Monday, May 2, 2022

Christ In Me

One of the most exciting revelations shown in the Bible, is who the believer is "in Christ." For the most part, before the born again experience, our minds were dominated by the world with all of its negativity and carnality. For most in the church today, the world ruled mind has prevented many to see what they have now become in Christ. This also has kept many at the "cross" rather than experiencing the resurrected new life "in Christ."  The cross is the place of death, whereas the resurrection is the place of new life.

We find in the Epistles, especially the Pauline Epistles, the phrases, "in Him" or "in Christ." It is these two simple words that begin to reveal the facts of who the believer truly is in the mind of our Heavenly Father. We were "in Him" when Jesus was nailed to the cross, "I have been crucified with Christ." (Galatians 2:20) We were "in Him" when He died, "If we died with Christ." (Romans 6:8) We were in Him when He was made alive in hell, "made us alive together in Christ" (Ephesians 2:5) We were in Him when He conquered hell and death, "I have the keys of hell and death." (Revelation 1:18) We were in Him when He rose from the dead, "raised us up together." (Ephesians 2:6) We are in Him today in the heavenly places, "made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:6)

When the Father looks upon the believer, He sees us in Christ. The believers position in Christ guarantees true intimate fellowship with the Father and the Son. (1 John 1:3) It also means that Satan cannot reach us or touch us because his authority over the believer has been completely destroyed. (Colossians 2:15) Most important we must know without doubt that the Father is expecting us to occupy our position in Christ where there is no guilt, condemnation or inferiority (Romans 8:1); where we stand complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10); where His fullness becomes ours, (John 1:16); where His grace and strength becomes ours (2 Corinthians 12:9)

In the mind of the Father, there is no such thing as failure or defeat for the believer (Romans 8:37) because as noted above, the believer is "in Christ." All it take is simple faith on the part of the believer to release the power of God to meet every need whether in spirit, soul or body. Although these frail bodies of ours at one time had been stained with sin and marred with sickness, we are now His dwelling place (1 Corinthians 3:16). Sin can no longer have dominion over us (Romans 6:14); and sickness and disease can no long touch us (1 Peter 2:24) without our consent. The great Almighty Creator who spoke the worlds into being dwells in our body. Can you see just how mighty that makes us? This is all due to us being "in Christ." "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4) PTL

Monday, April 25, 2022

He Is Greater than All

No matter how hard we try to avoid life's circumstances, it is inevitable that they come. Sometimes circumstances seem more difficult than others and sometimes they seem almost impossible to overcome. In the gospel's of Matthew, Mark and Luke we find a story of Jesus and His disciple traveling by-way-of boat, which we will look at in Luke's account. "Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” (Luke 8:22-25)

As we see, what started out as a simply boat trip turned into what seems to be a life threatening situation. What I want to draw our attention too, is the question that Jesus asks His disciples after He commanded the storm to cease. His question is what believes need to ask themselves when one of life's trying situation comes upon them. "Jesus said to them, "Where is your faith?” Jesus would not have asked this question if He did not expect the disciples to have faith to either deal with the storm or to have faith that with Jesus in the boat, they were safe. When we look closer at what was going on, we see that fear, "Master, we are perishing" had griped the lives of the disciples. The Bible shows us that the type of fear that the disciples were experiencing was not from God, "For God has not given you a spirit of fear..." (2 Timothy 1:7) This type of fear, timidity, fearfulness, cowardice is akin to doubt. When a believer deals with fear, he/she actually doubts God's Word, His ability, "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10) This is precisely what happened with the disciples. Believers must always keep in mind, fear neutralized faith.

Although faith is predominately a New Testament word or term, God has not changed His approach to humanity in all of human history. What do I mean? The writer of Hebrews gives us some great insight into the realm of faith and those who were not under grace but under the Mosaic Law. The Book of Hebrews was written to the Jewish believers. Many of the Jewish believers who had left Judaism for Christianity wanted to reverse their course in order to escape persecution by their countrymen. The writer of Hebrews exhorts them not to turn back. His appeal is based on the superiority of Christ over the Judaic system. He tells them, Christ is not only better than angels, but He is worshiped by them; Christ is better than Moses, because He created him; Christ is better than the Aaronic priesthood, because the sacrifice of Himself was once for all; Christ is better than the Law, because He is the mediator and surety of a better covenant; Christ produces tested faith, self-discipline and a visible love reflected through one’s life. 

