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48 minutes | 3 days ago
Jesus Teaches Us to Live From the Inside Out
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit and when we are living and walking by the Spirit each and every day, the same works Jesus did, we can do. He empowers us to do the works that He did. This is what it means to live from the inside out. What is inside of us flows out of us to a world in need of a Savior! Are you ready to begin living from the inside out? In today's podcast, I share with you what Jesus says about His people living from the inside out in a fallen world. More about Pastor Dean Subscribe to receive my blog posts and podcasts Here is where you can find me online My Books Discovering True Identity Agape Charis Made By Design My Bible Studies Discovering Jesus The Joy of Becoming Like Jesus Becoming Ambassadors for Christ Father's Promise Join the Leadership Development Institute Join me at 10 AM PST every Sunday morning at my online Worship service About Dean Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations.
27 minutes | 10 days ago
How to Live As a New Creation
God is not into recycling. He does not take the worlds discarded and patch them up. He is strictly into make old things a new creation. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18 NKJV). The whole concept of being born again (John 3:3-7) and the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:3-7) is that you become a whole new species through the miraculous working of God. You were once a sinner, living by the passions of the flesh and the pleasures of the world. Your heart was filled with bigotry, envy, jealousy and bitterness. Through the miraculous work of new birth imparted by the power of God, you have become a saint. You are now living in true righteousness and holiness by the power, motivation, direction and discipline of the Holy Spirit. You are not just a sinner saved by grace because if you are a sinner you are not saved. If you are saved by grace you certainly are not a sinner. How to Live As a New Creation Once you were a sinner, but now, you are saved by grace. Once you were alien and not a part of the Kingdom of God, but now, you are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and adopted in the family of God. That same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead now lives in you and He has made you a son or a daughter of God; an heir and join-heir with Jesus Christ. You are blessed “…with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:3-6 NKJV). As a new creation, born of the Spirit, God means for you to experience abundant life. Jesus Christ said, “For I have come that they might have life and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Abundant living means living a life of wholeness or completeness. James wrote, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4 NKJV). The Apostle explains to the church at Ephesus, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13 NKJV). The “perfect man” or being made perfect does not mean someone without flaws. “Perfect” is the Greek word teleios meaning completeness, or wholeness. A born again child of God can live the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. It is His will for you to live a whole life spirit, soul, and body. As a new creation you can live in wholeness. 1. Wholeness in spirit is being born again by the Holy Spirit and receiving new life within you. It is living by a whole new life source because the Spirit of God is within you. You no longer have to live out past failures, old memories and victimization of past hurts and abuses. 2. Wholeness in soul means you have been cleansed the blood of Jesus and the renewing work of the Holy Spirit. You no longer live with your conscience and emotions defiled by bitterness, anger, resentment, insecurity, worry, anxiety, jealousy or inferiority. The fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness and meekness are growing within you and fill your mind, will and emotions. 3. Wholeness physically is having the liberty to live free from the obligation to obey the carnal passions and desires of the flesh (Romans 8:11-12). You have the power of Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection alive within you by the Holy Spirit. You do not have to let sin reign in our mortal bodies (Romans 6:1-14). It also means Jesus Christ purchased physical healing for us through the flogging of his back (Isaiah 53:5 and 1 Peter 2:24) “by His stripes we were healed.” Living as a new creation that Jesus Christ has purchased for you requires the renewing of the mind. The Apostle said, “And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of the mind, that you may prove what the good, acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). It is impossible to put off the image of the old person you have lived with all your life-time and to put on the image of the new person you are now in Jesus Christ and keep the old “stinkin’ thinkin’. The old thought patterns, attitudes, reasoning, opinions and ideologies will keep you inseparably linked to the old image and the old behavior patterns. You must choose to live by the image of the new creation you are in Jesus Christ and train your mind, will and emotions to live in conformity to the Word of God. It is a daily learning to walk in the freedom and power of a renewed mind. It is learning to live by the “law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus” and not by the “law of sin and death.” Every born again child of God has been delivered from slavery and entered into the life of the redeemed. The blood of Jesus Christ has paid the ransom price for your freedom (Greek word: "lutroo"Titus 2:14). The ransom Jesus paid has purchased you from slavery (Greek word "exagorazo" Galations 3:13; 4:5). When He brought you from the slave market to His home, He did not make you a slave in His household but an adopted son or daughter with the full privilege of inheritance. The seal of that adoption and the earnest of that inheritance is the Holy Spirit living within you. Child of God, live in the assurance of that adoption and identity. Walk in the freedom of that new life where there is no condemnation and no ties to the old life. You have been justified by the divine decree of Almighty God. Now you are just-is-if-you-have-never-sinned. All of the records of past sins, past failures and the former life have been destroyed, never to be remembered again. “But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,’ says the LORD: ‘I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,’ then He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more’” (Hebrews 10:15-17 NKJV).
26 minutes | 17 days ago
Yes, Heaven is Real
Two things happen to you when you begin seeking God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. When learn to live by the power of the Holy Spirit so that He directs your life, something begins to happen. You begin to love heaven more, and year for Jesus' second coming. You love the world less, and everything it has to offer. These become natural to you. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider leaving us a review. This helps the Foundational podcast reach more listeners. Be sure to tell a friend about the Foundational blog and podcast. More about Pastor Dean Subscribe to receive my blog posts and podcasts Here is where you can find me online My Books Discovering True Identity Agape Charis Made By Design My Bible Studies Discovering Jesus The Joy of Becoming Like Jesus Becoming Ambassadors for Christ Father's Promise Join the Leadership Development Institute Join me at 10 AM PST every Sunday morning at my online Worship service About Dean Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. Discover how you can move beyond your past to a future of promise and hope in my book Discovering True Identity. Get Discovering True Identity 30% off today with the coupon code: Identity More Articles Like This: One Powerful Secret That Will Transform Your Life 8 Transforming Truths About Your Authority in Christ What Does an Anointed Christian Look Like 6 Things Jesus Came to Do 3 Ways Worship Defeats the Enemy 9 Hebrew Words for Worship Do You Really Know Who You Are in Jesus Christ? How to Walk With God Everyday What is the Culture of the Kingdom of Heaven 4 Ways to Walk in Kingdom Authority How to Live as a New Creation How to Live Free From Your Past You Have a New Identity in Christ A New Year a New Identity The Most Important Choice Every Christian Will Make You Have a New Identity in Christ
21 minutes | 17 days ago
It's Time to Stop Your Stinkin' Thinkin'
God wants us to stop being driven by our emotions and begin directing our emotions so that our thoughts align with what His Word says. He wants us to stop our stinkin' thinkin' and transform our thoughts and emotions so they express the fruit of the Spirit! When you start doing this, God will begin pouring out blessing into your life. More than you can contain! If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider leaving us a review. This helps the Foundational podcast reach more listeners. Be sure to tell a friend about the Foundational blog and podcast. More about Pastor Dean Subscribe to receive my blog posts and podcasts Here is where you can find me online My Books Discovering True Identity Agape Charis Made By Design My Bible Studies Discovering Jesus The Joy of Becoming Like Jesus Becoming Ambassadors for Christ Father's Promise Join the Leadership Development Institute Join me at 10 AM PST every Sunday morning at my online Worship service About Dean Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. Discover how you can move beyond your past to a future of promise and hope in my book Discovering True Identity. Get Discovering True Identity 30% off today with the coupon code: Identity More Articles Like This: One Powerful Secret That Will Transform Your Life 8 Transforming Truths About Your Authority in Christ What Does an Anointed Christian Look Like 6 Things Jesus Came to Do 3 Ways Worship Defeats the Enemy 9 Hebrew Words for Worship Do You Really Know Who You Are in Jesus Christ? How to Walk With God Everyday What is the Culture of the Kingdom of Heaven 4 Ways to Walk in Kingdom Authority How to Live as a New Creation How to Live Free From Your Past You Have a New Identity in Christ A New Year a New Identity The Most Important Choice Every Christian Will Make You Have a New Identity in Christ
15 minutes | a month ago
How Well Does Your Life Reflect God's Presence?
I was introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ while in high school. My life was radically changed, July 3, 1964, during a family camp in Sanders, Idaho. After coming home from that camp I would occasionally visit the home of some new friends made at the camp. Jim became a very good friend. His dad was a pastor on the north side of Spokane, Washington. Dale and his wife were the youth leaders at the church in Spokane Valley where I was attending regularly. He worked for Armor Meats in Spokane. Going to the home of these two friends was an amazing experience for me. Walking into their house was like walking into a sanctuary. There was an atmosphere very different from anything I had known. The light in the house was brighter. I heard George Beverly Shea for the first time at Jim’s house. His mom loved the music of this man who sang for Billy Graham. I heard intercessory pray for the first time while visiting Dale’s home. It was more than the music or hearing someone praying, it was a powerful awareness of being in a holy place. There was peace, yet more than peace, it was serenity. This was totally foreign to me, but fully aware this was a Christian home. While, uncomfortable at first, it was good and I was drawn to their presence more and more. I wanted what they had in my life. How Well Does Your Life Reflect God's Presence? That is what Jesus was talking about when He said: "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16 NKJV). The light was shining bright in these homes. It revealed how much darkness was in my own. The salt was very tasty in these godly families and I wanted more. That is what our Lord was talking about. Every disciple is to be a sanctuary, the temple of the Holy Spirit, filled and overflowing with the presence of God. The Apostle Paul said this is the mystery of the ages, that God would not dwell in a tent, a golden box, or a building on a mountain. He would dwell in the hearts of men and women, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” You would be the temple, the sanctuary, the holy place. When a man and a woman, filled with the presence of Holy Spirit, unite in the covenant of marriage, their home becomes a sanctuary filled with the presence of Christ. All who enter that home become intimately aware they have stepped out of a world of darkness and entered a sanctuary of God’s presence. This does not happen just because two people who profess they believe in Jesus get married and start a family. There is a conscious choice made by the man and the woman to make their heart a living temple of the Holy Spirit. They choose to make Him the very source of their life. His love, His peace, His joy fills and overflows their life on a daily basis. His gentleness His longsuffering His goodness His faithfulness His self-control determines their actions and behavior. Together, they make the choice to fill their house with that same fruit of the Spirit; by the way they speak and treat one another. The life of prayer and worship fill the atmosphere of that home with the very presence of Holy Spirit. The music they play, the movies they watch, the decorations and wall hangings do not distract from or hinder the Spirit in their home. Rather, they aid and assist in establishing the awareness this is a sanctuary of God. Too often decorating the temple of Holy Spirit has been confused with legalism. When a child of God becomes fully aware their body is, indeed, the house where Holy Spirit abides, a conscious decision should be made to nurture His presence and increase His influence over that temple. Such a decision will greatly impact the way they decorate the house of the Lord. They will intentionally seek to reflect the holiness of His godly presence. They will do nothing to distract from Him or to hinder His reflection from their life. Their behavior, actions and words will reflect His light. His influence and presence will be a divine flavoring in all they say and do. Everyone around them will see the light and taste the presence of Holy Spirit in them. That atmosphere will be present in even greater measure to everyone who steps into the home of such disciples of Jesus Christ. Their very presence will make an impact in the neighborhood. Friends and family who come to their home will be greatly touched by the serenity, love, and grace that fill the atmosphere of that home. Read More Content Like This: Choose to Live by the Power of the Holy Spirit The Reason We Must Wait for Power From on High How Well Does Your Life Reflect God’s Presence? 4 Breakpoint Moments for Pentecostal Churches Today This Is What Will Change Our City What Does an Anointed Christian Look Like? Choose to Live by the Power of the Holy Spirit
65 minutes | 2 months ago
What is the Biblical Basis for Racial Reconciliation?
