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James Thomas
Jesus Christ is making me into a Faithful Minister, a Committed Husband, a Loving Father, and a Compassionate Friend.
Interests: history-traveling-playing music-writing music-listening to music created to glorify God- My Family-All sports activities-All Outdoor Activities-Riding Motorcycles-All Fellowship Activities-Reading
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Call To Praise-Prelude-Original We Have Come To Praise The Lord-Original Indescribable You Are My All In All Here I Am To Worship Amazing Grace-My Chains Are Gone How Great Thou Art Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2017 at The W.O.R.D Project
IF GOD DID THIS FOR ME....GOD CAN DO IT FOR YOU..... It was a day that started out like any ordinary day........ It was a cold February night around 9:00 p.m. I remember sitting on my bed not really thinking of anything in particular. When I heard God gently speak these words to my heart. "You never asked me to forgive you." When I heard God say those words my heart seemed to stop and everything around me just stood still. I didn't know what was happening but it was something I had never felt before and it was happening inside my heart. Suddenly my heart opened and I could see my whole life passing before me as I watched. I could see every sin I had ever committed, every sinful thought and every word I had ever spoken. I was in shock! I don't know what happened to me but no matter how hard I tried to answer God I could not find words. God had shown that He knew my whole life and every secret thought in my heart. I was ashamed and embarrassed and I knew it was all true....He was right. I saw my entire life lived out before me and I never to turned and asked Him to forgive me when I sinned. It was all my heart could bare knowing I never really turned to God and said I was sorry. That is when I broke under my own shame and guilt. I slowly fell down on my knees sobbing and choked out the words. " I Am So Sorry God... Please forgive me of everything I have done in your sight" Then God began to do something wonderful in me. I could feel His love fall on me like a waterfall from heaven. His love was like a pure clean stream of water which flooded my heart and all the hidden guilt, the sin, and shame began to be washed away. God was washing and cleansing my repentant heart with His love and joy! I had finally surrendered my heart to God who had been patiently and lovingly waiting for me to ask Him to forgive me. GOD FORGAVE ME... I Was Changed Forever... Whatever God did in me I knew I was not the same. The power of God did something in me so strong that I felt like I was a whole new person inside, like something in me that was once dead became alive for the first time. Even everything around me looked new. Up until this day I had lived for myself and for all its pleasures. I had searched for joy, peace, contentment, purpose, and fulfillment in my career, in money, physical relationships, and with drugs and alcohol leaving me empty and unfulfilled. But what God had done in me filled me with His love and joy and revealed to my heart that this was what I had been searching for. God had forgiven me, changed me, and had given me a new life. I knew I would never be the same person I was before. GOD TRANSFORMED ME I Was A New Creation, I Had Been Given A New Life I Made The Choice.... As I silently knelt there in amazement at what God had done in me, I could hear God say to my heart. "Do you want to live this new life for Me or do you want to return to your old life and live it for the world?" It shook me to the core! I knew I had to make this decision. It was either GOD or the WORLD. It felt like choosing between life or death. I knew God was asking me to choose to surrender my life and follow Him or return and follow the world. I knew I could not live for both. I saw two worlds and two destinations. One was a world in which all its treasures and pleasures were fading away. The other choice was spending my life forever in the presence of His love for me, and in the same peace and joy that was filling my heart and renewing my soul right then. This is who He is and who He will always be. If I choose God He will never leave me. God was making it clear that I had to choose one or the other. My heart said "Yes!" and I wanted to shout the answer. So I lifted my head and said to God ... "I Don't Want The World Anymore... I Want You." GOD SAVED ME Out Of The World I Turned To Follow Jesus... The moment I told God I wanted Him more then the world something amazing happened. Jesus revealed Himself to me. I could not physically see Him, but He was there in my room with me. All the love, the joy, the peace, that I was feeling was coming from Him. It was then I knew I was in the presence of a King. Holiness and righteousness was flowing out from Him like a river filling my room. My heart just melted and the strength in my body left me. I was undone! There I was on my knees in the presence Jesus and everything I knew about Him was all true. He is the Son of God! He is a King! He is the Savior! He is God! He is everything the Bible ever said about Him! As I was there in His presence I could literally feel His Holiness and righteousness and that is when I understood why I was created. God had created me to be like Him. Perfect in love, holiness, and righteousness, gentle and kind. This is what my heart had been searching for, to be like Jesus. So I gently lifted up my voice and said... "Jesus,... I Want To Be Like You." I then bowed my head again and I said in my heart "I am in the presence of a King so wonderful, who is truly the King of Heaven and Earth and here I am with nothing to give to Him. He has given me forgiveness and set me free. He has given me a new life and pulled me out of the darkness of this world. What could I possibly give Him that is worth any value to me?" Then I thought in my heart the only thing that is of any value to me in this world is... my own life. That is when my heart jumped inside of me. I knew of no other gift in this world that is was worthy to give to such a King like Jesus. He had already given everything my heart had been searching for . So I lifted my head and I said... "Jesus .... Today I Give You My Life." Once I said this my heart opened like a door and the Spirit of God gently entered into my heart. God Himself came right inside of me. He was so close to me that it was as if His thoughts were my thoughts, His feelings were my feelings, His eyes were my eyes and I could see everything so different as if I was once blind but could now see. By giving my life to live it for Jesus, God had come to dwell inside of me forever! GOD FILLED ME With His Spirit There is no other day in my life that can compare to this day. I have never been the same since. And each day I thank God for what He did in me. Honestly, life after this day has not always been easy. I have had many ups and downs and suffered much loss and pain since. But God is real and He has never left me. He has lifted me up with joy, strength, comfort, and hope in my darkest hours. Jesus said He would never leave me or abandon me and He never has. But what is most important to me is that I have made the decision to never leave Him. GOD WANTED TO DO THIS FOR ME...AND NOW GOD WANTS TO DO THIS FOR YOU TOO... THIS COULD BE YOUR DAY DO YOU WANT GOD TO...FORGIVE THE GUILT AND SHAME DEEP IN YOUR HEART? DO YOU WANT GOD TO...CHANGE YOU AND GIVE YOU A NEW LIFE..A NEW START? DO YOU WANT TO...LIVE YOUR NEW LIFE TO LOVE AND PLEASE GOD AND NOT THE WORLD? DO YOU WANT GOD...TO FILL YOU WITH HIS SPIRIT? GOD Will Do All These Things And More In You...But He Is Just Waiting For You To Say... " I Am So Sorry God..." Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2017 at The W.O.R.D Project
9 A Temple in the Wilderness 100916 1 Favor in the Eyes of the King 011517 2 Out of Control 010817 4 I Like the What But I Love the Who More 112716 5 The Bride of Christ 112016 6 Seek First the Kingdom of God 111316 7 Jesus Has a Plan for Me 102316 8 Running the Race 101616 9 A Temple in the Wilderness 100916 10 A Dwelling Place for God 100216 14 There is One Who Sits on the Throne 090416 15 There is a Throne 082816 18 When You Enter the Kngdom of God 071716 19 The Wind and the Fire 071016 20 Judges 2 11 23 070316 21 Outdoor Service A Call to Repentance 062616 22 The Story Is Not About Them Its about You 061916 24 Its Time to Tear Down the Altars and Idols 060516 23 Who Will Stand 061216 Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2017 at The W.O.R.D Project
We Have Come-Original Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2017 at The W.O.R.D Project
The Following songs are in MP3 format. You should be able to click on the name of the song and the link will launch your default application on your computer, tablet, or smart phone. (may have issues with Apple iPhones) You Never Let Go Mighty To Save Jesus Messiah Blessed Assurance Give me a little grace on the recordings, especially Blessed Assurance. I admit my vocals are NOT over the top amazing, NOT ready to quit my day job and fly down to Nashville to cut worship CD's. However, I mostly stay on key and I got a big heart for Jesus! Call me or e-mail me if you have any questions.. Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2017 at The W.O.R.D Project
The WORD Project Study: The Gospel of John Description: This bible study will focus on the introduction the Apostle John uses in the first Chapter of his Gospel as an important and vital component under girding the narrative, flow, and content that the Apostle John uses and includes in his unique account and record of Jesus the Christ. The study will then take us through the Gospel of John using the introducing as quite possible the key to unlocking the revelations within the Gospel of John. Scope: To Utilize The Introduction of the Gospel of John to unlock the narrative, flow, and content within the Gospel of John. (Click On PLAYER To Listen) The Gospel of John-Intro-Chapter 1 The Gospel of John- Chapt 1 Continued The Gospel of John-1 Conclusion (To Open In Another Player Right Click On The Session a Select Save As, Or Open With) The WORD Project Study: The Gospel of Mark Description: This bible study will continue our focus on the importance of the introduction the authors the Gospel use as their "key" component under girding their narrative, flow, and content they use in their account of Jesus the Christ. We will again use Mark's as the key to unlocking the revelations within the Gospel of John. Scope: To Utilize The Introduction of the Gospel of Mark to unlock the narrative, flow, and content within his gospel account. (Click On PLAYER To Listen) The Gospel of Mark-Intro Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2016 at The W.O.R.D Project
SECTION 7: Chapters 19-20 Chapter 19: He Will Help Us Be Faithful Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. Hebrews 3:1-2 What does the phrase partakers of heavenly calling mean? (Pg. 204) Some think faithfulness to God are these things.... Living without lust maintaining victory over sinful habits being constant in Bible reading, prayer, giving to the church, and church attendance. In performing good deeds by keeping pure by avoiding evil These things in themselves can ever make us faithful to God. All these wonderful things indeed are commanded by the Word, and we will do them if we are faithful, but in themselves they do not constitute faithfulness. Faithfulness to God is impossible unless it springs from a_____________________ and ____________________ heart. (Pg. 205) We cannot hunger for Jesus if we allow unbelief to take root in our hearts. Unless what we read in God's word and hear preached is not mixed with this, it is of no value to us? (Pg. 205) Jesus and Moses were truly faithful in all things. They were counted faithful because of this? (Pg. 206) Faithfulness, then, is simply believing that God will_______________________ (Pg. 206) As our trials increase and the battle grows more intense, our flesh can become weary. Many Christians allow fear and doubt to creep in, and they lose their abandonment to God, their childlike faith in Him. This is how we become faithful to God and hold fast our confidence all our days. First, we must be sure never to listen to ______________________of the devil (Pg. 207) Lie Number one: Lie Number two: Lie number three: Second, we must be________________________________ that our High Priest cares and that we have full access to His throne. (Pg. 211) We live by­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­______________________, not by what we________________. (Pg. 211) If we are to be faithful to God, we cannot sit around nursing our doubts. Instead, we have to encourage ourselves daily in the Lord, dealing with all unbelief. You must reject the devil’s lies and build our faith upon God's Word. ___________________________________________________________________ Chapter 20: The Present Greatness of Christ Rev. David finishes this great book with the chapter on the present greatness of Christ. He quotes from the Apostle Paul's letter to the Ephesians... I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at his right hand in the heavenly places. Ephesians 1:17-20 Paul wanted God to reveal to the church the exceeding greatness of Christ power. That means not just His past greatness, but His_____________________________ as well. (Pg. 213) The apostle Paul says we need this revelation? (Pg. 214) He who conquered death has all power. Jesus has the power! And Jesus never gives up on the dead As we hunger in our hearts for more of Jesus, He will do this. (Pg. 219) Our faith must hold that Jesus’ power goes beyond the ______________________________ (Pg. 220) The present greatness of Christ can be summed up in this one powerful verse. (John 1:4) "__________________________________________" (Pg. 220) Believers today have been promised the very same energizing life of Christ. And when we feel like a drained car battery we should bring this quickly to mind: "If the spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you "(Romans 8:11). "I know of one sure place where the supply of Bread never fails, and that is the secret closet of prayer. The Holy Spirit waits there to bring this precious Bread to you, to satisfy you completely, and to make you strong and able to resist the world and the devil. If you are hungry for more of Jesus, then come to the Lord's table often. Be diligent to keep the feast. There you will find the abundant life He longs to give you." Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2016 at The W.O.R.D Project