In short, Christ is superior over the prophets, angels, Moses and Aaronic priesthood. Christ has established the New Covenant in His blood and this New Covenant is superior over all covenants and will not change. "My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips." (Psalm 89:34) Although this is an OT Scripture, God’s Word does not change. Again, we must keep in mind that this letter is to the Jews. The writer drives home the issue of faith. Faith triumphs over and accomplishes the impossible. "Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23)  "So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." (Mark 11:22-24)

One of the most quoted scriptures from Hebrews is, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6) This verse is not limited to the New Testament believer, it refers to how all men are to approach God and His response to all men. When reading through Hebrews 11 we find that these Old Testament saints operated in faith. Through faith, they were all commended and approved by God to the point that their names are recorded in the Word of God for us. The fact is, they did not receive the fulfillment of the promise, that is, they did not receive all that was promised by God. They all still looked forward to some future promise. But it is not so with us. Believes do not have to look ahead for what God has promised, by faith we receive all the promises. "For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us." (2 Corinthians 1:20)

When we think of these Old Testament saints we must also keep in mind that the Holy Spirit was with them. However, for believers we see something even more remarkable. Jesus said, "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." (John 14:16-17) The Holy Spirit dwells in the believer. With this in mind, should not the church do greater exploits for the Lord than the Old Testament saints? "Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens." (Hebrews 11:33-34) Most certainly! It all comes down to the only thing that we are asked of by the LORD, "...If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes. (Mark 9:23) Amen...     

Monday, April 18, 2022

There Is Power In His Word

It has been said, "Our attitude toward the Word of God determines the place that God holds in our daily life." Simply put, the more we get God's Word in us, the more God is able to work in and through us. Our approach to God's Word should always be "it is the Father speaking directly to us" because the Bible is not just an ordinary book, it is in fact, God speaking to us. It should be as real to us as though God Himself is in the room speaking directly to us. "Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." (John 14:23) If we love Jesus we will keep or love His Word. He and the Word are one, "The Word became Flesh." (John 1:14)

There are few words that man speaks that live from generation to generation, but God's Word is different. It is filled with the very life of God, "For the Logos of God is a living thing, active and more cutting than any sword with double edge, penetrating to the very division of soul and spirit, joints and marrow scrutinizing the very thoughts and conceptions of the heart. And no created thing is hidden from him; all things lie open and exposed before the eyes of him with whom we have to reckon." (Hebrews 4:12-13 Moffatt) Think of the words spoken here, especially that facts that God's Word is living  Jesus said, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63) God's Word is life, it feeds the believers spirit by imparting faith and life. 

God's Word is just as alive and powerful and has the same authority today as it had when it was first spoken. It talks to us. It changes us. It heals and delivers us. It has recreating power for the unsaved. When we say that we have faith in Christ or faith in God, it is the same as saying we have faith in His Word. Again, what ones attitude toward God's Word is, will determine what the Word will do in and through that one. If the Word dwells richly in you then you will be strong in the power of His might. Naturally, the opposite occurs if God's Word does not dwell in you richly.

The Apostle Peter tells us, "having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever." The Prophet Isaiah tells us, "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8) The Word of God is incorruptible seed that lives and abides (continues) forever. It does not change because He does not change. (Malachi 3:6) The Apostle John tells us, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." (John 1:1-3) Notice that the Word was in the beginning with God because the Word is God. This is very important for believers to comprehend. John goes on to say, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14) God the Word put on flesh and was given the name Jesus. God the Word was personified in the person Jesus. This did not change the Word, its power and authority in the most infinitesimal amount.

The Apostle John tells us in his first epistle, "For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one." (1 John 5:7) Again, we see the Word is from everlasting to everlasting. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8) So, Who is Jesus? The God the Word, the Word of God personified.Now let us look at another interesting point concerning God's Word. In Matthew Six Jesus gives His disciples a pattern for prayer that we call the Lord's Prayer. Look closely at the first portion. "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:9-10) "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is exactly what God meant. 

