Friday, October 23, 2015
And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. For it is the jubile; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. Leviticus 25:8-12
FREEDOM AND RESTORATION is the nature of what the year of Jubilee is all about.
I love the natural application but I realize that it is temporal while the spiritual application is eternal.
Freedom and Restoration on a spiritual level is to be celebrated also. I ran across a research paper where some one had calculated every 70 x 70 +1 year from the time of Adam in the Garden and found key events in the bible that correlated to God's plan to reconcile mankind to Him. Knowing that God is always working in our midst according to the calculation (70 x 70) that HE gave is noteworthy because it lends credence to the fact that He is always working behind the scenes to accomplish His will.
Satan perpetrated a wrong but God had a plan to right the wrong (AVENGE) that was done in the garden of Eden. That plan was to bridge the gap that was created by Satan. It was very interesting for me to note that every 70 x 70 years from Adam's fall, God did something that brought us closer to redemption. From the calling out of Abraham to a new land that God would show him to the great exodus of the children of Israel to the death and resurrection of Jesus - all these things were done by God at the 70 x 70th year from Adam so that we can have FREEDOM from the bondage of sin and the death that it brings and RESTORATION of our spiritual inheritance (eternity with God)!
Food for thought, in this Year of Jubilee, freedom and restoration is the reason to be jubilant. It is just our nature to get excited over the probability of good things coming our way. We see ourselves as the victors; coming out ahead. But do we, as Jesus did, consider the victims; the ones who are in bondage. Jesus read what the prophet Isaiah foretold:
And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias (Isaiah 61.1). And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to
- preach the gospel to the poor; - he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, - to preach deliverance to the captives, and - recovering of sight to the blind, - to set at liberty them that are bruised, - To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Luke 4:17-19
Just as Jesus walked this earth doing good and just as God is working behind the scenes on our behalf, as we are the image; the reflection of God, the question becomes:
In this year of Jubilee, what will you do to reach the poor, the brokenhearted, the captives, the blinded and the bruised?
The Year of Jubilee calls for something more - it is the time of restoration, and release or freedom from something that you had lost or been bound by. In this day, we, as individuals, do not hold people physically captive nor do we take possession of peoples' property and yet we hold people emotionally captive, we know what the world needs to set them free from eternal death and bondage to sin, we know of the needs of the poor, the brokenhearted, and the wounded. So in this year of Jubilee should we not attend to the needs of others instead of just thinking how we will be released and/or restored. Jesus is our perfect example of how we should incorporate the needs of others particularly during the year of Jubilee.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
In all areas of ministry the name of Jesus is to be used.
As believers and followers of Christ, we go forth in the name of, strength and power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is so important to know that we are not to follow signs and wonders, but they are to follow us as we do the thing that Jesus commissioned us to do.
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them IN THE NAME of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:18-20)
And these signs shall follow them that believe; IN MY NAME shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:17-18)
According to these verses, the following ministries are to be done in the name of Jesus:
→ Signs And Wonders: All powerful signs and wonders are to be done in the name of Jesus. The disciples prayed:
And Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy Word. By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that SIGNS AND WONDERS may be done IN THE NAME of thy holy child Jesus. (Acts 4:29-30)
→ Preaching And Teaching: Jesus said all power and authority was given to Him and through this power commissioned preaching and teaching of the Gospel in His name:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them IN THE NAME of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. . . (Matthew 28:19-20)
And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His NAME among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:46-47)
Because they recognized the power in the name of Jesus, enemies of the Gospel message warned the disciples that:
. . . they speak henceforth to no man IN THIS NAME. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach IN THE NAME OF JESUS. (Acts 4:17-18)
But Peter answered:
. . . We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. (Acts 4:20)
The disciples witnessed the power of God. The things they had seen and heard in the name of Jesus were a powerful force driving them to fulfill their ministries.
