Apostolic Teams and Companies

An Excellent Blog on Apostolic Teams by Apostle Greg Crawford!

Greg Crawford

Since I have been teaching on this subject over the last few weeks in our School of Ministry and web stream, I decide to write a condensed version as a blog so more people can have these insights.

We see in the Bible, that there were apostolic teams sent into regions to bring impact and that Paul traveled with a company of people as well.  Let me first say that all apostolic teams/companies always travel with an apostolic leader. Apostles lead these teams with strategy and vision and a deep knowing of the overall destiny and assignment of the group. Apostolic teams focus on pioneering movements. They cultivate a set of core values that empower such a movement. Apostles gather other fivefold ministries to come alongside and travel into a region with the intention of aligning that region with Kingdom dynamics and to leave a deposit behind that would have…

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HOUSTON HABITATION!

This is something that could and should be declared over every region!

James Becton Ministries/ EaglesVision Apostolic Co!

Jim Becton
Jul 2nd, 10:56am
Eph. 2:20-22- Having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the chief corner stone, in whom the whole building fitly joined together grows up into a holy temple in The Lord, in whom also you are being built together as a HABITATION (dwelling place) of God in the Spirit.

We decree and declare that the city of Houston is a “city of The Lord, a portal for the Kingdom of God so that the ecclesia (church in ACTion) can advance, empower and equip the saints in light for dominion and apostolic alignment!”

We decree and declare that the governmental order of the Father’s kingdom be set in place, as He hath set (in the church) first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that, miracles, gifts of healings, helps, governments (Steersmen, as at the helm of a ship), various…

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Knowing God

 

Some time ago I was laying before the Lord in meditation and preparation for an area meeting we were going to hold later that evening in South Plainfield, NJ. During this time a couple of portions of Scripture from the book of Isaiah seemed to jump out of my Bible at me! I spent the next hour or so just meditating on them and some thoughts began to develop. That night at the area meeting, I gave about a thirty-minute exhortation off the cuff based on what I had been meditating on earlier that afternoon. I want to share some of those thoughts with you.

 

“’You are My witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘And My servant whom I have chosen, In order that you may KNOW and BELIEVE Me, And UNDERSTAND that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. I, even I, am the Lord; And there is no savior besides Me. It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘And I am God. Even from eternity I am He; And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?’” Isaiah 43:10-13 NASB (emphasis mine)

 

The first thought that I had while meditating on this Scripture was how awesome God is! We serve a truly sovereign God. I think if there is one truth that we don’t hear enough teaching on today in our churches it would have to be the sovereignty of God. Look at what God said: “I, even I, am the Lord; And there is no savior besides Me.” I really like what He said in verse 13: “I act and who can reverse it?” What an awesome God we serve! Isaiah 46 also bears out this same thought of the sovereignty and awesomeness of our God. “’…For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’…’Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.’” Isaiah 46:9-11 NASB No wonder we sing the song today in many of our churches, “Who Is Like The Lord?”

 

We could spend the rest of this blog talking about our awesome God, but I really want to focus on the three words in our first text that are printed totally in large case and bold:
KNOW, BELIEVE & UNDERSTAND. It stood out to me that according to our text, God has chosen us to be His servants and witnesses, and what will make us the witness is the fact that we know, believe and understand Him. It should not surprise us that He called us His witnesses for Jesus did the same in Acts 1:8, speaking of our life after the empowerment of The Holy Spirit. I began to see things all being intertwined together in these verses and being dependent one upon the other and in progressive order.
It all begins with our knowing God. I believe many in the church, even though they are legitimately saved, really don’t know God. God has chosen us to know Him. When we know Him, it will be a witness. If we don’t know Him, we will have a hard time believing Him, and for sure we won’t understand Him. Yet these verses say: know, believe & understand. The first thing we need to know is that our God is sovereign. Again as I have already stated, there is a great shortage of revelation in the Body of Christ today regarding this elementary but important doctrine.