SECTION 6: Chapters 16-18 Chapter 16: God Will Restore Our Wasted Years Rev. David explains in this chapter that hungering for more of Jesus, while opening us to trials, opens us to great blessings from his hand as well. What are the two things that we will experience with God when we draw closer to him? (Pg. 177) The closer you get to the heart of Jesus, the more those wasted years ______________ you. (Pg. 178) The more you hunger for Christ, the more you ________________ to him from within. (Pg. 178) Doesn't matter if you've been walking with Christ for 30 years or three days; God can and will restore all your wasted years! What picture is given to us in the prophecy of Joel? (Pg. 179) If we turn to God and a walk before him in righteousness and turn from our sins God promises this. (Pg. 180) What example in the Old Testament is used to show that God can restore all those wasted blessings? (Pg. 181) What instruction is vital to defeat Satan's harassment and scare tactics? (Pg. 181) Be encouraged that as we are restored in Jesus our old wounds can't even be found. So take any worries and heart-naggings about wasted years to God today, and let Him begin his restoring work. Press onward, straight ahead, toward the prize of your high calling in Him, then watch in wonder as the blessings that were taken away are restored to overflowing abundance. ____________________________________________________________________ Chapter 17: The God of Hope Rev. David starts this chapter with a letter he received from a woman in despair. This woman is just one of thousands who write to his ministries of the despair and hopelessness they are experiencing. What is the answer in these situations? God. He is the only hope and true source. The apostle Paul introduces an incredible idea in Romans chapter 15:13 "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." This is the incredible idea apostle Paul introduces in this passage- “that we may ________________________________” (Pg. 184) God is a God of hope-a hope that is excessive, overflowing and beyond measure. God does not mock his hurting children today. He truly is now a God of hope, ready to flood our souls with exceeding, overflowing joy and peace. To abound in hope is to have: (Pg. 185) ______________, ______________________________ and ______________ Hopelessness is the result of? (Pg. 185) Jeremiah introduces two immutable laws of spiritual life. (Pg. 185) One leads to_______________________________ The other to___________________________________ What is the Hebrew word Jeremiah uses for cursed mean? (Pg. 185) How can we know when we are trusting in man rather than God? (Pg. 185) Many Christians today lose hope because they do this? (Pg. 186) God's own people sinned in difficult times because they did not do this? (Pg. 187) When we neglect faith, prayer and the Word-our access to the flowing snow waters of Lebanon-the result is always this. (Pg. 188) Psalm 1:3 is the verse that contains the secret of living in constant hope and is the lifeline of those hungering for Jesus. The law of __________________ and_______________. (Pg. 188) The river God heals everything it touches. If we put our roots down deep in His river, we will not fear when the heat comes. A great time of distress is coming soon upon the earth, but as we hunger for Jesus, hoping in Him, we will be sending our roots down by the river, digging deep into the secret reservoir of His life. Because he has everything under control, because we are rooted in the river of His abundance, we can abound in hope. __________________________________________________________ Chapter 18: The Lovingkindness of the Lord Rev. David covers a topic he believes few Christians truly understand and experience. The lovingkindness of the Lord. We can read these words spoken by Moses, the prophets, the apostles: "Your God is merciful, kind, gracious, anxious to forgive, full of lovingkindness, slow to anger" What is the meaning of He relents? (Pg. 194) Aren’t we supposed experience feelings of guilt and shame when we sin? Of course you are. But we are not supposed to continue for days and weeks thinking God is this? (Pg. 195) The Lord teaches David even when His children fail Him over and over - if they cry out to Him he hears them. God's nature is touched by this and moved by this? (Pg. 196) Like David, we too must find victory over sin by having absolute confidence in this one thing? (Pg. 197) Must be on our guard, because guilt and condemnation for sin absolutely destroys this? (Pg. 200) True heart-confession and a desire for the Lord open up these two things. (Pg. 201) We have a loving, tender Father who cares about us. And as we begin to understand how compassionate He is toward us—how patient, how caring, how ready to forgive and bless --we will not be able to contain ourselves. We will shout praise until we have no voice left: "His lovingkindness truly is better than life!" Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2016 at The W.O.R.D Project
Chapter 13: Sifted Saints Rev. David opens this chapter with the reading from Luke 22:28-34 in which Jesus has warned his disciple Peter that Satan has asked God to sift him. He then uses the example of the late evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman who once told him that the subject of principalities and powers of darkness was no light matter. Jesus knew all too well, when he walked the earth, the fierceness of Satan's power, that he comes with every weapon in hell to sift the Lord's people. And when someone crosses the line to be obedient to God and to serve him it sets off an alarm in hell. The moment we cross the line into a life of obedience to God's word and dependence on Jesus alone, we become a threat to the kingdom of darkness and a prime target of the demonic principalities and powers. What does the word sift mean in this verse? (Pg. 151) What are the two characteristics of a sifting? (Pg. 151) What is the root of the Greek word for bestow? (Pg. 152) In essence what did Jesus tell His disciples He was going to do? (Pg. 152) Satan seeks to sift those who do this? (Pg. 152) God will allow Satan to sift us so that ______________________can be removed from our lives. (Pg. 153) In order to see pride in his heart there had to be ______________________and ______________________________. (Pg. 154) Today we have yet another "it is written" with which we can do battle against Satan. What is it that Jesus said to Peter? (Pg 156) Take heart if you are one of God's "sifted Saints". Remember this: Satan wouldn't come against you unless he had seen a glimpse of holiness and obedience in your heart. Chapter 14: The School of Sympathy Rev. David declares that there is a Holy Ghost "school of sympathy," which consists of tested and sifted Saints. They have been tossed to and fro, tempted, tried, mistreated. The Bible speaks of "fellowship of His sufferings." We can have assurance that God has a divine purpose behind every single trial you are now enduring. And ultimately, I believe, it is to raise up comforters in the Body of Christ. The apostle Paul makes it clear that some people are permitted to endure much affliction, not just for their own learning but to do this? (Pg. 160-161) Our sufferings will either_______________________ or_______________________. (Pg. 161) Read Hebrews 12:6-15 However in our sufferings and trials, if this seed takes root in us it would destroy and defile us? (Pg. 162) We can profit only through sufferings_________________________ and afflictions _______________ as from His hand. Here are some good arguments to use when the devil tells you godly people don't suffer: Christ suffered in the flesh mightily-and He was perfect. Paul and all our church fathers suffered great afflictions, yet God love them dearly and use them mightily. To the godly, suffering is not a sign of God's displeasure but a sign of sonship. Whom he loves, he chastens Every affliction is intended for my spiritual benefit and growth, and to equip me to sympathize with others in need. My sufferings may be grievous and painful. But if I'll accept it, afterward it will bear the fruit of holiness and pure love for God. Read Psalm 34:19 What does the Hebrew word "ra" mean in this passage? (Pg. 163) We are delivered not when we are free from suffering but when we are free from this? (Pg. 164) Deliverance comes not through resignation but through this? (Pg. 164) It is no great testimony to be able say, “God gave me special faith. I spoke the Word, and all my troubles and sufferings and sicknesses ended.” The greater testimony is to be able to say, "no matter what lies ahead, no matter what the trail or affliction, God has proven Himself faithful. Chapter 15: He Is God Of Our Monsters Rev. David takes this chapter to look at the life of the most troubled, distressed, despairing believer of all time. He was a righteous, God loving man-yet when sorrow and trouble overwhelmed him, he sounded like an atheist. His name was Job. All of Job's calamities came suddenly. And in the midst of this Job never cursed God but he spoke as if God didn't care and treats the wicked and the pure the same way. There is much we can learn from Job’s story. The flow of trouble, hardship, deep sorrow and suffering is befallen the godly and that flood has an identity: ___________________________? (Pg. 168) Here's an important truth. We know the devil cannot touch us unless God first does this? (Pg. 168) Our present sufferings will end up producing one of two things in us. What are they? (Pg.170) God wants to bring something to the surface in us. He wants more than to see a holy man or woman kneeling at the altar, prostrate before Him, singing and extolling His praises. God wants a believer who can see Him in all he goes through; not as a God of the dead letter of the book, but as One who is all-knowing and ever near, One who has everything under control. Why would God begin his revelation by having Job consider these two massive monsters, the hippopotamus in the crocodile? (Pg. 171) The hippo tramples down everything in sight. He is a _________________________ ___________ to handle. (Pg. 171) The crocodile represents the demonic teeth that the devil flashes that you. No person can_____________________ of his armor using mere human strength. (Pg. 171) What is God is trying to say to Job and to all who hear him today? (Pg. 171) God wants to bring something to the surface in us. He wants more than to see a holy man or woman kneeling at the altar, prostrate before Him, singing and extolling His praises. God wants a believer who can see Him in all he goes through; not as a God of the dead letter of the book, but as One who is all-knowing and ever near, One who has everything under control. Why would God begin his revelation by having Job consider these two massive monsters, the hippopotamus in the crocodile? (Pg. 171) The hippo tramples down everything in sight. He is a _________________________ ___________ to handle. (Pg. 171) The crocodile represents the demonic teeth that the devil flashes that you. No person can_____________________ of his armor using mere human strength. (Pg. 171) What is God is trying to say to Job and to all who hear him today? (Pg. 171) What did Job finally see clearly after facing these monsters? (Pg. 172) Don't look back. Don't focus on your past mistakes. Get your eyes off the monsters! You may not receive double what you had lost but you will possess something much greater. You will have a true heart-knowledge that God is in control of your life. You’ll never again fear any adversary or hardship, because you are seated in high places with Christ Jesus. "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2016 at The W.O.R.D Project
Chapter 10: Manifesting The Presence of Jesus Rev. David begins this chapter stating that if you were to ask any Christian, "do you love Jesus?" the answer you would most likely hear is, "Yes, absolutely!" What believer would answer of himself otherwise? However, what really reveals your love for Him? Does the Word of God explain to us what it really means to love Jesus? What are the two evidences in the believer's life that reveals that they truly love Jesus? (Pg. 107) What does manifest mean? (Pg. 107) What is Christ’s glory manifested through? (Pg. 108) What is a true revival? (Pg. 108) What is the mark of this kind of love in the believer? (Pg. 108) What does true revival look like when it is embodied in such people? (Pg. 109) Wherever you find the presence of Jesus you will find at least five manifestations breaking forth among His people. God's people manifest a __________, smiting conviction of________. (Pg. 109) What is revealed if we do not obey Christ commandments? (Pg.110) God's people manifest the___________________ ______________sin. (Pg. 111) You will never experience the real presence of Jesus until you have these three things within your heart? (Pg. 111) God's people manifest a___________________________. (Pg. 112) Wherever you find the presence of Jesus working in or among his people you'll find this main thing? (Pg. 112) A holy person is not afraid of the light of God's presence. Instead what does he do? (Pg. 113) God's people manifest a sharing of________________________. (Pg. 113) Our ministry must move only through these two things? (Pg. 114) God's people manifest an____________________ and_________________ great joy (Pg. 115) What are the four reasons that we are to have this same joy Jesus had? (Pg 116) 1. 2. 3. 