March 1620, a Native American named Samoset came into the Plymouth colony. He told them about another Native American named Squanto. These two men became significant in the life of the Plymouth colony. They introduced the leaders of the colony to the leader of the Indians in that area, Massasoit. William Bradford, leader of the Pilgrims, described the event in this way in his journal entitled The Plymouth Settlement. After some time of entertainment, being dismissed with gifts, in a little while he returned with five more, and they brought back all the tools that had been stolen, and made way for the coming their great Sachem, called Massasoyt, who about four or five days after, came with the chief of his friends and other attendanctgs and with Squanto. With him, after friendly entertainment and some gifts, they made peace which has now continue for twenty-four years: William Bradford, Bradford’s History of the Plymouth Settlement, 1608-1650 Original Manuscript Entitled Of Plymouth Plantation, rendered into modern English by Harold Paget 1909 (San Antonio: Mantle Ministries 1988) 79-80 These were the terms: That neither he nor any of his, should injure or harm any of their people. That if any of his did any harm to any other theirs, he should send the offender, that they might punish him. That if anything were taken away from any of theirs, e should cause to be restored; and they should do the like to his. If any made unjust war against him, they would aid him; if any made war against them, he should aid them. He should send to his neighboring confederates, to certify, them of this, that they might not wrong them but might be likes comprised in the conditions of peace. That when their men came to them, they should leave their bows and arrows behind them. Some historical records document this treaty went beyond the 24 years of Bradford’s records into 60 years of peace. The peace pact was broken by another tribe of Native Americans that was either discontent or did not agree with the treaty being signed in the first place. Professor Mookgo Solomon Kgatle of the University of South Africa, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History, and Missiology, is a prolific writer. In 2016 he authored, The influence of Azusa Street Revival in the early developments of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa. He wrote in the introduction of that paper, This article demonstrates the influence of Azusa Street Revival in the early developments of the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) of South Africa. This will be done by studying the Azusa Street Revival in context, the role played by William Sey- mour and the characteristics of the Revival. The article also studies the influence of Azusa Street Revival on the pioneers of Pentecostalism in South Africa, John G Lake and Thomas Hezmalhalch, African Pentecostal like Elias Letwaba and the Central Tabernacle Congregation. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that the main impact of Azusa Street Revival in the early developments of the AFM of South Africa was its ability to unite people beyond their differences of race, gender, colour, age and others in a hostile political environment and Pentecostal experiences. Mookgo Solomon Kgatle, PhD., The influence of Azusa Street Revival in the early developments of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa (Missionalia, Vol. 44, No. 3, 2016) He concluded the article with, “Therefore, the main impact of Azusa Street Revival in the early developments of the AFM of South Africa was its ability to unite people beyond their differences of race, gender, age, and color and Pentecostal experiences.” The greatest capacity for racial reconciliation and the healing of our land is not political. It is not protesting, or riots, or Black Lives Matter. It is a Holy Spirit awakening. What is the Old Testament view of color and race? God created the first couple, Adam and Eve, in His own image. They were the first parents of mankind. The entire human race has its origin and DNA from this first couple (Genesis 1:26-28). Following the flood in which the entire population of the earth perished except three couples, Noah and his wife with his three sons and their wives, God repopulated the earth from these three families. They were the sole survivors of the original parents and are now the parents of all human beings (Genesis 9:1-6). It was God who scattered the people across the globe and initiated the various languages (Genesis 11:1-9). The Holy Scriptures reveal God’s heart about racial prejudice in a very power way. Miriam, the biological sister of Moses, was offended he had married a black woman of Ethiopia. Miriam shared that bitterness with their brother, Aaron. Out of the bitterness caused by the prejudice in their heart, Aaron and Miriam became critical and judgmental of Moses. They spoke about him in a demeaning way as a leader and they claimed equal status and equal authority. God dealt with their racial prejudice severely (Numbers 12:1-16). What is the New Testament view of color and race? The Apostle Paul was in Athens on his second missionary journey when he was invited by some the philosophers to speak at the Areopagus. In his address to these humanists the Apostle pointed out among the many deities of the Athenians on display was an altar “to the unknown god.” He explained, the God for which they were searching was Almighty God, “who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.” The Apostle then made this profound statement: “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings…” (Acts 17:22-28). The Apostle was referencing the Old Testament narrative. All of mankind are of the same blood because we are of the same parentage. Every human being, regardless of color or race, stands equal in worth and value in the sight of God. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-28; Colossians 3:9-11; Revelation 5:9-10). What is the Biblical conclusion? Every human being has the same original parents in Adam and Eve and through Noah and his family. We are all related. God has your parentage, your skin color, and your nationality written in His book from the foundation of the world (Psalm 139:13-17). The Holy Scriptures have the only basis for reconciliation. All men and woman are sinners from birth. Stereotypes and racial profiling have their origin in the sinful heart of mankind. Bigotry is a sin that fosters from bitterness in the heart of a man or woman. We must not be blind to the sinfulness of racial prejudice and to the politicizing of it. Only the redemptive work of Jesus Christ can transform a sinful heart. The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17-2, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation." (NKJV). The ministry of reconciliation has been imparted to every disciple of Jesus Christ when they are born again. The Holy Spirit deposits in their heart the word of reconciliation. Based upon what foundation? The creation of a new person by the renewing and regeneration of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5) in which they are given a new heart that is made in the righteousness of Jesus Christ (2Corinthians 5:21). Bigotry and racial prejudice have no place in a righteous heart. Indeed, the righteous heart is an instrument of God for healing and reconciliation. The born again child of God must choose to love every person and see every person as family, regardless of color. We are not color blind. We see color and acknowledge the differences and the differences in the culture of each color. We choose to honor, respect, value and celebrate our differences. We believe the best about every person. We acknowledge we are all family because we have the same Creator, the same Heavenly Father, and the same Redeemer. More articles: A Biblical Answer to Black Lives Matter How the Church Should Respond to Racial Division America Needs Reconciliation If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider leaving us a review. This helps the Foundational podcast reach more listeners. Be sure to tell a friend about the Foundational blog and podcast. More about Pastor Dean Subscribe to receive my blog posts and podcasts Here is where you can find me online My Books Discovering True Identity Agape Charis Made By Design My Bible Studies Discovering Jesus The Joy of Becoming Like Jesus Becoming Ambassadors for Christ Father's Promise Join the Leadership Development Institute Join me at 10 AM PST every Sunday morning at my online Worship service About Dean Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations.
