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CALL IT FORTH!

Jesus didn’t curse the fig tree to die. So why did the tree die? All He said to the tree was “may you never bear fruit again.” (See Matthew 21:18-22 for the story)

But because of a command given by God to all plants in Genesis 1:11-12, the fig tree died when Jesus simply told it never to bear fruit again. Why? Because the tree could not disobey the command given in Gen. 1:11-12, which says that every LIVING seed-bearing plant MUST BE FRUITFUL! So since the Lord now commanded the tree not to be fruitful any more, the tree could no longer stay alive, in disobedience to the command given to all plants in Gen. 1:11-12!

Now what did the Lord do that set off this chain of events? He spoke.

All the Lord did was to speak a word to the fig tree, and the tree obeyed and did even more than what the Lord had commanded it to do! This is what the Lord explained to the disciples when they asked what had happened to the tree. He told them “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.” (Matthew 21:21, NIV)

You see, brethren, this powerful thing that the Lord taught us here is possible because ALL THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN CREATED HAVE THE ABILITY TO HEAR THE SPOKEN WORD! All things were created by God’s spoken word, and they all remain subject to the spoken word. So whenever a command is given to them by the spoken word, they can hear and obey it!

God, who spoke them into being, made us in His own image, thus giving us the power to do the same things that He can do, such as speaking words that all things created can hear and respond to, just as they can hear and respond to His words. Therefore, you have the power and authority to make changes in your own life, and In the lives of others, by issuing commands for things to be the way you want them to be! Do not keep silent! Speak and command mountains to move out of yours and other people’s lives! Call forth things that are not as though they were! Command the sick to be healed! Command that bad situations be turned around! Command demons to flee! Speak beauty into ugly things! Speak solutions into hopeless situations!

Now here’s another great news: The command given in Gen. 1 goes further to pertain to animals as well (verses 20-25), and by extension, to us humans as well! I was once a seed in my father’s loins, as was he once in his own father’s loins, and as was his father in his own father’s loins, and so on… It has been, therefore, established that men are born with their own seeds within them, which they can choose to reproduce as children someday!

Therefore, if you are seeking the fruit of womb, despair not. Call forth your children! AS YOUR PARENTS WERE BORN WITH YOU AS SEED WITHIN THEM, SO WERE YOU BORN WITH SEEDS INSIDE OF YOU!!! THEREFORE, CALL FORTH YOUR CHILDREN! They are inside of you, and your body must respond to the word of the Lord and be fruitful! Speak to your body to bring forth the children it already carries! Do not let any devil lie to you that when it came for your turn to be born, you were born without seed! LIE!!! Whose report will you believe??? The report of the Lord in Genesis 1 says that you are a seed-bearing creature! Therefore, command your seeds to come forth!

If you’ve been seeking a spouse, despair not! Because THE SIMPLE FACT THAT YOU EXIST MEANS THAT YOUR OTHER HALF IS OUT THERE SOMEWHERE! Genesis 1:27-28 says it all: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (NIV)

WHEN GOD MADE MAN, HE ASLO MADE THE WOMAN AT THE SAME TIME! The woman was hidden inside the man, and was brought out of the man later on in Genesis 2:21-25. God even used a piece of the man – one of his ribs – to form the woman, so that the man and the woman share the same ‘spiritual DNA’. THEREFORE, FOR EVERY WOMAN IN THIS WORLD, THERE’S A MAN OUT THERE THAT SHE CAME OUT OF, AND FOR EVERY MAN IN THIS WORLD THERE’S A WOMAN OUT THERE THAT CAME OUT OF HIM.

So if you’ve been looking for a spouse, despair not! Call him/her forth! The fact that you exist means your spouse is out there as well! If you’re a man, call forth the woman God brought out of you! If you’re a woman, call forth the man that you came out of! Command that your paths should cross, that you may finally be together!

Let me repeat this: This world was created and established upon the spoken word. Therefore, it can be altered by the spoken work at any time! And the power and authority to speak things into being resides in you and I, just as it resides in the God who spoke this world into being. Use this power and authority to speak and call forth the things that you need in this world! An ambassador in a foreign country speaks for the head of state who sent him to the foreign country. As an ambassador of Heaven, use the authority of God who sent you to represent Him in this world to speak and fulfill His divine purposes in this world! Evil thrives where godly people stay silent. Therefore, speak up and command godly change in the world around you!

Speak up, command and call forth the glory of our great God in your life for the world to see and believe in Him!

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Posted by on November 1, 2014 in SHORT MESSAGES

 

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THE INCOMPATIBILITY OF CHRISTIANITY AND HOMOSEXUALITY

The purpose of Christianity is for it to be an avenue for sinful men and women to come and get reconciled to a holy God. Therefore, just as hospitals are places where the sick are to go and get help to get better, the Church is a place where sinners can go and get help from the Lord Jesus to overcome their sins. It’s a place where those who recognize God and Jesus as their Savior and Master, congregate with one another to worship God, learn from one another, and grow together in God.
 
One fundamental aspect of Christianity is that it is not a democracy! Rather it is a kingdom where God is King, and where He rules by His own set of laws, which He spelled out in the Bible. Therefore, anyone who wishes to belong to Christianity MUST adhere to God’s laws, as stated in the Bible. You don’t have to be a Christian; but if you so choose, then you must determine to abide by God’s laws.