4. Chapter 11: The Cost Of Going All The Way With God Rev. David explains one of the fastest ways to lose friends to go all the way with God. Once you become "a religious fanatic." A term used by your friends, it's not hard to understand why you experience rejection. When you were a lukewarm Christian you were no trouble to anyone, not even the devil. You were neither overly sinful nor overly holy. You were just another of many halfhearted believers, and your life was quiet and untroubled. You were accepted. But everything changed when you became hungry for Jesus. And although you may feel rejection you're not alone. God warns you what to expect if you are determined to go all the way with Him. And these are the three reactions you can expect. You will be______________________ . (Pg. 123) Show me a believer who has become both a lover and doer of the truth, and I'll show you one who has been rejected and persecuted by the entire lukewarm Church. What is the question every Christian must face in these last days? (Pg. 124) Genuine truth always does this? (Pg. 124) Alexander and I Hymenaeus were two men that Paul points out in his epistles of teaching a false gospel that catered to the flesh. Their doctrines denied all suffering and hardship. What does Alexander's name mean? (Pg. 125) What does Hymenaeus name mean? (Pg. 125) What did Paul say these two men did and how did they do it? (Pg. 125) You will be________________________. (Pg. 126) If you are in a lukewarm church the people won't likely do this? (Pg. 127) You will be______________________. (Pg. 127) In today’s age of grace what does Rev. David say are the stones we face? (Pg. 128) What was the people's response to Joshua and Caleb when they warned the people not to rebel against the Lord or fear the people of the land? (Pg. 129) Why would a call to obedience provoke such a reaction in them? (Pg. 129) How should we react when rejected, cast out and stoned? (Pg. 129) What is the reward that we will receive if we face the cost for going all the way with Jesus? (Pg. 130) The cost of following Christ was clear the lives of these men of God. If we are going to be like our Master, then we must embrace this cost as well. So count the cost and know that your reward, in all things, is the precious presence of Jesus Christ. Chapter 12: We Will Be Tested Rev. David states boldly at the beginning of this chapter that those who want to walk righteously before the Lord are going to face trials. In fact, the deeper our walk with Christ, the more intense our furnace of testing will be. Yet God has a purpose to allow these trials in our lives. All who are hungry for more of Jesus will go through fiery trials so that it may do this? (Pg. 133) So what must we be doing in the times of testing? (Pg. 133) Now there is a difference for those who were enduring hardship for another reason. These people are not facing tests of the Lord's choosing but, rather, are suffering from their own choices. One reason is sin and the other is wrong decisions. If you are hungry for Jesus but you know you have sin in your life, then every little sin may feel like an unexpected ocean wave sweeping over your soul. But it is God's loving chastening upon those who repent and return to Him. Or perhaps your suffering comes from making wrong decisions. Yet these things God desires for us to return to him when you arrived at your lowest point. That is when it is time to seek the Lord in brokenness, repentance and faith. It is time to receive a new infusion of Holy Ghost strength. It is time to be renewed and refreshed, to have spiritual strength overflowing within you. So let's assume now that we are cleansed our lives as much as we know how. We are not following paths of known sin, and we are trusting the Lord to work with us and through us in troubles that we may have brought on ourselves. Then we are ready to study in the school of the Holy Spirit. Here, then, are four tests he may use to purify his children We are tested by_________________________- both our own and others'. (Pg. 135) If we want to be men and women of God and we want the hand of God in our life then when we drink the cup of pain and bathe our bed with tears. What are the things that we can ask God for? (Pg. 136) What is one thing we must not forget the whole time we are being tested or disciplined? (Pg. 137) What are the questions we must ask ourselves in order to check our attitudes? (Pg. 137) What is the perfect work that suffering does? (Pg. 137) Murmuring begins with these things? (Pg. 138) Read 1 Corinthians 10:10-11 In truth, we should not be surprised when we see the godly suffer. Read 1 Peter 2:21 God wants to plant something in our hearts through all our suffering, testings and trials. He wants us to be able to say, "Lord Jesus, You're my protector, and I believe You rule over the events of my life. If anything happens to me, it's only because You allowed it, and I trust Your purpose in doing it. Help me understand the lesson You want me to learn from it. If I walk in righteousness and have Your joy in my heart, then my living and dying will bring glory to You. I trust that you may have some prepared glory, some eternal purpose that my finite mind doesn't understand. But either way, I'll say, “Jesus, whether I live or die, I am Yours!" We are tested by_______________________________ to prayer. (Pg. 140) Why does God delay answers to sincere prayers? (Pg. 140) What does the Greek word for lose heart, or faint mean? (Pg. 140) We are tested by our_______________________ (Pg. 144) We are tested by our failings when we take a fall in spite of all the progress we’ve made with the Lord. In those failings are revealing a root that needs to be exposed and plucked up by the Holy Spirit. It is a testing so that we will see the thing we don't want inside of us that the Lord saves and ask them to remove it. The test of_________________________ (Pg. 145) Why did God withdraw from Hezekiah? (Pg 145) When we go through testing of isolation we may feel abandoned by God. But this is the farthest thing from the truth. God loves you and testing you to strengthen your commitment for Him and Him alone. To see how much you hunger for him. Don't get excited, don't panic. Just keep your eyes on Jesus. Commit all things to Him. And you will know that you remain the object of His incredible love. Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2016 at The W.O.R.D Project
IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ BEFORE CONTINUING ON _________________________________________________ "Go Therefore And Make Disciples" This command was spoken by Jesus, The Son of God, To ALL who call Him LORD. As you go through this study it is expected to test your hunger for Jesus and intended to strengthen you own disciplines. No one will hold you accountable better then yourself. The reason you are to read 3 Chapters per week is intended to make changes in our priorities and distractions and make sacrifices in our lives. There is a Cost to follow Jesus. INSTRUCTION: 1. Read through the Chapters individually. Highlight passages, take notes, review each chapter. Complete study guide. 2. Find Another person to go through the book together. Become disciples to one another. Share, test each other, go through the study guides together. This is your chance to become and to make disciples......There is no need to wait for someone to tell you what to do...Jesus has already given us command. __________________________________________________ SECTION 3: Chapters 7-9 Chapter 7: Taking Hold Of Christ Rev. David opens up this chapter by stating that he's convinced that many who call themselves Christians will not be able to endure the end times. He emphasizes that the Word proclaims in the latter days the love of money will grow cold and die because of the explosive power of wickedness. Some turning to false teachers and false prophets and being deceived, and some catering to their selfish lusts. The shaking has begun! Read. 1 Peter 4:17 What is the failure of the shepherds Rev. David believes is happening today? (Pg. 75) Read 2 Corinthians 11:2 Read Galatians 4:19 What is the thing that has been watered down in God's truth today? (Pg. 77) Much of the gospel preached today contains no mention of these 12 things. (Pg. 77) No____________________________________ No____________________________________ No____________________________________ No____________________________________ No____________________________________ No____________________________________ No____________________________________ No____________________________________ No____________________________________ No____________________________________ No____________________________________ No____________________________________ What is the most tragic of all things that Christians now prefer to hear instead of his claims on us? (Pg. 77) Rev. David declares unforsaken sin will lead into the worst hypocrisy possible. Some say they love the Lord and hate the devil but clinging to secret lusts, idolatry, bitterness or rebellion. They secretly give allegiance to one and say they hate the other by giving only lip service to loving their God. These are three claims that Christ has on us as we desire to take hold of Him. He calls his followers to_________________ so passionately that all other affections appear as hatred in comparison. (Pg. 78) What does the Greek word for hate mean? (Pg. 78) He calls us to________________________(Pg. 79) What a joy it is to meet those who are indeed finishing the race! Because they took hold of Jesus and never let go seeing the end of their faith. Here is a list of those things we see in this type of follower of Jesus that takes a hold of Him. (Pg. 80) Are you this type of believer today? Does Jesus see this in you? He calls us to______________________________? (Pg. 81) If we have set our hearts to lay hold of Christ, then we have become the devil's target in this final conflict. And he has prepared for war to hurl everything in hell against us. We must be prepared for what is coming. If we are determined to lay hold of Christ, then what do we need to realize? (Pg. 81) What happens to those who no longer cling to the Rock--Christ? (Pg. 82) What happens to these Christians who refuse to let go of secret sin and hidden lust? (Pg. 82) . Read Romans 8:35-39 this is the battle cry of those who hunger for Jesus. Chapter 8: A Letter From The Devil Rev. David opens up this chapter with the Old Testament story of how King Hezekiah of Judah received a letter from the devil. (2 Kings 19:14 – 16). This is the story of the King of Assyria who had besieged King Hezekiah and the city of Jerusalem by his mighty army. This story is a reflection of the war that we fight with the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities, wickedness in high places. In this story recorded for us by the Holy Spirit, Israel represents the backslidden, sin saturated, harlot churches of today. Israel was full of compromise, lust, adultery, homosexuality-sheer pleasure-madness. What is the reason the enemy was out to destroy Hezekiah? And it is the very same reason Satan will attack you? (Pg. 86) What is the tribute the church pays to the devil today? (Pg. 86) . When a believer decides to no more appeasing the devil, no more halfway discipleship, no more compromise or worldly ties, regardless of the cost. That's when they receive this? (Pg. 87) What will Satan use against the remnant? (Pg. 87) What is the first trick the man of sin uses to question the believer's commitment to trust the Lord fully? (Pg. 87) What is another trick the devil uses to question the believer's commitment to trust the Lord fully? (Pg. 88) What is another device Satan uses to intensify his attack on you? (Pg. 89) What is another trick that Satan uses? (Pg. 90) What is Rev. David's spiritual counsel to reject this trick and expose it? (Pg. 92) What is the Lord's response to the letter the devil has sent you? (Pg. 93) Read this letter, meditate on it, believe it and get it in your heart... And when the devil sends you a letter send him one right back... Signed by God himself. Chapter 9: Walking In The Spirit The apostle Paul commanded through the Holy Spirit that we are to "walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). In verse 25 the word of God continues "if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit". Rev. David emphasizes that many believers say they walk in the Spirit but they truly do not know what that means. Walking in the spirit can be defined in this one sentence. (Pg. 95) What is the first misunderstanding of the Holy Spirit's mission and work in us? (Pg. 96) What is the second misunderstanding of the Holy Spirit's mission and work in us? (Pg. 96) A time must come when you become serious about why the Holy Spirit is been given to you. You must be able to say "Holy Spirit, the Bible says you were sent to me as a gift for my heavenly Father. The Word says you live in me. Tell me--why have You come? What is Your eternal purpose? What are You trying to accomplish in me?" The Holy Ghost is been sent down to us from the Father to accomplish this one and only eternal purpose? (Pg. 97) These are the four things the Holy Spirit does when he comes to dwell in us. (Pg. 97) What is the picture of modern-day Christianity today? (P g. 99) Holy Spirit is on a mission. Everything the Holy Spirit does is related to His mission. Everything the Holy Ghost does is related to His reason for coming, which is to bring us home as a prepared Bride. Yes, he is our Guide, our Comforter, our Strength in time of need. But He uses every act of deliverance--every touch, every manifestation of Himself in us--to make us more suitable as a Bride. What is the only one message, the central truth that the Holy Spirit brings? (Pg. 100) Why are the manifestations and gifts of the Spirit given? (Pg. 101) The Holy Spirit has been sent to give us a foretaste of Christ. The Bible calls it an earnest--of our inheritance. Ephesians 1:14. What does it mean to have this earnest? (Pg. 102) The Holy Spirit only comes to a church or the people of God that want him and is praying… to shepherds who are broken before God… to believers who have no concern other than to see the body of Christ conformed to the image of heaven. And God is sealing such a people right now. Holy Spirit's mission is not complete until....? (Pg. 104) What kind of bride you think the Spirit will present to Jesus Christ on the day of Revelation? One who is halfhearted? Whose love is lukewarm, or cold? One who is not devoted to Jesus? One who does not want intimacy with Christ? What is the mark of one who walks in the Spirit? (Pg. 105) Can you say right now that you're ready to go be with Jesus, that you want him more than your very life? Right now the Holy Spirit desires to set your heart aflame for the Bridegroom. Are you allowing the Spirit of God to convict you of your sin or unbelief? He wants you to be cleansed from every spot and wrinkle on the day that you meet your Bridegroom. And if you respond to Him every day, you will truly know what it means to walk in the Spirit. Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2016 at The W.O.R.D Project
IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ BEFORE CONTINUING ON _________________________________________________ "Go Therefore And Make Disciples" This command was spoken by Jesus, The Son of God, To ALL who call Him LORD. As you go through this study it is expected to test your hunger for Jesus and intended to strengthen you own disciplines. No one will hold you accountable better then yourself. The reason you are to read 3 Chapters per week is intended to make changes in our priorities and distractions and make sacrifices in our lives. There is a Cost to follow Jesus. INSTRUCTION: 1. Read through the Chapters individually. Highlight passages, take notes, review each chapter. Complete study guide. 2. Find Another person to go through the book together. Become disciples to one another. Share, test each other, go through the study guides together. This is your chance to become and to make disciples......There is no need to wait for someone to tell you what to do...Jesus has already given us command. __________________________________________________ SECTION 2: Chapters 4-6 Chapter 4: Having a Perfect Heart Rev. David opens up chapter 4 with this question. Do you know it is possible to walk before the Lord with a perfect heart? His answer is yes, it is possible or God would not have given us such a call. Gen 17:1. He also uses examples in the Old Testament such as David whom God said had a heart after his own. His son Solomon however did not have a perfect heart with the Lord his God. 1 Kings 4-6. However in the New Testament we see that Jesus Christ God's son told us "you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." Matthew 5:48 Read Colossians 1:28 Read Colossians 4:12 Read 1 Peter 5:10 The idea of perfection does not mean these? (Pg.44) People judge the outward appearances by what they see but what does God judge? (Pg.44) What does perfection in the Lord's eyes mean? (Pg. 44) What are the Hebrew and Greek meanings of the word perfection? (Pg. 44) Rev. David writes, a perfect heart is a responsive heart, one that answers quickly and totally all the Lord's wooings, whisperings and warnings. Such a heart says at all times, speak Lord, for your servant is listening. Show me the path, and I will walk in it. A perfect heart is________________? (Pg.44) Read Jeremiah 17:10 Read 1 Chronicles 28:9 What is the Hebrew meaning for this phrase "the Lord searches all hearts."? (Pg. 45) What does a perfect heart want most? (Pg. 45) Rev. David shows us an example of the Old Testament tabernacle which provides a clear example of the kind of walk with God the church should have. There was an outer court of the place of sacrifice and the blood of that sacrifice that covered our sins before God's face. But there was, as well, a Laver, or basin, in which cleansing took place in the outer court. No priest could enter the inner court, the Holy of Holies, and commune with God face to face until he was first cleansed. We must walk in the light if we expect to? (Pg.46) What does a perfect heart seek? (Pg.47) What does communion mean? (Pg.47) When the Lord searches are heart it's not to be vindictive but to be redemptive. His purpose is not to catch us in sin and condemn us, rather to prepare us to come into His holy presence as clean, pure vessels. A perfect heart is_______________? (Pg. 47) What does the root word for trust suggest? (Pg. 47) What does it mean when we grow closer to God, get to know him better? (Pg. 48) Rev. David explains that we used trust in our walk with God as a means of a spiritual rescue operation from the situations we have put ourselves in. Or worse, we blame the devil for causing our troubles. Not for one moment has Satan ever been--or will he ever be--beyond the power of God's Word. Our God is always in control. Rev. David uses an example of a messenger of Satan who came to buffet Paul-but this is only because God allowed it. What are some of the reasons God may allow the devil to have access to our lives? (Pg. 49) A perfect heart is______________? (Pg. 49) What is the fullest meaning of brokenness? (Pg. 50) What must one see first to have a truly broken heart? (Pg. 51?) What is the second important element to this brokenness? (Pg. 51) Rev. David defines brokenness as this? (Pg. 51) Holy faith says, "God is at work in me. Satan cannot hold me. I am not going to deteriorate or be destroyed. My sin has grieved me, but I have repented. Now it's time to rise and rebuild." Until we take hold of that hope, zeal and determination, we will not move past our tears. If our hearts are open and being searched by God; if we are trusting that he is sovereignly at work; if we are broken in grief and in hope, then we possess the most valuable tool for the work of the Kingdom of God: a perfect heart. Chapter 5: Walking In Holiness Rev. David opens up chapter 5 stating the greatest tragedy of the church in this generation and one of God's greatest griefs, is that so many Christians are not truly happy. What is some characteristics of these types of Christians? (Pg. 53) Read 2 Timothy 2:26 What is the real reason that Christians are caught in the satanic snare? (Pg.54) What does it mean to be in opposition? Rev. David says that such people have opposed God's ways and set up their own way, and will not do what must be done to be delivered from the devil's trap. Why do so many Christians become captives? (Pg.54) Like Enoch, who was translated out of life, what happens to those who walk closely with God? (Pg. 55) What does the Greek word for ‘translate’ suggest? (Pg. 55) Who does God translate? (Pg. 55) Rev. David believes that we are not truly saved until we set our hearts firmly on walking with God. We can claim to be saved and to love him, and we can tell the world we belong to him. We may even pray, weep and devour His Word. But unless we walk closely with him every day we will never change. We will fall deeper and deeper into bondage. What are the three characteristics of a believer who is walking arm in arm with Jesus, talking with him and listening to him? (Pg. 57) 2. 3. To be like Enoch, "he was not of this world." What must we do? (Pg. 57) Rev. David explains that changing into the Lord's image is like Enoch. The world around him was increasingly becoming ungodly. Yet as men changed into wild beasts full of lust, hardness and sensuality, Enoch became more and more like the One with whom he walked. Likewise you and I are changing and by now, along with many Christians, should be becoming like Jesus. If the church is walking with God daily, and communing with him continually what will be the result? (Pg. 58) What does faith consist of? (Pg. 59) What is the difference between most Christian’s faith and the faith Enoch had? (Pg. 59) What is the one thing Enoch had? (Pg.59) How does the Lord reward his diligent ones? (Pg. 60) What are the three important rewards that come by believing God and walking with Him in faith? (Pg. 60, 61, 62) 1. 3. When we walk in holiness, we will be delivered from all oppression. We will not fear, for our security and peace will be in Jesus and His righteousness. Hungering for Jesus allows us to take our seats at the King's table. A great revelation awaits us. Chapter 6: Coming To His Table Rev. David opens up chapter 6 by explaining that the Lord has spread a table in the heavenlies for His followers. He also explains that hungering for Jesus means, by faith, we also are seated at His table. This is the table that was spoken of in the Old Testament when Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the 70 elders sat on the mountain of God and ate and drank at a supernatural table with God himself face-to-face. Rev. David uses three examples of Kings of Israel found in the Old Testament the Old Testament. Who are the three Kings that David references? (Pg.64) What is the sad truth that Rev. David states about the church of Jesus Christ today? (Pg.65) What is it that the Lord wants most of all from those who claim to be devoted to him? (Pg. 65-66) Rev. David even mentions that the Apostle Paul's conversion was not enough for Paul. Paul wanted more. Something in his soul cried out, "oh, that I might know Him!” As for Paul, he desired to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. In order to keep the feast what is the first thing we need? We need a _________________ of the vastness of Christ. Rev. David lists our church fathers and spiritual giants of the faith. Luther, Zwingli, and the Puritans. Wesley, Whitfield, Fletcher, Mueller. Tozer, Ravenhill, and many others. What was the same ruling passion in each of their hearts? (Pg. 67) . You cannot go into battle in this world, where demons rule virtually uncontested, unless you are this? (Pg. 67) In order to keep the feast what is the second thing we need? We need more ___________________ preaching. What do ministers need to do today? (Pg. 69) To preach nothing but Christ what must we have? (Pg. 69) In order to keep the feast what is the third thing we need? We need an ____________________ of Christ's life within. We cannot continue another hour calling ourselves servants of God until we can answer this question personally: Do I truly want nothing but Christ? Is he truly everything to me, my one purpose for living? If Yes. Have you counted all things as loss for the revelation of Jesus? Have you counted everything worthless that you may win Christ? What is the only thing we have that will transform people's lives? And to have Christ we must be willing to do this? (Pg. 73) Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2016 at The W.O.R.D Project
SECTION 1: Chapters 1-3 Chapter 1: The Bread Of Christ Rev. David Wilkerson opens the first chapter of his book by declaring that there is a spiritual famine in the land today. He explains that the reason for this famine is because the Shepherds are not feeding the sheep with the food that will spiritually nourish them and strengthen them in these troubled times. As you go through this study guide take your time looking up the answers to determine if you understand what this food is that e are to hunger for, what this food looks like, and if you have a understanding of how to partake of it. What Is The "Bread of Life" We Are To Hunger For So Desperately? (Pg.13) What Must We Do To Enjoy The Quality and Fullness of Life That Jesus Himself Enjoyed? (Pg. 14) *Definition: Pabulum -To feed. Something bland, simplistic. The Bread is "Jesus." He alone is the One who brings life to all who consume of Him. However, Rev. David says preachers today are not guiding starving believers to the bread of Jesus and instead are assuring saints all is well even in the midst of their starvation and sinful sickness. What Are The Three Things We Must Do To Feed On The Bread of Life? (Pg. 15) Where Does True Praise Come From? (Pg.16) Thankful Hearts Can Only Come From Feeding Your Heart The Bread "Jesus." When You Discover For Yourself What He Did For You, Why He Did It, And What He Wants To Give You Then You Are Truly Thankful And This Produce Our Praise For Him. What Can Destroy All That Is In The Flesh And The Devil? (Pg.16) What Can Drive Out Sin From Us? (Pg.16) SELF-TEST If "You Are What You Eat." What Is Your Daily Spiritual Diet Like Today? Does The Life Of Jesus Flow Out Of You On A Daily Basis? (Pg.16) Rev. David believes there is a "Holy Remnant" who are feeding on Christ Today. He calls them servants and handmaidens, a Levitical priesthood, who have the desire to become shepherds to those who want to lead a separated people into the fullness of Christ. Compare yourself with the list of their qualities and character Rev. David gives them on (Pg. 17) Consumed with love for Jesus. Stripped of all pride and wordly ambition. Burning with the zeal of holiness. Bursting with life. (Why? Pg.17) Love according to the truth. Fearless Denounce Sin without apology. Tear down idols and stronghold. Be honest and review the list above and ask yourself, Do I see these qualities in my life? Am I part of this "Holy Remnant"? The Holy Remnant live to free their brothers and sisters from sin, to produce a hunger in them for Christ Jesus, and to teach them to feed on Jesus. They worship the LORD in spirit and truth They are more enamored with Jesus rather than His blessings They praise Jesus with clean hands and pure heart They know that the Holy Spirit will not permit them to offer Christ Body to those who are unclean. They know the Holy Spirit will not allow the Bread of God to be brought forth wherever people are holding on to lusts and idols. What causes spiritual sickness and death? (Pg.17) What is one activity that lures Christians away from living on 'The Bread" Jesus? (Pg.18) We Need To Ask Ourselves Honestly: Who's Table Do We Eat At? Jesus or The Devil. What Is The Only Thing That Can Strengthen Us To Resist The Enemy? (Pg.19) What Is The Only Way To Be Strengthened? (Pg.19) How Are We To Be Sustained Daily By God? (Pg. 19) We cannot missed this: We Can Only Be Sustained By Spending Time Alone With Jesus and by doing His will and abiding in His word. Rev. David gives the answer to the 86 year old man who is caring for his wife, the farmers wife at the end of her rope, the divorced, the unemployed, the lonely, the parents who grieve over lost children, the sin bound looking to be freed. God has provided for us the "Bread" we need and it is found at the Table, it is Jesus Christ. For those who have learned to eat of God's bread daily. Those who have turned to God with all their hearts, sought Him in their troubles, and He has given them what they need to endure and strengthen them. The bread of God is dispensed daily and they have learned to wait upon Him and acknowledge Jesus alone is their source. They are the ones who wake everyday "Hungry For More of JESUS" Are you one of "The Remnant" who is eating of the Bread God Has given to you? Chapter 2: Winning Christ Rev. David begins this chapter asking if you have won Christ's heart. So often we consider Jesus' incredible love for us, but do we ever return our affections and great desire to Him? Do we show Jesus how much we want Him to know our love for Him? What was Paul's life, ministry, and purpose for living focused on? (Pg.22) Who will the Bride of Christ consist of? (Pg.23) Rev. David tells us by doing this.... is how we feed on 'The Bread of Life" Jesus. (Pg.24) What is the reason for the spiritual famine in the land? (Pg.24) What is the parallel in the story of Ruth? (Pg.25) What are the signs of a believer who has decided to reside in Moab? What are