out with new wine.”

Giving at the appointed times allows us a specific opportunity to BE a BLESSING and receive a BLESSING. The Hebrews are not the only ones who left Egypt. Exodus 12:37-38 MEV “Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. A mixed multitude also went up with them along with flocks and herds, a large amount of livestock.” Remember when Haman was killed and Purim was instituted it says all those who aligned themselves with the Jews celebrated.

Galatians 3:7-9, 13-14 MEV “Therefore know that those who are of faith are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel in advance to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” (13-14) “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by being made a curse for us—as it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” — so that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

As Christians we are grafted in to a Jewish root and THE BLESSING of Abraham is on us. We can only walk in that BLESSING if we BLESS the Jews. God still BLESSES those that BLESS Israel and we ourselves open the door to curses when we speak against God’s chosen people and vote for politicians who want to divide the land of Israel or who support or don’t condemn anti-Semitic language.

One last Scripture on Christians celebrating the feasts of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 MEV “Therefore purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new batch, since you are unleavened. For even Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old yeast, nor with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Now is the time to BLESS Israel and the Jewish people. During the feasts I specifically give to Israel and the Jews, there are opportunities throughout the year to give to other great projects but three times a year we are given specific opportunity to BE a BLESSING to Israel.

Salvation comes from the Jews and is to the Jew first. We have our Bible and our savior because of the Jews. Let’s give in honor of them. This Passover I am supporting Project Aliyah which pays for the flights and initial integration of Jews back to Israel. If you have seen the news lately, you know anti-semitism is on the rise around the world. We have an opportunity to rescue Jews out of persecution. That is the very definition of delivered and when we deliver others God will bring about our deliverance. In the next post we will look at that in detail. Please take some time to pray about being part of Project Aliyah. Passover/Unleavened Bread is from April 19 through 27, so you have some time to pray and see how you would like to be involved. You can learn more at Larry Huch Ministries.

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PURIM: Standing Against the Modern Day Spirit of Haman

In closing this three day Purim series I want to continue off of yesterday’s post on standing with Israel and the Jewish people. We looked at how walking in THE BLESSING is connected with standing with the Jews and how we can walk in higher levels of revelation when we embrace our Jewish roots. That is the first half of being aligned with the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. The second half is being willing to stand up to Anti-Semitism.

From members of Congress using Anti-Semitic tropes and not being willing to affirm Israel’s right to exist, to the growing BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction) movement, to hate crimes and terrorist attacks against Israel, Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world.

We all know to be silent in the face of evil is evil itself. We have all heard the quote, “the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” We can become overwhelmed with what I or you can do with such a big problem. The truth is, if each one of us does what we can do, we can bring change.

There will always be Anti-Semitism. The devil hates God’s chosen people. Pharaoh killed all babies two and under but Moses still came. Herod killed babies two and under but an Angel warned Joseph and he escaped with Mary and Jesus. Is it any wonder that the majority of democrats are now openly supporting abortion up to the moment of birth. The devil has always been after children, that’s why he presented Molech to the people. Of course now we’re sophisticated, we don’t offer our babies to idols, we just believe in women’s right to choose. New name, same demon.

When a government leader says Anti-Semitic things, call them out on it. If you see a Jew being verbally harassed, step in. Send condolence cards to local Synagogues after a terrorist attack. All this goes for any people group or religion. We don’t have to agree with one another to be decent people.

The bottom line is, God isn’t going to ask us about others, He will ask me what I did. He will ask if I prayed for the peace of Jerusalem like Scripture instructs. He will ask if I followed through with the understanding He revealed to me about Jewish roots. What He asks me and what He asks you will be different in some ways, but He will ask each of us what we did.

In whatever way you can, stand up to Anti-Semitism and pray against things like replacement theology and the BDS movement. In these last days Gentiles who are open to the voice of the Lord will be drawn to a Jew (Zechariah 8:23). Christians will begin to hunger for the Jewish roots of their faith. Don’t ignore that, don’t push it aside and don’t buy the lie that we have replaced the Jews or the Old Testament is not relevant to Christians. Don’t expect God to shout it at you, although He may at first. Listen for His still small voice, pay attention to the little nudges, and the books that you always seem to find in the bookstore.

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PURIM: Why Christians Should Stand With Jews

Five years ago this Passover the Lord started me on a journey of understanding the Jewish roots of Christianity. Space doesn’t permit me to retell the story here but I will say that understanding the Jewish roots and learning to understand the Bible from a Hebrew perspective has absolutely deepened my relationship with Jesus.

The story of Purim is a story of turnaround, deliverance and favor for the Jewish people. Yet this story is not just about the Jews but us as well.

Esther 2:26-27 NASB “Therefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. And because of the instructions in this letter, both what they had seen in this regard and what had happened to them, the Jews established and made a custom for themselves and for their descendants and for all those who allied themselves with them, so that they would not fail to celebrate these two days according to their regulation and according to their appointed time annually.”

And for all those who allied themselves with them. Replacement theology is not the truth. The Church has not replaced Israel, we have been grafted in to Israel.

Romans 11:16-18 NASB “If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.”

Galatians 3:6-14 NASB “Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ” ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU. ” So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, ” CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.” Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, ” THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, ” HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-for it is written, ” CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE “- in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

As Christians are root is Jewish and our way of thinking is not of this world (Greek thinking) but to think as God does, Hebraically. In Esther it says all those who allied themselves with the Jews celebrated. To be allied with the Jews doesn’t just mean to support their right to exist and to stand for Israel as their homeland and a undivided Jerusalem, all though those things are important. From a Christian perspective it is deeper than that. We recognize Jesus and His disciples were Jewish and that Paul never offended the law (Acts 25:8).

To be allied with the Jews is to understand that we are one new man. The feasts of the Old Testament are God’s feasts and they are appointed times with Him to be celebrated by Jews and Christians. If you think I am stepping into legalism here, let me say, you are free not to celebrate, but you are missing out on a BLESSING.