For this reason Christianity is a faith based on repentance from sin, and repentance itself is based on agreement. I repented from my sinful ways and chose to follow God’s ways, because when I discovered His ways, I agreed with Him that my ways were wrong, and that I needed to forsake them and follow His holy ways. Therefore, as a Christian, I endeavor now to live by God’s ways, as revealed in the Bible.

Hence the problem with homosexuality in the Church, which stems from the fact that some homosexuals who would like to follow God have refused to agree with God’s expressed view that homosexuality is evil, and that they need to repent from it, and stop indulging in it. Rather they want to be accepted as ‘homosexual Christians’.

To non-Christians this seems like a legitimate demand, hence their belief that the Church is being unfairly intolerant of homosexuals. But the fact is that homosexuals ARE welcome in the church. The church IS for such sinners. It’s just that instead of them to come to church to get help with their condition, they want to impose their evil practices on the Church.

Let me be blunt about this: There can’t be such a thing as a ‘Christian homosexual’, just as there can’t be a Christian thief, or a Christian wife-beater. These are all unacceptable behaviors that we expect anyone with such issues to come into the Church to seek help with. The problem, therefore, is that when homosexuals come into the Church and demand to be left alone as they are, they are in fact asking that the will of God concerning homosexuality be ignored, and that they be allowed to continue in their evil ways. 

The Church is for people who have recognized that they have a problem that they need the Lord Jesus to help them with. Just as the sick are expected to get well in hospitals, so are sinners who come into the Church expected to drop their sinful habits, and become righteous people who endeavor to abide by God’s ways. Therefore, homosexual and proud of it, and unwilling to change? That’s fine. Just stay out of the Church of our Lord Jesus-Christ. That’s all we’re asking.

Yes, everyone in the Church, including the pastors, is still battling one sinful habit or the other. But they have agreed that they have a problem with sin, and they are working on changing their ways to be conformed to the ways of God. Like a sick person who goes to the hospital to get well, we go to church to get help to overcome sin and become holy before our God.

WHAT IS EXPECTED OF THE CHURCH?

The Church must treat the sin of homosexuality the way it treats any other sin. The notion of being ‘tolerant’ of homosexuality has been misconstrued by so many folks, believers and unbelievers alike. A pastor who thinks that being tolerant of homosexuals means teaching that it is alright to be homosexual is not a Christian pastor – a Christian pastor bases his teachings strictly on the word of God. Not telling a gay person the truth about the way God feels about their lifestyle is not love or tolerance, but murder. The sin of homosexuality is one baggage he or she simply cannot carry into heaven.

And a pastor who refuses to admit homosexuals into his church does not understand his calling, which is to bring all sinners into the church and show them the way to freedom from sin.

Being tolerant of gays simply means accepting them the way we accept everyone else. The doors of the Church are open to all men from all walks of life. But the ultimate goal and purpose of the Church is for it to be a place where people come to reconcile with their Maker, and the way to do this is to lovingly bow to His will and seek after His holy ways. To love God is to hate sin! Anyone who wishes to remain in any type of sin has no place in Christianity.

When we discover that a brother or sister is still actively involved in some type of sinful behavior, we lovingly call them to order. So when we discover that a brother or sister who is homosexual has not only refused to change his or her views on homosexuality, but is actively flaunting the lifestyle, and trying to make a case that he or she has the right to be a ‘Christian homosexual’, of course we have a problem. It’s like an individual with any other sinful habit, say a wife-beater, or a thief, who comes into the church and tries to make a case that it is all right to be a wife-beater or a thief. You would see the same kind of spirited rebuke from the Church against any group that tries to claim that it is alright to engage in any other type of activity that the Bible has declared to be sinful.

This is why the two fundamental reasons that the Church has a problem with homosexuals are:

1. They are the only group of sinners demanding to be allowed to indulge in their sin.
2. They actively seek to change the Church’s views and stance on the issue of homosexuality.

You don’t hear of thieves or fornicators or any other type of sinners who demand that the Church change its views and stance on their type of sinful practice. But homosexuals do. They have actively mounted a fight to get the Church to embrace homosexuality, and they’ve been using all kinds of vile attacks and intimidating means to get their ways. Ironically, this fact alone totally discredits their stance, because it reveals the very evil and mean spirit behind homosexuality. Only the spiritually-blind can fail to see the homosexual attack on Christianity for what it is: An attack from the pit of hell to destroy the Church at its very foundation!

GOD’S CASE AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY

Here’s what’s fundamentally wrong about homosexuality in God’s eyes:

Genesis 1:26-27 says: “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.(NIV)

You see, brethren, when God created man, He also created the woman at the same time, with the woman hidden inside the man. So though the man was alone until the time when God brought the woman out of him, he wasn’t alone in God’s eyes. God always saw the man and the woman united as one when He looked at the man.

Fast-forward to Genesis 2, where God ‘formed’ both the man and woman. To some, Genesis 2 simply retells the story already told in Genesis 1. No!!! To understand the difference between what God did in Gen 1 and 2, one must understand the difference between ‘creating’ and ‘forming’. You create something out of nothing; but you ‘form’ something by using things that already exist.