What the Word did or does in heaven, God proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Word would do the same on the earth. Jesus was the Word on earth in flesh. Jesus, the Word, healed, gave sight to the blind, raised the dead and overpowered every demon, including Satan himself. The Psalmist tells us, "He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.(Psalm 107:20) This is exactly what God means! There are two things that we need to be extremely cautions of; first we must be careful that we do not disassociate Jesus from the Word and secondly, we must be careful that we do not disassociate the Bible from the Word, when in fact the written Word, the living Word and Jesus are one, "For the Word of God is living and powerful…" (Hebrews 4:12); "...The Words that I speak to you are spirit and life." (John 6:63) 

The Word of God has not lost any of its power or authority. It is as powerful now as it was in the beginning, when "It" became flesh and when "It" returned to heaven, because the Word of God is incorruptible seed that lives and continues forever and He expects His Word to work no less today through those who believe. "Most assuredly, I say to 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. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." (John 14:12-14) "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:17-18)

Notice, the only way God's Word works like it always has, one must believe. It is not the type of faith that every person has that operates through the five senses as we see revealed in the life of the Apostle Thomas (John 20:24-25) but unwavering faith like that of Abraham, "being fully convinced that what God had promised He was able to perform." (Romans 4:21) Finally, God tells us through the Prophet Isaiah, "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11) To paraphrase; God’s Word was never, nor will ever be void of power. So, let us believe what God has spoken so His power and authority can be released to save, heal, deliver, preserve and make whole, not only His children, but also those who do not Him His. PTL!!! 

Monday, April 11, 2022

Amazing Love

Though resurrection Sunday was celebrated yesterday, let us never forget the great price that our wonderful Savior paid to save humanity from the grips of the devil. Let's begin by turning to the four gospels, it is there we see Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane pouring Himself out in prayer as He was about to face the most horrific event that He would ever face. We see Him arrested, taken to the High Priest Caiaphas; insulted and struck; He is taken before Pilate, then Herod; He was mocked; see Him scourged, His back laid open, blood flowing, His flesh torn as the cruel blows fall mercilessly upon His bared back by the awful Roman lictor. His own clothes replaced with the mock garment of kingly authority; a mock crown of thorns pressed deep upon His brow; more mocking comes and His own clothes are placed roughly about Him, and He is started out for Golgotha, staggering beneath His own Cross. We see Him fal1under its weight, and Simon of Cyrene is compelled to bear it.

Weakened by the loss of blood from the merciless beating, He staggers blindly up the mountain side, surrounded by soldiers who encircle Him. He is laid roughly down upon the cross on His back, and the Roman soldiers with cruel hate drive the spikes into His hands and feet; then He is lifted up naked, and the Cross is dropped into a hole to support it. Jesus the Nazarene is crucified! We watch the mob as it surges backward and forward about the cross. We hear the chief priest's hurling their bitter taunts in the face of the suffering Son of God. We hear the mob in their bitter denunciation, led on by their priesthood. Such a horrific sight. It was not a sight for angels, or for men, but for demons only, and yet the worse was yet to come for the suffering Substitute.

Jesus, who is God the Word who became flesh (John 1:1, 14) is now man's sin Substitute. He has taken Man's place. The whole human race is now represented in Him, as He hangs there under judgment on the accursed tree. (Galatians 3:13) God takes your sin and mine, yes, the sin of the whole world and places it upon Jesus until the sin of the world has entered into His very being. Jesus, nailed to the cross, suspended between heaven and earth, has become the outcast of heaven and earth. From the cross the Son of God cries out, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me." (Matthew 27:46) Finally, the time had come when "Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last." (Mark 15:37) As mentioned before, when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane pouring Himself out in prayer as He was about to face the most horrific event that he would ever face, it was finally here.