Zechariah 8:23 NASB “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew (the corners of the prayer shawl), saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”‘”

When we stand for the nation of Israel, we are standing for the Word of God. When we embrace our Jewish roots we are walking in the fullness of the Word’s truth.

THE BLESSING is THE BLESSING of Abraham. Part of that BLESSING is I will BLESS those that BLESS you and I will curse those who curse you. Some may say, in Jesus we are not cursed and that is true. Yet, when the Church separated from its Jewish root that is when the doctrine of poverty and lack came in. When we separated from our root the idea that God gives sickness to teach us came in. When we read Deuteronomy twenty eight, we see a clear picture of what THE BLESSING is and what the curse is. Sin, sickness, poverty, strained relationships, disease, debt and everything bad is a curse. Many may be saved but they aren’t living in the reality of THE BLESSING. Much of that took root when the Church divorced itself from the root of Judaism.

I’m not saying Christians have to become Jewish, we are one new man in Jesus. What I am saying is there is BLESSING when we BLESS Israel and there is thirty, sixty, one hundred fold harvest when we give during the appointed feast times.

THE BLESSING is not a legalistic thing, it’s all about relationship. The Amplified Bible in 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving]. [Prov. 22:9.]”

Connecting with our Jewish roots is all about our relationship with Jesus. Tithing and giving is all about love and relationship. Purim and Chanukah allow us to stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters and celebrate with them. Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles allow us and are appointed for us to go from faith to faith and glory to glory.

As you read the book of Esther, as you pray through it, ask Holy Spirit to give you a revelation of the Jewish roots and a love for Israel. Take some time and read other teaching on the blog about Jewish roots and check out the recommended reading page to learn more.

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PURIM: Supernatural Turnaround, Deliverance & Favor

In celebration of the Feast of Purim, we are going to take three days and look at different aspects of the Book of Esther and what it held for the time it happened and what it means for Christians today. We will not be able to look at every verse and chapter, so I encourage you to take time and read and pray through the book of Esther this week.

THE BEGINNING AND THE SHIFTING:

King Ahasuerus was hosting a banquet and everyone was having a good time. As usual, much wine was being consumed. Esther 1:10-12, 19-20 NASB “On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown in order to display her beauty to the people and the princes, for she was beautiful. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command delivered by the eunuchs. Then the king became very angry and his wrath burned within him. (19-20) If it pleases the king, let a royal edict be issued by him and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media so that it cannot be repealed, that Vashti may no longer come into the presence of King Ahasuerus, and let the king give her royal position to another who is more worthy than she. When the king’s edict which he will make is heard throughout all his kingdom, great as it is, then all women will give honor to their husbands, great and small.””

With Queen Vashti’s refusal we see the hidden hand of God at work. Esther is the only book in the TANAKH (The Hebrew Bible) that does not mention God’s name, yet, throughout the story we see His hand moving things behind the scenes to protect and favor His people.

Because she refused the king’s request a search was made for a new queen. A Jew named Mordecai told Hadassah (Esther) his uncle’s daughter to go the process of preparation and not tell anyone who she was. Esther found favor with the king and was made queen.

THE HAND OF GOD FOR FUTURE FAVOR:

Esther 2:21-23 NASB “In those days, while Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s officials from those who guarded the door, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. But the plot became known to Mordecai and he told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name. Now when the plot was investigated and found to be so, they were both hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the Book of the Chronicles in the king’s presence.”

This interruption to the story is another setup by the hidden hand of God to protect and favor His people. This plot against the king is interrupted by a Jew and because of this the enemies plot against the Jews later doesn’t quite turn out like he wanted.

THE PLOT, THE PLAN, AND THE PLEA:

After that event the king decides to promote a man named Haman. Haman becomes enraged at the fact Mordecai won’t bow to him so he has the king write a decree to kill all the Jews. The decree is sent out and the Jews are in distress. When Esther finds out about the decree she instructs Mordecai to have all the Jews fast for three days.

In the midst of facing death, before Esther springs into action she calls for a fast. Stop and think about that. How many of us when we are going through a much less stressful situation just operate in our own strength and understanding? Fasting puts our flesh in line. That place in line is second to our spirit man. Fasting enables us to get the mind of God on a matter. When you’re facing a big decision or an unexpected situation, don’t let your emotions take over, put them under the control of your spirit man.

THE BANQUET AND THE FLIPPED SCRIPT

Esther put her life on the line by going to see the king without an invitation but she obtained favor and the king extended the golden scepter. The king asked her what she requested and she asked that the king and Haman attend a banquet she would host. When Haman heard of the invitation his pride went through the roof and he bragged to his friends. Scripture says pride goes before the fall and Haman is about to find that out.

The night before the banquet the king can’t sleep so he asks the records be read to him, because that will definitely put you to sleep. It just so happened that the story of Mordecai was read. The king asked if anything had ever been done to honor him and nothing had been done.

The King wanted to ask how to honor someone and it just so happened that Haman was in the courtyard. The story picks up in Esther 6:6-12 NASB “So Haman came in and the king said to him, “What is to be done for the man whom the king desires to honor?” And Haman said to himself, “Whom would the king desire to honor more than me?” Then Haman said to the king, “For the man whom the king desires to honor, let them bring a royal robe which the king has worn, and the horse on which the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown has been placed; and let the robe and the horse be handed over to one of the king’s most noble princes and let them array the man whom the king desires to honor and lead him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him, ‘Thus it shall be done to the man whom the king desires to honor.'” Then the king said to Haman, “Take quickly the robes and the horse as you have said, and do so for Mordecai the Jew, who is sitting at the king’s gate; do not fall short in anything of all that you have said.” So Haman took the robe and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, “Thus it shall be done to the man whom the king desires to honor.” Then Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman hurried home, mourning, with his head covered.”