Thus, in Genesis 1 God created man out of the blue by multiplying His very self into another being that looked and behaved just like Himself. And since God is Spirit, then the man that God created was a spirit – that’s what it means that He created man in His own image. So in Gen 1, God created the spirit of the man and the woman, with the woman’s own spirit being inside the man’s spirit.

Then in Genesis 2:7 we are told how God now took some dust from the ground – which already existed – and ‘formed’ the body of the man. This is why the body dies and goes back to dust, but the spirit never dies.

So in Gen 1, God created the main part of the man and woman that matters: Their spirits. Then in Gen 2, He took dust and molded a physical body over their spirits, so they can be able to dwell in a physical earth.

As we can see from the Gen 2 narration, the woman was still inside of man even after man was given a physical body, and he carried her around inside of him until God decided to bring the woman out and give her her own physical body (Gen 2:21-25). It was only at that point that they became two separate entities here on earth, BUT IN GOD’S EYES, THEY WERE ALWAYS ONE! Notice that when God gave the woman her own body, he didn’t just scoop dust from the ground to form her body, but he used a piece of the man’s own body to form her body. This signifies a spiritual bridge that preserved the concept of the man and woman being of one flesh!

This kind of union is God’s intent and purpose for men and women, and that is why right after God separated them into two people, we read: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24, NIV)

It’s crucial to understand this: There’s a serious spiritual phenomenon that occurs during sexual intercourse. The parties involves LITERALLY become one spiritually! In the realm of the spirit the two beings become one. This is why God intends for sexual intercourse to be strictly between a man and a woman who have been united in holy matrimony. If it is between a man and a woman united by holy matrimony, it is the most beautiful thing for God to behold!!! Otherwise, it is evil in His sight! This is why a healthy sexual relationship is crucial in a marriage. During intercourse, the man and the woman complete one another and exchange virtues.

There’s a story about a young man who let his curiosity about sex lead him to having sex with the family dog, just to see what sex feels like. Unfortunately for him, as he and the dog united spiritually, some of the dog’s personality got transferred to him. One day, as the boy sat down to take a very important exam at school, he suddenly started to bark like a dog. That’s all he could do at that time. They thought he had gone mad and sent him out of the exam room. At home, he confessed what he had done, and the parents sought spiritually help for him.

The point of all this is that sexual intercourse is something that God designed for a man and his woman to enjoy together and through it strengthen their union and get to know each other better. It is not something that He takes lightly!

It is crucial to understand what I’ve explained here in order to understand the way God feels about the idea same-sex relationship. IT GOES AGAINST HIS INTENT AND PURPOSE!!! I can’t emphasize any more the idea that God can never accept the idea of two men or two women uniting together as one both in sexual intercourse and in matrimony. HE CAN NEVER ACCEPT SUCH MATRIMONY AS HOLY. It goes against everything He intended! It is a lie from Satan that God is okay with it!!!

Think about it: when God created man, MAN AND WOMAN CREATED HE THEM! You want to tell me that God very specifically designed the concept of man as a being that came with his woman inside of him, just to now accept the idea of a man and some other man, or a woman and some other woman, together? Such unions are abomination in God’s sight!!! This is what so disgusted Him about the people of Sodom and Gomorrah that He sent fire to destroy them!

THERE IS HELP!

The notion that homosexuality is not a curable habit? Another lie from the pit of hell! There is power in Jesus-Christ to save human beings from every type of sin! Just ask the people at such ministries as http://www.SBMinistries.org. The Lord is doing wonders in the lives of homosexuals who are willing to recognize that they have a problem, and are willing to work with Him to have a change of life. That’s what Christianity is all about.

I enjoyed reading an article recently in CHARISMA magazine, about a lesbian who went to a church service with her partner with the intention of provoking the congregation with their lifestyle. But once she got there, God literally ‘arrested’ her and delivered her from the habit. They had thought that the church folk would be mean towards them, but what they received was pure love and indifference. This made one of them curious about Christians because she had only heard about how mean they are towards gays. So she decided to visit again, and began to read the Bible. Soon she discovered that her lifestyle truly offends God, and decided to allow Him to make a change in her. She is now free to live the way God intended for her to live, and is sharing her story to help deliver other gays.

WHAT TO DO

Outside the Church, the law of the land rules. So be sure to abide by the existing laws concerning the treatment of gay folks. And within the Church, we have an obligation to preserve the purity and holiness of the Church. This means that we must follow the lead of the Holy Spirit and lovingly teach the truth about the way God feels about homosexuality. As believers we are to love the sinner while hating the sin. NEVER HATE A PERSON for any reason, and certainly not for being gay. But do hate the sin in their lives, and pray that they would be delivered from it, that they might be able to make heaven. Relate freely and gladly with them as you would with anybody, and apply godly wisdom if you ever wish to minister to them on the issue.

God bless you.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2014 in SHORT MESSAGES

 

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APPREHENDED TO BE BLESSED

In the message titled APPREHENDED FOR SERVICE (previously titled ‘Apprehended For What?’) we explored what it means for a man to be apprehended by God for His service, and we alluded to the fact that every believer would love to hear that God’s hand is upon him, because it means that God’s blessings are flowing upon him. [NOTE: It is highly recommended that you read APPREHENDED FOR SERVICE before reading this.] So in this follow-up message, we will explore the ways in which the Lord’s blessings flow upon the man whom He has apprehended.