We are not only to teach IN the name of Jesus, we are to teach ABOUT that name:
But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, they were baptized, both men and women. (Acts 8:12)
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 19:5)
On the basis of that name, believers receive the gift of the Holy Spirit:
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift (baptism) of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38)
→ CASTING OUT DEVILS:
Demons are the angels of Satan. They were formerly the angels of God who joined Satan in rebellion against God. They are now part of the forces of Satan active on earth in many evil ways.
Demons can enter unbelievers and actually possess them. Demonic powers can oppress believers, but not possess them. Their Satanic powers are to be broken in the name of Jesus:
And these signs shall follow them that believe; IN MY NAME shall they cast out devils. . . (Mark 16:17)
When Paul was confronted with a demon possessed woman, He said to the spirit:
. . . I command thee IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. (Acts 16:18)
Absolutely everything we do from the least to the greatest should have Jesus at the core of it!
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Hitherto have ye asked nothing IN MY NAME; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:24)
"Hitherto" means "up until now." Up until the time Jesus spoke these words, His followers had asked nothing in His name. At this point He established a new relation with them. He told them to ask God for things in His name: . . .
Verily, verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father IN MY NAME, He will give it you. (John 16:23)
What a powerful promise! Whatever we ask In His name, we will receive.
But this promise has to be taken along with the other principles of prayer taught in the Bible. We can never isolate one verse on a subject without considering all that is taught on that subject in the Word of God. The Bible teaches you cannot ask selfishly:
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (James 4:3)
You must also be living righteously before God. If you sin, you are to confess and pray for forgiveness:
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a RIGHTEOUS man availeth much. (James 5:16)
You cannot continue to live in sin and think just because you ask in the name of Jesus you will be granted your requests. It is the prayers of righteous men and women that avail with God:
If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)
This means IF you are abiding in Christ you can ask and it shall be done. IF you are walking in obedience to God's Word, then you can ask in the name of Jesus.
Praying in the name of Jesus is also subject to God’s will. Jesus prayed:
Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done. (Luke 22:42)
In the weakness of human flesh, Jesus did not want to suffer. He wanted the cup of suffering removed, but He submitted His will to God's will.
In some matters clearly defined in Scripture, we know the will of God and exactly how to pray. In other matters we can express our will, as did Jesus, then submit our will to His will -- all in the name of Jesus.
Requests made in the name of Jesus are subject to the sovereign will of God. We ask according to human reasoning and cannot always discern God's higher purposes:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
You will not always know the will of God and exactly how to pray. When you are not sure of the will of God, it is a good time to pray in the language of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf according to the will of God:
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: FOR WE KNOW NOT WHAT WE SHOULD PRAY FOR AS WE OUGHT; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)
Some will disagree with this Biblical teaching. They will say you can ask ANYTHING in the name of Jesus and it will be done. When you arrogantly pray without submitting your requests to God’s will, He may answer your requests, but it may not be in your best interests. He did this for the nation of Israel:
And He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul. (Psalms 106:15)
You must also realize that when you ask for something on behalf of another person that their will enters into the situation. Nobody, through prayer in the name of Jesus, can push something on someone else which that person does not want. God does not take away the free will of man. Another person's will and unbelief can affect your prayer for them.
John relays a great prayer Jesus prays (John 17) concerning the men God gave Him as disciples. All these men received the same training. They saw the same miracles. They received the same Word of God. But yet one of them was lost. Judas still had a will of his own, and despite all he had heard and seen, rejected God's Word in unbelief.
Jesus spoke of the power of agreeing with others in prayer in His name:
Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done of them of my Father which is in Heaven. For where two or three are gathered IN MY NAME, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:19-20)
As part of prayer, thanks should be given in the name of Jesus:
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father IN THE NAME of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)
You should also give thanks to the name of Jesus:
By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks TO HIS NAME. (Hebrews 13:15)
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (Galatians 5:16-17)
One reason God has given us grace is for us to express self-control. It is hard to imagine a Christian, preparing for the Kingdom of God, who does not strive for continual and resolute self-government, that is, one who allows his passions, tastes and desires unbridled freedom to express themselves. That is what the world does! When we witness such a demonstration, it gives strong evidence that the person is unconverted. Blind passion is not meant to be our guide. Apostle Paul tells us that there are somethings that should not even be named among us
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Ephesians 5:3
If men live guided by their animal passions, they will land in the ditch because
"For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish." (Galatians 5:17)
The beloved disciple, John, gives us a wonderful truth of God; He has placed a powerful gift inside of us that exceeds the power of anything we may come against!