54 minutes | 2 months ago
4 Breakpoint Moments for Pentecostal Churches Today
The Pentecostal movement is at a breakpoint moment. She has never faced such a challenge in the one hundred and thirteen years of her history. It is the making of a perfect storm spiritually, with cultural pressure from without and ecclesiastical pressure from within. This hedonistic, pluralistic cultural of relativism is no longer demanding the church to be tolerant and sensitive to the new norms, but to embrace them or be labeled as intolerant, homophobic, Islamophobic, and extremist. The Equality Act of 2019 that has passed the U.S. Congress and is now in the Senate increases that pressure exponentially. At the same time this cultural pressure is reaching unimaginable proportions the Pentecostal movement has a new generation of spiritual leaders that have never experienced authentic revival and spiritual awakening, but have been educated from kindergarten through university in a post-modern system. Their entire education and training have been within a system that has rewritten history and moral values. Even within our Christian universities the influence of Christianity upon U.S. history and the significant impact revival movements have made upon our culture has been rewritten. This is a very toxic spiritual cocktail. It has created a spiritual prism vastly different from their spiritual grandfathers who gave birth to the Pentecostal outpouring at the turn of the twentieth century and the spiritual fathers and mothers who came to faith and the baptism of the Holy Spirit during the Jesus People Movement and the Charismatic Renewal. We are facing a challenging task.. 4 Breakpoint Moments for Pentecostal Churches Today Current spiritual trends in the Spirit-filled church do not give a solid foundation for the next generation. Forty-six percent (46%) of born again millennials, those who are twenty-three years old to thirty-eight years old, believe the Bible is the actual Word of God and should be taken literally, word for word. That is not a strong spiritual pool from which to raise up the new generation of leaders in the Pentecostal movement. The framework being built on this foundation is just as weak. 1. Tongues or No Tongues Recent research has revealed one-third or less of those attending a Pentecost-Charismatic church speak in tongues. Added to this spiritual weakness is the new trend that some of the founding movements within Pentecost have changed their stance regarding the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They are now teaching speaking in tongues maybe one of the manifestations of the baptism not necessarily the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. 2. Open Manifestation or Behind Closed Doors According to a recent survey only fifty percent of Pentecostal/Charismatic churches have an open display of the manifestation gifts of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual gifts such as prophetic words, tongue and interpretation, and healing and deliverance are not permitted in the Sunday morning worship celebration. The expressed concern is for the un-churched or pre-churched attendees. They would not understand and might become disturbed by such a display. It may cause the public to think we are a “holy roller” church. Pastors find it difficult to regulate and to make certain such a display is done in proper order. If permitted at all, spiritual gifts are to be exercised in home groups, small Bible studies, or in private meetings. 3. Gender Dysphoria or Abomination to God Leading proponents of the new psychiatric disorder gender dysphoria are having far reaching impact into Christian universities through the psych departments. The impact is even being seen in the board meetings of leadership and pastor’s offices as pressure mounts for the church to embrace the medical model of human behavior. Alcoholism, narcotic addiction, sexual addiction, depression, anger issues and others are commonly referred to as a sickness. The church has slowly embraced dealing with such human behavior from the medical model and not from the Holy Scriptures that refer to them as sinful behavior that require repentance and cleansing by the blood of Jesus. Now the pressure is coming for the church to embrace gender identity disorders (GID) or gender dysphoria as a medical issue. The church is being asked to accept the possibility for someone to be a born again, spiritual baptized believer and be a boy in a girl’s body or a girl in a boy’s body. After accepting GID we are asked to embrace same-sex relationships, transgender, and the LGBTQ+ agenda. The church is under great pressure to embrace a world view of human sexuality from the new psychological perspective and social normative rather than a biblical perspective. 4. Infallible Scripture or Cultural Correctness The psychological perspective and social normative of human sexuality are called an abomination by God in His Holy Word. With less than half of the born again millennials embracing the Word of God as being infallible and should be taken literally, pressure is rising from within the church to embrace the social norm as well as from without. The question arises will the new generation of Pentecostal pastors and leaders be influenced by cultural demands and political correctness or by the conviction of the infallible inerrancy of Holy Scripture? At this point, what used to be the obvious is no longer so. Too many Pentecostal leaders are softening their position on the initial evidence of Holy Spirit baptism; the public display of the gifts of the Spirit and same-sex relationships. What is so amazing, almost mind boggling, is everywhere you look in church history and around the globe today, authentic revival has always been accompanied by the following characteristics. A great conviction the Bible is God’s holy and infallible Word that must be taken literally and obeyed; A great outpouring of the Holy Spirit accompanied by unusual signs and wonders; people falling in trances, sounds of wailing and crying, other manifestations; Usual order and liturgy were set aside for the deeper working of the Holy Spirit; Sinners, un-churched, pre-churched, were called to repentance openly and great conviction of sin followed; Holiness and sexual purity were understood to be the biblical standard of living for a true follower of Jesus Christ. Revival and spiritual awakening always awakens the sleepy church and calls the sinful culture to repentance. When the church remains sleepy conviction of sin is weakened and the culture proceeds deeper into sin and the level of acceptable immorality becomes more and more extreme. That is the grave issue today. Many will question why I would juxtapose accepting the infallible Word of God, speaking in tongues, and open manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit with the pressure to embrace gender dysphoria. This is the reason. A sleepy church has little power to bring conviction of sin and to call for purity and holy living. The church slowly embraces sinful behavior while the world runs full speed into deeper darkness. John the Baptist promised, “He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 3:11b MEV). The only hope for the world is an awakened church baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire. We are in desperate need for a new Pentecostal outpouring, a Jesus People Movement, a Charismatic Renewal. Yet, the new awakening of God will be as different as each of those were from one another. What will not be different, is the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit working and moving in the hearts and transforming lives of men and women. It is truly a breakpoint moment for Pentecostal churches. God grant a new outpouring of your Spirit on your church. More Articles like this: Choose to Live by the Power of the Holy Spirit The Reason We Must Wait for Power From on High How Well Does Your Life Reflect God’s Presence? 4 Breakpoint Moments for Pentecostal Churches Today This Is What Will Change Our City What Does an Anointed Christian Look Like? Choose to Live by the Power of the Holy Spirit
51 minutes | 3 months ago
God Wants a Woke Church
What our culture needs right now is men and women of God who are going to make up the kind of woke church that God talked about in Isaiah 51:9. Are you bold enough and strong enough to take on this challenge? In today's podcast I talk about what a biblically woke Christian and church looks like. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider leaving us a review. This helps the Foundational podcast reach more listeners. Be sure to tell a friend about the Foundational blog and podcast. More about Pastor Dean Subscribe to receive my blog posts and podcasts Here is where you can find me online My Books Discovering True Identity Agape Charis Made By Design My Bible Studies Discovering Jesus The Joy of Becoming Like Jesus Becoming Ambassadors for Christ Father's Promise Join the Leadership Development Institute Join me at 10 AM PST every Sunday morning at my online Worship service About Dean Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations.
30 minutes | 3 months ago
Why the Church Needs God's Immanence and His Imminence
The significance of immanence and imminence to the child of God is not just a play on words. The revelation of God and His redemptive work is carried in the meaning of these two words immanence and imminence, and their companion eminence. I am appalled and grieved by the level of distortion of God’s nature and character and the resulting syncretism that has crept into Christian theology. Pantheism, Spiritism and Gnosticism have found their way into much of the preaching and teaching in Evangelical and Pentecostal circles. I was saddened recently at a Christian event when they played a song about the “circle of life;” a doctrine that comes directly out of the Buddhist religion. What is the meaning of imminence, immanence and eminence and their significant importance to your faith? Immanence is the declaration of God’s omniscience and omnipresence. He is the creator and sustainer of all that exists. “He [Jesus Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. Reconciled in Christ for it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:20 NKJV). This reveals the transcendence of God. He is not “in” all things but He is the creator of all things and He sustains all things by the power of His Word (Hebrews 1:1-4). He is eternal, everlasting to everlasting. He has no mother no father. He has no beginning or ending of days. He exists outside of time and space which He created for mankind but He exists separate from it. His immanence affirms His promised presence at every moment in our life. He said: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” “He is a very present help in the time of trouble.” “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (John 14:16-20 NKJV). God is also imminent. He entered the human race in the person of Jesus Christ, through the virgin birth. “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:9-10 NKJV). As God in the flesh, He was the eternal sacrifice through whom mankind was redeemed from and sin, reconciled to Heavenly Father, and adopted in the family God. Jesus Christ also promised He would come back a second time. "’Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know’" (John 14:1-4 NKJV). He declared His second coming would happen in a moment you least expected and without warning. No one knows the day or the hour of His coming, except Heavenly Father (Matthew 24:36-37). Imminence is the transliteration of the Latin word imminere which means an over-hanging or something that projects over. The English word imminent refers to something that is about to happen or something that is always hanging over your head. It is something so on the precipice it could happen at any moment. That describes perfectly the promise of Jesus Christ’s second coming. First He will appear in the sky and catch the righteous ones away and take them to Heaven to celebrate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 19:1-10) He will come back to earth after the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and set up His earthly Kingdom for one thousand years (Revelation 19:1-20:5). The righteous ones who were part of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will rule and reign with Him. Jesus gave several parables warning of His imminent return and teaching the importance for a child of God to live righteous and prepared for His unexpected return. The Apostle Paul wrote about His second coming being as “a thief in the night” so live spiritually ready for His return may happen at any moment. There is a third significant word for the Church, eminence. It refers to one’s stature, position or level of authority. Jesus Christ said: “All authority has been given to me in Heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18 NKJV). The Apostle Paul wrote of Jesus Christ, “You are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:10 NKJV). Jesus Christ is sovereign Lord and answers to no redress and is not required to a reason why. He carries the names, Lord of Host, Lord of Sabaoth, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-1 NKJV). Jesus Christ’s stature as Lord of Host; His position as King of Kings and Lord of Lords; and His authority in Heaven and in earth assures every child of God victory over the enemy. We are “more than conquerors” because He has already defeated our enemies and conquered the kingdom of darkness. His eminence also assures us, while your obedience to His Word and His commands may be optional according to your volition, kneeling before Him and giving account of your attitude and your behavior will not be optional. Every person will all bow at His throne and be held accountable to Him. Our God is the only true living God. His immanence, His imminence, and His eminence assures us of that absolute truth! If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider leaving us a review. This helps the Foundational podcast reach more listeners. Be sure to tell a friend about the Foundational blog and podcast, and share with them about the free Bible Reading Challenge journal they will receive when they subscribe to receive my newsletter! Learn how to engage in deep spiritual warfare for your city with The Freedom Series! Read more articles like this below: What Happens When the Church Chooses Deception 5 Things the Church Must Do to See the Fire of God Church, Heed Not the Song of the Sirens The One Thing That Will Destroy This Generation One Thing Missing From the Church Today How the Church Should Respond When the Foundations Are Shaken The Greatest Danger Facing the Church 4 Powerful Ways to Avoid Strong Delusion How to Escape the Delusion In the Church 6 Responses When Your Church Is In Delusion How To Know If You’re Deceived
36 minutes | 3 months ago
This is the First Step to a Life-Changing Journey