the signs of a believer "The Holy Remnant"? Rev. David explains that those who follow God's grace are drawn by the Spirit of God out of spiritual hype, compromise, halfheartedness and emptiness of a Gospel of ease and prosperity. He also mentions those who get hung up on the border between their old life and the new supernatural life Jesus wants them to feed on. What does the name "Naomi" mean? (Pg.25) What does the name "Orpah" mean? (Pg.25) What does the name "Ruth" mean? (Pg.25) What is the spiritual picture Naomi present for our flesh to the one who has chosen to follow Jesus? (pg.26) Rev. David declares there is no middle ground for the Christian. What are the two ways they can be moving? (Pg.27) What did Ruth want more then her old life and the world she was giving up? (Pg.27) Rev David explains that once Ruth crossed over the border she lost everything. Her dignity, her inheritance in Moab, he livelihood. She in essence became a poor beggar in Judah. This is the cross of Christ that Paul refers too so often in his letters and challenges us to follow him as he leaves everything behind. What is to be gained? What is waiting for Paul and Ruth that they would leave everything for? Jesus Christ! He would be their wealth, their sustenance, their life, their companion, their redeemer, Their protector! Who will leads us to Christ Jesus If we leave everything behind and cross over? (Pg.29) Why was Boaz ravished by and attracted to Ruth? (Pg.29) Do You See The Parallel? (Reread "We become the Apple of God's eye") Pg.30 Did you win Christ? Has Christ Jesus become your very life? If we truly to hunger for Jesus, we will desire to win His heart-and then know His heart. We will abandon ourselves completely to Him. Chapter 3: Answering The Call To Grief Rev. David opens this chapter with explaining that in order to truly hunger for Jesus we will have to know His heart and come out against the sin that breaks out. For us to know Jesus we have to experience and share in His great grief over sin. What does the Hebrew word for 'Grief" mean? (Pg.32) Read "Isaiah 53:3-4" Read "Amos 6:1,6" Read "Nehemiah 13:1-9" What does the name "Eliashib" suggest? (Pg. 33) Paul expresses in his letter to the Philippians 3:18-19 of his weeping. What is the Greek meaning for Paul's weeping? (Pg.35) Who does the priest Eli represent? (Pg.35) Who does Eli's sons "Hophni and Phinehas represent? (Pg.35) Rev. David said that the priesthood had become so corrupted that God called Eli's sons "the sons of Satan". The reason was because they were charged to serve the Lord but they did not know Him. Eli himself has lost all spiritual discernment. Instead of recognizing the Spirit of God moving on Hannah he only saw the outward appearance of her physical intercession and mistook it. In essence he could no longer recognize the Spirit of God moving on someone. What is message to us in the ministry of Eli and his sons? (Pg. 37) What does Rev. David says the Lord will ask the ministers today when they stand before Him? (Pg. 38) Why was Eli so soft on sin? (Pg.38) The Samuel company are men and women who do not care for these things? The Samuel Company are pastors and layperson who have what? (Pg.39) What are the four things that describe the Samuel Company? (Pg.40) Rev. David says that God is speaking to those who are... Shut in with God Hungry for Him Ones who have died to selfish ambition Ones who have no other goal in life then to bring pleasure, glory, and joy to God. Where will the Samuel club be found? (Pg.40) Rev. David ends with the understanding that King David understood sharing in the Grief of sin with God. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." (Psalm 30:5) That in sharing in the grief that God has for sin drives us into the heart of God where we then are given to share in the Bread of the Body of Christ which fills us with His joy. Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2016 at The W.O.R.D Project
Acts 7:57 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord;58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. "LORD How do I love them when their intent is my destruction?" In this portion of text Stephen has just completed confronting the religious Jews and leaders with their hypocrisy. God the Holy Spirit allowed Luke to included almost a whole chapter devoted to Stephen before He was martyred. When we look at the surface of this portion of text we can come to the conclusion that the main reason for its inclusion is that Stephen is the first Martyr for Jesus Christ. However, the content and detail reveal an even greater and deeper revelation to explore. For example if you want to have knowledge of how Stephen, and for that matter the early church, was preaching and teaching it can be found in this chapter. But to explore how Stephen was feeling at the moment the angry mobs converged on him bent on destroying him is another matter. I wonder what he must have felt. Was he scared? Did he realize his earthly life was about to end? But what is the greatest struggle we have today? How do we love those who are bent on our destruction? Love is not an easy thing. One reason is because it is not just a word that is spoken out of mouth. Love is generated out of our being. God is Love (1 John 4:8). Since we are formed in God's image He has infused this substance of His nature in our spirit. So to speak it formed in our mind we use the wind organ called our lungs to push air through our vocal chords to produce a sound, then we use our mouth, tongue, and lips to shape the sound as it is released. But this is just air vibrating through the air. Love is not a sound. Love is not releasing air. Love is God, God is Love. So to love God must be released out of us. Here is a verse that reveals what, better worded, WHO God is... John 8:42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Unless God is in us Love cannot proceed out of us. Without God it is impossible...And without God in me then all my love is just empty wind... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2015 at The W.O.R.D Project
Isaiah 44:24-28 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, And He who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself; 25 Who frustrates the signs of the babblers, And drives diviners mad; Who turns wise men backward, And makes their knowledge foolishness; 26 Who confirms the word of His servant, And performs the counsel of His messengers; Who says to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be inhabited,’ To the cities of Judah, ‘You shall be built,’ And I will raise up her waste places; 27 Who says to the deep, ‘Be dry! And I will dry up your rivers’; 28 Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, And he shall perform all My pleasure, Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.”’ The LORD God is the God who brings restoration. God can bring forth streams in the desert, bring life to that is dead, and can restore abundance from lack... The LORD is moving by His mighty hand in our midst. I am seeing God moving in power and His vision manifest before me! This is the vision the LORD has revealed to me....in this order I, The LORD, will Restore My People.... I, The LORD, will Restore My Temple.... I, The LORD, will Restore My Power.... And Jesus is choosing His builders Isaiah 58:12 Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In. Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2015 at The W.O.R.D Project
John 17:20-24 20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. What a price Christ Jesus paid to restore the image of the glory of God in us. He paid the price of crucifixion and suffering in exchange for you and me to be restored the image of God. But the decisions to leave our old lives and turn to follows Jesus into a new life can only be made in the heart and soul each person. God will not force us to reflect His glory in us. In other words He will not force us to live a righteous life, and holy life, and life of love for others. This is in essence the reflection of His glory and character. Instead He allows us to choose. If You do choose to answer the voice of God calling you to come out from among the world then you and I will have to... Drop Our Nets, and Follow Him... In Order To Reveal His Glory In Our Lives Sell Everything You Have...and Follow Him... In Order To Reveal His Glory In Our Lives Leave Mother, Father, Daughter, Son...and Love Him Above All Others... In Order To Reveal His Glory In Our Lives Die To Your Self In Order To Reproduce His Glory In Others... For those who answer the call of Jesus and they say "yes, I will return, God", I want my life to reflect the glory of the image of god...Jesus Sends His Power immediately to begin to work in us.... 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. Are You Asking God To Restore His Glory and Restore His Power In You? Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2015 at The W.O.R.D Project
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. I often wonder why the Word of God is not working in supernatural power in the Church in America. Some of our Churches are filled, some are barely able to draw more then 10 people. But no matter what the numerical size are the people being moved, shaken, turning around, and trembling at the hearing of God's word? There are many men and women of God who are faithfully preaching the supernatural Word of God under a supernatural anointing by the Spirit of God. But where is the Word of God making a new creations? If we had to produce the evidences of God, as Paul wrote to the Thessalonian believers "19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy ." What are we going to show before our Lord. Paul also writes to the Corinthian believers "You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men;" and the author of the Letter of Hebrews declares " “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” What a testimony of the power of God's work through His Word and His Spirit in the lives of His people. I do believe God's Word is moving in power today but not in America and very little in His Church in America. There are areas in America that the Word of God is moving in power but over all the supernatural work that God does through His Word is hardly evident in the lives of His body. However, in other parts of the World the Word is moving in great power and much evidence and testimonies are openly displayed in the lives of people who are receiving His Word. But there is one distinction that seems to be missing in the american Church and that is, for them it comes at a great cost! For them to receive Jesus Christ and His Word means their lives are martyred, families are separated, possessions are lost. Yet, those coming to the Living Christ are willing to exchange all their worldly possessions just to walk in union with Jesus Christ! Have we lost the cost? What do we give in exchange for our trust in Christ? The Word of God is powerful and sharper then any two edged sword and pierces, meaning it penetrates into the physical (joint and marrow) and the metaphysical (soul and spirit). If God's own Word in the operation of the Spirit of God has power to created something physical like a planet, a sun, a solar system, and universe, what can hinder it from performing that which God professes it to be? It is not hard to see that creation all around us is moving, shaking, spinning, trembling, and heaving all from the Word of God which He spoke. There is one thing we can say with confidence. The Word of God has not changed. Then have we changed it to suit us? Are we communicating a message of God's Love and Salvation as a free gift without balancing it with the cost? How can something that is free cost me something? God paid the price for our admission, but to enter past the gates we must leave our flesh behind. And there is the rub. Their is a sacrifice offered. God's was perfect so we could not offering God ourselves because we were sinful and week to allow sin have its way in us. But Jesus does tell us their will be a cost to follow Him where He is going. And this is where the power of the Word of God comes in. All that God desires to give to us is free to receive. But we have to let go of our sinfulness, our lust, our flesh, our will and offer it to God. That is what the Word of God does in us it removes the Old Man and works in power in our New Man. For the Word of God to work in power in us we must deny ourselves, pick our cross, and follow Christ Jesus, and the Word of God will set you free for they are Spirit and Life...There is no cost to pay for our forgiveness but there is certainly a cost to follow...are you willing to pay the cost? Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2015 at The W.O.R.D Project