 Someone said “everybody want go heaven, but nobody want dead” (sic). This is very similar to the attitude that believers have towards God and His blessings. We all want His blessings, but not many of us want to do what it takes to attract his blessings, and that’s where the problem lies because His blessings are reserved for those who serve Him. Like an employer who remunerates his workers, so does God rewards those who work to advance His kingdom here on earth. Simply put, God apprehends to use and bless! Here are some of the ways this works.

 SERVING AS AN AMBASSADOR OF HEAVEN

 An ambassador is a person that has been appointed – apprehended – by the head of a state to represent him in a foreign nation. When the ambassador enters a room, it is considered that the head of the state that he represents has entered the room. He speaks for, and carries the authority of the head of state. Everything that belongs to the ambassador – his residence, office, vehicle, hotel room, luggage, mail, etc. – are ‘sovereign property’ that are considered to be the property of the state that he represents. Thus, being inside an embassy of France in any country means being in the state of France. The laws of France apply inside that embassy, not the laws of the host country. The embassy and all the folks that work therein, from the ambassador down the guards at the gate, enjoy the full backing, protection, provisions and authority of France. 

 This is the kind of privilege a servant-believer enjoys for having been apprehended to be a servant of the kingdom of God. He is made a representative, an ambassador of the kingdom of heaven! Any believer who dedicates himself to serving the Lord in the specific ways the Lord leads him to serve, WILL see the hand of the Lord at work in his life! If human heads of state know how to support and care for the ambassadors they send out to represent them on foreign lands, how much more our great God!!! Wherever he sends a believer to serve Him, He is faithful to provide for every need that believer might have!

 It is crucial to understand something: The Lord knows what tools, equipment in order for us to effectively and efficiently render our services unto Him, and He is more than willing and ready to supply them. But the reality is that so many servants of His seem to be struggling to make ends meet, and to adequately equip their ministries or originations. The reason for this is always that we, the servants, fail to properly attract His blessings and provisions. How? 

  • By failing to be obedient. An ambassador NEVER does anything that he was not asked or ordered to do by the president who sent him. He does not set his own agenda, but is given an agenda by the one who sent him. And he must strictly follow any measures given him on how to execute the agenda. So must we believers learn to strictly obey our Lord’s commands and follow His directions very faithfully. If we do this, WE WILL see his rewards in our lives.
  • By failing to apply the principles provided in His word. An ambassador must know the rules, regulations, international laws and treaties, that regulate that way embassies must operate in foreign lands. If not, he would fail at utilizing to the fullest extent the rights afforded to him by the existing international laws and treaties, and would thus find himself in unpleasant situations that he could simply get out of by invoking the appropriate law or treaty. Likewise, the glory of the great God that we believers serve is not seeing in our lives the way it ought to because we fail to successfully apply the principles that He has set forth in His word. These principles govern the affairs of this world, therefore, knowing and following them faithfully is the key to having dominion over ALL sphere of life in this world!
  • By failing to ask for the right things. An ambassador will be provided with things that he needs, not things that he wants. The responsible state will supply even private aircraft to some of their ambassadors if they deem it necessary for their service to the state. Likewise, our God is known to provide aircraft for some of His servants, and I will submit to you that He is more than willing and ready to supply more of His servants with aircraft if only we would give Him reason to do so, and if we would properly call it forth!

 SERVING AS A COLT FOR THE LORD TO RIDE ON

 The story of the colt upon which the Lord Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, shows us a powerful thing about the way God’s servants get to enjoy His blessings. We read in Mar 11:7-10:“And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.>And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way.And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: 10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.” (KJV)

 The Lord Jesus needed to enter Jerusalem in a triumphant way, as prophesied about Him long ago. In his day, the donkey was the ride of kings. So he ordered for one to be literally apprehended and brought for Him to ride on. Now as He rode on the donkey, the people wanted to honor Him by laying down their cloths and branches along the way. But who got to walk to walk on those clothes and branches? The donkey! In fact even before the Lord sat on the donkey, the disciples dressed the donkey with their garments, in order for it to look good enough for the Master to ride on.

 Likewise, it is as a believer, who has been apprehended by the Lord, serves the Lord, that the believer gets to enjoy some of the blessings that are actually directed at the Lord. Like the Jewish priests and their families enjoyed the gifts that the people brought unto the Lord, so do his servants today get to enjoy the various gifts that people bring unto the Lord. It is a common thing for people to sow financially into the lives of God’s servants. It is God whom they really wish to bless, but since they can’t throw the money up to heaven for God to receive, they have to bless him by blessing His servants. And these are some of the ways that He provides unto His servants.

 This is why the irony of those who criticize God’s servants for having aircraft is that they only see the aircraft, but don’t see the Jesus that the servants are carrying on their backs. They don’t understand that the people who are financing the aircraft’s operation are doing so because it’s the Lord Jesus’ work that they seek to finance. It’s just that it’s the servants who are carrying Jesus on their backs who will get into the planes and go where the Lord wants them to go and do His work.