Not only was it the Father's plan for His sinless Son to die on the cross and His blood be shed for all humanity, but he was to go to hell itself to pay the full penalty of man's sin. God in His justice could not have acquitted humanity so that he could stand in His presence through eternity, until every charge against him had been wiped off the books. (Isaiah 43:25) Only then could man stand before God as clean and as free as though he had never sinned. God could not pardon man until an adequate sacrifice had been made. Jesus tells us, "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matthew 12:40) Peter quotes David the king, "For You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption." (Acts 2:27)  The story unfolds.

Peter tells us, "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit." (1 Peter 3:18) Notice that He was made alive in spirit. He would not have been made alive in spirit had not He died in spirit. As it was with Adam, so it was with Jesus. Jesus died in spirit on the cross, before He died in the flesh. Peter declares that Jesus not only died in the flesh, physically, but that He also died in spirit, spiritually, and therefore His resurrection was a double resurrection. He was made alive, first in spirit, and then in the flesh, His spirit being raised from the dead and re-united with His body. The Apostle Paul tells us, "He put off from Himself the principalities and the powers, and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them." (Colossians 2:15) Here is a picture of Christ in hell, with the whole host of demons attempting to keep Him there, but when the penalty of our sin had been paid in full, Satan had no power to hold Him.

Paul tells us, "Jesus was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification." (Romans 4:25) The very moment the sin problem was settled, the moment Jesus
Christ was legally justified, was made alive in spirit once more, He cast off the hosts of demons, and became the Master of hell by taking from Satan the keys of death and hell. (Revelation 1:8) Jesus died as our sacrificial Lamb, but He rose as Lord, as Master of death, of hell and of the grave. The matchless, mighty Son of God had gone into the strong mans house, bound him and took his spoils. (Matthew 12:29) Jesus has taken from Satan all his authority, his dominion and now offers it to fallen man through His matchless name and grace. What does this mean to humanity?

It means that every person who turns from their sin, confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and takes Him as their Savior, stands legally acquitted in the presence of God, free and clear of all charges against them. It means that God is vindicated, He has taken advantage of no one. He can now save believers and judge the sinners for rejecting His way to freedom. It means that Satan is defeated, and man can be free from sin, sickness, disease, poverty, death and all the works of the devil. (Romans 8:37) It means that man is legally justified, declared righteous (Romans 5:1) and is an heir of God and joint heir with Christ. (Romans 8:17). It means that man, through faith in Christ receive the promise of eternal life. (1 John 2:25) It means that man can become a child of God and have all the privileges as sons and daughters. (John 1:12-13) It means that heaven is legally the home of God's children. (John 14:1-4)

So, let us look beyond "Resurrection Sunday" and live in the triumphant, abundant life that Jesus has given to us. "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:31-32) Remember, we are no longer imprisoned or enslaved by the god of this world. So, let us never forget the cross, that is, what Jesus has done for us!!! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always....

Monday, April 4, 2022

Love Enters Jerusalem

The life and ministry of Jesus Christ while He was physically on earth was nothing less the the operation of the surrounding, abounding, infinite love of God. This is clearly revealing throughout scripture. We see the revelation of the God of love more clearly portrayed in the New Testament.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:10) These are just a few scriptures among many, but they do express God's great unwavering, incredible  love for sinful man.

We only have to look at verses of scripture like these to realize that everything that God does toward humanity is all through love. Even at the treason committed by Adam in the Garden, did not arouse God's wrath toward Adam or the woman. Yes, judgment was past, but it was the result of Adam's transgression not God's wrath. In other words, Adam made the decision, he made the choice to rebel against the one command that God gave to him. The result was what God said would happen, "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17) The literal translation says, "In dying you will die." In other words, Adam died spiritually the moment he broke God's commandment and then he died physically 930 years later. God did not bring this upon Adam, he chose it for himself. It was not God's will! It was Adam's choice. I labor this because many believers have been trained to believe that things like sickness, disease, poverty, premature death, natural disasters, etc., are God's will when they are not.