That is one of my favorite parts of this whole story. Mordecai didn’t seek an honor for what he did but it was bestowed on him anyway. Not only was he honored but Haman was taken down a few pegs as well.

Even with this setback Haman still had the banquet to look forward to.

THE FALLOUT AND THE FAVOR

At the banquet Esther finally asked the king of her request, the life of her people. Haman is hanged on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Things have definitely turned around. The Jews have been delivered from the plot of the enemy but God doesn’t stop there. Esther 8:1-2 NASB “On that day King Ahasuerus gave the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Queen Esther; and Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had disclosed what he was to her. The king took off his signet ring which he had taken away from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.”

TURNAROUND! PLUNDER! FAVOR! Just a few days ago their lives are being threatened and now, not only is the guy who threatened them hanging from his own gallows, on top of that Mordecai is given his house, his possessions and his position!

And God doesn’t stop there. The king issued a second decree that the Jews could defend themselves against anyone who would try to kill them.

FINAL THOUGHTS

We may not always sense or see how God is moving in our lives but the story of Esther is a reminder of the hidden hand of God in our lives. Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for the good of them that love God and are called according to His purpose.

As I said in the beginning of this post, read and pray through Esther. Be encouraged by the goodness of God in this story. Pull away in prayer and fasting over your situation and expect to receive the mind of God on it.

Purim is a time to remember and celebrate the miraculous protection of God’s people, the deliverance from the plot of the enemy and the favor of God in any situation. Not just any type of favor but favor you couldn’t dream of without His influence.

Get in the Word concerning deliverance, protection and favor this week. Expect God to move on your behalf this week. Expect freedom and favor! Expect abundant harvest!

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Preparations for 2019

It’s a couple days after Christmas and our attention is beginning to turn to 2019. Some of you are thinking about what resolutions you are going to make, (we’ll talk about that in a second) and some of you are trying to talk yourself into taking down the Christmas decorations.

The few days between Christmas and New Years Eve are definitely a time of transition. Back in August I released the theme for 2019, Jesus and the Spirit of Faith. In that post I mentioned that nine is the Hebrew letter TET which is goodness and is the picture of a funnel. This is the Hebrew year 5779. The Hebrew decade of 70 is AYIN which means to see. In 5779/2019 expect to see the goodness of God funneled into your life.

I also mentioned in that post that 2019 would be a year to hunger after the Word in a fresh way. The Bible is not just a book, the Bible is a person and His name is Jesus.

How can we prepare for the funnel of God’s goodness in 2019? Last night Holy Spirit began sharing some things for me to do in 2019 to receive all God has in store.

  1. Forget the resolution

We all know how it goes, you make a resolution and within three to eight weeks it’s things as usual and no lasting change happens. The truth is resolutions are made from our own thinking and in our own ability. I want to get healthier this year so I am going to (fill in the blank). I want to lose weight so I am going to (fill in the blank). Instead of making a resolution, set aside specific time for extended prayer before January second and ask the Lord what changes He wants you to make in 2019; write them down, ask for divine strategies on how to accomplish them and ask Holy Spirit to empower you to see them accomplished.

  1. Connect to the prophetic word

Earlier this year I talked about connecting to a prophet or prophets. If you are not connected with a prophet ask Holy Spirit to give you a connection. That connection does not mean you will know them personally or even live in the same area. Prophetic connection is first and foremost spiritual. When you connect to the prophet find the word for 2019; print it, pray over it and declare it every day. Don’t be passive with the prophetic word; walk it out, be obedient to directives and sow into the ministry that is prophesying into your life.

A word of caution on the prophetic. Don’t Google prophetic words for 2019. Different prophets carry different words. The body of Christ is large and each of us have a specific alignment and assignment in the Kingdom. We can only receive from and walk in a word that fits our individual alignment and assignment. When we overload ourselves with everything that is being said we don’t have clarity with what the Lord is saying for us and we can get confused in the direction we should go.

  1. Immerse yourself in the Word

I love the Bible app, I use it when I can’t find a verse I’m looking for, it’s a great tool in so many ways but if our Bible reading is just the verse of the day we are missing our food for the day.

Job 23:12 NLT “I have not departed from His commands, but have treasured His words more than daily food.” My prayer for myself and everyone who reads this blog is that in 2019 we see The Word as more needed in our lives than food. That sounds crazy at first but take the time to read Psalm 119 and you’ll see what Job is saying.

Read through the entire Bible in 2019. I am going to read it chronologically. Don’t stop there though, immerse yourself in the Scripture. The word immerse or immersed in the Webster’s 1828 dictionary is defined as “to plunge, to cover deep, to overwhelm, to involve, and to be deeply engaged.”

everyone has busy schedules, there is no denying that. But an ugly truth emerges in the midst of our business, we neglect Bible reading. Before you go into 2019 take an inventory of your time. In the midst of business, when do you make the time to watch what you DVR’d or watch Netflix? when do you make time to relax? Examine those moments during the day and take from them to make more time for reading and study. if after looking at your schedule you say, I just don’t have extra time, pray and ask Holy Spirit how you need to plan your day.

Apart from reading through the Bible (which is typically four to six chapters a day, depending on the plan), read Scripture. Read it continuously. In 2019 I will be continually reading through the gospels, Acts and the books of Moses along with reading the Bible all the way through.

As much as you may enjoy your Bible app, I encourage you to get a printed Bible to read in 2019. Yes, Bibles can be expensive but what better investment of your money than the Word of God? Hold it, turn the pages, learn the order of the books, write notes in the margin, highlight and underline words and verses that speak to you. Get a Strong’s Concordance for deeper study of what Holy Spirit is saying to you, so you can understand the depth from the Hebrew and Greek languages.

Fall in love with The Word in 2019. Read and re-read Psalm 119 monthly, read a Proverb each day. Be consumed with the Word of God – the person of Jesus!

Pray on New Year’s Eve, Lord let me love, let become consumed and impassioned by the Word. Let me see Jesus on every page. Let 2019 be the year my mind is renewed and my life is transformed by your Word.