 

I can hear many of you thinking, how can he make a statement like being legitimately saved and not knowing God. Let me explain. If you were to get introduced to the President of the United States, would you really know him? The honest truth would be that you were introduced to him, you met him, but you really don’t know him. So it is with God, when you got saved, you were introduced to Him, you met Him, but you really don’t know Him. The only way you can get to know anybody is by spending time with him or her. God is no different. We spend time with God by reading His Word and spending time in prayer, or as my Dad used to say: “Keep your nose in the ‘book’ and your knees on the floor.”

 

Without spending time with God we will not know God. Some believe that going to church makes them know God. Watching the news on TV or reading the newspaper about the President makes you know about him, but you still don’t really know him. By going to church and listening we learn about God, but unless we personally enter into worship and communion with Him, we still don’t know Him.

 

Because many of us really don’t know God, many of us have a hard time believing God. God was declaring through the Prophet Isaiah Who He is, what His character is, so that we would know what He is like, and know Him. God knows that when we get a revelation of how awesome He is we will not have a problem taking Him at His word and believing that He will do what He said He will do. But until we know Him, we find ourselves wondering, will God really do what His word says He will do. I know none of us wants to admit that we have operated in unbelief. We all want everyone to think that we are the most super-spiritual, all faith possessing Christians that have ever walked the face of the earth. However, just take inventory and be honest and I am sure that you will admit like I had to, I need improvement at taking God at His word. It starts with knowing Him.

 

Now we are hit with a really big challenge. God said in the same book of Isaiah: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9 NASB If that is true, and it is, how can God say in our text that we should understand Him? First realize that God never says we can do something if we can’t. Remember I said that everything in these verses was intertwined and in progressive order, hinged on the fact that we should know God. If we don’t know Him, we will never believe Him, and if we don’t believe Him we will never understand Him, because His ways are higher than ours.

 

Paul said: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV Too many of us try to discern the things of God naturally instead of spiritually and cannot discern them. If we knew God not just about Him, or were just introduced to Him, we would see things His way. We would see with spiritual eyes, not natural eyes, and we would understand Him. How often have you heard Christians ask: ”How could God do that?” or “How could that be?” Perhaps you have asked those or similar questions yourself. When you truly know Him, those types of questions diminish because you gain understanding of Him.

 

The simple truth is when you know Him you have no trouble believing Him, and when you believe Him you can then move on to understanding Him.
My purpose for writing this blog is to stir you up to know God better than you do; To spend more time with Him, in prayer, worship, communion, meditation and in His Word. As a result you will be a witness because you will KNOW BELIEVE & UNDERSTAND Him!

 

 

 

 

 

Arresting The Attention Of Jesus

 

Have you ever felt like: “If only I could get God’s attention?” “If only Jesus was paying attention to me?” I have been meditating along this line quite a bit lately. There are several people in the Gospels that had success getting Jesus’ attention. I believe that we can learn a great deal from their examples. We could speak of Zaccheus, the tax collector, blind Bartimaeus, and Mary Magdalene. All of them had personal encounters with Jesus because they arrested his attention. From looking at their stories in Scripture it appears that there are a couple of ingredients to arresting Jesus’ attention that aren’t always present in the body of Christ today like they should be. It seems that Jesus responds very well to hunger, desperation and worship.

There is no way that we can deal with all of these thoughts in a short Blog like this. However, in keeping with the theme of some of the other Blogs we have written and our focus of speaking what we believe to be the “NOW” or “RHEMA” word from God we are going to stress the aspect of worship from Mary’s life.

The life of Mary is portrayed in the Gospel accounts as one of humility and worship. She was the one in Luke chapter 7 who came into the Pharisees’ house and washed the feet of Jesus with her tears and dried them with her hair. She kissed his feet and anointed them with perfume. Perfume speaks of the fragrant aroma of worship. When Mary let down her hair to dry the feet of Jesus, it was symbolic of letting down or despising your own glory for His. What we fail to realize is that Scripture teaches that a woman’s hair is a glory to her. But she considered the glory of Jesus of much more value than her own. How many of us could say that?