Not only do scriptures like John 3:16, Romans 5:8 and 1 John 4:10 clearly show us God's loves towards fallen man, we must also keep in mind scripture like John 3:17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."  God's love is to save humanity not condemn or destroy humanity. If sickness, disease, poverty, premature death, natural disasters, etc., are God's will for humanity, they why did he set in motion before the foundation of the world the redemption of man?  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us 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." (Ephesians 1:3-4) In fact, His redemption for man began at the fall of man, "So the Lord God said to the serpent: Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:14-15)

God did not stop there, He shed innocent blood to cover mans sin, "Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them." (Genesis 3:21) This points to innocent blood that would be shed by God again. This time, His own blood. The ultimate sacrifice that would not cover sin but take it away forever. The sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. However, prior to the death of Jesus we see the love of God in action through Him. The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." (Luke 4:18-19) "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."  (Acts 10:38)

It should not take much faith to see that love has no part in sickness, disease, poverty, premature death, natural disasters, etc. All of these things are the result of the fall of man, the actions of the devil and the poor choices that people constantly make, not God. In fact, God describes love this way, "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails..." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) Let's be not only honest but logical. If sickness, disease, poverty, premature death, natural disasters, etc. is the will of God, who is love, then we either have no idea how loves works; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is a misprint and should not be part of the Bible; or love is hatred in disguise. Because we know in our heart that none of these three ideas are true, we also know that sickness, disease, poverty, premature death, natural disasters, etc. are not the work of God nor are they His Will. He is love and all that He does is through love. 

The life and ministry and life of Jesus is the greatest revelation of the Father's will, nature, character, purposes and plan that the Bible records. "Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them..." (Matthew 9:35-36) This again is only one incident of many, revealing the love of Father God operating through the life and ministry of Jesus. God has not limited these things from operating today. It is the faithless doctrines of the so called religious wise who have taken the same position of the Pharisees and Sadducee's as recorded in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. "Jesus answered and said to them, well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men...making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do." Mark 7:6-8, 13)   

Food for thought: Is there any parent among you that can say it is your will that your child or children should suffer from sickness or disease? That somehow sickness and disease would be a good and loving thing for your child or children because it has a mysterious purpose to teach them something? That if your child is disobedient, you would like sickness or disease to ravage their body or mind to disciple them? Of course you would not. In fact if your children do become sick or injured your heart cries out for relief so they do not have to suffer. Jesus said, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him." (Matthew 7:11) "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) 

Next Sunday we celebrate Palm Sunday. It is when agape enter Jerusalem for the purpose of setting humanity free. Praise the Lord for His surrounding, abounding love for all people especially His Children!!!      

Monday, March 28, 2022

Building On Christ Alone

The entire earth ministry of Jesus is one of the most exciting events in the history of man. It was completely focused on Jesus revealing the Father's will, nature, character, purposes and plan to humanity. His ministry and what is revealed in the Gospel's is the foundation for all doctrine in the church. However, many of the doctrines accepted by many sectors of the church since the Protestant Reformation completely exclude the very things that Jesus said and did. This was not so in the early church. We must remember that the doctrine that the Apostle Paul referred to in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 was the revelation that God Himself gave to him from he Old Testament concerning Christ. He did not have the New Testament. It had not yet been written. Galatians 1:11-18 reveals Paul's previously advanced knowledge of the Old Testament scriptures and the revelation of Christ the he received directly from God during the three years that he spent in Arabia.

It was Paul himself that said, "According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."   (1 Corinthians 3:10-11) First, the apostle Paul warns us to "take heed how we build." He goes on to tell us that he builds upon Christ. So all doctrine must be built upon Christ. Any doctrine the circumvents Christ will always lead to error.

I mention the above in greater detail than in the last part of this series because of the importance of us fully understanding the ministry of Jesus as He reveals the Father's will, nature, character, purposes and plan. If we do not see these facts, we can be drawn into believing the erroneous doctrines accepted in the church that promote sickness and disease as a part of God's will for His children. Remember, Jesus only spoke and did what was from the Father. He did not initiate any of His words or actions. They all came from the Father. Let us now look at addition scripture that reveals the Father's Will concerning healing as seen through the ministry of Christ.

The Apostle Peter was sent by God to preach Christ to Cornelius and His household and makes this statement, "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." (Acts 10:38) If God does not change (Malachi 3:6) and Jesus Christ (the Word became flesh) is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) then we must accept the fact that Jesus is still doing good and healing all who are oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." How does He still do this? Through the church, His Body!