Luke 15:1-7 1 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him.2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. In the context of this passage we see two groups of people assembled. The self righteous and the sinner. Both groups came to hear Jesus but one was indignant the other was curious. When the self righteous began to complain they tried to imply that Jesus would not separate himself from the sinners and in a slanderous way began to say in a way that if Jesus were a righteous man, He should not be associating with the sinners. So they spun their words in order to deceptively accused Him falsely that He was giving acceptance to their sinfulness. Jesus then addresses this group with a parable which exposes their lack of love and mercy and the responsibility that God had given them to go after the sinner who is lost in sin and bring them back into the fold. Instead, this irresponsible lot, whose hearts had been turned away from the love of their own brothers, they refused to leave His position of comfort and seek out the ones who have strayed away. They refused to go out and find them and carry them back to God on their shoulders. Now Jesus, who is also speaking to us, is also instructing us to seek out the sheep that have gotten lost, however that may have happened, it really doesn't matter. The only response to the lost sheep that Jesus reveals is the one in the heart of God, which is to leave the flock in the field and go after the lost one. But they were standing there waiting for the sheep to find their way back. How offensive that must have been to the self righteous. Yet I don't think they had perceived that these sinners where sheep. That has already passed the judgement that they were more like goats. But I caution you in bringing these self righteous people under your judgement so soon. In a way their judgement upon these sinners is fair. These people knew that God commands them to be Holy. They knew the Word. Each man was in synagogue every Sabbath and was bar mitzvah'd at the age of accountability. They knew God's judgement's that were preserved in the Holy Torah and declared by the prophets. Was it wrong to condemn their behavior? Did not their sinfulness of their fathers and their turning their back on God to serve idols cause God to destroy them and scatter their nation under the bondage of the nations? Was their concern caused by a hypersensitivity to reality of God's commands which were to be obeyed by His people? They were only following Moses who was also a shepherd sent by God. They may have only wanted to stay true to His judgement and commands. And in their defense there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. We as a nations whose roots, laws, and culture were founded on Judeo/Christian principles, precepts, and Godly ruling guideline for a our civil society. The truth is they were fighting for righteousness and standing on the Word of God. It is what we are doing today in a ever increasing godless society. Fighting with the ardent atheist, the violent LG-BT communities, arrogant and condescending secularist, wickedness and evil, and the idolatrous religions pressing upon the Christian community. If the Christian community stands up and shouts "doom and gloom is coming upon our nation, for God will not tolerate rebellion and sin no longer, JUDGEMENT IS COMING!" They have every right to over react. So how do we find a balance between judgement and mercy. And it is here that Jesus was incorporating both in this Parable. So how do we find a balance between judgement and mercy? In the culture we live in we can see the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah increasing in society. In days past God would raise up individuals who would turn whole nations back to God. But in our days those who rise up are being confronted at their doors by angry violent sodomites seeking to ravage and desecrate all that is innocent even inside our homes. What I want to point out here in this parable is not so much the importance of what Jesus said but also what Jesus did not say as well. Did Jesus say anything about the lost goat? A goat is not even mentioned in this parable. Why is this important? Because Jesus refers to His people as sheep gathered under His care. He never describes His people as goats. Yet sheep and goats are in the same family and used in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament for the description of those who are obedient and those who are rebellious. This Shepherd went after the lost sheep not a lost goat. And there is a reason Jesus used the sheep and a Shepherd in this parable. We can draw this distinction. Goats do not want to follow the Shepherd. Goats do not want to return to the field. Goats do not want to have fellowship with the sheep. Goats are never lost because the refuse to be found or to follow anyone. When they are full grown their carnal appetite takes over and they leave their mother side and seeks to feed itself. Goats are independent creature and does not rely on anyone. Jesus said that the Shepherd left the other sheep in the field because he knew that they are inclined to want to stay together. They like to stay in a flock. Goats do not flock together. Now sheep do listen to the Shepherd and follow Him when He calls. Sheep want to eat of the good field. Sheep want to be in fellowship with the other sheep. And sheep are willing to allow the Shepherd to pick them up and carry them on His shoulders back to place they are supposed to be. They are compliant to the Shepherd. Do sheep go astray? Yes. Do sheep sometimes do things and go places they are not supposed to go? Yes. But they listen to the voice and correction of the Shepherd and comply. Goats are simply not part of the flock and must be tied up if you ever want to make sure that they don't wander off. Goats are not Sheep..... Jesus call us to go after the sheep that are lost in the midst of all the goats. He wants to bring His sheep back into the fold were they belong. God is a God of mercy unto the sheep but a God of judgement unto the goat...let us enjoy our fold in the field with the other sheep...let us not stray away from the Good Shepherd..let us obey His voice and follow Him only..If one wanders off let us go look for Him and draw Him back to the Shepherd. If he is willing to hear the voice of Jesus and follow Him and let the Shepherd carry him back to the flock then that one is a sheep. If he refuse to respond to the voice of Jesus and follow Him then he is a goat. And Jesus said nothing about the lost goats......at least until the end..... Matthew 25: 31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2015 at The W.O.R.D Project
Luke 22:52-53 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” In this dark and lonely place high on a Mount called Olives the powers of darkness manifest itself in full strength. There were no apocalyptic signs of massive destruction, tsunami's or comets imploding upon the planet. Oceans did not heave in walls of crushing water swallowing whole cities. The Anti-Christ did not wage war with the Angelic host of God, nor did the beast or the false prophet call fire down from the sky. It was darker and more powerful than all the earths fury combined. These powers of wickedness and evil operated through a dimension it spreads itself and permeates throughout our own physical dimension. It was here in the midst of evil and an inkblack night that the Son of Man was sold over to this power. These powers Jesus described as being of darkness and they came crushing down this night upon God's Son! The place was a garden. But not a picturesque display of ornate beauty but more like a wooded groove of gnarled and twisted stunted trees. It was called Gethsemane named for the act of pressing the olive oil out of the olives under great pressure that were harvest there . This olive grove was cultivated upon a small mountain overlooking Jerusalem called the Mount of Olives. It was here unlike the Garden that Mankind once inhabited called Eden, that Jesus led His slow to hear, slow to obey, quick to misunderstand, easily given in to their carnal habits and disbelief disciples up to this Garden on a this small Hill to meet His enemy and our salve master. Even in this ever mounting moment of deep suspense and fear God reveals a beautiful element of His faithfulness and fulfillment of His promise. Here God has returned to Man and walks with Him in the Garden once again. The setting has changed although to reveal to us that He is meeting us in the Garden not created in beauty and bounty by God's hand, where there was no pain, no agony, just love, peace, and joy in the presence of the Spirit. No. The Garden He steps back into with Man is cultivates and formed by man's own hand in from the labor of his own sweat and pain. It is at night time and during great darkness representing the true time and place of mans lost soul. Where once God met Man in the Garden of light God now was present with Man standing beside him and in place of him in the midst of his own darkness. We were blinded forever by the sin that destroyed His ability to know God and be known by Him. It is revealing that it was so dark that no man coming after Jesus could recognize Him. They had to have Judas the betrayer who knew Jesus closely walk up to Him and kiss Him on the cheek to know which one was Jesus. It is here that God led Man up a mountain and as Jesus commanded His disciples to wait and pray with Him... Luke 22:39-40 39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them,“Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Jesus then left them and fell under the agony of the power of darkness. He called unto His Father and asked if the cup may pass from His lips, or in other words the suffering and agony that He would endure beginning in just a few short hours. The revelation of Our Lords plunge into the hands of evil and its authority over mankind is almost beyond comprehension. Yet, in Jesus open display, or better described as, the fulfillment of prophecy in a human body before the witness of His disciples and recorded in history, forever speaks to all humankind of the character nature in this act of a God who showed us that He would do anything to redeem us. I don't believe that the saying "He paid it all for us." really captures what God really did for us that night. The chorus that says "He paid a debt He did not Owe, I Owed a debt I could not pay." Is true when it is understood in regard to our redemption and salvation from the judgement of God. But do not be mistaken if we are not called by the Spirit of God take upon Jesus in us and to conform to the death of Christ. Our bodies did not die that day. His did! We are still incarcerated in this sin machine chained down and yoked to its will. And when Paul cried out "Who can deliver me from this body of death" He tasted the works of the powers of darkness that bound him in his own flesh holding Him forever under the condemnation judgement of a Holy God. It is like when my older brother would hold me under water and not let me up to get my breath until I fought back for my own life. Satan is holding our flesh under the law of God but we are unable to fight our selves out from under its strength. How do we expect to see our Lord and Messiah endure the agony and the full pressure of Satan upon His flesh and expect to glibly say "I am glad that is not me. Look at Him...Pour Guy" If we have never tasted the agony in our own soul through the recognition our own sinfulness. If we have never been crushed under the weight of anguish knowing that nothing would ever be able to separate me from the sinfulness that resides within me. If we have never grasps the truth that Pontius Pilate asked for that we have an enemy who has us held against our will and is not letting go under we are dead and destroyed. How could we ever expect to our Lord to receive us into His fellowship by not going through Garden ourselves. We need not sweat great drops of blood. We may never be beaten until we are unrecognizable. But if you are not willing to drink the cup that Christ drank the night He was betrayed then your understanding of God's work of salvation for you and in you does not exist and you are still in your sin. Our desperation must come before our separation. If you want to be tied to this world then leave the Garden of Gethsemane and head back down the mountain side. There are hundreds of thousands who will meet you back at the corrupted and idolotrous temple of Herod on any given feast or festival. But if you want God then obey what God commanded those that love Him and choose to follow Him into the Garden Gethsemane. In this Garden the sinful flesh is handed over to the powers of darkness so the flesh can be given over to the cross. When the flesh dies the Spirit can truly returned to God. Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at The W.O.R.D Project
Our church parking lot gets a lot of activity during the week because it sits on the corner of two somewhat rural roads just on the edge of our city that see a lot of traffic. Many people come in and park and wait for somebody to meet, they use their cell phones, or just park and do what they do. So I take this opportunity to go out and greet them and bring them a bible track and evangelism card placed inside a small New Testament gospel of John. I figured if the Lord is bringing the fish inside the boat I might as well take advantage of it. Today I saw a truck parked in our parking lot so grabbed a track and evangelism card and New Testament and headed out to the parking lot. As I approached the vehicle I noticed it was an Ohio energy truck and the employee was by the telephone pole working on something. I walked up to him and gave my greeting, we talked about the weather, which just broke 50° and all of north west Ohio is elated, and then I told him that I had a gospel and some cards to give him. He was very pleasant and said that he would like them and then asked if this church was affiliated with the Assemblies of God. I told him we were and he mentioned that he had some friends that had attended an Assemblies of God church in a nearby city. Then he asked me how many people attend the church. The big question! As with so many people who ask me this question, or may word it differently, it still plunges deep inside my heart everytime I hear this question. After all these years I still can not figure out why the number in a church matters? I gave him my response but added that I've been here for two years and I'm beginning to see the beautiful work of God in the hearts of our people. I have witnessed a miracle of the Holy Spirit sweeping through the hearts of the every person here in our small fellowship of Saints. I explained to him that in these two years I have seen the people here transformed by the power of God into a wonderful body of Christ who are in unity, humility, and love for one another. For me as a shepherd assigned by God to His flock at this church, I would say this has been the greatest miracle work of God the Holy Spirit I have ever seen. I ended the conversation by just expressing that I am one of the most content pastors that is walking this earth. Then he responded by saying "our church is in the midst of a building program, and I am part of a team overseeing the work." Interesting response I guess but thought nothing of it. I then told him I would place the book and the tracks in his truck and I gave him a farewell greeting and walked away. I have to admit that the conversation stuck with me for most of the afternoon and I wondered inside my heart if we have missed something as Christians here on earth. Are we really looking at each others churches and making some sort of evaluation of our efforts by analysing the numbers? Hmmm...Where is this coming from? Our ministry leadership, from acquaintances, coworkers, people from other churches, or generally from the culture and world we live in? I am starting to believe that there's something that has been injected into the minds and hearts of the church in America and in the culture in America. I am convinced that it has invaded