God is inviting you to join with Him on a journey. It is a journey you probably have never taken. Because of that, there will be times it seems strange – and you may even have thoughts like, “I don’t want to do this.” But, this is how God described the outcome of the journey to His prophet Isaiah. “For ye shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace: The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: And it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off” (Isaiah 55:12-13). Almighty God is saying your daily life will be filled with joy and you will live daily with a peaceful mind and emotions, regardless of the circumstances surrounding you. Instead of your days being filled with regret, drama, condemnation, anxiety, fear or worry there will be singing and clapping; celebrating the goodness of God and His bountiful blessings in your life. The power of the curse will be removed. The curse brought thorns and thistles to the earth. The curse that brought pain and conflict into the human experience. The curse that is passed from generation to generation is purged from your life and your generations. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse, having been made a curse for us; for it is written cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree” (Galatians 3:13-14). God declared your life will be solid and stable like a fir tree and your life will be a source of healing and comfort to others as the oil is from a myrtle tree. You will be linked to the name of God in covenant as an everlasting sign. This is the First Step to a Life-Changing Journey Can you see that the blessings of this journey far outweigh any personal sacrifice or cost that may be required for your life? Jesus Christ said it another way. “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He come in His own glory, and in His Father’s and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:23-26 NKJV). What does it take to walk on this journey with Jesus? It is described for us in Isaiah 55:1-3. “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me and eat what is good and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear and come to Me. Hear and your soul shall live and I will make an everlasting covenant with you – the sure mercies of David” (NKJV). The first step of the journey begins with becoming thirsty for the living waters of the Holy Spirit more than you thirst for the power drinks of the world. Did you notice God asked a very relevant question, “Why do you spend money… for what does not satisfy?” It happens every day. We spend money on things that quench our thirst for a few moments, but it does not really satisfy. We spend money we do not have to take a weekend get-away, only to come home unrested and unfulfilled. We have fun for a short time but then back to the grind. This world and all its stuff cannot fill that void. No amount of fun, money or stuff; not even the right guy or the right girl will give that deep fulfillment. It is a God-shaped vacuum. Only His presence and His love can fill it and bring true satisfaction. It is a God-Shaped Vacuum While we spend our money on the things that don’t satisfy, God has said, “Come… buy without money without price” that which will deeply satisfy and fill your life with those things for which your soul has always needed and longed. It’s all of grace. You can’t earn it. You don’t deserve it. God longs to give it from the passion of His heart. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by His grace you have been saved)” (Ephesians 2:4-5 NKJV emphasis is mine) God is calling you to come to the waters of authentic revival and to drink deep and long. Allow Holy Spirit to fully saturate your life with His presence and His power. It all happens through grace. You will never get good enough to come. You will never do enough right things to become worthy. It is quite simply a choice to change your appetite. It is a choice to desire God and His manifest presence in your life more than you want to be on social media; more than you want your favorite television show. In that desire, you set aside time for Him and to be with Him. Take your daily time with Jesus to a new level with my Free Bible Reading Journal Your Choice Leads to a Heart Change Your pursuit of God with all your heart requires a love change. Jesus said it like this to the church of the Ephesians. “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen: Repent and do the first works; or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place – unless you repent” (Revelation 2:5 NKJV). The choice to desire God and His manifest presence in your life more than you want the things of the world positions you to seek Holy Spirit that He create in you a love for God that exceeds anything you have known up to that point. You want to love Him with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. This truly is a wonderful journey! Stay with me, as we take this journey together. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider leaving us a review. This helps the Foundational podcast reach more listeners. Be sure to tell a friend about the Foundational blog and podcast, and share with them about the free Bible Reading Challenge journal they will receive when they subscribe to receive my newsletter! Learn how to engage in deep spiritual warfare for your city with The Freedom Series! Read more articles like this below: What Happens When the Church Chooses Deception 5 Things the Church Must Do to See the Fire of God Church, Heed Not the Song of the Sirens The One Thing That Will Destroy This Generation One Thing Missing From the Church Today How the Church Should Respond When the Foundations Are Shaken The Greatest Danger Facing the Church 4 Powerful Ways to Avoid Strong Delusion How to Escape the Delusion In the Church 6 Responses When Your Church Is In Delusion How To Know If You’re Deceived
25 minutes | 3 months ago
7 Things the Church Can Learn from the Book Acts
He had been carried everywhere from the time he was a baby. The only career he had was being a street beggar. He was forty years old and most of his adult life had been spent sitting on one of the main highways into the city. All of that changed in a moment. Two believers in Jesus came by his panhandling location one afternoon. He spoke to them earnestly hoping they would put some money in his cup. “I don’t have any cash today,” one of them said, “But what I do have I will gladly give to you. In the name of Jesus rise up and walk.” The believer took the man’s right hand and pulled him to his feet. For the first time in his life the man walked. It was amazing! The man walked around. Then he ran. He walked some more and then he began to jump. All the time he was doing this, he was praising God for healing him. A large crowd gathered around them, as the man continued to walk, run and jump praising God. The people were excited and began praising the two Jesus-believers who were obviously from up north. As the crowd continued to grow, the big guy began to speak to crowd in his northern accent. "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk…By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see” (Acts 3:12, 16 NIV). Many of the people in the crowd believed and also become followers of Jesus. The religious and the political leaders were not happy, however. They arrested Peter and John, threatened them and commanded them to never speak or work in the name of Jesus Christ again. Peter and John conferred with the leaders of the church and developed a new ministry model. They rewrote their literature and adopted a ministry style that was more inclusive and inviting. They contextualized their sermons to the culture, seeking to be more tolerant of those with a different lifestyle and religious belief, they modified their rhetoric. Oh, wait! That is 21st century western Christianity. That certainly is not what happened in Jerusalem in 33 AD. The Apostles Peter and John left the court room with the threats and the command to no longer speak and work in the Name of Jesus Christ. While the voices of the religious and the political leaders were ringing in the halls of justice, they were not resounding in the hearts of these men of God. The Apostles met with the church and told them what had happened then they went to prayer. They were not whining nor crying because of rejection and fear of the government. They cried out, “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus" (Acts 4:29-30 NKJV). There are seven things the church of the 21st century must learn from the Book of Acts if we are going to make a difference at this time. God has given the western church a brief window. It is a small window right now, but the believers must make it a highway for the people (Isaiah 62:10). Instead of cowering in the face of political correctness, cultural tolerance and threat of litigation, the church must take seven bold steps. 1. The believers must be baptized with the Holy Spirit and consumed with holy fire. 2. Believers must not allow the fear of man or political correctness to intimidate the church and force it to conform to the culture of the world. 3. Believers must teach and preach the Word of God boldly with signs and wonders of the Holy Spirit confirming the truth of the Word of God. 4. Believers must fill our cities with the truth of God’s Word. Lies, distortions and disinformation are filling the minds of the people. We must not compromise or rewrite the absolute truth of God’s Word. It is the truth that will set them free. 5. Rejoice when persecution comes. Do not grumble and complain, but celebrate that you are counted worthy and keep on faithfully doing the work of God. 6. Make our church buildings, classroom and worship centers houses of earnest prayer. Fill our living rooms with seasons of earnest prayer. 7. Create holy fear in the heart of city, state and government officials because of the godly authority and spiritual power with which the church is working and the great favor the church has with the people because of the transformed lives. Look at what happened to the believers that day when the Apostles Peter and John and the church prayed for boldness instead of fear and compromise. “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:31-33 NKJV). I came to salvation and entered ministry during the Jesus People Movement and the Charismatic Renewal. The boldness and love of the church was irresistible. They were always talking about Jesus and His power to save and to heal. Everyone was talking about being filled with the Holy Spirit. Full Gospel Business Men’s luncheons and dinners, Woman’s Aglow luncheons, musicians and singers in the park, all of them boldly encouraging people to get saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit. People were healed and thousands of lives were transformed. Even Time magazine featured what was happening across America. The front cover, June 21, 1971, was The Jesus Revolution and a feature article “Wanted Jesus Christ, Allas: The Messiah The Son of God King of Kings Lord of Lords Prince of Peace, etc.” The full measure of the impact of this move of God can be seen by the fact this same magazine had featured on its front cover April 8, 1966, “Is God Dead?” What a huge impact in just five years. The power of God was being revealed at that time because the church was being what Jesus declared His church would be in Matthew 16:18-19. I am not an old guy living in the fog of past glory longing for the good old days. I fully believe in, and long for, what Almighty God said His church should be today - a church filled with the Holy Spirit, consumed with holy fire, and operating in power and authority that transforms cities. That should be, and can be, happening right now. In my church, we have seen men and women who have received hopeless medical diagnosis experience miracles. A stage four brain tumor disappeared and the surgeon was shocked when he could not find it. A woman with stage four cancer amazed her doctors when it disappeared. A man was sent home by his doctor to “get his house in order” because his medical condition was hopeless, but God instantly healed him. A man with one blind eye, and going blind in the other, was instantly healed. We have seen hopeless marriages, heading for divorce, healed and dozens of teenagers from unchurched homes coming to salvation. T hese miracles are not happening by preachers and healing evangelists, but by truck drivers, farm workers, school teachers, company employees and high school students. God wants His church in the 21st century to be like the church in the Book of Acts, “You have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine…” The church must not compromise. She must wait on the Lord in prayer and fasting until the majority of the people are baptized with the Holy Spirit and operating in the power of God. We must faithfully preach and teach the uncompromised Word of God and then watch as the God the Word confirms His truth with miracles, signs and wonders. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider leaving us a review. This helps the Foundational podcast reach more listeners. Be sure to tell a friend about the Foundational blog and podcast, and share with them about the free Bible Reading Challenge journal they will receive when they subscribe to receive my newsletter! Learn how to engage in deep spiritual warfare for your city with The Freedom Series! Read more articles like this below: What Happens When the Church Chooses Deception 5 Things the Church Must Do to See the Fire of God Church, Heed Not the Song of the Sirens The One Thing That Will Destroy This Generation One Thing Missing From the Church Today How the Church Should Respond When the Foundations Are Shaken The Greatest Danger Facing the Church 4 Powerful Ways to Avoid Strong Delusion How to Escape the Delusion In the Church 6 Responses When Your Church Is In Delusion How To Know If You’re Deceived
28 minutes | 4 months ago
One Thing Every Church Leader Must Know
We don’t have to convince God to send revival. He is already convinced of the desperate need and greatly desires to send a spiritual awakening. We cannot earn His visitation through hours of prayer or self-sacrifice. The whole point of waiting on God is not to move the hand of God but proper alignment of our heart with the heart of God. The reason it is often overlooked or resisted is the intense battle it brings with self. I battle with thoughts plaguing my mind and with the inner drive to go do something in gaining the ground to “wait” on God. What will my secretary and deacons think if they see me neglecting work that needs to be done in order to spend more time in prayer? There are people who need to be called. Tasks are just sitting. E-mails need to be sent. Will this really make a difference? Here is one thing every church leader must know I have searched the Scriptures time and again only to discover and to reaffirm waiting on the Lord is an important component of leadership discipline. When King David received word the Philistine army was planning an attack on Israel, the first thing he did was go to the Cave of Adullam and wait on the Lord until he received specific instructions for dealing with the enemy. In fact, careful reading will reveal that is exactly how King David handled every battle with the enemy. He would wait on God for the instructions from On High. Then He would lead the army of Israel into battle. King David developed the personal discipline of “waiting” on the Lord and then wrote these instructions to leaders. “Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day” (Psalms 25:3-5 NKJV). “One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock” (Psalms 27:4-5 NKJV). “Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek." Do not hide Your face from me; do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation… Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!” (Psalms 27:7-9, 14 NKJV). If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider leaving us a review. This helps the Foundational podcast reach more listeners. Be sure to tell a friend about the Foundational blog and podcast, and share with them about the free Bible Reading Challenge journal they will receive when they subscribe to receive my newsletter! Learn how to engage in deep spiritual warfare for your city with The Freedom Series!