When we see Mary a little later in Matthew chapter 26 & Mark chapter 14, we find her coming to anoint Jesus again with costly perfume. Again the perfume is a symbolic picture of pure worship, which has a sweet aroma to Jesus.

“For when she poured this perfume upon My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done shall also be spoken of in memory of her.”  Matthew 26:12 & 13 New American Standard Bible

This is the second time she worshipped Jesus by anointing him with costly perfume. Notice Jesus said that whenever the Gospel is preached her worship will be remembered. God doesn’t always stand up and take notice of the things that we think He will, but He always pays attention to worship and worshippers. Remember Jesus said:

“But a time is coming, and it is already here! Even now the true worshippers are being led by the Spirit to worship the Father according to the truth. These are the ones the Father is seeking to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship God must be led by the Spirit to worship Him according to the truth.” John 4:23 & 24 Contemporary English Version

In Mark chapter 16 we see Mary once again with spices to anoint the dead body of Jesus as an act of worship, not knowing that He had risen. In John chapter 20 we find to me one of the most amazing encounters in all of Scripture. Mary is standing outside the empty tomb weeping because the body of Jesus had been moved so she thought, and did not get to anoint it. Jesus was on His way to the Father to sprinkle His blood on the heavenly mercy seat to seal the full payment of our redemption, when He heard the familiar cry of a woman with a proven track record of being a worshipper and an anointer.

“Jesus saith unto her, ’Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father…” John 20:17a King James Version

Notice He told her not to touch Him, which means she was close enough to Him that she could have. However, He hadn’t ascended to the Father yet. Just meditate for a moment on the fact that Jesus allowed Himself to pause in the eternal purpose of God, (sprinkling his blood on the heavenly mercy seat), all because of the cry of a worshipper. As the Psalms say “Selah” pause and think about that.

We have not fully understood the importance of worship in the body of Christ. However in this day, God is raising up many voices all throughout the different “camps” or “circles” of the church that are speaking of the importance of worship. Over and over again Jesus said that those who had ears to hear should hear what the Spirit was saying to the church. (See Revelation chapters 2 & 3) Do you have ears to hear what the Spirit of God is speaking to the church today? You can arrest the attention of Jesus! You can make Jesus take notice of you! Not by doing miracles, but by being a true worshipper that worships in Spirit and truth.

 

Where Are We Now

 

It is always important to understand where we are in God’s time and season. We don’t want to be like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day that could not discern the signs of the times. (Matthew 16:3) Instead we want to be like the sons of Issachar, who were men who understood the times. (1 Chronicles 12:32) So, where are we right now in God’s timetable? If we look to the Scriptures, we can find the answer.

 

 
“He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day that we may live before Him. So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.” Hosea 6:2 & 3 NASB

 

 
These two verses give us a clear picture of where we are in God’s timing and what we should be experiencing. I think most people in the Body of Christ understand Peter’s explanation of God’s timing in 2 Peter 3:8: 1000 years = 1 day, 1 day = 1000 years. It has been 2000 years since Jesus’ earthly ministry, or 2 days since Jesus walked the earth, so what happens now? I see four things: He Will Revive Us, He Will Raise Us, He Will Reveal To Us and He Will Refresh Us. Let us consider them briefly one at a time.

 

 
First, HE WILL REVIVE US. Notice in our text that He will revive us, not the world, us (His people). Notice also that this will take place after two days, or 2000 years. The people of God are about to walk into the greatest revival that they have ever experienced! Most folks in the church don’t understand revival; they seem to think that revival is when people get saved, however that is evangelism and conversion, which are offshoots of a true revival. Let us look to the definitions of the word revival for a better understanding. Revival means: To come or bring back to LIFE or consciousness, resuscitate. Its second definition is: To come or bring back to a healthy, vigorous, or flourishing condition after A DECLINE. Isn’t that a picture of the church today? God is about to bring us back to a healthy, vigorous and flourishing condition! We are no longer going to be sleep walking, going through the motions of our Christian lives! It is time to sing with the great hymn writer: “Revive Us Again”!

