Placing A Demand On The Power Of God

Some years ago while teaching a class in a Bible School I was struck by a verse that I had read more times than I knew. I even had it highlighted in my Bible. But that night it spoke to me like it never had before. It is the transition verse of a very familiar text. It is from the story during the ministry of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel where the four men let their friend down into the house through the roof. “And it came about one day that He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing.” Luke 5:17 NASB (Emphasis Mine)

 

I want to focus on the last phrase of that verse, THE POWER OF THE LORD WAS PRESENT FOR HIM TO PERFORM HEALING. We need to realize that there are times that the power of the Lord is present. It is not always present. If it were the Scripture would not have specified that it was present at this time. Now you may say that the Lord is omnipresent so there is never a time when His presence is not there. In this article we are drawing a distinction between the omnipresence of God and the manifest presence of God. They are not one and the same. The miraculous power of God to deliver, heal, and set free does not come with His omnipresence, but with His manifest presence. Unfortunately it has been my experience that many times when the power of the Lord is present, people don’t receive and get their needs met because they have not learned how to place a demand on the power of God.

There are three things that we as believers must learn about the power of God. 1. The power of God (or anointing, or manifest presence of God) can be stronger or weaker at any given time. 2. When the power of God (or manifest presence, or anointing) is present, there is a flow in the realm of the Spirit that we must cooperate with (or flow with). 3. How well we flow with the move of the Spirit will have a direct bearing on the strength of the power present.

I have learned through the last 35 years of ministry that I can be more or less anointed at any given time. The more time I spend in the Word, the more time I spend in prayer, the more time I spend in meditation, the more anointed I am. The less time I spend in the Word, the less time I spend in prayer, the less time I spend in meditation, the less anointed I am.

So it is in our corporate settings of worship. There are things that we can do to bring a stronger anointing or presence of God into our meetings, just as there are things we can do to experience a stronger anointing personally. We must learn to follow the flow of the Spirit. In the Old Testament the children of Israel had to follow the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire, which represent the presence of God. One time while teaching along this same line something came out of my mouth I did not plan on saying, but it was definitely by the inspiration of the Spirit:

“The first notice we have of the Spirit is in Genesis chapter one and we are told that He was moving. The Spirit is always moving but not always the same way. When the cloud moved, Israel moved. When the fire moved, Israel moved. As the Spirit moves in our services, however He chooses to (which won’t always be the same way), we must move with that move. What we are talking about is maintaining the strong presence of God (or anointing, or glory of God). If the presence is moving and we don’t move with it, we end up with ICHABOD (which means the glory has departed).”

Not only must we learn to recognize the strong presence of God and to cooperate with it so that it intensifies, but we must also learn to place a demand upon it in order to receive the benefit of it. I’m sure you have been in services like I have through the years where you might say that the presence of God was so strong that you could have cut it with a knife. Yet many times in that kind of atmosphere, dear saints of God leave exactly as they came not receiving from the power that was present, simply because they have not learned to place a demand on the power of God. Nothing bothers me more than to see people not get their needs met, especially when the power of the Lord was present to heal, deliver and set free.

Placing a demand on the power of God is not a hard thing to do once you are taught how. We can learn a great deal from both those that received and those who did not receive during the earthly ministry of Jesus. Jesus was anointed by the Spirit without measure (John 3:34) and we by measure, and yet there were times that even Jesus had people who did not receive. “And He did not do many works of power there, because of their unbelief-their lack of faith…” Matthew 13:58 AMP “And He was not able to do even one work of power there, except that He laid His hands on a few sickly people [and] cured them.” Mark 6:5 AMP Another translation of this verse in Mark says “…a few sick folks with minor ailments…”

From these verses we can conclude then that unbelief will keep us from receiving. Therefore the opposite must be the way to receive. We must receive by faith. Let us consider the woman with the issue of blood in Mark chapter 5. “And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.’” Mark 5:34 NASB Notice that Jesus did not say that it was the power or virtue that went out of Him that made her whole, although we know that if the power did not go out of Him she would not have been made whole, He said that it was HER FAITH THAT MADE HER WELL!