both the true born-again believer who faithfully participates in the fellowship of other believers, and the unbelievers who are looking from the outside in. And this revelation is not pretty! I'm beginning to see clearly that this may be a poison that has been introduced into the hearts and minds of the Christian church. O.K.....How could I make this statement? What proof do I have or right to say it is a poison? To call a desire to see our churches fill with people a poison? Are we not supposed to be seeking for our local churches to grow? Is that not the heart of God? I don't know but look at us. I am told your church is building a bigger building to hold more people. Then I am asked "So how is the fishing going for you? Catching anything yet?" Do we truly believe in our hearts that our to boast in size, success. What does our pride look like to God? Would God receive the grand Temples we build and the numbers we draw even if we have money changers and sales tactics behind the methods we use to get people in the doors? Do we build structures for pilgrims to visit in order to boast attendance? What if we did all this and did not receive the Son of God when He came to visit us. GOD FORBIDE! That is why I ask "What has happened to us?" Where have we gone so wrong in our thinking. There was a time when Christendom conquered whole nations. When the Holy Roman Church could claim numbers in the millions where coming to the Holy Catholic Faith. But their dominance came with the war machine and military subjugation. Turing pagans to the enter the doors of the Church in stead of entering heaven. If the church growth models of the middle ages produce greater results how can we boast to one another if our churches are growing in the hundreds or even thousands. If the Catholic Faith can claim over 1 billion people who can compete with that....the Muslims...or Hindus? Well if their claims are true then we got a lot of work to do....any one have a standing army use it appears to work the best for church growth. I pray that it were not so but I fear the increase of this lust in our hearts is growing faster and stronger in these last days. And with the increase in our boasting it appears it is revealing a poisonous seed in the heart. I fear this may be the first seed sown into the church that when fulling grown will produce the tare of apostasy and the great falling away. For the sake of my defense in this matter I will give you just a few examples. For eight years I worked for a large midwest bank while I was the shepherd of a small flock. I met many wonderful people and gained many friends. Just a few weeks ago I sent an email to catch up with one of those friends. When this individual responded they were happy to hear from me and expressed that she missed me and then asked me how the church was doing followed by the infamous statement "is the church growing?" Again, my heart pondered why is she asking this. Does she not know the spiritual work in a local church is more advantageous to the Lord then numerical growth? A few days later I received a phone call from an individual who attended a few of our worship services with his wife along with his son in law and his wife and their children. However, after many missed subsequent Sundays the father told me that he wished he could get plugged but had gout, worked second shift, was raising goats and was tired a lot. The son in law just said he is too tired on Sunday to make it to church. Lets face facts here. These families were not interested in joining in our fellowship or breaking bread, seeking discipleship, or gathering with the assembly of Saints on a regular basis. In our conversation on the phone he mentioned that he was praying that my ministry would be strong and growing. Interesting prayer indeed! But what does that mean? The very ones who Christ is calling to be faithful and to be joined together in one faith, one baptism, one Spirit, are neglecting, or better said, rejecting to assemble with other fellow believers. How could he ask God to grow the church when he is not realizing that he and his family can answer his own prayer. Another example is when I received a phone call from a gospel quartet whom we had come in and minister to us. They left a voice message expressing their desire to come again if the opportunity was available and at the end of the voice mail the gentleman said with a little hesitancy in his voice "I hope all is going well there?" What does that mean? Does he mean growing numerically? And last I received an email from a man working as an evangelist inside the Assembly of God and the subject line stated simply "do you want to see your church grow numerically and your tithes and offerings increased numerically?" Wow! It's like church growth pornography and there's no more discretion. It's all laid out before us like a centerfold, totally bare enticing the lust in the heart of ministers and members for numerical success, so our prestige and pride can increase, increase, increase! With the conversation I had today with the Ohio energy worker you can see now why I wonder why everyone inside or outside the church always asks if your church is adding to its numbers. What I am about to say may go against every thought and good intention of every pastor or church member who understands very well that if the church is not growing it's dying. That may be so but please reflect on this thought. Do you really think that Jesus is sitting on His throne, who remember has been given all authority in heaven and earth, and is bitting his finger nails saying "Oh No! my Church on earth is dying, I hope they better do something quick to attract families or young people or doors might close." No, that is silly. If the church doors close they close, but His church is eternal and it does not die. Why? Because He will never die. If God allowed the earth to dwindle down to one righteous man and his family... what of it? Do you see now why Jesus said the "last days would be like the days of Noah?" No, I think or communion cups are being poisoned and it is killing us through our own lust and sin. Yes churches shrink and die and it is sad. In the banking industry it is said that if the bank is not growing in depositors it's dying. It is cyclical. Depositors go from one bank to another bank and that's what banks want. They want depositors to bring them their cash so they can make loans on the cash they deposited. What we want in our churches are deposits, and instead of cash it's young families, kids, plan and simple people. Nickles to noses..... I don't think that were being mindful of the things of God when it comes to Christ church here on earth. Our "how many nickles and how many noses are in our bank accounts" won't matter in the great falling away. If the Lord has added more acreage to your local body, meaning souls so to speak, then lets praise God together. To much is given much will be required. Remember, the Temple of Herod was a place built to hold hundred of thousands of worshipers, but God in His Son Jesus condemned it to destruction and proclaimed He "God" was leaving the place they called His Tabernacle or dwelling place on earth. Are we not under the same condemnation when we too fall into the same sin. So let us reason together and seek the Truth in His word and Spirit.... 1. Jesus made it clear that the kingdom of God does not come with observation, nor do we say look here are go there to find it. Yes we can observe the effects or manifestations of God kingdom but His Kingdom is the presence of His person. You Enter the Kingdom when you are born of the Spirit of God. The kingdom of God comes upon you when God himself enters in to your soul in the person of the Holy Spirit. 2. Those who have gone before us in what we call the outward death of the body are now before God and in his presence. There are no churches in heaven just one big unified assembly of the born-again saints. Why does it look so different on earth? are we really in a competition over how many people are sitting in our churches? Are we counting the physical bodies that enter our church buildings while God is seeking souls who are entering into His kingdom. 3. The Holy Spirit separated Paul and Barnabas to do a work that He anointed them for. So the church at Antioch sent them out and they went from city to city and those who received the Word of salvation gladly gathered together daily under the teaching and anointed oversight of the appointed shepherds and grew daily in the love for God and one another and in the faith. 4. The so-called church planters were not men seeking to build personal plantations but were under the instruction and guidance of the Holy Spirit. In one case the Holy Spirit forbid them from going to a specific region. Now why would God do that? If the mindset of man believes that we are to build churches on the whole earth and in every region and nation and tongue then why would the Holy Spirit for bid them from doing that? 5. Paul indicates that the work of God on this earth which utilizes the services of men and women was like unto laborers who did not own the field nor cause it to grow. Instead, we just took the seed that was provided another person directed the water to be supplied to the plants and God brought the increase on his land. 6. When Paul returned from his missionary journeys he wrote letters back to the churches. These letters are part of the Holy Scriptures. Search them and in them you'll find that Paul who labored in trial and tribulation to see the birth of God's churches never once asked the leaders how many people do you have attending your services. And you never read where Paul was asking if the churches were growing numerically. 7. Paul never boasted in His work or successes. He boasted in his suffering and his tribulation and trial. He boasted in that he labored until Christ was formed in them. 8. Paul wrote to the local fellowship in Thessonica that his only fear was that their faith would remain. Not a building, a church, or denomination. The apostle Paul indicated another type of building program that he was part of. He understood by the spirit of God that there was a greater building program that it was started by God at the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God only Son. He also knew too which labor he was called into. It was not man's petty kingdom. He knew that he was partaking of that which was greater than any man could build. He was given the heavenly vision and saw on assembly of souls being brought into a kingdom greater in number than any church that is built on earth can hold in them. In his heart he desired only one thing of the body of Christ meeting or assembling on earth and that was to see if they were growing in the faith, growing in their love for one another, and growing in Christ. If we are not following the heavenly vision and the upward call of Christ in us...then....Where have we gone wrong? What poison has filled our minds? The fact is... I think our minds have been poisoned by something more carnal, earthly, and possibly demonic. So as Jesus turned to Peter and rebuked him for not being mindful of the things of God. I wonder if we need a rebuke from our Lord. Even if our Lord were to say "You shall not see my face again, until you learn to say Blessed Is He Who Comes In The Name of the LORD." We still would go on in the delusion that since our Churches are filling up we must be doing something right. Just like in the days of Herod Temple. It went on drawing the multitude 30 years after God walked and up to the very day it was destroyed. If your local fellowship of born again believers are sharing in Christ, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, in their love for God and for one another, then I declare that in the sight of God you are growing upward toward the call of Christ Jesus in you. Then I will rejoice with you as with all the saints! If your field is being enlarged then rejoice with one another and do not boast in your works. And the next time someone asks me how many people attend my church I will tell them the truth. I will set my eyes toward heaven and declare "The Church I belong to there are too many to count." And the next time someone asks me if my church is growing I will tell them the truth. "Everyday!" The Lord has blessed me with a small plot of land. And have labor much in prayer and the soil has become very fertile. The Spiritual Harvest is starting to produce an abundance of fruit of the Spirit. My desire is to remain faithful and that each season will produce more spiritual fruit and If He so desire to increase my plot of land, then I to will work that soil just the same.... Ephesians 2:1922 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2015 at The W.O.R.D Project