 

 
Second, HE WILL RAISE US. Notice in our text that on the third day He will raise us up that we may live before Him. I want to focus on the two words, raise and live in this verse. At first glance, you would think that God will elevate us on the third day (or the beginning of the 3000th year according to Peter’s equation), which would be good, but a deeper look at the original Hebrew reveals quite a bit more. This word raise carries with it the added meanings of: CONFIRMING, ORDAINING & ESTABLISHING.
Notice also that the text says that the reason that He will raise us is so that we may live before Him. There is an intended purpose to this raising. A deeper look at the meaning of this Hebrew word for live carries the added meaning of: NOURISHING, SAVING & BEING WHOLE. Therefore we could say that on the third day (which is the day we are living in), that God will CONFIRM, ORDAIN & ESTABLISH us that we may be NOURISHED, SAVED & WHOLE before Him!

 

 
Third, HE WILL REVEAL TO US. Notice the words of our text, so let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. This speaks of revelation. A closer look at this word know in the Hebrew carries with it the meanings of: PERCEIVING, HAVING REVELATION & BEING SHOWN. We are living today in the day that the people of God are going to walk in the greatest revelation that any people of God have ever walked in throughout all of human history simply because of where we are in God’s timetable! God wants us to know: WHO HE IS, HOW HE THINKS, WHAT HE FEELS & HOW HE WORKS. This revelation will come to us one of three primary ways: The Spirit of God will open the eyes of our understanding as we spend time in His Word, The Spirit of God will speak to, give images to, or make impressions on our hearts during prayer, praise and worship, and finally the Spirit of God will manifest His gifts in our midst and speak to us prophetically as we are open to His moving amongst us.

 

 
Finally, HE WILL REFRESH US. Notice in our text He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain. Rain in Scripture is a symbol for the refreshing that comes from the manifest presence of the Lord (see Acts 3:19). The prophet stresses that on the third day God will come to us not just as the rain, but as the SPRING RAIN. This is a key phrase in Scripture. In studying the rain of the Holy Spirit in Joel chapter 2, the footnotes of my New American Standard Bible make mention of the fact that the Early Rain = the Autumn Rain, while the Later Rain = the Spring Rain. The early rain came at planting time, the spring rain comes at harvest time to get the crop to a place of maturity, and ready to be harvested.

 

 
There are going to be two great coming harvests. The first is the last day great harvest of souls into the Kingdom of God. The second is the harvest of God’s people being caught away (The Rapture Of The Church). Jesus is coming for a spotless bride that is mature and ready to meet Him when He comes. It will take the last day outpouring of the Spring Rain to get this crop of the church to come to a place of maturity ready to be harvested. I can remember all the books written about the Second Coming (like 88 reasons Jesus was coming in 1988). Obviously the church was not ready, because the third day outpouring of the Spring Rain had not yet come to bring her to that place of maturity, ready to meet Him. We are living in the day of that outpouring! Get ready for it!

 

 
It is clear from these two verses of Scripture that God has some specific things in mind for His people of the THIRD DAY CHURCH. It is up to us to recognize what His purpose is and place a demand on the purpose of God. It is up to us whether we walk in the fullness of what His purpose is or not. As for me, I will experience HIS REVIVING, HIS RAISING, HIS REVEALING & HIS REFRESHING! How about you?