  1. Be expectant and prayerful

If we don’t expect anything, we won’t receive anything. Mark 11 says we must believe we receive when we pray. Be a person of continual prayer in 2019. I believe 2019 will be a great year. I am excited about all that we will learn about Jesus and the Spirit of faith. I am excited about how each of us will walk by faith and be victorious. Get ready for goodness of God to be funneled into your life in ways you never could imagine in 2019!

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REFLECTIONS: My Journey Into Jewish Roots

It’s Friday night, Jews around the world are resting in the peace and stillness of the Sabbath and I’m sitting in a recliner, writing this post after several days of reflecting on my first Chanukah (or Hanukkah) and my journey of discovering the Jewish roots of Christianity in general.

My celebration was minimal this year; lighting a Hanukiah (the nine branch menorah used for Chanukah), reading the history and listening to lectures and teachings to help deepen my understanding. This journey began four years ago, although the seeds were planted much earlier. I believe I was twelve when I first heard Pastor Larry Huch talk about the Feasts, Mezuzah, Tallit and the Jewishness of Jesus. I would say, being a child in a Christian home prevented me from understanding the truth at that point but seeds were definitely planted. Years later a friend invited me to a spiritual warfare conference at the Global Spheres Center, home of Glory of Zion. Three weeks later was Passover and they had another conference. I didn’t understand why I was going to a Passover conference but I went. Long story short; I was awakened to something that week when I saw a menorah, I got two books, The Messianic Church Arising by Robert Heidler and A Time to Advance by Chuck Pierce and Robert Heidler. That was the start of my journey to connect to the roots of my faith. I started Listening to Pastor’s Larry and Tiz Huch again and found Rabbi Greg Hershburg.

Four years into this incredible journey I still have barely scratched the surface. I’ve gone from Christian books on Jewish roots to reading books written by Jews and Rabbis. Some are automatically thinking that I am becoming legalistic so let me clear up something, the Jewish roots bring joy to my life. The feasts are just that, feasts, happy and joyus times. Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath.

I know many look at Jesus’ interaction with religious leaders and say He was against them. He was against the legalism. Jesus Himself said, do what they teach and that no part of the law would be done away with till all is fulfilled. the new testament says sin is lawlessness.

In writing tonight, I want to share how much deeper and more fulfilling my Christian life has become since I have begun reading the Bible with a Hebrew mindset and celebrating the feasts.

During the eight nights of Chanukah I lit the candles each night. I paused and thought about the Jews who gave their lives for G-d and His Word. Can you imagine the love for G-d, to give up your life because you refuse to give up the Bible, the feasts and you refuse to eat unclean animals? I was so inspired each night. I am so thankful that men and women of G-d stood for His Word. Without them we wouldn’t have a Bible. Without their stand, there would have been no Jesus. Basically, no Chanukah, no Christmas.

Like I said in the beginning, I have barely scratched the surface of the Jewish roots, the original meaning in so much of the new testament. I mean we read it with American eyes, not thinking about the eastern culture and the fact that Jesus, all His disciples and all followers and leaders in the Church were Jews up until Acts ten.

There is so much on my heart and in my mind it is hard to put into a post that is all put together. All I know is that, for me, the very thing that was missing in my life were my Jewish roots. Take some time and read Romans nine through eleven. Do a study on how the Church cut itself off from its roots. Messianic Church Arising and Our Hands Are Stained With Blood are great books to start with.

Am I saying you have to celebrate the feasts? No, I’m not. you are free to not celebrate. Jesus did though. Paul even wrote to Gentile believers at Corinth, because Christ our Passover Lamb is sacrificed, we celebrate the feast.

If you’ve ever felt like something is missing from your Christian life. if you’ve wondered why we’re not seeing miracles, signs and wonders, all I’m saying is maybe we lost something we were never supposed to get rid of.

*In respect to Jewish people and their high honor of the name of G-d, I have followed their example in this post by not including the vowel in His name.       

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Don’t Forget Your Neighborhood

Go into all the world and preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations, these are probably some of the most familiar words to the Christian’s ears. We know these words under the banner of the great commission found in Matthew twenty eight. We know these words, we hear these words preached but what about the words of Acts 1:8?

Acts 1:8 NASB “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

I’ve been thinking about the Church lately and how we are able to reach the world in so many incredible ways. I’m not even talking about the big churches and ministries either, we all have an ability to have a wide reach through social media. Relatively unknown churches can have huge on line viewing numbers. As great as all this is, have we been so focused on all the world that many of us have forgotten our own neighborhoods? Have churches become so missions minded that we have forgotten our own cities and states?

I believe we should do everything we can to reach the entire world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each of us should support missions and ministries. That being said, each of us live in a neighborhood, attend church in a certain city and have several personal interactions on a daily basis at Starbucks, the grocery store, on your Target run or any other number of places. This is where we can be personally effective. When we build relationships it enables us to lead people to Jesus and most importantly disciple them.

The Church has been really good at making converts and church attendees but we haven’t majored in discipleship. We need to get to know people, invite them to church and cultivate a friendship with them. We need to grow together spiritually as local bodies of Christ.

I am so thankful for the emphasis on going into all the world. We need to keep doing that. Along with that though, maybe it’s time for a renewed focus on reaching the neighborhood we live in and the cities our churches are based in.  

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Saved, healed and delivered

So many times when we think of the Christian life or the purpose of the Church, we think in terms of getting saved and leading people to Jesus. That’s good and that is the entry point of Christianity but the purpose of being a Christian is not to just get our ticket punched for heaven.

Jesus quoted Isaiah 61 when He stood up to read in Luke 4:18-19 NASB “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed,19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

When Jesus gave the model prayer He instructed to pray your Kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. There is so much more to salvation than just Heaven. In fact the Greek word for salvation is SOZO which means saved, healed, delivered, made whole and preserved.