 SERVING AS A CARETAKER OF GOD’S AFFAIRS

 The story of Obed-Edom and King David offer a powerful example of the way God rewards those who take care of His belongings. We read in 2samuel 6:6-12:“When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God. Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah.[e] 9 David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” 10 He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household. 12 Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing.” (NIV)

 This is a popular story of the time King David tried to bring back the ark of the covenant from captivity in the land of the Philistines, to Jerusalem. But he followed the wrong procedure for transporting the ark, and as a result, a tragedy ensued. In anger, David decided to abandon the ark in the field of a man name Obed-Edom.

 Who was Obed-Edom? From his name we can understand that he was a descendant of Edom, meaning, a descendant of Esau. And David of course, was a descendant of Jacob. This means that Obed-Edom carried the curse of Esau, which states that the descendants of Esau must serve the descendants of Jacob. Because of this curse, the descendants of Esau were treated as second-class folk in the land of Israel. This is why when David became afraid of the ark and decided not to bring it into the city, lest it kills more people, David decided to leave the ark in Obed-Edom’s compound. The point was that if the ark was going to kill anyone else, let it be the people in Obed-Edom’s household that would be killed. That’s how insignificant the lives of Obed and his family were to David, because they were Esau’s descendants.

 But instead, the opposite happened. The presence of the ark in the midst of Obed-Edom’s household caused his household to prosper! In fact, God prospered Obed-Edom in a way that his prosperity became a threat to David’s kingship! Which is why after David learned about it, he ran and took the ark away from Obed’s place. The Lord was set to prosper Obed in a way that would have surpassed King David’s prosperity and power in the land, and the only reason the Lord didn’t go that far was because of the covenant that He had made with David that his throne will be established forever! It was only the grace that God had on David because of this covenant that saved David’s throne!

 Why did the Lord bless Obed-Edom so much? Because Obed took care of God! The ark of God carried God’s presence. It wasn’t just a box. It was God Himself! The Lord told me that when David abandoned the ark in that field, it was He Himself that David had abandoned like that. David did not make even a single provision to care for the ark, meaning, to care for God. He just left God like that in the open field for the sun and the rain to beat on Him. But Obed-Edom took care of God, and that’s why God blessed him the way He did! We don’t know exactly what Obed-Edom might have done to care for the ark, but it’s easy to imagine that he probably pulled the ark into a barn, away from the sun and rain, and fed the oxen that pulled the cart upon which the ark rode. It was this act of caring for the Lord’s affairs that caused the Lord to bless everything Obed-Edom had!

 Now get this: The curse of Esau that was on Obed-Edom dictated that David shall be greater than Obed. And it was so. But because of the great service that Obed-Edom had rendered unto the Lord by tending to His affairs, the Lord broke that curse and turned it into blessing in a way that if not for the covenant that He had with David to establish his throne forever, He would have made Obed-Edom greater than David!

 Brethren, I urge you to take all matters concerning the Lord very seriously! Consider yourself apprehended by Him to care for His affairs. Who else do you think is going to do it? The unbelievers??? The church you belong to, whose responsibility is it to care for it? Who is going to make His voice heard around the world? The unbelievers? Who is going to represent and defend his name in the society? The unbelievers?

 I urge you to make it your personal responsibility to see that the work of God is done in this world! Love God with all your heart and love to tend to any matter that pertains to Him. He will bless you for it! The story of Obed-Edom teaches us that we cannot serve a big God, and remain cursed in life! You can’t be an ambassador of heaven and be small in life! You cannot carry the Lord on your back and let Him use you to accomplish His mighty deeds, and be small in life! God is no man that He would use a person and not reward the person. As He rewarded Peter with a great catch of fish after using Peter’s boat, He WILL be faithful to reward anyone whom He uses for His kingdom work. He apprehends to use and bless!

 Go and be great for God in His service, and watch Him bless and prosper you on every side!

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in SHORT MESSAGES

 

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UNDERSTANDING FAITH!

Understanding the thing called faith is one of the biggest hurdles that believers encounter early in their walk with God, and explaining it has been the subject of countless sermons, teachings and writings. Here’s my humble take on the matter.

FAITH AS ‘SUBSTANCE’ AND ‘EVIDENCE’

Simply put, a substance is something that exists. Though it may be visible or invisible, tangible – can be touched and felt – or intangible, taste able or tasteless, all that matters is that it is real. The air we breathe is both invisible and intangible; but it is very real. We can feel it sometimes, and it even has a chemical property.
That is what Apostle Paul likened faith to in Hebrews 11:1, where he declared:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (KJV)

Let’s look at what Paul is saying here:
‘Substance of things hoped for’: According to that statement, if you are hoping for something, there can actually be something within you that can fuel that hope. Something that you can’t see or touch, but that you can feel deep within your being, that gives you hope. So faith is that substance – that invisible YET very real thing – that you feel within your being; something you can’t explain, but you just know for a fact that it is there within your heart.
‘Evidence of things not seen’: Ever heard of an unreal evidence? One huge burden that prosecutors always carry is that of providing the evidence of the accused person’s guilt. They can’t simply claim that the evidence exists, without bringing it forth for all to see, and simply expect the court to take their word for it. If it’s a murder case, a very real murder weapon must be presented before the court. They can’t claim that it is just a strong feeling that they have which tells them that the accused is guilty. But according to Paul, faith is like an invisible evidence, which, even though it can’t be seen, is nevertheless very real! Why? Because faith is a very real substance. Even though it can’t be seen, it is nevertheless very evident, and can be felt by the person who is carrying it!