37 minutes | 4 months ago
Why the Church Must Not Unhitch From the Old Testament
"[First century] Church leaders unhitched the church from the worldview, value system, and regulations of the Jewish scriptures...Peter, James, Paul elected to unhitch the Christian faith from their Jewish scriptures, and my friends, we must as well." This is a quote from Andy Stanley's third message in his Aftermath series. But is it true? Do we need our faith unhitched from the Old Testament? After the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, He met two of the disciples that were traveling from Jerusalem to the community of Emmaus. The two men were talking among themselves about the events of the last three days, when Jesus joined them on the road. He inquired about their conversation and asked what events they were discussing. They tried explaining, at the same time marveling that He seemed to be unaware of these things that had so greatly impacted the city. Jesus responded to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:25-26 NKJV). He continued to instruct them, “Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27 NKJV). This was a familiar way Jesus taught. In the Sermon on the Mount, He affirmed His total reliance upon the Holy Scriptures. They were the Old Testament at that time. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19 NKJV). He refers six times in Matthew 5 to the Holy Scriptures (5:21, 5:27, 5:31, 5:33, 5:38, 5:43). The huge crowds that followed Him were astonished at His teaching because He taught with an authority unlike anything they had heard. It was not just with the religious people He used the Holy Scripture. Speaking to the crowd about the faith of the Centurion He referred to Genesis chapter 12 and Isaiah chapter 2. When the disciples asked about the last days Jesus referred to Daniel chapter 9. He freely used the Word of God, as well as parables, and daily life experiences when teaching a Pharisee, speaking to His close disciples, addressing the crowds of sinners, or a Roman officer. The Apostles used the same technique in their teaching and writing. The Apostle Peter quoted from Joel 2 when addressing the thousands of people gathered on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. Stephen quoted from the life of Abraham and to Joseph in the Book of Genesis when addressing the High Priest and the Sanhedrin. He also referred to Moses and the Book of Exodus. The Apostle Peter taught about the life of Jesus making reference to the Old Testament prophets when he preached to the Gentiles at the home of the Roman soldier Cornelius. The Apostle Paul spoke with the leading philosophers in Athens quoting from their classical writers and making reference to Genesis, Deuteronomy, Psalms and Isaiah. The Apostolic leaders had no reservation in making reference to the Holy Scriptures or even declaring “God said.” Yet in the 21st century church there has come a reticence to quote the Scripture in preaching and teaching or to boldly declare, “The Lord has said…” Why Christians Should Not Unhitch From the Old Testament Andy Stanley, in his sermon series “Aftermath”, has expressed that he urges his congregation and pastors who follow him to not point to Holy Scriptures as the foundation for their faith. “About ten years ago I saw something we should start resisting. It has everything to do with how we talk about the Bible; more specifically what we point to as the foundation of our faith, which for most Christians, unfortunately, is the Bible.” Read my article: An Open Letter to Andy Stanley Yet, he has no concern about sharing a plethora of quotes from atheists like Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins to validate a point. This has become a pattern in this generation. Quotes from movies, web sites, psychologists, counselors, and other authors are common place. Quotes and references to the Holy Scriptures are few and weak at best. Reasons given for this new trend are related to the post-modern and post-Christian culture that is rapidly becoming anti-Christian. I ask you to take a careful look at Corinth, Ephesus, Athens, and the other cities where the Apostolic church took the Gospel and to whom they wrote their epistles. They were pagan and anti-Christian. The church is drinking the enemy’s Kool-aid. They believe his lie. God has not changed His mind. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). God has still chosen by the “foolishness of preaching” His Word men and women will hear and will be saved and delivered. Yes, it will seem like foolishness to the humanistic, rationalistic, pragmatic mind. It will be offensive to the post-modern who denies absolute right and wrong. The weak-willed embracing tolerance and diversity will struggle with the exclusivity of God’s Holy Word. It seems we have forgotten that it is still absolutely true, “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in Heaven” (Psalm 119:89). This steady call for divesting our faith from the Old Testament, because it is no longer relevant and applicable, is rooted in a severe distortion. The pastors and evangelists who declare physical healing and prosperous living is for the believer today and point to Old Testament Scriptures are criticized. The criticism rests upon the belief that the Old Testament blessings and promises were only for the Patriarchs and children of Israel living at that time. Really? When God declared, “I am Jehovah Rapa” in Exodus 15:26 and prophesied by Isaiah “He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquity; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Then the Apostle Peter quoted from this same passage in his first epistle writing “by whose stripes you were healed” (1Peter 2:24) making it a completed work. God is immutable. He does not change. The Apostle Paul declared that Jesus Christ was made a curse for us when He hung upon the cross. He removed the curse that came upon our life through sin. The removal of the curse brought the blessings of Abraham upon the Gentiles (Galatians 3:13-14). That makes the promises and the blessings of the Old Testament applicable in our life. Have they forgotten the very words of our Lord Jesus Christ? “For assuredly I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19 NKJV) [Author’s emphasis] I know the contemporary preacher/teacher will declare, but the Old Testament was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The full truth; the full truth is not all has been fulfilled. Hundreds of prophecies have not yet been fulfilled, like the promise of Jesus second coming; the coming of the “little horn” or the “Assyrian”; the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, and more. No dear ones, Jesus assured us the Old Testament is relevant and applicable to the church age, right now. The Apostle Paul affirmed this in his first epistle to the believers in Corinth. He shared from the life of Moses and experiences of the children of Israel in the wilderness. Then he wrote, “Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted” (1 Corinthians 10:1-11 NKJV). The 21st century preacher and teacher will say, “What wait a minute, Paul, that is Old Testament. Did not you and the apostolic leaders tell the church to “unhinge” from the Old Testament because it was not applicable to the church age?” The answer is: No they did not. That is revisionism. That sort of thinking arises from the heart and mind that has forgotten or ignored that God clearly told Moses, “I am the God of your father – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.” He is a living God; the same God who commanded Moses to write the first five books of the Old Testament; the same God who spoke to Isaiah, Jeremiah, and inspired David and the others to write the Psalms. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV). God is still alive and He is still speaking through His Word, Old and New Testament. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12) May be the reason the preachers and teachers are so reluctant to point to the Holy Bible as the reference point of their faith in this hedonistic, transgender culture is because they do not possess what the Apostolic preachers possessed. “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God… And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1Corinthians 2:1, 4-5 NKJV). When there is this kind of preaching and teaching, even the humanistic, rationalistic, post-modern, post-Christian heart and mind will be persuaded to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. Let’s have a little less quoting of human authors and more direct reference and quoting of the author of the words of life!! If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider leaving us a review. This helps the Foundational podcast reach more listeners. Be sure to tell a friend about the Foundational blog and podcast, and share with them about the free Bible Reading Challenge journal they will receive when they subscribe to receive my newsletter! Learn how to engage in deep spiritual warfare for your city with The Freedom Series! Discovering True Identity: A Believer's Position in Christ (Freedom Series) (Volume 1)Agape: Unveiling the Mask of Darkness, Setting the Captives Free (Freedom Series) (Volume 2)Charis: The Power of Grace (The Freedom Series) (Volume 3) Read more articles like this below: What Happens When the Church Chooses Deception 5 Things the Church Must Do to See the Fire of God Church, Heed Not the Song of the Sirens The One Thing That Will Destroy This Generation One Thing Missing From the Church Today How the Church Should Respond When the Foundations Are Shaken The Greatest Danger Facing the Church 4 Powerful Ways to Avoid Strong Delusion How to Escape the Delusion In the Church 6 Responses When Your Church Is In Delusion How To Know If You’re Deceived
37 minutes | 4 months ago
A Generation Too Busy to Pray
Pray without ceasing." ~1 Thessalonians 5:17~ People used to pray. I mean seriously and fervently pray for revival when special meetings were scheduled at church. Recently I read an amazing chapter in “To China and Back” by Anthony Bollback, titled “God Moves In.” In this chapter a new church had recently been established in 1943 by Anthony, in Coudersport, Pennsylvania and revival meetings were being held. The meetings lasted two weeks and after the first week, nothing special had happened. Today, we might be too busy to attend revival meetings, let alone pray! We neglect to pray for special meetings because we are a generation too busy to pray for revival. Are you too busy to pray because of: TV Movies Social media Texting Games Other empty pursuits that pull on our soul to the point that we cannot give them up? None of these things are wrong, in and of themselves, as we are able to keep up with the goings on of relatives, friends, and use these avenues for ministry. But we find that we often can't do anything without our phone and our Facebook connections, and the time spent scrolling down through our feed for the umpteenth time could have been spent in prayer. We need a dose of balance. When Nothing Significant Happens, PRAY! “After a week of meetings where nothing significant had happened, they gathered around the altar to pray for the salvation of people and the quickening of Christians. People forgot the hour as prayer continued long into the afternoon.” (p. 16, To China and Back by Anthony Bollback) If you don't quite know what is meant by quickening, it means to bring to life. They were praying that Christians would wake up!! Today, we have become apathetic. Maybe we have become apathetic because we have continually, through the years, seen little response to the gospel. People are increasingly more disinterested in God. When we hear an announcement in church to call and invite friends to upcoming special meetings, we do little if nothing about it. We have tried before but no one came. I was amazed as I read the next few lines in this chapter: “Mrs. Furman, a godly woman . . . received a great blessing in the morning service [remember they had prayed?] She went home and began calling all of her friends on the party line. The news of the morning service spread rapidly, for even those she didn't call were listening in!” (p.16, To China and Back by Anthony Bollback) That whole section of town was moved toward God and about 25 people rode to church standing in the back of a truck. Tomorrow might never come. Today might be our last chance to invite someone to a revival meeting. Just recently a man was killed in a tragic airplane accident, a driver was killed when he ran out in front of oncoming race cars, and a celebrity committed suicide. I would challenge you to turn off whatever noise is breaking the stillness of God's voice and stop and pray. Close the tabs on email, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Close the lid to whatever business you have at your fingertips and disconnect long enough to pray for the salvation of your neighbors and the quickening of your Christian friends. Expect much from God and wait on Him to do wonderful things. Be a generation too busy praying for revival that you don't have time for these other distractions. Are you willing to commit to prayer for Sunday services and revival in your home church and missions around the world? If so, I'd love if you'd leave me a comment sharing your commitment to pray. Judith lives in the beautiful Pocono Mountains with the most amazing husband for the past thirty-five fleeting years. She has been blessed with seven wonderful children through birth, adoption, and tubal reversal. When her oldest was five, she quit her job on the night shift and homeschooled for over twenty-five years. God has taken the imperfections of her life and keeps turning them into something that can be used for His glory. She writes at His Unmeasured Grace to inspire and equip women for holy living with joy-filled hearts.