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
Sometimes we seem to consist of a whole clamorous mob of desires, like week-old kittens, blind of eye with mouths wide open, mewing to be satisfied. It is as if two voices are in us, arguing, "You shall, you shall not. You ought, you ought not." Does not God want us to set a will above these appetites that cannot be bribed, a reason that cannot be deceived and a conscience that will be true to God and His standards? We must either control ourselves using the courage, power and love of God's Spirit, or we will fall to pieces.
Adam and Eve established the pattern for mankind in the Garden of Eden. All of us have followed it, and then, conscience-smitten, we rankle under feelings of weakness. They were tempted by the subtle persuasions of Satan and the appeals of their own appetites for forbidden fruit that looked so tempting. To this they succumbed, and they sinned, bringing upon themselves the death penalty and much more evil besides. What is the use of appealing to men who cannot govern themselves, whose very disease is that they cannot, whose conscience cries out often both before and after they have done wrong, "Who shall deliver me from this body of death?" It is useless to tell a king whose subjects have overthrown him to rule his kingdom. His kingdom is in full revolt, and he has no soldiers behind him. He is a monarch with no power.
Someone once said, "If conscience had power, as it has authority, it would govern the world." Authority without power is nothing but vanity. Conscience has the authority to guide or accuse, but what good is it if the will is so enfeebled that the passions and desires get the bit between their teeth, trample the conscience and gallop headlong to the inevitable collision with the ditch?
Apostle Paul lets us know this truth of God:
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:6-7)
The solution to this lies in our relationship with Christ:
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12-13)
This is the only thing that will give us complete self-control, and it will not fail. Jesus makes this wonderful promise of strength to those who trust Him:
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! (Luke 11:13)
Trust Jesus Christ, and ask Him to govern. Ask Him for more of God's Holy Spirit, and He will help you to control yourself. Remember, this is a major reason that He gives us His Spirit. He will not fail in what He has promised because the request fits perfectly into God's purpose of creating sons in His image:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
If we will only go to Him and trust Him with ourselves, living in true communion with Him while we patiently exercise the gifts that He gives, our lives will be in step with what Apostle Paul experienced through his "thorn in the flesh":
Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." (II Corinthians 12:8-9)
Apostle Paul recounts a few of the deeds of the heroes of faith in ages past:
And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 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 11:32-34)
God's love for us will fan His Spirit in us into responding in courage, strength, love and self-control. He who brought quietness and tranquility to the raging maniac—whom even chains could not hold— Mark 5:1-15, will give us power over the one city which we must govern, ourselves.
We must not allow self-control to be deprecated in our minds or to be of minor importance because we are persuaded that "Christ did it all for us." Nor can we allow such a deprecation to lead us to abuse God's mercy.
Self-control is an attribute of our Creator that Jesus exemplified in His life and that Apostle Paul strongly exhorts us to exercise in ours. If we are to be made in our Father's image, we will yield to God in this matter to glorify Him with our moderation in all things and rigid resistance to sin.
Having knowledge of God without the practical experience of self-responsibility is not enough for entrance into the Kingdom. But with the help of God's divine power, self-mastery is produced.
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (2 Peter 1:6
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (2 Peter 1:6
The last fruit of the spirit listed in Galatians 5, Self-control, closes the list of the fruit of the Spirit, just as drunkenness and reveling close the list of the works of the flesh (verse 21). The flesh and the spirit are contrary to one another (verse 17). Self-control is not gained by just suppressing, but by controlling the lusts of the flesh. Those who are "led by the Spirit" (verse 18), who "live in the Spirit" and "also walk in the Spirit" (verses 24-25) attain self-control and are on their way to fruitful growth in God's character and spiritual success.
And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:24-25)