So faith is that thing that you feel or sense within yourself, which makes you believe that what you are hoping for WILL happen! You can’t see how it could possibly happen, but you have this unseen evidence deep within you, that it WILL happen! If someone asked you how you can be so sure that it will happen, all you can reply WITH ALL CONFIDENCE is that you just know!

The Lord Jesus made allusion to the fact that faith MUST exist in a believer as a real substance when He likened faith to a mustard seed, in this story recorded Matthew 17:14-20:
“And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. 16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. 18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (KJV)

Though the mustard seed is one of the smallest fruit seeds, it is nevertheless very real. And ironically, it grows into quite a big tree. So can – and must – faith be very real in a person, and must grow within the person!

THE ORIGIN OF FAITH

So where does this very real and evident substance known as faith come from?
To answer this question, we must first of all answer another one: where do we feel faith? In our spirits. Therefore, faith is a spiritual thing. And if it’s a spiritual thing, then, in the Christian context, faith comes from God’s Holy Spirit. Let’s see how.

1. Faith comes by spiritual hearing
According to Romans 10:17 “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God…” (KJV)
I’ve heard a lot of folks turn this statement around and say ‘… and by hearing the word of God’, instead of ‘… and hearing by the word of God.’ Why? Because they can’t make sense of the way the preposition ‘by’ is placed in the original text.

This is VERY UNFORTUNNATE because it has led many to believe that faith comes by hearing and hearing and hearing the word of God over and over and over… The point being that as one hears the word over and over and over, one will eventually develop faith in what one has been hearing. WRONG!

The truth of the matter is that ONE ONLY NEEDS TO HEAR THE LORD SPEAK ONCE in order for one to receive the faith in what one has heard the Lord say! Meaning that you can hear and hear and hear something over and over and over, but unless the kind of hearing that produces faith occurs within you, faith will never be produced!

Simply put, the statement should have been:

‘Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing [cometh] by the word of God.’

What happened was simply that the authors of the King James Bible chose to not repeat the word ‘cometh’.
So what we are being told basically is that while faith comes from hearing the word, the hearing – which produces the faith – comes from the word of God. Here’s how the NIV puts it:
“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”

Meaning that faith comes from hearing the message, which itself is heard through the word.

As we know, Jesus is the Word of God. So what we have is: Faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the Lord Jesus. Therefore, you can hear the word spoken to you by a human pastor over and over and over, but unless you hear the Lord Jesus himself speak to you somewhere along the line, you cannot hear the word in a way that will produce faith in you.

This ‘hearing’ that produces faith, is what is referred to as ‘spiritual hearing’. It is the hearing that occurs when the spirit of a man hears what is spoken to it in the realm of the spirit. Therefore this hearing will produce faith in a man when the man hears the Holy Spirit speak to him, or it will produce doubt and fear when the man hears the spirit of the devil speak to him.

Here’s an example to illustrate this phenomenon: One day, my wife was reading the Bible and as she came across the words ‘fear not’, she said it was as if those two words took on life and spoke to her in a way that she heard the Lord tell her that she should fear not! She said that suddenly she felt a surge of faith in the Lord that gave her total confidence that the Lord would take care of the issue that she was dealing with at the time.

From this example we can see how faith came to be in my wife’s heart from that moment forward concerning the issue that she was dealing with. She suddenly had this thing in her inner being that told her that she should fear not. She suddenly had this substance within her heart; this feeling that she couldn’t put her hand on, but which was nevertheless very real and evident!!! From that point onward, she could say that SHE KNOWS that all is well! Why? Because hearing had occurred within her. Because the Word – Jesus – had spoken the word in a way that the necessary kind of hearing had occurred within her spirit.

2. Spiritual vs physical hearing
Man is made up of a soul, a spirit, and flesh. The soul and the spirit are the parts of man that are made in God’s image. The flesh is simply a physical housing that enables the soul and spirit of man to dwell and operate in the physical nature of this world.

God is Spirit. He has no flesh. Therefore, He only speaks a spiritual language that ONLY man’s spirit can hear and interact with. This is what makes it so challenging for men to relate to God, because most of the time, we are living by our flesh – our physical senses – and cannot readily communicate with his Spirit. This is why acquiring the ability to communicate spirit to Spirit with God is a must for a believer! A believer must acquire the ability to hear, see, and discern spiritually, so he can communicate with God.

With his physical ears, a man can hear another man promise him a thing, and believe in the promise, because he actually heard the man make the promise. He was able to hear the man with his physical ears because the man spoke with his own physical mouth, and spoke physical words. Likewise, we can only begin to believe in God’s promises if and only if we actually hear God make the promises, and this can only be possible if our spirits are able to catch the spiritual words spoken to us by God’s own Holy Spirit. When we hear with our spiritual ears, that’s when ‘hearing’ has occurred, and this hearing then produces faith in us!

Every word of Scripture is spiritual, and only our spirits can hear, and understand and accept them. We can read and read and read them over and over, but never ‘hear’ and understand and accept what we are reading until and unless God Himself speaks to our spirits as we are reading those words. This is why we must always pray before we set out to spend some time reading the word of God. Pray and ask the Lord to speak to you as you read His word, and give you the ability to understand and believe in what you are reading.