FAITH FOR HEALING

We have no doubt about God’s will concerning salvation but when it comes to healing, in the Church world we’ve come up with some reasons why God won’t heal. One of the main reasons we have come up with is sovereignty, we just can’t know the sovereign will of God about healing. Sometimes He does and other times He doesn’t. God may also be trying to teach us something or draw us closer to him through sickness. The problem with these beliefs is that we can’t find them in Scripture. Jesus healed all who came to Him and he repeatedly said, according to your faith, be it unto you.

Many Christians, myself included, have heard so much doubt, unbelief and negativity that our faith isn’t strong enough to receive from God. We can’t expect to receive healing when we are constantly speaking words contrary to healing or if when we hear a testimony our first thought is, I don’t believe that, that didn’t really happen.

Proverbs 6:2 says we are snared by the words of our mouth. Proverbs 18:21 in the New Living Translation says, “the tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences”.

If we are constantly speaking things contrary to life, health, prosperity and good relationships we will reap a negative harvest. 2 Corinthians 4:13 NASB “But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak,”  Whether we realize it or not we are speaking what we are expecting. Proverbs says, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. If we want to walk by faith, if we truly want to receive what God has for us we must speak words of positive faith.

BREAKING GENERATIONAL CURSES

Many of us have a hard time speaking words of faith because it has been taught against in the church and made fun of. The thing is, those people have what they say, they are dealing with negativity, lack and sickness because that is what they believe for. We will get into this more next year as I teach on faith but faith is not the absence of problems but the ability to get through them.

Many of us struggle with negativity and are in bondage to certain things though because it is a generational curse. When we get saved we are on our way to Heaven but unless we also break the curse it is still in operation in our lives. We confessed Jesus as Savior and Lord to be born again. Many of us though are still confessing negatively in every other area of our lives and that is why we need to break curses and receive deliverance.

When Jesus quoted Isaiah, He said, “to set free those who are oppressed”. Look at Acts 10:38 NASB “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

RECEIVE MORE THAN A SAVIOR

We have looked at a couple of Scriptures today that show Jesus was about more than just our salvation. He’s about our healing and our freedom, we can add so many other things to that list as well. Today, I want to encourage you to receive more than just entry into heaven, pray the model prayer Jesus gave us. Ask for Kingdom here and God’s will in your life now. God’s Word is His will. Every promise in the Word is for us today. the moving of the Spirit is for today.

Matthew 6:33 AMPC “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.” Jesus wants more for you than just Heaven for eternity, He wants you to experience God’s goodness now. We won’t need healing and deliverance in Heaven, that’s why Jesus’ death provided them, because we need them now.

search out the Scripture, discover the full meaning of Salvation. Find the promises of God for your need from Genesis to revelation. Don’t let the devil steal your promise from you. If God said it you can have it but it is up to us to use our faith and receive it.

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Tabernacles 2018: Stay connected and reap your harvest!

 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. These words in Hebrews chapter four have given all of us encouragement at one time or another. It is so wonderful knowing we can go to God at any time for anything.

As amazing as that is, there is something more incredible. Three times a year, we are not only invited to come away with God but He promises to come to us. These three times each year are known as the Feast of The Lord. (You can learn more about the three feasts by clicking on Feasts and Festivals or Hebrew Heritage Series in the sidebar). This week we are in the Feast of Tabernacles.

Leviticus 23:33-44 NKJV “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord. 35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. 36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.

37 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day— 38 besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the Lord. 39 ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest. 40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.’ ”44 So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.””

What does all that have to do with us? As Christians we have been grafted in to Israel. The root of the tree is Jewish, we are branches (Romans 11) and as believers we are blessed with Abraham, the father of the Jewish people (Galatians 3). These are not feast, celebrations for the Jews alone, they are the Feast of the Lord and as Christians we have an open invitation to join the celebration.

John 1:1-3, 14 TLV “In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through Him, and apart from Him nothing was made that has come into being. And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Jesus said if we would abide in Him and His word abides in us we would be His disciples and we could ask anything in His name and the father would hear us.

Tabernacles is a time to draw closer to God. As the last feast on the calendar, everything has been building up to this moment that God has set aside for us to come tabernacle with Him. This is a week to hear His voice and receive revelation.

Tabernacles is also about harvesting. We can harvest finances, we can harvest people, even nations. This Tabernacles the word I have for you is get deep into the Word, make it your life source so that as we enter 2019, a year of faith, you are prepared to stand, believe, harvest and receive.

Make giving a priority, both financially and with your time and ability to help others. Set aside special time to be with God this week apart from your normal devotions. Take communion, read Scriptures and hear God’s heart.

Regain focus this week and build your faith through the Word of God. When Jesus told people they had little faith it meant they had underdeveloped faith. We can’t receive if our faith is underdeveloped. Get in the Word, hear God’s promises for you and reap your harvest in the areas you need. If things seem slow in coming, don’t give up, that is a sign of underdeveloped faith. Grow faith, become strong; read the Word, listen to good teaching and put it into practice.

Joshua 1:8 NLT “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”

Harvest is coming to those who are in the Word and walking in obedience to it. A harvest of souls, a harvest of health, a harvest of finances, a harvest of every promise you have been believing for. Don’t lose heart and don’t faint in your faith, continue to build it and know in your heart of hearts that harvest is not just on its way, it is beginning to manifest now in Jesus name.

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Step into a new place of maturity

Yesterday the Lord began speaking a word that I believe is for anyone in the body with ears to hear. There has been division in the body lately; denominations, theologies, emphasis, etc. but I heard the Lord say, “for those willing to enter a new level of maturity I will show how their stream connects with others. I will show individuals how they can receive and progress forward in revival in discipleship by reading books from other theological perspectives.”