The Apostle John tells us, "He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil."  (1 John 3:8) Sin is the work of the devil and as we discovered in a previous part of this series, sin and sickness come from the same source, the devil and therefore they are synonymous.

Finally, the writer of Hebrews records, "Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil." (Hebrews 2:14) Although this refers to spiritual death and eternal life, let us be honest, sickness and disease in any form steals life. It is death in progress. Jesus not only destroyed death, but took away the power of the one who had the power of death. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) It is the devil that brings sickness and disease upon people, not God. As we clearly see, Jesus brings life. There is absolutely no life in sickness and or disease. If we truly believe that God's Word is truth, and it most certainly is, then me must exercise faith and accept His truth. The grace of the Lord be with you...

Monday, March 21, 2022

The Report of the LORD

Probably the most overlooked truth to specific matters involving healing is revealed in the earth walk ministry of Jesus Christ. There are several places in the New Testament that express this truth but it is more profound in the Gospel of John. During Jesus' final instructions to the apostles found in John chapters 13 through 17, we see a conversation that Jesus has that focuses around both Thomas and Philip. “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.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” (John 14:1-7)

Notice the statement that Jesus makes in response to Thomas. His response holds a very important key for us to grasp, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Jesus is the way to the Father, the truth concerning the Father and life as the Father is life. In other words, any teaching on healing must be built upon Jesus Christ. Keep in mind that John has already revealed to us in the first chapter of his Gospel who Jesus is. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God...And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:1-2, 14) God the Word simply put on human flesh and was given the name Jesus. The Word in human flesh did not change or diminish in any way. (Isaiah 40:8; Malachi 3:6) So when Jesus said, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also" He meant exactly that. Knowing Jesus, His nature, character, words, actions, His very person was to know the Father, that is, the Godhead. The apostle Paul tells us, "For in Him (Jesus) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." (Colossians 2:9) Again, any teaching on healing (as well as all doctrine) must be upon Christ. "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 3:1)

Next, we see Philip question Jesus and Jesus' response. Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves." (John 14:8-11) Here lies another important key. To see Jesus is to see the Father. Jesus is telling Philip that every verbal expression and every action that is observed in the life and ministry of Jesus is the Father. Jesus is revealing the Father's will, nature, character, purposes and plan. The writer of Hebrews tells us in a similar way, "Who (Jesus) being the brightness of His (The Father's) glory and the express image of His (The Father's) person..." (Hebrews 1:3} Another translation says, "And He  (Jesus) is the radiance of His (The Father's) glory and the exact representation of His (The Father's) nature..." To fully grasp this, faith must operate over the reasoning of the mind

Jesus tells Philip that His words and actions are not His but the Father's. This is due the the connection that Jesus has with the Father. Remember, the Word simply put on Human flesh. Jesus is God the Word in human flesh. He is the exact representation of the Godhead. The very essence of the Godhead in human flesh. Jesus makes another statement concerning His relationship with the Father to Philip. "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works." If Philip does not have the faith to believe who Jesus is, then Jesus is asking Philip to consider the very works that He did or was doing. Facts are, no other person to date in the history of man performed the works that Jesus was doing. Why? His works were the works of deity. They were a reflection of the Father's will.

The sad thing for many believers today is that they have been inoculated with the doctrines of man that contradict the very words that Jesus spoke to Thomas and Philip. They teach that God does not heal in the same manner as He did through the ministry of Jesus and the early church. Therefore, healing is today is unpredictable, unreliable and inconsistent. That healing comes down to a choice that only God makes. God chooses who he wants to heal and when He wants to heal. This of course is completely inconsistent with scripture and has permitted the devil to raise havoc in the Body of Christ in the form of sickness, disease and even premature death. God's will has not changed. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8) Remember, God the Word simply put on human flesh, He was called Jesus and as we see clearly, He never changes. The statement that Jesus made to Philip is what must be addressed today, "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works." What are you going to believe? Where is your faith? Whose report are you going to believe, Gods or mans? No doubt, we will believe the report of the LORD! .