36 minutes | 4 months ago
5 Things the Church Must Do to See the Fire of God
The nation of Israel was at a critical point. The economy was in a down turn suffering from years of drought. National leadership was corrupt. The moral compass was distorted by a cloudy spiritual climate of syncretic worship of the true God with the worship of Astarte and Baal. Into this backslidden nation God sent one of His greatest prophets. Seemingly out of nowhere, came Elijah the Tishbite, thundering the call of God, “Choose you this day whom you will serve.” Israel had come to the decision point. Is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob the true God, then serve Him. If Baal is God, serve him. Duplicity can no longer be tolerated. The challenge took place on Mount Carmel. Elijah called all the people of Israel and the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal to meet him. The challenge was quite simple, actually. The prophets of Baal were to build an altar and offer a sacrifice to their god and Elijah would build and altar and offer a sacrifice to Jehovah. No fire was to be placed under the altar. Each would pray to their deity and the one who answered by fire would be the true living God. Elijah encouraged the prophets of Baal to go first. They sang, danced and mutilated themselves before their god for hours. No answer came. Elijah mocked them. “May be he is asleep. You should sing with more passion. Maybe he has taken a trip, call out louder. Maybe he has fallen asleep.” No amount of singing, dancing, and blood-letting appeased their deity and no fire came. Elijah rebuilt the altar of El Shaddai that had been neglected and decayed. He placed the sacrifice on the altar and dug a deep trench around it. They soaked the sacrifice and the altar with four barrels of water three times. At the time appointed for the evening sacrifice, Elijah cried out to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, “Let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and that I have done all these things at Your word.” Immediately, Almighty God answered by consuming the water, the sacrifice and the altar with His holy fire. It is no coincidence the living God revealed Himself by fire. When He made covenant with Abram, He revealed His presence and made His vows of intention by coming as a consuming fire upon the sacrifice Abram had prepared. When He delivered the children of Israel from Egyptian slavery He revealed His presence in a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day. The prophet John the Baptist declared, “He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 3:11 MEV). When the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, “Suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. There appeared to them tongues as of fire, being distributed and resting on each of them…” (Acts 2:2-3 MEV). “Our God is a consuming fire,” wrote the writer of Hebrews (12:29). That raises an important question. Where is the fire of God today? Even cursory view of the church since the Reformation reveals seasons when the church was consumed of holy fire. The last fifty years of western church history has seen little fire. Oh, there has been much activity but little fire of God. It is a curious sight, indeed. We have mega churches with the largest attendance in the history of the western church, and barely a flicker of His holy fire. We have music of such quality it stretches the English language to describe; with musicians, lights, and sound that staggers the imagination; but little fire. There is passionate worship emoting love for God and shouts of praise that raise the decibel meters to the red zone, but little fire that consumes the heart and purifies the believer to holy living. Ah, see the sacrifice on the altar? Hear the praise and shouts? See the dancing? The worshipers are sweaty and passionate, but the sacrifice and the altar are not yet consumed with the fire of Heaven. Where is the holy fire that consumes the sacrifice? This generation of western believer is content with the passion, the music, and the presentation of the sacrifice. Indeed, they have come to believe that is the point. They have been taught by their spiritual leaders that is the objective of worship. Theologians and biblical scholars have accepted and entrenched this generation in the concept we are positionally face to face with God through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The purpose and reason for the worship gathering is to bring God the sacrifice and the praise as an expression of thankfulness. The entire concept of believing and anticipating an actual encounter with the Living God and experiencing His holy fire in our life personally and as a congregation has been diminished and in some arenas completely removed. They have altogether forgotten the main objective; God’s holy fire consuming the sacrifice. The point of the music, the praise and the meeting is not to bring God a perfect blend of harmony; it is not to present Him a perfect sound with drama, lights, and smoke, all created through human effort. The point is to bring Him a sacrifice of praise that He consumes with fire from Heaven and a smoke that arises from His manifest presence. “I beseech thee therefore brethren by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). How different the church would look in the western world if it would again learn to wait on God for His holy fire to fall. 5 Things the Church Must Do to See the Fire of God 1. The lead pastor must refuse to abdicate his role as the main worship leader in the house. No matter how large or small the church, the lead pastor must be on his face before God until he is consumed by holy fire. Then, like King David, he must lead his flock (mega church or small) in seeking God and worshiping Him with all their heart. He may have a worship pastor or leader, but he does not lay down the significant role of being the worship leader of the house. 2. The music pastor or worship leader must see their main role, not of perfecting the music and the musicians, but of humbly assisting the lead pastor in leading the people into the Holy of Holies where they come face to face with Almighty God and are consumed by the fire of His holy presence. 3. The worship experience must turn from being “stage centered” to “Heaven centered From being entertainment driven to passionately seeking God From being a listening experience by the congregation to being participatory and fully entered into by the church family hungry after the manifest presence of Almighty. 4. The music must move from extremely complicated musician driven to easy to learn music, easily sung by the congregation: Words that declare the wonder and glory of God Lyrics that come directly out of the Scripture so the church family can learn and know well so they can sing it with expression and devotion while presenting themselves a “living sacrifice to Him.” 5. The altars must open again as a place where the humbled, broken, contrite in heart can come and seek God until they are consumed with holy fire and filled with heavenly joy. It is decision time for the church. We must come to the mountain of God and allow Him to consume our sacrifice with His holy fire. We must humble ourselves, admitting our spiritual pride, and adjust our objective and purpose. Seek Him and only seeking must become our passion and our objective. Read more content like this: The Key to Revival Who Will Be a Man of God In This Generation? Why the Modern Church Needs More Smoke and Lights A Call to Holiness What the Church Needs Today This is What Will Change Our Culture
44 minutes | 4 months ago
Was America Founded For the Glory of God?
What is it that makes America great and unique among the nations of the earth? “They cherished a great hope and inward zeal of laying good foundations, or at least of making some way towards it, for the propagation and advance of the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in the remotes part of the world, even though they should be but stepping stones to others in the performance of so great a work." (William Bradford, The Plymouth Settlement, Mantle Ministries, San Antonio, 1988, 21). The Founding Fathers of the United States firmly believed God had called them to establish a colony in the Americas to be a light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; a new Israel, as it were. Upon preparing to disembark from the Mayflower onto the shores at Plymouth Rock these hearty souls entered into a covenant with Almighty God. “In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign lord, Kingdom James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King Defender of the Faith, etc.,having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and of one another, covenant and combine ourselves into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation an d the furtherance of the ends aforesaid and by virtue, hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws ordinances acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general use of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have here underscribed our names at Cape Cod, 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our sovereign lord, King James of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. A.D. 1620” (Bradford, The Plymouth Settlement, 75-76). Notice they were establishing a body politic and government structure “In the Name of God" and with the express purpose “for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith.” It could not be clearer. Patrick Henry, leader in the American Revolution, Commander-in-Chief of the Virginia Militia, member of the Continental Congress, and a member of the Virginia General Assembly and House of Burgesses; offered the positions of Secretary of State and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by George Washington, but he declined, knew very well the heart of our nation’s Founding Fathers. He boldly stated, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity and freedom of worship here.” This covenant with God was affirmed further in the Declaration of Independence, “We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America in general congress assembled, appealing to the supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions… and for the support of this declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” The United States of America is unique in the nations of history because it was formed in covenant with Almighty God and His Word, the Holy Bible, was the guidebook and the foundation for the laws of the land and the constitution of its government. Only one other nation in the history of mankind was so formed, Israel. What does that mean for the United States of America, now that she has become post-Christian and rapidly moving toward anti-Christian? Is it possible for a nation to throw off its God or exchange its God for another god without serious consequence? Does it even matter? There is only one example to which America can look and discover the answer. The prophet Isaiah answered that question. “Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD. You have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and clasp hands with pagans. Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures. Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots. Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made. So man will be brought low and mankind humbled — do not forgive them” (Isaiah 2:5-9 NIV). Read part two The Danger of Tolerance and Political Correctness Resources mentioned in this article: More Articles About America: It Is Not a Political Problem - Part One It Is Not a Political Problem - A Double Tragedy This Is What Will Change Our Culture How the Church Should Respond When the Foundations Are Shaken The Crisis Point of the Modern American Church America is Filled With Idols and False Worship Why the Term "Forever President" Is a Dangerous Trend The Danger In Destroying Our Monuments How America Has Rejected God, Not Man Was America Founded For the Glory of God?