It is important to know which stream God has us in, when the Lord gave me this word I also heard him encourage me and I believe will encourage others that as we step into this new place of maturity we will be able to receive from voices and teachings that used to trip us up.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NASB “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”

I believe those who are willing to step into a new level of maturity and begin receiving from different streams will see a great wave of revival, healing and deliverance in their circles and in their churches. The days of secondary distinctives are coming to an end for those who want to be part of the next move of God.

If your heart is for revival and discipleship, ask the Lord to begin a maturing process in your spirit and to begin to lead you in receiving from different streams. Listen carefully for the Lord to begin to direct you to specific books or teachings. Part of this maturity is understanding God is not calling you to leave your stream or discard the anointing and call He has given you but allow that call to be furthered and the anointing strengthened by receiving from others in this next season.

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2019: Jesus! And The Spirit of Faith!

I know you may be looking at the title and saying to yourself, ‘it’s only mid August and he is already posting the word for 2019?’ Yes, I’m posting it early and this post will explain why. If you follow the blog you know I haven’t posted regularly this year, I can already tell you that will be different in 2019. 2018 was a year, the Hebrew year 5778 was a year to revisit firsts and walk through new doors. For me it was also a year to focus on Jesus. Many of us have felt delayed this year but the year isn’t over yet. Prophets have been saying over the last couple of months that things are beginning to accelerate. This post is proof of that. Before we get into the word for 2019, I do want to say that 2018 isn’t over yet and if there are things you haven’t received stay on your faith, we still have four months to go and now is not the time to give up.

The Lord usually gives me a theme or word for the year in October but on July 25th (Christmas in July), the Father woke me up and said, I have a present for you. I am giving you the word for 2019 today. Needless today, I was shocked. So the day I normally focus on Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel became about hearing and writing down the word and beginning to process it. I still assumed I would post it in October but after hearing words from two prophets I knew I needed to post it earlier.

This is the word the Father gave me. “2019 will be a continuation of the word for this year. You will continue seeing and seeking Jesus in 2019. Double your time learning and being with Him. 2019 is a year to get back up on your faith. You faced a lot of distractions this year. You pretty much spent half of the year distracted. I am giving grace and extending your doors and adding that to 19. It’s another Jesus year, it’s the year of faith.”

Before we continue, you may have noticed I said the Lord usually gives me and when I wrote the word I said this is what the Father gave me. Normally, I get the word from Jesus but this year it came from the Father and a conversation followed the paragraph you read. We won’t get into this today but we can and should talk with all the members of the trinity not just the one. Anyway, I knew there was something specific about why I was hearing from the Father and not Jesus.

As 2019 gets closer we will dive more into this word but today will mostly be background and the word itself. I am a huge Christmas fanatic, it is my favorite holiday, I love everything about it. I enjoy Christmas so much I want to have a Christmas room in my house one day (crazy? Maybe. Awesome? Absolutely). It is my absolute love of the Christmas season I think the Father came to me on Christmas in July. I also knew that with what I was hearing from the two prophets I follow that this word to me was also a word for others.

After the initial paragraph Father told me to take my Hebrew book and look up the letter with the value of nine. The Hebrew letter TET has the value of nine and means goodness and the opening of the funnel. There are three dimensions of goodness in the Hebrew:

1. In the presence of God we bring our best gifts and rejoice.
2. God judges and gives us the next set of circumstances designed to best help us on our path.
3. We develop the understanding of our heart.

He then said search out what faith is and how to apply it.

I don’t necessarily think this word will click for everyone but if you’re reading this and it does, start today. I believe because of the words about acceleration this needed to be posted now and not late fall. I believe God is allowing such a flow from 2018 into 2019 that words are just coming together. In September we enter the last 70 decade, the decade of seeing, this is amazing. I believe we are in a time of seeing the Holy Spirit restore the Word and the moving of His Spirit to the Church.

This word, Jesus and The Spirit of Faith points to two things; Jesus, the Word and the Spirit of faith, seeing the Holy Spirit move and bring manifestation of what each of us has been believing for.

2 Corinthians 4:13 MEV “We have the same spirit of faith. As it is written, “I believed, and therefore I have spoken.” So we also believe and therefore speak,”

Jesus 2018 was and is the preparation for Jesus and the spirit of faith in 2019. I know I haven’t done any in depth teaching on Jesus, I think if you grabbed hold of the word for this year that Jesus had something specific for each of us in mind which is why none of the post were directed towards that. Looking to 2019 and even 5779 in a few weeks, whatever you saw about Jesus this year has prepared you to walk in a new level of faith next year!

Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word. I heard a minster say that faith comes by hearing not having heard. Jesus is The Word. As much as 2018 has been about becoming closer with Jesus it has been about becoming more aligned with the Word. This leads us back to the conversation I had with Father.

“Become a full fledged Word person in 2019! Jesus! And the spirit of faith! Ask for specific books to dive deep into. 2019 and even now is as about faith becoming second nature to you.”

That was the last sentence of the word. I want to close out this post by looking at faith and what it means for faith to become second nature.

The best definition of faith is Hebrews 11:1 AMPC “NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not yet revealed to the senses].

Faith, (assurance, proof and reality) must become second nature to us. For something to be second nature means a characteristic or habit in someone that appears to be instinctive because that person has behaved in a particular way so often. Abraham, in Romans four was not moved by anything, he stood strong in faith. Take some time and read Romans four. How do we develop that find of faith? By the Word, be meditating on the Word (Joshua 1:8).

I am looking forward to personally diving into faith in 2019 and being able to share with y’all and having conversations that build our faith and encourage one another. Faith is only faith if it carries us through delays and hard times. 2019 will be a year of developing strong faith.

Look at the word in full:

“2019 will be a continuation of seeing and seeking Jesus in 2019. Double your time learning and being with Him. 2019 is a year to get back up on your faith. You faced a lot of distractions this year. You pretty much spent half of the year distracted. I am giving grace and extending your doors and adding that to 19. It’s another Jesus year, it’s the year of faith.