 

 

Such As I Have

 

I have been thinking about this very familiar passage of Scripture from the Book of Acts:

 

 
“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3 who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10 and they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.” Acts 3:1-10 KJV

 

 
The phrase that stands out to me is: “Such as I have give I thee.” You can only give what you have. If you don’t have it you can’t give it. I think many times today unfortunately we have too many folks who don’t have anything to give. I remember when I was in Rhema Bible Training Center back in the 80’s, sometimes Dad Hagin, (Rev. Kenneth E Hagin) used to say that it would be like laying empty hands on empty heads.

 

 
How sad for any of us to have empty hands. We have been given the Authority of the Name of Jesus to use…the Name that is above every other name…that everything that can be named has to bow to. We have been given the written Word of God that is forever settled in heaven. And lastly we have been given the Power of the Holy Spirit.

 

 
Jesus Himself said that we would receive power after the Holy Spirit came upon us (Acts 1:8). If we have been baptized in or filled with the Holy Spirit we have been given power. I think sometimes we fail to realize the Power of the Spirit that we received.

 

 
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the church at Rome tells us:
“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:11 KJV

 

 
It was the Power of the Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. That is the same Holy Spirit that you have been baptized in or filled with. What that means when you got filled with the Holy Spirit you got anointed with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead!

 

 
Remember what Peter preached at Cornelius’ house in Acts 10:
“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. 36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) 37 that word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: 40 him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly.” Acts 10:34-40 KJV

 

 
Notice Peter said that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with Power. Which Holy Spirit was He anointed with? Jesus was anointed with the same Holy Spirit that we get anointed with when we are baptized in or filled with the Holy Spirit. If Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil because God was with him, so should we, we have access to the same power of the same Holy Spirit.

 

 
Some folks think oh we couldn’t do that Jesus was the Son of God. Well so are you according to John 1:12. But as many as received Him to them He gave the right or authority to be called Sons of God. The truth is Jesus did not do what He did because He was the Son of God; he did what He did because He was anointed by the Power of the Spirit. Remember Philippians tells us (Chapter 2 verse 7) that he emptied Himself of all of His divine attributes and came as a man tempted in all points like we are yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

 

 
So you may ask when was Jesus anointed with the Holy Spirit and why did He need to be. He needed to be because He Emptied Himself. Ask yourself was Jesus still omnipresent when he was here in His earthly ministry or was He limited to time and space like we are. Obviously you know the answer to that question that is why He needed to be anointed with the Holy Spirit and with Power. As far as when, you most likely know the answer but just haven’t paid attention to it. At the Baptism of John when the Spirit descended on Him in the form of a dove and the Father spoke from the excellent glory and said: “This is my Beloved Son.”

 

 
In fact if you study the four Gospel accounts of the events leading up to John’s Baptism and just after you will find no mention of the fact that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit anywhere in His life until you come to the beginning of Luke Chapter 4, where it records that Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit was lead of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted. But nowhere in any of the Gospel accounts does it record that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit before this time. And Luke Chapter 4 is right after the Baptism of John which occurs toward the end of Chapter 3. And then at the end of His temptation Luke also records for us that returned to Galilee in the Power of the Spirit, which is when He went into the temple, picked up the scroll and read from Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me.”

 

 
The amazing thing is that if you compare Acts 1:8 which Jesus spoke about us and Acts 10:38 which Peter spoke about Jesus; you will find that they are the same. “But you shall receive Power (Greek word Dunamis – self energizing explosive miracle working power) after the Holy Spirit has come on you.” “How God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and Power (Greek word Dunamis – self energizing explosive miracle working power) who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil for God was with Him.” Notice it is the same Greek word talking about what we receive and what Jesus received.

 

 

This is why Jesus said: “The works that I do you shall do also…” Why? Because we have the same Power of the same Holy Spirit that Jesus was anointed with. Thank God we don’t have to be laying empty hands on empty heads…we have something in our hands…what Jesus had in His…if we will just believe it! Such as I have…I give to you. What do you have? You have what Jesus Had!