Matt 17:4 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” How to often we view the Kingdom of God from our earthly perspective. Because of fallen nature we truly have such a dim understanding and revelation of the glory of God and the place in which he abodes. Why do we picture things in our mind and give ourselves the image in which we project in our own thoughts? Why are the images we form and fashion from what we see in our imagination so badly accurate compared to the Heavenly designs that are true reality. We grope in our minds to understand and see when Jesus said to Nicodemus "You must be BORN OF THE SPIRIT to SEE the Kingdom of God. It is the Spirit that reveals, or guides us into all Truth and it the Spirit of God who communicates or projects this in our spirit. The Bible tells us that God created the heavens and the earth and formed it and fashioned it under his design and in His design only. The Bible also declares in the book of Revelation that God is creating a new heaven and a new earth. This New Heaven and New Earth is being created in which man will abode with God and all His creation. Here is the reality of it all. We will have no participation in designing or forming, creating or building this new creation. Instead, man will it be created to partake of it. It is God's good pleasure to give us and design for us He created. Now we see, no pun intended, why the Apostle Paul wrote to us and said that we see as if in a mirror dimly. It is as if we are blind to see the light of God that shines down upon this darkened earth while we grope with our hands digging into a lump of clay trying and form an image of what we think we see is the Kingdom of heaven. Even our word that pretend to describe what the Kingdom of God is fails miserably. Jesus said in my paraphrased rendition, words that come from the flesh are flesh and are nothing, words that are Spirit are eternal and life. Why do we create words formed in our own minds to describe a place our flesh (5 sense) have never been? It takes spirit to describe the Spirit revelation. The book of revelation is a book about the revelation of in the Spirit to the spirit of a Man. John was both in the spirit but experienced the physical. For example: He heard, felt, saw, tasted.... We are born blind! and because we are born in the image of God we start off creating our own heaven and earth from the broken blueprints of our soul. Out comes from the fire some sort of image of what we perceive in our darkly dim and mind that which we think we see as a replication of this kingdom of God. When it turn out to be a mountain of clay. Jesus Christ, brought Peter James and John to a high mountain and when they reached the pinnacle of that mountain they saw things that earthly eyes have not seen before. They saw the glorious tabernacle formed not by man's hands but by the hand of God, opened up before them and it reached from horizon to horizon. They saw heaven opened before them in the clouds and the sky rolled away like a scroll. They saw the divine light of God and not one eminating from energy like our Sun. They saw the divine power, glory, and energy of God that indwelt within the Son of Man burst forth from His darkened veil of the flesh to illuminate their eyes and their soul and revealed to them a vision of the kingdom of God which is hidden, masked like a blindfold over the eyes of those who operate in the carnal mind of man. They heard the voice, they saw the clouds, they felt the terror in their soul, and they witnessed the true revelation of the kingdom of God which is divided between this world and the eternal world of the kingdom of God. What was their response? They saw the glorious vision of the true nature of God's creation emanating from the kingdom of God in light, in glory, in power and in eternal life. They peared into the Kingdom of God and saw two men in physical form who once walked this earth in the body appeared to be residing in a different world. Here Moses and Elijah were standing next to Jesus. yet still having recognizable human form as if in the flesh. Here is glorious picture of eternal life displayed in the Son of God. His physical body had not yet perished in death, so He was not yet glorified in His true nature. But to step from this world into the Kingdom of His father He transformed into His True nature, or better yet He set aside His physical nature to abide in the kingdom of God. Does the Word tell us "No flesh can inherit the kingdom of God?" Does not the Word tell us that the corruptible has to put on incorruptible. Yet for Jesus to speak with Moses and Elijah Jesus was transformed into his eternal state of glory to meet with Moses and Elijah who already have partaken of that eternal state and were heaven touched earth, earth faded away and heaven overtook their senses. But I ask once again, why did Peter, James, and John then want to replicate the visions revealed to them by the Spirit by trying to fabricate a pattern of what they saw by building a hut of mud and straw in order to honor the representation of the glorious Tabernacles which covered Elijah, Moses and Jesus? It is a sad thing when we who have gloriously partaken of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and have been enlightened and illuminated by the glorious truth of God in the person of the Holy Spirit, yet we grope around to build buildings, Tabernacles to cover the people, places of worship set up in high places so that we may point to a place in a physical location. A grand building that we have built and declare to ourselves that the kingdom of God is displayed for all to see in the feeble works of our hands. Or set set upon a mountaintop fixed to the rock and built upon dirt and soil erected into the sky yet never able to touch the kingdom no matter how big its spire, or how large or how high we build it. All that we build on this earth with our hands is a sad replication of the tabernacle that is being built not by man's hands created by the powerful hands of an omnipotent God who is fashioning a new heaven and new earth and when it is revealed, all of our churches all of our buildings all of our precipices our monuments of man's majesty will appear as shacks in a pathetic shantytown when contrasted against the beautiful majestic Tabernacle being fitted and put together by God in His kingdom of God. MAY YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE....ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2015 at The W.O.R.D Project
Thank you for contacting. Your e-mail is very important to me that is why I check my e-mail throughout the day. I will attempt to reply as soon as I can. May God Bless You Abundantly Pastor Jim Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2015 at The W.O.R.D Project
I was thinking about Jesus and the two thieves/murders who were crucified beside Jesus.What stood out to me was this. One of them taunted Jesus and said "if you are the Son of God then why don't you take yourself off the cross and us with you?" The other convicted man rebuked the other and said "we deserve our punishment for what we have done. But this man has done nothing wrong and he is suffering a fate that He does not deserve." then he turned to Jesus and said "Will you remember me when you come into your kingdom?" Jesus replied " Assuredly I tell you. today you will be with me in paradise." What is remarkable is that this man accepted his actions and admitted his sin deserved the punishment and it was just for what he willfully done. Then he turned to Jesus and said in a way "Master/Lord remember me....because I want to follow and serve you wherever you are going. " in other words. "I want to serve this one who has never down anything wrong nor ever will, but is willing to take my place, suffer a just punishment for what I have done, only because He loves me so much!" Here is the catch. Jesus did not stop this mans pain or suffering. He only gave him a promise. Jesus did not supernaturally perform a miracle so that this man would no longer have to suffer through the agony of the cross. In fact in just a few hours the Roman soldiers would be commanded to break their legs. Even more pain awaited this man even after turning to Jesus. Sometimes we seek the power of the supernatural miracles of God instead of receiving the power in His promise to us. Even though it is yet unfulfilled and we may experience suffering, remember this...all God's promises are Yes and Amen in Jesus Christ. Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2013 at The W.O.R.D Project
I woke early Wednesday morning with a strange sense that something was not right. I was not aware of the outcome of the presidential election yet so it was not, in a sense, a foreboding feeling. The best way to explainate is that it was knowing something was supposed to be one way but it turned out to be another. As the morning came and I was apprised of the election results,I walk through the day wondering what had happened. This put me on a pursuit to seek God's understanding and counsel with questions like..."What are the days ahead going to look like?" and "What do I need to be concerned about...what kind of decision and changes are going to affect me and my family?" Even though these questions are very important I could not shake the sense that something other then the choice of the people and the leaders that were placed in power had anything to do with the direction of our country or culture. I knew there was another plan that was working out beyond our countries recent choices. This is when God revealed to me that it had to happen this way.... but why I wondered? Then the scripture began to speak clearly to me as the Holy Spirit showed me God thoughts and God's ways through His word. Listen to the conversation Jesus had, shortly after He had risen from the dead, with two men who were leaving Jerusalem wondering and dejected at what had happened to Jesus over the weekend.... Luke 24 13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. 17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” 18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” 19 And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.” 25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. There are two things happening. God is allowing the people to go in a direction, and second He is leading us His church to go in a specific direction. When I allowed the Lord to reveal to me what had happened He did not show me a man or the person who was elected. Or even give me a reason why the election happened the way it did. He had me turn and look at my fellow americans. Then I saw my brothers and my sisters that were standing around me. For the first time I saw the people I share this country with and I noticed that they had dismissed logic, reason, and even truth. Not in a man or a candidate but the ability to discern rightly. If a someone says they will give you a dollar but only gives you .50 then logic and reason should tell us that this is not correct. This is when I knew the pictures is bigger then a man. This is the following breakdown of the direction that God is allowing the people to go...and it is also found in Paul's letter to the Romans. PLANK 1 A large group of people want to reject God from any collective acknowledgement in our society. PLANK 2 A large group of people want to reject our alliance and protection from Isreal PLANK 3 A large group of people want to accept and legalize same_sex marraige. PLANK 4 A large group of people want to legalize and make drug use socially acceptable PLANK 5 A large group of people want to accept divorce as socially acceptable PLANK 6 A large group of people want to accept the choice of women to terminate a babies life. Romans 1 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,[c] wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving,[d] unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. God is doing something here and it is good.... always good only if the Church is ready for it. This is our culture...this is the people we live among. For the church the harvest is ripe. The darker it gets the greater the light shines. The church needs to buy the oil and turn up the light of the gospel of who we worship...Jesus....people are going to be turning from this path darkeness and it is the light of the glory of the knowledge of Jesus that will lead them out. I see know why IT HAD TO HAPPEN THIS WAY...for the great revival to come upon this land WARNING TO THE CHURCH: 'It is going to get darker and darker....we need to purchase oil for our lamps. Jesus came to the virgins at night...not the day..and our lamps are needed and must be prepared, full of oil, and burning brightly. Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2012 at The W.O.R.D Project
Romans 3:21-26 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, How many of us have a deep desire to be righteous and a yearning to be holy? In other words how many of us want to do the right thing and never have to struggle with sinful thoughts and/or behaviors? When I asked God to forgive me of the sins I can honestly admit that I committed before Him and then offered my life to live for God, I experienced two things that I had never experienced before up to that point in my life. In fact these two things actually never even crossed my mind before I came to Jesus. They were holiness and righteousness. That day that I entered into the kingdom of Jesus were marked by two things that I never had known in my life apart from God. Now with a new covenant relationship with God, and a new life in His presence I was introduced to Holiness and Righteousness. It is a mystery when we try to think about the how it happens but it is a reality when we talk about the what has happened. Let me explain. When I surrendered my life to Christ Jesus His presence was welcomed into my soul, some use the term heart. Jesus is the righteousness and holiness of God and when you invite Jesus in to you soul His righteousness and holiness comes flooding in. That is the first thing I remember so distinctly was being in the overwhelming presence of holiness and righteousness. The like I have never experienced in this world or in any person I have ever met. The glory of it all is that for the first time in my life I was experiencing righteousness and holiness flood my soul. Both righteousness and holiness are a tangible and physical essences flowing out from God. The best way to explain it is like a river flowing our from God. It is not a mystically experience of personal internal euphoria. God's essence flows out from Him. Love, joy, holiness, righteousness. You see I am I not righteous or holy nor is the essence of these two things found in me. Instead, Jesus offered His rigthteousness and holiness to me. He was imparting His to me. A free gift of God from God through Jesus! PRAISE GOD! God explains this to us very clearly. This is a gift, it is His power, and it is the love of God that offers us the opportunity to receive and become righteous and holy in His Son Jesus. Apart from Jesus we will never attain it ourselves. It must come from God. However, the reality is clear. While we are still living in this carnal body we will continue to be pulled, swayed, and even deceived by our carnal nature to draw away from God and into lustful desires. So God has give us the down payment, and allows us to receive His righteousness and holiness through His Son Jesus by faith. Nothing more nothing less. It is not by our good deeds or being a good person that God bestows His righteousness or holiness. Instead it is by faith! Now I leave you with this thought. There will be a day when we, all who have placed their faith in Jesus, will no longer rest upon Jesus righteousness and holiness. Instead we will become righteous and holy ourselves. For the first time in our existence we will be transformed into the true likeness and image of Christ. How do I know this? The Holy Spirit gives us this beautiful revelation through the apostle Paul when he penned.... 2 Timothy 4:8 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2012 at The W.O.R.D Project