25 minutes | 5 months ago
4 Ways the Church Can Influence a City
What are the ways the church influences a city? What are some practical steps she can take to affect a city for Jesus Christ and defend her from the assault of the enemy? These are the questions every church should be asking, because God designed the church to be an influence in her community as the salt and light of the world. Jesus was making the journey from the Upper Room to the Garden of Gethsemane. He made this a teaching opportunity. “… I am the way the truth and the life… Most assuredly, I say unto you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to my Father.” Did you catch that? “The works that I do, he will do also.” And… “and greater works than these he will do…” Are you kidding me? Who is Jesus talking about? “He who believes in Me…” The Church Can Influence a City Jesus is talking about the redeemed sons and daughters of God.Those who have been born again will do the same works Jesus did. How is that possible? Jesus said, “And whatever you ask in my Name, that will I do that the Father maybe glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My Name I will do it” (John 14:13-14 NKJV). Jesus, the Last Adam, restored the covenant God originally made with mankind. All those who have been redeemed are to be the stewards of God’s creation, extending the Kingdom of God throughout the earth and displacing the rulers of the darkness of this world. We are to do the works Jesus did.“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8 NKJV). Jesus said, “…on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:18-19 NKJV). The authority of the Kingdom has been restored to the redeemed son and daughters. Mankind is no longer at the mercy of the principalities and powers of the rulers of darkness. The church is the first line of defense for every home; every neighborhood; every city; every region; every nation. When the church will rise and proclaim, “Not on my watch”, she will have the authority to drive out the drug dealers from their neighborhood. She can drive out domestic violence and other crime in their city. When the church will take seriously the authority she has in Jesus Name over the forces of hell she will not allow their family, neighborhood or city to be plundered. The church will do the plundering. She will plunder hell to populate Heaven. Here are 4 ways the church can influence a city Prayer-walk your neighborhood. Adopt a school and pray around it on a regular basis. Ask God to give you discernment of spirit and words of knowledge what to pray. Ask Holy Spirit to pray through you the will of the Father for your family, your neighborhood and your city. This is the will of the Father. This is the privilege of the redeemed. This is the purpose of the church. Take up the responsibility given the church. Let the devil and his forces know. Not On My Watch! Learn how to intercede for your city in my book Agape - a handbook for spiritual warfare and authority in everyday life. Get Agape 30% off today with the coupon code: Warfare More Articles Like This: 8 Transforming Truths About Your Authority in Christ Why the Church Should Intercede for a City 4 Ways the Church Influences a City 5 Things We Must Know When the Church Is Under Attack
33 minutes | 5 months ago
3 Ways to Add Value to Your Life
People today spend so much money to add value to their life, never knowing that the real way we add value to our life doesn't require money...but character. Do you remember the old bumper sticker, “He who dies with the most toys wins?” The real truth is that he who dies with the most toys, just dies. “It matters so little how much you may own; the places you been or the people you known. It all comes to nothing, when placed at His feet; they’re nothin’ to Jesus, just memories to keep” (lyrics by Lanny Wolfe). Value added living does not consist of Mercedes, Monarch motorhomes, private airplanes and large bank accounts. I realize you know that and I maybe preaching to the choir. However, before you move on, there is a significant principle that is often overlooked or missed entirely. It is a teaching Jesus gave in Luke 16:10-12. Jesus said, “He that is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much… The one who is trustworthy in handling worldly wealth will be trusted with true riches… The one who is faithful in handling someone else’s property will receive property of their own” [my paraphrase]. Now that is value added living. Everyone can increase the value of their life in three simple, yet not so easy, steps. When these steps are followed, your life will be filled with purpose and depression is driven out the door. 3 Ways to Add Value to Your Life 1. Learn the great value in being faithful – consistently faithful – in doing the very little things. Read your Bible and pray every day. Consistently participate in Sunday worship; Bible studies and christian fellowship. Keep the car washed and vacuumed regularly. Spend time giving your wife (or hubby) and your children undivided attention, quality conversation and personal time without the television, cell phone or iPad. Renew a long-time friendship and stay closer in touch (coffee with a best friend is a little heaven on earth). When you are faithful in the very little things, you will receive larger things. 2. Develop the skill of handling worldly riches God’s way. Consistently pay your tithe each month. Learn the joy of working and working hard; develop craftsmanship not just “going to work.” Develop a quality work ethic that gives your employer a day’s work for a day’s pay. Get out of debt. Study the Scriptures and learn well the principles and precepts of finance and develop in your life the reality “God is your resource.” When you are trustworthy in handling worldly riches you will receive the true riches of the Kingdom of God. 3. Be a trustworthy person. Loyalty, humility, fear of the Lord, trustworthy and dependability are the character qualities that will make one rich. When you are trustworthy, your wife (or hubby) and your children can give you their whole heart. When you are trustworthy, your employer can count on you and trust you with greater responsibility. When you are trustworthy, you will seek to make your supervisor, your general manager and your owner successful. God promises you will receive your own. Value added living is the only way to live. It makes every day worth living and when you come to the end of life’s journey you look back with joy and satisfaction not regret and despair.
46 minutes | 5 months ago
America Is Filled With Idol Worship and False Gods
Discouragement and despair are horrible taskmasters. They wear at your soul. The Psalmist David wrote: “For the enemy has persecuted my soul. He has crushed my life to the ground. He has made me dwell in darkness like those who have long been dead. Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me and my heart within me is distressed” (Psalm 143:3-4 NKJV). That must be how the prophet Elijah was feeling as he fled from Jezebel. The events on the days before had been an amazing display of God’s presence and power. Yet, they had also been exhausting. In his weariness and with the threats from the queen to take his life ringing in ears the man of God felt totally alone and ready to give up. What had led to such discouragement and despair in this servant of the Lord, this great man of God? His nation was totally backslidden and under the leadership of a weak and immoral man. Israel had turned their back on the Living God and was worshiping the idols, Baal and Asherah, the Canaanite female deity. Ahab was a pouting, selfish, and weak leader who allowed his wife to be the dominant influence. The people living in Israel were in a moral free-fall because of the influence of the male and female prostitution surrounding the worship of Baal and Asherah. The economy of the nation was in a landslide resulting from three years of severe drought. These matters weighed heavy on the heart of the man of God when he heard the voice of the Lord calling him to go to the king and to call the nation to account. “How long will you falter between two opinions,” the prophet called to the king and the people? “If the Lord is God, follow Him,” the man of God continued, “But if Baal, follow him.” It was a direct confrontation between the idols made by human hands and Almighty God who made mankind and all things that exist. Would Israel continue worshiping the false deities who had eyes but could not see; had a mouth but could not speak; had a body but no heart of love, mercy and grace; had hands but could not heal or save? Would they repent and turn to the living God, creator of all things, and sustainer of all things; whose eyes “run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him?” Read my post: America Has Embraced These Three Ancient Idols God openly demonstrated His presence and His power by sending fire from heaven and consuming the sacrifice and the altar that had been prepared by His servant. The people cried out and killed the false prophets of Baal and Asherah. Rain was restored to the land. But, Jezebel hardened heart; stood firm in her idolatry and immorality; and threatened to kill the prophet of the Lord God. Fleeing for his very life; weary in body and soul from the great tasks of recent days, Elijah was hiding in a cave on the Mountain of God feeling absolutely alone. Do you see the parallels with our nation today? We have turned our back on God Almighty who founded this nation. He has been thrown out of as many public arenas as possible, while we have opened the door to the false god of Islam and the idols of other nations. Children in our public schools are required to learn portions of the Koran, Bhagavad Gita, and the Tripitaka or Three Baskets of Buddhism but cannot wear a shirt with John 3:16. They will have days where they wear the garments of Islam and even learn the prayers but they cannot speak the name Jesus Christ, sing Christmas Carols or pray to the Living God. America is filled with idol worship and false gods. The Hindu goddess, Kali, goddess of destruction and death was displayed for days on the Empire State Building in New York City in August of 2015. A replica of the arch way leading to a temple of Baal was erected in a park outside of New York City Hall in September 2016. A statue of the goddess Athena Parthenos (goddess virgin), sculpted from 1982-1990 and covered in pure gold in 2002, now stands in a replica of the Parthenon of Athens in Nashville, Tennessee. Saraswati, goddess of wisdom and learning, was erected on Embassy Row, Massachusetts Ave., in Washington DC, to bless our nation’s capital. There are idols erected in the cities Atlanta, St. Paul, and Portland, Oregon, just to mention a few. Turning our back on the living God and the influx of idolatry has sent our nation into a moral free-fall just as it did the nation of Israel. Women walking naked on the streets of New York City covered with body paint 70,000 people attending the Burning Man orgy that happens for eight days in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, every Labor Day The open display of homosexual, lesbian and transgender sexuality The pandemic addiction of men and women to pornography and watching sexual acts in movies and on television These all shout the moral decay of a nation who has turned their back on Almighty God. Combine that with the human sacrifice of sixty million American babies and the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage in the evangelical and Pentecostal communities amplifies the resounding moral decay of nation that is on a collision course with judgment. Like Israel, our nation is suffering economic disaster. We have weak and pandering leadership. The spirit of Jezebel has been released across our land, threatening the true preachers of God. Is there yet a servant of Lord in the United States of America who will stand with iron-ribbed courage from the Holy Spirit and proclaim without compromise the Word of the Lord, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” America must have an authentic call to repentance and returning to the Living God. We must have a genuine call to turn from the immoral practices and the love for entertaining ourselves with those