 

 

The Balance of the Spirit & the Word

 

I can recall during my teenage years my Father having an expression that he used quite frequently: “Stay balanced and have fun.” When I got to Rhema Bible Training Center, Kenneth E. Hagin used to say: “Most Christians get in the ditch on one side of the road or the other, when the truth is right down the middle.” We need to be balanced in our Christian lives and must avoid the ditches.

I have noticed two extremes in the Body of Christ over the last several years that have me quite concerned. One extreme is the group of people I will call “Word” people. These are people who only want to hear the teaching of the Word of God. They make no allowance for the move of the Spirit of God at all. The other extreme is the group of people I will call “Spirit” people. These are people who only want to have manifestations of the Holy Spirit. They don’t think that the teaching and preaching of the Word of God is important. There is an element of truth in each, however, neither one can stand alone without the other. We need to have balance. We need to have both. It’s not one or the other that we need, but both working together.

“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16 NASB

Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel because the Gospel was and is the power of God. That word power in the Greek is the word dunamis, which is a self-energizing explosive power. We get our English word dynamite from this word. Not only is the Gospel the power of God, but it is the power of God unto salvation. That word salvation in the Greek is the word soteria, which means total deliverance in every area of your life, spirit, soul, and body. The importance of the preaching of the Word of God is paramount in Scripture. According to Romans chapter 10, faith cannot come without hearing the Word of God preached. According to 1 Corinthians 1:18 the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those that are perishing, but it is the power (dunamis) of God to those who are being saved. According to 1 Corinthians 1:21 God was pleased to use the foolishness of preaching for man to be saved.

If the Word of God was not important, and all we needed was the move of the Spirit, why would God choose to have men saved by the foolishness of preaching? Without hearing the Word of God preached and taught, faith would not come and nobody would get saved. We need to realize the power that is in the Word of God! We also need to realize that God chose preaching! Man did not choose preaching, God chose preaching. While I’m at it, let me also say that we need both the preaching of the Word as well as the teaching of the Word. Teaching is for education, preaching is for motivation. If all we have is teaching, we have people that know what to do, with no motivation to do it. If all we have is preaching, we have people that are motivated to do something, but don’t know what to do. Both are equally as bad as the other is. We can’t have one without the other. Let us bring the dunamis of God to His church by both preaching and teaching the full counsel of God.

“And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of Power.” 1 Corinthians 2:4 NASB

In this verse we see the use of the same Greek word for power (dunamis) describing the demonstration of the Spirit as we saw in Romans 1:16 describing the Word of God. Paul learned not to just rely on the power of the Gospel when he ministered, but he also used the power of the Holy Spirit. He wanted to demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit. Is it wrong to have demonstrations and manifestations of the Holy Spirit? No! A thousand times no! However, the demonstration without the preaching of the Word goes against the Biblical pattern.

Jesus said in Acts 1:8 that we would receive dunamis when the Holy Spirit would come upon us. According to Peter’s message at Cornelius’s house in Acts chapter 10, God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with dunamis. We would have the same power made available to us that was made available to Jesus. Is it no wonder that Jesus said: “The works that I do he shall do also.” (John 14:12)
We can do what Jesus did because we have access to the same power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus did. That is why Paul said it was not his preaching alone but also the demonstration of the Spirit and power. In Romans chapter 15 Paul said that he fully preached the Gospel…by word and deed…in the power of signs and wonders…in the power (dunamis) of the Spirit. We must not neglect the deed part. Our preaching the Word is not enough. Paul said word and deed. Let us bring the power of the Spirit to the church of God as we allow Him to move and do as He sees fit!

When we bring the power of the Gospel and the power of the Spirit together we have an explosive force for God. We don’t want them working apart from each other but working in conjunction with each other.