In this story we see the principles of faith in operation. 1. She heard of Jesus (faith comes by hearing Romans 10:17). 2. She pushed her way through the crowd (faith without works is dead James 2:17 & 26). 3. For she was saying (verse 28, literal Greek translation of word thought) (whoever says to mountain Mark 11:23). Faith always is the way to place a demand on the power of God. Let us go back to the story of the four men and their friend in Luke chapter 5 for a moment. And seeing their faith, He said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you.’” Luke 5:20 NASB (Emphasis Mine) Notice the thing that Jesus took notice of was the faith of the four friends who put it into action by ripping off the roof. Without exercising faith we cannot place a demand on the power of God because: “…Without faith it is impossible to please Him…” Hebrews 11:6 NASB

 

Faith is simply an expectation. Many times even though the power is present we have no expectation and therefore do not receive. Some people won’t even go forward in a prayer line to receive because they have no expectation. Others go and do not receive because they do not know how to receive of the power being administered. We must learn to cooperate with the power of God to receive from it.

Some stand there like a statue made of stone not even open to the power of God and then wonder why they don’t receive. They shouldn’t even waste the preacher’s time or their own for that matter, and remain seated. Some come forward and pray in tongues harder faster and louder than the preacher, and thus also don’t receive. If you are giving out of your spirit by praying in tongues you can’t receive what God is trying to give you. You can’t give out and take in at the same time. That is like trying to pour water into and out of a pitcher at the same time, it does not work.

Receiving from the power of God like trying to drink a milkshake through a straw when the milkshake is too thick, you want that milkshake really bad so you draw on that straw with all your might to take it into you. You need to do the same thing with the power of God. You need to want it just as much as you want that milkshake and with all that is within you, draw it into you.

In conclusion, we must recognize the presence of the Lord when it is there. We must learn to cooperate with that presence and flow with the flow of the Spirit at that moment to avoid ICHABOD. We must have expectancy and place a demand on that power in order to receive the benefit of it. This article is by no means an exhaustive study on this subject, but let it stir your heart to deeper study and meditation in this area so that you will always receive because you have learned to place a demand on the power of God.

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The Seventh Month and the 21st Day! (A NEW DAY and A NEW YEAR!)

Excellent Word by Apostle Jim Becton on where we are in God’s current time table.

James Becton Ministries/ EaglesVision Apostolic Co!

Haggai 2:1-9-  IN THE SEVENTH MONTH, on the TWENTY-FIRST of the month, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying:  “Speak now to Zerubbabel the Son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying:

‘Who is left among you show this temple (house) in its former glory?  And how do you see it now?  In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing?  ‘Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the Lord;  ‘and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest;  and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the Lord, ‘and work;  for I am with you,’ says the Lord of hosts.

‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you;  do not fear!’…

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The Latter Is Greater

 

The days we are living in are indeed some of the most exciting since the Book of Acts. All that God has ever done He is doing again, but only in greater measure. Now I can hear you thinking Prophet how can you make that kind of a statement? The simple truth is because we are living in the fulfillment of what the Word of God promises!

“‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions And your old men shall dream dreams; Even on My bond slaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy.’Acts 2: 17 & 18 NASB

“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.” Acts 3: 29-21 NASB

“‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.” Haggai 2:9 NASB

“Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the Lord your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you—The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month.” Joel 2:23 NKJV

What we must understand about rain in Biblical terms is that the early rain came at the time of the planting of the crops and its purpose was to cause the seed to germinate and take root. The purpose of the latter rain, which was a more intense rain than the early rain, was to bring the crop to a place of maturity and be ready to be harvested. From this we can conclude that if the book of Acts is to be likened to the early rain, the time of the latter rain will be much more intense than the Book of Acts.

The Bible is clear that there is a coming day of not just the early rain or former rain of the Spirit (the Book of Acts), but of the latter rain of the Spirit (our day). In fact not only has He promised the early rain and the latter rain, but He has promised the early & the latter at the same time (literal meaning of in the same month Joel 2:23 in the Hebrew). There is a double portion rain that is coming…a time when the intensity of the early rain and the latter rain would come down together at the same time or in the same season!

So what God has promised by Joel was fulfilled in the Book of Acts which was the start of the Last Days according to Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 where the early rain of the Spirit was poured out. What Peter declared in his second sermon in Acts chapter 3 was a time period before Jesus would return (because heaven would hold Him until this time period called the ‘restoration of all things’) when all that the Prophets spoke would be restored.