The Hebrew letter TET has the value of nine and means goodness and the opening of the funnel. There are three dimensions of goodness in the Hebrew:

1. In the presence of God we bring our best gifts and rejoice.
2. God judges and gives us the next set of circumstances designed to best help us on our path.
3. We develop the understanding of our heart.

Search out what faith is and how to apply it.

Become a full fledged Word person in 2019! Jesus! And the spirit of faith! Ask for specific books to dive deep into. 2019 and even now is as about faith becoming second nature to you.”

2019 and even now, take what you have learned from Jesus this year and get started on your faith.

Here are some things I have started doing since July 25th to help get my faith in gear:

1. I am continuing to read the gospels so I am constantly thinking about how Jesus walked.
2. Look up Scriptures pertaining to things you want to see in 2019. If you want to see a loved one or friend saved, look up Scriptures on salvation. Wether you’re believing for family restoration, freedom, a better job, healing, increased finances, whatever it may be find the Word on it.
3. Pastor Keith Moore’s series, “True Faith” has been an absolute eye opener on what true faith is. How do you walk in faith, some of what we call faith is just pretend, how to stay in faith and more. This series is a must listen. I have already listened to it multiple times and will continue to help keep me on track.
4. Pastor George Pearsons and Gloria Copeland did a series called “Bulldog Faith” where Pastor George talks about a time in his life when he got off his faith and how the Lord instructed him on how to stay in fath. If you have been discouraged about something this is a series for you.

* The Inner Meaning of the Hebrew Letters: Robert M. Haralick

** Both series can be found on YouTube as well

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From Revival to Discipleship

The last few weeks the Lord has been talking to me about my desire and my prayer for this generation and the next. I have said the last several years that I am a person about revival, I want to pastor a people of revival. The Lord began to speak to me and say you are not a person of revival, you are a person of discipleship.

To be clear, I love revival, revival is necessary at times and revival is biblical. What the Lord showed me though was, revival without discipleship will not produce lasting fruit. Revival has the root of revive. Revive means to restore to life or consciousness, to give new strength or energy to, and to restore interest in or the popularity of.

revival is necessary, but if we are constantly needing to be brought back to life or to be given new strength every week, or need our interest restored in the things of God we are missing it somewhere. this is when we need to go from revival to discipleship.

We can all hit dry times, miss some days of bible reading and things like that, but that is not fixed through revival it is fixed through discipleship.

To be a disciple or be discipled means that we are a follower of Jesus, one who follows His Word and lives how he lived. When we become a people of the Word, when we study the life of Jesus, when we study the Scriptures, both Old and New Testament we learn what we are to live as, we discover who we are in Christ and we discover the path to victory laid out in Scripture.

There are always needs and times of refreshing, but to try to live from a place of revival instead of the place of daily following Jesus, is to miss the beauty of the Christian life. Revival is wonderful but revival achieves its purpose when it leads to discipleship. A daily time of prayer, worship, reading and a deep study of the Word. Reading Scripture is great, we are changed when we study it and allow its truth to take deep root in our hearts and spirits.

Ephesians 4:21-24 NASB “if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”

Romans 12:2 AMPC “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”

I love revival and moves of God. I love great worship services. Let passionate worship cause you to pursue the person of Jesus. From Genesis to Revelation the Word reveals Jesus because the Word is not a book it’s a person.

John 1:1-5 NLT “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”

If you have been a person of passionate worship, don’t lose your worship ask Holy Spirit to add to worship and unending hunger for the Word of God. If you are passionate in prayer, begin praying passages of Scripture. If you long for signs, wonders and miracles, remember the foundation of those things I’d the Word of God.

I am a very passionate person, I love the passion my generation walks in. I am someone who is quick to follow where I see God moving. I’ve also learned I have to be careful. The river of God is made up of many streams and just because God is moving in amazing ways in one stream does not mean I am supposed to be over there. Unity in the body of Christ does not mean we all do everything. True unity is me operating in my call and gifting so and celebrating the guy next to me who is doing something completely different.

The disciples came to Jesus one day and said that a group of people were baptizing but they didn’t walk with them. Jesus’s response was let them baptize, if they aren’t against us, they are with us.

Regardless of what stream you are in. Whatever your passion and call is, make the Word the foundation of your life and what you do. When revival happens, praise God and flow in it but move into discipleship at the right time.

There have been many discussions and books written about why particular revivals died, stopped, or gradually dissipated over time. I believe the answer in a nutshell is that those revivals became about the revival and not about discipleship. Many revivals have in turn lead schools of revival, when really we need to lead schools of discipleship.

The Apostles didn’t go spread the fire of Pentecost, they spread the gospel and made disciples. Love the move of the Spirit and remember the Spirit was given to us to help make disciples.

If we put Mathew 28 and Mark 16 together, we make disciples through teaching and that leads to new tongues, laying hands on the sick, and casting out devils.

Today’s ask for a new desire for the Word of God and to hear the Word taught, ask for a hunger. Spend time in places like Psalm 119 and Proverbs three and four. Develop hunger by reading the portions of Scripture that talk about its power and promise.

I do pray that you are revived today if you need it and I pray that the reviving will lead you to the Word so that you can be sustained and begin to grow. Become a healthy believer with a steady diet of the Word.

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Pentecost 2018: Build A Bridge

The celebration of Pentecost was a few weeks ago but I am just now getting around to posting. At Passover we talked about tearing down walls; tearing down walls between Jew and Gentile, tearing down walls of racism, and more. There have been several things on my mind for Pentecost since Passover all these things have an over arching theme of building a bridge from one thing to another.

Pentecost is not just a New Testament thing, Jews had been celebrating Pentecost for years. Let’s build a bridge.

 

From Old Testament to New Testament

Jesus is the bridge between Old Testament and New Testament. A bridge connects two things together. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 that He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it, to show us how to live it. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that the things that happened in the Old Testament are an example to us and were written down for our instruction.