“God also bearing witness with them both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.” Hebrews 2:4 NASB

This verse of Scripture is talking about the ministry of the apostles. God bore witness to what they preached by signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit. This sounds exactly like Mark chapter 16. In verses 15 to 18 we see the command to go into all the world and preach the Gospel as well as the promise of the signs that will follow them as they go. In verse 20 we find: “And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.” How would you like to have God work with you? To confirm the word that you speak? To bear witness with you by signs, wonders, and miracles? All you have to do is preach the Word and expect God to do it. If we don’t preach it he can’t confirm it. God can only confirm what we preach.

We must have balance! We must have the power of the Word of God! We must both teach and preach the Word! We can’t just have manifestation meetings without the preaching of the Word! We must also have the Power of the Holy Spirit to confirm the Word that we preach! If we do not have the signs to confirm the Word we are nothing more than a form of godliness denying the power there of! If all we have is the “Word” it leads to legalism and dry Christianity! If all we have is the “Spirit” it leads to emotionalism and flaky Christianity! If we preach the Word, and demonstrate the Word by the power of the Holy Spirit, together they make an explosive force as God works with us to confirm His Word!

 

 

THE RESTORATION OF THE APOSTOLIC

Excellent Blog on Apostles like the church being birthed through prayer.

The Flaming Herald

The Church began as a house of prayer (Acts 1 & 2). It is God’s purpose for the Church to always remain a house of prayer. Every gospel bears witness to the zeal for God’s house being a house of prayer (Mat 21, Mk 11, Lk 19, John 2). The four gospel witness is very, very significant since only 8% of the content in John’s gospel appears in the others.

When God’s house ceases to be a house of prayer, it then by default becomes a place of business. Actually, Jesus stated it much stronger when He called it a den of thieves. This is one of the strongest indictments against the modern day Church.

Apostles were the first ministry gifts appointed by Jesus. He appointed them after a night of prayer (Lk 6:12). Isn’t it interesting how the apostolic is released through prayer? We see the pattern again in…

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Identification

 

Identification is a subject that many in the church don’t understand. It is a big part of what I call New Creation Realities; which is a study of who we are in Christ. When we learn to identify with what Christ did for us so that we see what He has provided for us our understanding of our rights, privileges and authority will increase to the same degree that our understanding of identification increased.

 

The following quote is taken from E.W. Kenyon’s book Identification from his chapter The Law of Identification (with Christ):

 

The teaching of identification is the legal side of our redemption. It reveals to us what God did in Christ for us, from the time He went to the Cross until He sat down at the right hand of the Father. The vital side of redemption is what the Holy Spirit, through the Word, is doing in us now.

 

Several times Paul uses the preposition “with” in connection with His Substitutionary teaching.

 

E.W. Kenyon goes on to say that Paul then tells us that he died “with” Christ, and was buried “with” Christ” and that:

 

  • He became as we were, so that we might become as He is.
  • He died to make us live.
  • He was made sin to make us Righteous.
  • He became weak to make us strong.
  • He suffered shame to give us glory.
  • He went to Hell in order to take us to Heaven.
  • He was condemned in order to justify us.
  • He was made sick in order that healing might be ours.
  • He was cast out from the presence of God in order to make us welcome there.

 

We have been identified with Jesus Christ in all He has accomplished for us in life and death and have become the beneficiaries of all of His victories. Jesus took what I deserved so I could get what He deserved. His triumph is my triumph. His defeat of the devil is my defeat of the devil. His absolute authority over the demonic is also my authority. Most importantly, His freedom to come before the Father is my freedom as well. This divine reality has been freely given to us to experience now, but it must be stepped into by faith.

Responding To The Prophetic Word

It is a widely accepted fact that God speaks prophetically to His people. Scripture clearly states: “Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7 NASB In fact in the day and age in which we live, that I like to call the time period known as “The Restoration Of All Things” (see Acts 3:21), God seems to be speaking prophetically much more than He has in years gone by as He is restoring the Office of the Prophet to His Church. However, we must understand that as in Scripture, there are two types of prophetic words: absolute and conditional. Absolute prophecies come to pass because God does them all by Himself. Conditional prophecies require our cooperation in meeting the conditions laid forth. Hence how we respond to the prophetic word is extremely important.