things God has clearly said He hates. We must also have a return to the authentic moving of the Holy Spirit and power: Enough with having a form of godliness and no power Enough with relegating the working of the Holy Spirit to a backroom or small groups Enough with being afraid of the open display and manifestation of the Holy Spirit and power. God knew a backslidden, immoral nation being led by an Ahab and Jezebel must have a prophet who boldly proclaimed the Word of God without compromise but also brought the power of the Holy Spirit and the working or miracles, signs and wonders. That is what America and the world needed at the turn of the 20th century to prepare her for the ravages World War I and World War II. God sent the mighty out pouring of the Holy Spirit that gave birth to the Pentecostal movement. The only thing that will confront the spirit of Baal and Asherah that has gripped America; the only thing that will turn the moral landslide and love for the spirit of darkness; the only way to deal with the spirit of apostasy in a backslidden church is a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Is there yet a servant of the Lord in the land? Men of God it is time to fast and pray for a fresh anointing of the Lord. It is time to enter the pulpit with more than a sermon series, but with a bold and uncompromising Word from the Lord. It is time to lead the church in presenting themselves to Lord as a living sacrifice, until the Holy Spirit comes like a might wind and the fire of God falls and consumes the sacrifice. It is time for the power of God to come back into the House of the Lord. It is time for the church to go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit and turn the community upside down. Will persecution come, yes! Will Jezebel raise her ugly head and threaten to imprison and even kill the men of God, yes! Will many who claim to be Christian criticize and resist, yes! But, the spiritual and natural drought in the land will be lifted. The Living Water will flow. The greatest revival in our generation will be realized! Do not allow the spirits of discouragement and despair to prevail. There are yet many servants of the Lord who have not compromised or bowed the knee to idols! These men of God are rising up. Join them in seeking the Lord. There is a small cloud on the spiritual horizon about the size of man’s hand. Rain is on its way! More Articles Like This One: It Is Not a Political Problem - Part One It Is Not a Political Problem - A Double Tragedy This Is What Will Change Our Culture How the Church Should Respond When the Foundations Are Shaken Will You Miss God's Visitation? Is There Yet a Servant Of the Lord? Why the Term "Forever President" Is a Dangerous Trend The Danger In Destroying Our Monuments How America Has Rejected God, Not Man What Makes America Great
43 minutes | 6 months ago
2 Vital Steps to Avoid Deception
How will a person know if they are deceived? If the only things they hear, or read, or see agrees with their deception; if the only influence on their thinking, reasoning, or opinion supports their belief system, how will they discover the deception? If the only information permitted reinforces the misconception, how will they know that what they believing is a lie? Following the death of Joshua, the elders of Israel continued to lead the nation in serving the Lord. They remembered the teaching of Moses. They had seen the mighty hand of God bring them victory over enemies who were greater and stronger than them. They beheld the amazing miracles God performed on their behalf. The next generation after the elders had not heard the teaching of Moses. Whether their parents did not pass on the family faith or the Levites and priests failed to accurately teach and preach the Word, that generation of the children of Israel did not know the Word of the Lord. They did not see the mighty working of God. The spiritual leaders failed to nurture and cultivate the living presence of God. Jehovah became a mythical being. In their spiritual blindness and lack of knowledge of the Word of the Lord, they began to develop their own truth. “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” The results were disastrous! “Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals; and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger. They forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for calamity, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed” (Judges 2:11-15 NKJV). One of the great tragedies being played out during the days of Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry is recorded in Matthew 23:13. "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” (NKJV). The Scribes and Pharisees had the Word of God at their fingertips. They lived and breathed the Holy Scripture. Many of them could quote the entire Old Testament. However, they did not have it in their heart and spirit. They did not allow the Word of God to judge their motives and their thinking or measure the accuracy of their moral behavior. They rewrote the Word of God in a myriad of commentaries and sacred writings, giving their own interpretation and distorting the Scriptures to justify their desires and behaviors. Jesus confronted them with the truth. They had closed the Kingdom of God to the people, yet, they were not going into the Kingdom either. The truth of the Scribes and Pharisees misled the men and women of that generation into believing deception was truth. When the living Word of God walked into their presence and taught them truth, the Scribes and Pharisees called Him a liar and a deceiver. The Apostle Paul described the extreme danger facing believers in the City of Rome. Truth was being suppressed; even the miraculous ways in which God had revealed Himself in creation and nature were being distorted so that generation would believe the lie. The wisdom of natural man and humanistic philosophy were exalted above the truth of God’s Word. Refusing to retain God in their education, philosophy and knowledge truth was being rewritten denying the very existence of God and moral values were determined by individual feelings and desires. This led to reprobate minds, moral depravity and the acceptance of homosexuality. The Apostle Paul wrote about an even greater danger coming in the last days. He said it will be a time when men and women will love themselves more than they love God. Mankind will be lawless and undisciplined. 2 Vital Steps to Avoid Deception Deception and distortion will be rampant in the culture and God will send strong delusion upon them because men and women in the church will not receive “the love of the truth.” They will want pastors and preachers who tell them what they want to hear. They will get angry when the truth is proclaimed. They will harden their heart and choose to believe the lie because they do not receive the love of the truth. God’s Word never fails. It is ever consistently the certain truth. “Forever, O Lord, you Word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you established the earth and it abides” (Psalm 119:89-90 NKJV). “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures” (James 1:16-18 NKJV). Because God’s Word is the one certain measurement that has no variation, it alone is the plumb line for measuring the accuracy of truth. When my truth is out of alignment with the Word of the Living God, who is wrong? It is our responsibility to bring every thought captive and into obedience to Jesus Christ. Our reasoning, opinions, philosophy, ideology and thought patterns must be measured against the infallible inerrant Word of God. When your belief system is out of alignment with His truth, you must come into obedience to Him. No human being is given the privilege of having their own brand of the truth. “No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,” the Apostle Peter wrote. There is only one truth. That is God’s Holy Word! How can a child of God stand when political correctness and the spirit of tolerance is pressuring the house of the Lord? Where does one turn when the truth of God is being suppressed and the lie is being declared truth? What does one do when the messengers of God’s Word are rewriting the truth to fit culture and to please the desires of the flesh? 1. You must fall in love with the Truth. If you do not love to read the Bible every day; if you do not look forward to spending time digging in the Word; then you need to set aside some meals and spend extra time praying and waiting on God. Ask Him to melt your hardened heart and give you a love for the Truth. Continue setting aside days for fasting and prayer until your heart does melt and you do fall in love with the Word of God. While you are spending time in the Word, humble yourself to God and allow His Word to judge the thoughts, motives and passions of your heart. It is not just falling in love with reading the truth of God’s Word. It is also allowing the principles, precepts and commands of God to truly judge your heart. 2. You must love the correction of God’s Word adjusting your life as much as you love reading God’s Word. The church of the twenty-first century is in great danger. Major Christian periodicals are using full page advertising that encourage pastors to host seminars for training their congregations in the belief God used evolution to create the world and mankind. Evolution was born in the heart and mind of atheists. The late Richard Dawkins, the most visible and well-known atheist in the world, rejoiced when believers renounce biblical creation and embrace evolution. He is quoted as saying, “My personal feeling is that understanding evolution led me to atheism.” Why is the church mixing the truth of God’s Word with an atheistic concept? Why are we distorting the minds of young people and their parents by replacing truth with a lie? We have a generation of young people who are not certain if it is a sin to be homosexual or a lesbian because the lines are being blurred between truth and deception. Christian universities are now teaching gender dysphoria as a disability in their psychology classes. Christian leaders and Christian periodicals are encouraging the churches to accept those who have this “disability” and to celebrate their diversity. God calls it an abomination. Homosexuality and lesbianism are listed in God’s Word as sinful behavior right alongside fornication and adultery. Yet, the church is being called upon to accept it and to celebrate it! There are many Christian leaders and Pentecost and Evangelical congregations encouraging and performing same-sex weddings. It is not an acceptable behavior and it is not a disability. God did not and does not create a man or woman with that perception or desire. It is an abomination and a sinful behavior and those who practice such behavior will not enter the Kingdom of God. The only hope for this generation is for Holy Spirit anointed preachers and teachers to fall on their face before the living God. Wait on Him until He has infused your life with His holy power and a love and a passion to preach and to teach the uncompromised Word of God. Take a bold stand against all distortion, all biblical rewrite, and all cultural pressure for tolerance and political correctness. We must have men and women bold as lions in the pulpits, university classrooms and Bible classes who will teach the uncompromising Word of God with power and authority that can only come from Heaven by the Holy Spirit. Read more articles like this below: How the Church Should Respond When the Church Moves New Age How This Cultural Deception Is Leading to the Anti-Christ How Christians Should Respond to a Counterfeit Gospel Moral Relativity is Making the Church Irrelevant 4 Anchors In the Midst of Cultural and Political Storms What Happens When Pastors Compromise the Truth Beware of This Seductive Spirit In the Church What Happens When the Church Preaches Fake News How to Escape the Delusion In the Church 6 Responses When Your Church Is In Delusion 5 Serious Dangers Found in the Church Today 3 Ways to Spot Apostasy in the Church America Is In Great Danger! The One Thing That Will Destroy This Generation 4 Powerful Ways to Avoid Strong Delusion How To Know If You’re Deceived
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