A minister can preach the word of God all he wants, but unless the Lord speaks thru the words of the minister, the minister will be speaking in vain. Unless the people listening to the minister are also able to hear the Lord speak to them thru their spiritual ears, then the minister will have spoken in vain. The kind of hearing that matters will occur if they actually hear the Lord speak to their spirits even as the minister is speaking to their physical ears.

This is why no man can save another man. Only God can save a man, because only God can speak to a man’s soul and spirit, and convinces the man to believe in Him. The only thing God asks of us believers to do, is to open our mouths and share His words with others. As we do that, we give Him the chance to now speak thru us in the unseen real of the spirit. So we must always know and do our part only, which is to deliver the message God puts in our mouths, and leave God to do His own part of convincing and convicting the people we are speaking to.

3. Faith in God comes from God.
The last paragraph already said it all: It all begins with the Lord making contact with man within man’s spirit, and convincing man to believe in Him. This is why it is said of Abraham that “…he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” (KJV) From this statement we see that righteousness can only come from two sources: From God, and thru faith in God.

If a man never promised to give you a car, should you somehow begin to believe that the man will give you a car? No. But if you hear a rich man promise to buy you a car, you would believe it to the point where, as far as you’re concerned, you already have a car because you have faith in the man who made the promise. Likewise faith in God comes from the fact that He actually spoke to you and you heard Him speak to you, and you believed what you heard him say.

Therefore faith in God can only come from God Himself. If He hasn’t spoken, and you begin to have faith in Him for something you never heard from Him, then what you’re feeling is not faith in Him, since He never gave you any reason to believe in Him for that which you are having faith in Him for.
On the other hand, once you do hear Him speak a thing to you, believe in what you heard Him say to you with your heart and with all your mind! Allow faith in what you heard to blossom within you and grow into a mighty substance that you know is very real within you!

No man alive has ever seen God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But we believe that they exist because we have faith that they do. And we have this faith because we heard them tell us in their Word that they are real, and we believe it!

Furthermore, faith comes from God because faith is produced by Christ. Christ is the Word of God (John 1:1). The reason the word can speak up in a manner that produces faith in a man is that the word is Jesus.
As we know, salvation is thru Christ only. He is the Bridge between us and God the Father. He comes and dwells in us and helps us believe in the Father. THEREFORE, Jesus is the source of the faith that we feel in our hearts and spirits! He is the Word that speaks to us and tells us to believe!

THE INDISPENSABILITY OF FAITH

As we know, another word for religion is faith. Whatever religion a man follows, he does so because he has faith in that religion. Therefore, faith in God is indispensable to His followers for the following reasons:

1. Without faith it is impossible to relate to God
Has any man alive today ever seen Jesus? No. Not even the great Apostle Paul had seen the Lord Jesus in person. But like Paul, many have literally given their lives up for the Lord Jesus! Because they believed in Him! They believed that He is whom He says that He is! That faith in Him is the only thing that made possible their relationship with Jesus. What’s the point in trying to have and build and relationship with an invisible God that you don’t even believe to be real? Or whose claims about Himself you don’t believe? Those who are willing to die for God obviously have such great faith in Him that they are willing to lay down their lives for Him!

Without faith in God, how can one grow in God? Satan fights a deadly battle against anyone who begins to believe in God, and the only thing that can help the new believer to keep on believing in God is the faith that he has in God. It is only this conviction –this faith – that he feels deep within himself that can help him withstand any assault from the devil, and stand strong in God!

When I hear God speaking to me spiritually, or when I see something with my spiritual eyes that I feel that He has just shown me, or when I sense the move of His Spirit in me, it is only by faith that I can believe that I have just heard or seen, or sensed that thing. Needless to say then, the greater one’s faith in God, the greater one’s ability to relate to God; therefore, the greater one’s relationship with God!

It is by this faith that I know – because I believe it – that I am His child! It is this faith that speaks up and tells me to be joyful at all times! Faith is that feeling that comforts me during times of tumult; that reminds me that greater is He who is in me than the jerk that is in the world! It is faith that tells me that God loves and cares for me, and produces peace and calm within me when I have so many reasons not to be at peace! Faith it is that gives me a steady dose of power, courage and confidence when I’m going thru a worrisome ordeal!

This is why relating to God is all about having ‘faith’ in Him. And this faith comes from nowhere but His words, therefore, from Jesus Himself! A believer will swear that he knows that God is real, and even allow himself to be killed rather than renounce this faith in God, because he feels this thing – this real substance called faith – deep within his being, that tells him that God is real!

So brethren, never cease to seek after a deeper relationship with God so you can keep improving in your ability to interact with Him spirit to Spirit. Never cease to ask the Lord for more faith in Him! Let the substance of the faith that dwells in you continue to grow, that you may be able to do great and mighty acts of faith for the world to see and believe in our great God!

2. Faith is the currency in God’s kingdom
When you need something, you go out to the place where they sell that thing, and you purchase it. This action requires that you exchange something – like money – with the owner of the thing you wish to purchase. Well, things from God do not come free either, and faith is the currency that He requires from us.