In the Apostle John’s prophetic encounter recorded in Revelation chapters two and three, Jesus spoke plainly to seven churches. To each one He ended his message with the phrase: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” The first response that we must make to the prophetic word is to hear it. We must have spiritual ears to hear what the Spirit is saying. Jesus also said: “Take heed therefore how ye hear…” Luke 8:18 KJV Not only must we hear what the Spirit is saying and accept it as being a word from God but we must also hear it accurately. We must be open to God’s prophetic word and accept it as such.

Our second response to the prophetic word should be to write it down. God told the prophet Habakkuk: “And the Lord answered me, and said, ‘Write the vision and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.’” Habakkuk 2:2 KJV God told the prophet Jeremiah: “Write all the words which I have spoken to you in a book.” Jeremiah 2:2 NASB God told the prophet Isaiah: “Now go, write it on a tablet before them and inscribe it on a scroll, that it may serve thee in time to come…” Isaiah 30:8 NASB Do you see a pattern here? Do you see a common theme to what God told each of these prophets? It is clear that we must write down our prophetic words so that we do not loose sight of them.

The same way that we refer back to the written Logos (Scripture Word) of God to remember what He has promised us, we must refer back to the written Rhema (Prophetic Word) of God to remember what He has promised us. Too many in the Body of Christ today are missing it because they forget what God promised them prophetically. This brings us to our next response to the prophetic word. The Apostle Paul wrote to his spiritual son, the apostle in training, Timothy: “This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight.1 Timothy 1:18 NASB We must learn to war or fight with our prophetic words. The same way we remind God, the devil and ourselves of what is written in Scripture, we must also remind God, the devil and ourselves of what God has prophetically declared.

There is always a moral imperative with the prophetic word of God. Even if it seems that there are no conditions listed in the prophetic word, we must still live right, pursue God and His kingdom, and above all fight with our prophetic words by declaring them in our prayer life. This is another area where many in the church err. Just because God spoke it, doesn’t mean that we can just sit back and do nothing and expect it to come to pass, no more than we can expect to get saved by just sitting back and doing nothing. There is an act of faith that appropriates God’s promise of salvation in our getting saved, and there is an act of faith that appropriates God’s prophetic promise that causes us to walk in it. This idea that God said thus and so, so I can just sit back and watch God do it is a subtle lie of the enemy that is keeping many from inheriting their prophetic promises.

The final area that I want to touch on in this brief overview is a critical one that I learned from the hard way. We must always be careful to NOT put our own meaning on God’s prophetic word. When God gives us a prophetic word He never gives us all the details. Even though He knows the end from the beginning, He never tells us the end from the beginning. If He did, we most likely wouldn’t pursue it, and it wouldn’t require us to walk by faith. (Which we know it is impossible to please God without walking by faith, see Hebrews 11:6) The Apostle Paul tells us: “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.” 1 Corinthians 13:9 NASB No prophetic word is total revelation it is always partial revelation.

The danger that comes in is when we take the partial revelation that is given along with our own preconceived ideas and mix them together getting an interpretation of what that word from God means, but it is really not what God means at all. Our own mindset can cause us to run off prematurely and miss God’s purpose and plan for our lives. We must learn to bathe our prophetic words in prayer, and wait for God to add further revelation to the partial revelation that was initially given. Waiting for the proper timing of God for the prophetic word is also extremely important. Just because you received a prophetic word, don’t always assume that it is for right now. There is always a period of time between the prophetic promise and the actual full manifestation of that promise being walked in called preparation. Don’t try to short cut the process; you must go through the preparation to walk in the promise.

I trust that these simple thoughts will help you in your walk with the Lord. This is in no way meant to be an exhaustive teaching on this subject, but merely a few general pointers to help us all to respond to the prophetic word of the Lord more accurately.

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