James 5:10-11 MSG “Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.”

There is so much for us in the Old Testament, Jesus is on every page! We can’ truly understand the New Testament without understanding the Jewish customs of the Old. We can’ tree the completeness of the Old without the person of Jesus! As we talked about tearing down the walls between Jew and Gentile at Passover, let Jesus be your bridge at Pentecost.

In the Old Testament Pentecost was a celebration of the giving of the Torah, the Word of God. In the New Testament a new dimension was added to the celebration, the coming of the Holy Spirit! Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead and guide us into all truth and bring to remembrance the Things He said.

1 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Let Jesus be your bridge. See the fullness of the Scriptures, learn from the stories in the Old and the parables in the New.

 

From the Founding to the Future

It’s easy for any of us to look at what God is doing right now and get so focused on that we forget where we have come from. In recent years we have heard of things like worship wars and the divide between the older and younger generations. What does a bridge do? It connects one generation to another. Yes, God is doing a new thing and it is springing forth. Yes, the message is the same and yes, the methods are totally different.

We need to be thankful for broader Christian history. Specifically each of us needs to be thankful and look to our denominations or movements history. We are only where we are at because of the people before us.

Today’s Church is dealing with the newly wrapped and presented heresies of the past we need to cross the bridge back into the past and grab the creeds, and theologies of our fathers and stand firm on the Word of truth. No matter how new something may look, universalism is still false teaching and saying we don’t need the Old Testament is a lighter version of the Marcion heresy that says the Church has replaced the Jews. When we don’t know history we are doomed to fall at the same places our fathers did and possibly even fall in places they did not.

Wether your Methodist, Pentecostal, Baptist, whatever stream God has placed you in, don’t forget your founding. Honor your fathers and mothers, hold to the truth, correct errors, and keep building.

 

From One Move to the Next

In that same line of thought, as the body of Christ, we need to continually move forward. We remember what God has done, we walk in what God is doing and look forward to what He will do next. The downfall of every great revival is that it wasn’t passed to the next generation. The loss of great ministries is when a leader doesn’t raise up a successor.

We become so worried about preserving a system or a style that we lose sight of why we were doing things in the first place. We do well to remember two things about Israel, they always followed the cloud when it moved and they never did well with blessing.

We need to be thankful for everything God has done, yet, the same disciples that were filled in Acts two were refilled in Acts four. When Israel was blessed they took their eyes off God and put on what He was doing or what He was giving them. How many times in the Church have we put our eyes on the miracles and the money and taken them off the Master?

Let’s remember the purpose of the bridge. To move from one place to the next and to be connected so if we forget something, we can go back and get it.

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Theowhat?

I’m sitting in a coffee shop with a mocha and a water, staring at this screen with my heart full about what I want to write today but I cannot come up with a good opening to capture your attention. I’ve been a Charismatic Christian all my life. I believe God still speaks today, in healing, prophecy, even unusual feelings such as goosebumps, falling down, etc.

With this wonderful introduction I am just going to state what’s been on my mind the last few days concerning my tribe in the body of Christ. I think many in the charismatic, prophetic, healing and such streams have become focused on experience to the point we have a lesser focus on Scripture and making sure our experiences are theologically sound.

I am all about experiences, I believe in experiencing God but I have watched some services lately that have had little Bible teaching in them. There has been round about talk from Scripture but no direct teaching. On the other side of this coin there is much Scriptural teaching on all that God will give you but little emphasis on magnifying God in our hearts, daily worship of Him, and the importance of delighting in God for God Himself.

Charismatics tend to dismiss theology, saying just focus on Jesus. But if your understanding of Jesus is simply based from experiences at events and not firmly based in Scripture, the “Jesus theology” you have may not be biblical.

The New Testament warns us about false teaching, false prophets, and other wrong interpretations of Scripture. While we like to focus on our experience and experience is good our first priority must be the Word of God, the Bible.

Theology is good! Let me say it again, theology is good. A right and thorough study of Scripture is important, it is the thing that will keep us from false experiences. The devil comes as an angel of light to be able to deceive. That deception will be easy if your relationship with the text of Scripture is shallow.

We know that Jesus is the Word made flesh, that should mean the written Bible is of utmost importance to us. If you see theology as dead and dry it isn’t. Men like Charles Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards reached thousands in one service in the days before technology and social media. Those men walked in power that our generation hasn’t touched. Charles Finney who is known for theology and lectures would walk by people and they would cry out in repentance. When was the last time one of us had that happen?

Reading theology, old books, and even old sermons have the ability to draw us closer to God unlike the books of our day. With all due respect to our generations, books of old carry more of a weight and honor of God than the vast majority of our books. The books of old and book today written in that same manner go to the deep places of the Bible.

Encouragement is important but so is challenging ourselves and searching out the deep things of Scripture. It is just on my heart this week to encourage us all to go deeper in our relationship with God. Go deeper in knowing the person of Jesus. Get a book of sermons by Charles Spurgeon or Jonathan Edwards. Ask Holy Spirit to take you to deeper places in the Word. A experience of feelings is wonderful but nothing compares to the deep study of the Word of God. Scripture can touch the believer deeper than any feeling in a worship experience.

Understand, I’m not against experience, we just need to be based in the Word not experience. When we have a solid Biblical foundation, alarm bells will go off when we read a book that doesn’t line up with the Bible. Jesus is first experienced in the depth of His Word. Take time today to read Psalm 119. It’s the longest chapter in the Bible and it’s all about the Bible. The Word of God is eternal and will change our lives. A deep understanding and study of the Word (theology) will lead to a fuller, deeper and more stable experience.

Challenge yourself this year to read a deep book, don’t go fast with it, read it slowly, study it, read it with your Bible. Go deeper in God by going deeper in His Word.

Soon, I will be starting a series called Jesus Series 2018. In this series we will be looking at the theology in the life of Jesus. I believe it will give each of us a deeper love and understanding of our savior.

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