What have the Prophets spoke? The prophets declared that the glory of the latter house would be greater than the glory of the early house. This means that the ending days of the church will be greater days than the starting of the church! The prophets declared a more intense rain coming, in fact a double portion rain coming. I am here to declare to you that everything that you see in the book of Acts is being restored in the church in our day before Jesus comes. (This includes the fullness of all five ministry offices; Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers; as well as the fullness of the power to do the ‘Works of Jesus’ and BE A Witness)

The Bible says that if we believe His prophets we will prosper. Conversely if we don’t believe His prophets we won’t. Not only do we have what the prophets in Scripture have written to believe, which already began to be fulfilled starting with the Day of Pentecost, but we have the word that the prophets are speaking today. Do you listen to the words of the prophets? What are the prophets speaking today?

One recurring theme that I have both prophesied and heard others prophesy is that that we have moved into a fullness of time moment, a time of the fulfillment of His word where this Scripture is being fulfilled:

“However, as the scripture says: ‘What no one ever saw or heard, what no one ever thought could happen, is the very thing God prepared for those who love him.’” 1 Corinthians 2:9 GNT

We have moved into a day when God is literally going to boggle the mind His people by the things that He does. He has already (past tense) prepared these things for those that love Him. In fact this was actually prophesied initially by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 64:4), then re-declared by the Apostle Paul.

I don’t know about you but I have noticed an increase of late in the supernatural power of God being released and I don’t believe we have seen anything yet. Are you hearing the reports of the supernatural? I have personally heard of terminal stage-four cancer being healed in one of my meetings after hands were laid and a deaf ear popping open while I was preaching.

The Prophets both in Scripture and today are speaking about our day. They are declaring the same thing. Be encouraged, you are alive in the most exciting time to be alive on planet earth. Peter and Paul would be excited to live in our day. Recently in prayer the Lord gave me this phrase: “There must be a performance of Your Word!” Every promise of His Word, every prophetic word spoken that has been spoken by the Inspiration of the Spirit MUST come to pass!

There must be a performance of His Word! The Latter rain of the Spirit is our portion! The early and the latter in the same season! The latter glory of this house will be greater than the early! The best is yet to come!

 

 

 

Apostolic Fathering Today!

Excellent Blog on Fathering by my friend Apostle Jim Becton.

James Becton Ministries/ EaglesVision Apostolic Co!

Apostolic fathers not only teach and impart, but they EMPOWER and FACILITATE! Many are still “doing” but we need those who are “being!”

Apostolic fathers will not manipulate and control, but will correct and serve! Covering is not control, covering is accountability and protection!

Fathering brings fellowship through relationship, to being rightly aligned in the kingdom as not to ‘prostitute’ the gift, but to perpetuate their character!

Fourthly, apostolic seasoned fathers will “oversee” and “shepherd” their ministry sons, so that they (the sons) can “feed, shepherd, and teach” the saints, continuing in the spirit of sonship!

Finally, apostolic fathers should be in their season of “REST”, as in shared with me by Ministry Apostle Gene Mansfield:

R.eformers
E.mpowering
S.ons
T.rans-Dimensionally!

Fathers should be free from the “temple work”, being supported by the “priests” (sons), those doing the work in the temple, so they can prepare the next generation and minister…

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A Look At Sonship From Elijah & Elisha

Being a Prophet I have a desire to study and learn from the life example of Prophets in the Scriptures. At the same time there is a tremendous amount of revelation being released in this hour regarding the truth and importance of “Sonship”. Scriptures like these are really starting to garner attention in the Body of Christ like they haven’t in all of my time in the Church:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4: 5 & 6 NKJV

“For though you may have ten thousand teachers in Christ, you do not have many fathers. Through the Good News I became your father in Christ Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 4:15 NCV

I want to look at the Elijah/Elisha relationship as it is a great case study of both being a Prophet and of “Sonship”. There are some very key points that we can pull from their relationship that perhaps you may not have ever considered before. I am going to quote quite a bit more Scripture than I normally do just to make it fresh in your mind and to lay the proper Biblical foundation.

“Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. So he departed from there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah, and said, ‘Please let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.’ And he said to him, ‘Go back again, for what have I done to you?’ So Elisha turned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant.” 1 Kings 19:16, 19-21 NKJV (Emphasis Mine)

“And it came to pass, when the Lord was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. Then Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!’ So they went down to Bethel. Now the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent!’ Then Elijah said to him, ‘Elisha, stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Jericho.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!’ So they came to Jericho. Now the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came to Elisha and said to him, ‘Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?’ So he answered, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent!’ Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to the Jordan.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!’ So the two of them went on. And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went and stood facing them at a distance, while the two of them stood by the Jordan. Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground. And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?’ Elisha said, ‘Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.’ So he said, ‘You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.’ Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, ‘My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!’ So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, ‘Where is the Lord God of Elijah?’ And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over. Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, ‘The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.’ And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him.” 2 Kings 2: 1-15 NKJV (Emphasis Mine)

The first thing we want to notice about the Elijah/Elisha relationship is that there was “Sonship” already in operation in the earth at the time these two had their relationship begin. As Elijah & Elisha made their way through each location to the point where Elijah was taken from Elisha they were greeted in each location by the ‘sons of the prophets’, however Elijah was not operating in “Sonship”.

God had to give Elijah a course correction to get him involved in “Sonship”. God spoke to Elijah directly telling him: “And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.” After God’s instruction he came into alignment with God’s program of raising up the next generation, of raising up his successor, of raising up his son. One of the greatest tragedies we see in the earth in our day is that a mighty ministry through a man or woman of God dies in the earth with the home going of that man or woman of God because they never caught God’s heartbeat for raising up Sons & Daughters.

The second thing we can see in the Elijah/Elisha relationship is that Elisha even though he was anointed to be prophet in Elijah’s place, did not start out as prophet in his place; he started out as his servant. Notice in the Scripture it is clear that after Elijah threw his mantle over Elijah, (the symbol of his anointing and office): “Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant.”

Elisha became his servant. He started as what I call in the P I T (Prophet in Training) (like Joseph). If you will Elisha began his OJT (on the job training). He began his apprenticeship. You know we have trades today like carpenters, plumbers and electricians and before one can be a full-fledged master in their field they must go through the apprecticeship process. It is no different for us today moving into our calling. We must spend that time in apprenticeship.

Too many want to move right from calling to walking in the fullness of the office. There is a big difference between “Calling” and “Commissioning”. It doesn’t work that way in the natural and it surely does not work that way in the Kingdom. Even the Apostles of the Lamb, hand-picked by the Master did not start out as Apostles; they started as Disciples under the discipline and training of the Master before they were released into the fullness of their calling. If Elisha started out as Servant…so should we. The Scriptural principle is clear:

“And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” Luke 16:12 NKJV

The last thing we can draw from the Elijah/Elisha relationship is that somewhere between the “Calling” when Elijah threw his mantle over Elisha’s shoulders and his “Commissioning” when Elijah was taken up from him into heaven and he picked up the mantle of Elijah; he moved from “Servant” to “Son”. Notice if you will Elisha’s words when Elijah was taken up into heaven from him: “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen.” Elisha was now no longer the servant of Elijah; he was the son of Elijah.

To help illustrate this point further I want to share something with you that my good friend Apostle Ricci J Hausley Sr. shared with me. When we look at the exchange between Elijah & Elisha before Elijah was to be taken from Elisha; we get another indication of “Sonship”. Elijah asked Elisha: “What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” To which Elisha replied: “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”

Now most of us have been taught through the years, me included, that this is why Elisha did twice the amount of miracles in his ministry that Elijah did in his. That is one application of this event, but if we look at this event through the lens of “Sonship” we see something else entirely.

To understand this we must go back to the ways of inheritance in the Old Covenant. When a father had sons and was about to die his possessions were divided among his sons, but not evenly; if a father had four sons each son was not given 25%, the firstborn was given “the double portion” 40% and the other three sons would receive 20%.

This is what occurred here. Elisha said let me have my place as your “First-born Son” and receive the “Double Portion”. This was the last sign that Elisha’s apprenticeship was complete and he was ready to move from “Calling” to “Commissioning”. He was in the place of “Sonship”. He declared my Father my Father! When Elijah’s mantle fell and Elisha picked it up, he then did what Elijah had done and the ‘sons of the prophets’ who watched said: “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” This shows us the end result of true “Sonship”; as it was with Jesus a Prophet, who was also a “Sent Son”, The Son takes on the Message, the Method, the Mandate and the Mantle of the Father! May it be so in our day!

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?

 

 

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