No matter what we set out to do that involves God, whether it is simply to ask God to do something for us, or if we’re trying to call down fire from heaven, our faith in God is what will make it happen for us! And as we know, the more money one has on earth, the more things – and more expensive things – one can afford. Needless then to say, the greater one’s faith in God, the greater things – greater miracles, favors, answers to prayer – one can obtain from heaven!

3. How much faith is enough?
Earlier we read the story of the time when the Lord rebuked His disciples for not having the faith to heal a sick boy. He told them that if their faith was even as small as a mustard seed, they could, by the power in that faith, command mountains to move, and the mountains would obey! This means that faith even as small as a mustard seed is all we need! What this means is that to God, faith is faith!

The story of the time when God told Elijah that He was going to send rain upon the drought-stricken land, offers a great illustration of how this works. 1Kings 18: says “And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.” (KJV)]

And 1Kings 18:42-46 says:
“And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. 42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, 43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. 44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down that the rain stop thee not. 45 And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. 46 And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.” (KJV)

As we all know, rain comes from clouds. For 3 long years, there had been no rain in the land of Israel. So it is safe to assume that for those 3 years, there hadn’t been any clouds in the sky over the land of Israel. Then one day, out of the blue, God told Elijah that He was going to send rain. When Elijah heard this from God, he believed God!

So later that day when the time came for the rain that God had promised to fall, Elijah set out to call forth the rain thru prayer. And while Elijah prayed for God to fulfill His promise and send the rain, he acted on his faith in God’s promise by having his servant look out for the clouds that were to bring the rain. So get this: Once the servant saw a patch of cloud in the sky that was as small as a human hand, Elijah stopped praying. Why? Because as far as he was concerned, the promised rain was coming!

Here’s the point: By faith, Elijah believed that the tiny cloud that had appeared was the first of many – and bigger – clouds that would eventually produce the promised rain! That tiny cloud was all he needed to see to know that the rain was coming. This illustrates the way faith is born in the human spirit. When you believe in God for something, it might start as something very tiny in your heart, which is why the Lord Jesus likened it to a tiny mustard seed; then as you keep on believing in God for the fulfilment of His promise, that tiny faith will steadily grow into something bigger, just as the tiny cloud grew into thick clouds that dropped a deluge upon the land.

So how much faith is enough? From all this, what we can understand is that faith is faith! All that God wants to see in us is faith. Even if it’s as small as a mustard seed, it is faith, and that’s enough for God to be pleased in us. If faith as tiny as a mustard seed is enough for us to move mountains, then that’s enough faith to please God. If that tiny faith can enable us to move mountains, it means that God is pleased enough with the tiny faith to grant us the power to move mountains. Therefore, whenever hearing occurs in you and the smallest glimmer of faith sprouts in you, hold on to that faith and keep believing, and acting on it. It will be enough to see you through because God will honor and work with it! That tiny faith is all He is asking for!

CONCLUSION

Just like Elijah saw that tiny cloud and was satisfied that rain was coming, so does God see the tiny faith in a man and is satisfied that the man has started to believe in Him. God then sets out to help the man grow that tiny faith into a giant faith! What does this mean?

The mustard tree teaches us a serious lesson on what is expected of us believers. The Lord Jesus spoke highly of the mustard tree when He said in Luke 13:19 “…it is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.” (KJV)

A quick search on Google revealed that there are many types of mustard trees, and some grow to be as high as 20 feet tall, with widespread branches adorned with pink fleshy fruits. Here’s an interesting description I ran into: “While many trees provide shade and food, the mustard tree also serves as a toothbrush, treats dental problems, soothes away body pain and functions as a medicine . Properly known as Salvadora persica, the blooming mustard tree is a multifunctional evergreen shrub.” (1)

A very productive, useful and beneficial tree indeed! And all it takes to produce such a tree is a tiny seed. So MUST the tiny faith that springs within our spirit-man cause our spirit-man to grow into a spiritual giant! Once we begin to believe in God, a tiny faith in Him springs within us, and that tiny faith must grow into a strong, mature, unshakable, immovable and undying faith in Him!

Because we believe in God, we MUST, by this faith, allow Him to work on us and make us into spiritual giants, the way He made Paul, the other Apostles, and the great men and women of the Old Testament! They all started to believe in God at some point in their lives, and they nurtured their tiny faiths into giant faiths! As they grew their faiths in God, they grew into people who were great blessings to those who came into contact with them!

That’s what the Lord Jesus is talking about in Luke 13:19. Just as the mustard tree offers shade, food, and a variety of benefits to people and animals who come into contact with it, so must a believer offer all kinds of blessings to everyone around him! As believers we must grow into people who represent our great God in every sphere of life. Like the tree that is productive and bears fruits, we must prosper in all areas of life, and share the prosperity with all men. Thru our faith in a miracle-working God, we must grow into great miracle workers as well! Like the tiny cloud that gave way to thick clouds that produced a deluge, our faith must grow and produce in us a giant well that pours out rivers of living water upon everyone around us!

Dear reader, the world awaits the manifestation of your faith in God! Seek to grow your faith into a giant one thru which you are able to do great and mighty acts, to the glory of our great God!

[REFERENCE:
(1) BLOOMING MUSTARD TREE by Christa Sheehan http://www.ehow.com/facts_7154132_blooming-mustard-tree.html#ixzz2yRN0siJJ%5D

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2014 in SHORT MESSAGES

 

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