Tag: hearing God

Fruitfulness: And their fruit shall be for food and their leaves for healing.

Ezekiel 47:12After writing my previous blog on renewal of my prayer and worship life by emulating those missionaries who focus on staying and soaking in the presence of the Lord, I experienced some significant (to me) changes. Here is what happened today.

I had to accompany some guests to a shopping mall for a birthday teen to buy her present. Having waited a long time (like two hours) in some clothes shops, I suggested we walk back to the first one she visited. While waiting on a bench in front of a clothes shop, I noticed a tiny girl in a wheel chair. She seemed tired and making some sounds. Her dad sat next to me. The passers by tried looking in other directions so as not to make his situation more difficult. But I was led in my spirit to start a conversation with him. He told me she is his second daughter, fifteen years old. She has the body and stature of a very young child. He told me she was operated three times, and had chemotherapy for brain tumor at three years old. The treatment affected her bone marrow and stunted her growth. She is now on hormone treatment to help her growth. He told me his three children’s names and their meanings (sun, star, and light). The girl is named after a star. I told him I am a Christian who believes that our God heals, and asked him whether he believes in divine healing and miracles. He said yes. He said he is open to all religions and agreed that I could pray for her. So I shared with him about Jesus and that Jesus saves and heals. Then I prayed for his second daughter. She voluntarily stretched her hands to me and held my hands as I spoke to her, prayed and blessed her.

I told her she has a beautiful name and I thanked our God for creating beautiful things like the sun, the stars and light. She brightened up and smiled. By faith I spoke to the body to be restored to God’s original beautiful creation and design.

After that the dad told me he believes this is not a chance meeting. He is not local. He drove from another town with his family today to visit the eldest daughter who studies in a college here. He was waiting for his wife and eldest daughter who were also shopping in the same shop my guests were shopping. The newly renovated and expanded mall is huge and there are many beautiful branded clothes shops. He said he believed God had arranged this meeting. I too believe the same. After coming out of two other more trendy shops for youngsters with empty hands, I suggested to the teen to return to this particular shop as its name came to my mind for no reason. While the birthday girl and her entourage were giving this more classic shop another try I saw this man and his daughter sitting next to me. This is not a chance meeting. I agree.

This incident confirms to me that going to the secret place of the Father in heaven through prayer and worship opens a new realm of spiritual reality on earth. Where I currently reside, people do not normally go around talking to strangers, volunteering to pray for healing. But this watchman has been convicted to do something that makes a difference, regardless of how the gathering crowd may view or comment. What matters is that the Lord has answered prayers. The prayer of the watchman to be led deeper into the Holy Spirit river of healing and wonders, and the cry of a father to help his daughter. He has waited for twelve years for a breakthrough. His waiting has not been in vain. She can walk, but she needs further strengthening, he said. She also attends a normal school. I pray he and his child will continue to walk by faith, love, and hope.

Here is the assurance from our Lord Jesus:
Mark 5:36, 40-42 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
36 [a]Overhearing but ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear; only keep on believing.
40 And they (others) laughed and [a]jeered at Him. But He put them all out, and, taking the child’s father and mother and those who were with Him, He went in where the little girl was lying.
41 Gripping her [firmly] by the hand, He said to her, Talitha cumi—which translated is, Little girl, I say to you, arise [[b]from the sleep of death]!
42 And instantly the girl got up and started walking around—for she was twelve years old. And they were utterly astonished and overcome with amazement.

Footnotes:
Mark 5:36 Some manuscripts so read.
Mark 5:40 G. Abbott-Smith, Manual Greek Lexicon.
Mark 5:41 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.

Hebrews 7:25 AMPC
Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with Him and intervene for them.

Ezekiel 47 (Quoted in parts)
8 Then he said to me, These waters pour out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah (the Jordan Valley) and on into the Dead Sea. And when they shall enter into the sea [the sea of putrid waters], the waters shall be healed and made fresh.
9 And wherever the double river shall go, every living creature which swarms shall live. And there shall be a very great number of fish, because these waters go there that [the waters of the sea] may be healed and made fresh; and everything shall live wherever the river goes.
12 And on the banks of the river on both its sides, there shall grow all kinds of trees for food; their leaf shall not fade nor shall their fruit fail [to meet the demand]. Each tree shall bring forth new fruit every month, [these supernatural qualities being] because their waters came from out of the sanctuary. And their fruit shall be for food and their leaves for healing.

Advertisements

Decisions Determine Destiny (a call)

an urgent call to destiny.

God's Way of Healing

andrew-wommack-teachesI have decided to share this letter as I have subscribed and partnered with Charis Bible College World Outreach. By faith I decided sowing the seed of a mere $30 a month. What is a $30 to you? To a person not living in a developed world it could mean a lot. By faith I am also a registered first year correspondence student with the Charis Bible College through one of their overseas branches. I agreed with Andrew that “Decisions Determine Destiny”. I was born again in 1983 and for twenty years I tried to read the Bible and live the Bible way. I invested a fortune in buying many costly reference and commentary books from many theologians before I heard of Andrew’s free teaching. Despite the good intention and my zeal to serve God and live a better life (more abundant life) I increasingly realized that my discipleship ministry had no…

View original post 2,680 more words

Day Two : Amos 8 & John 8 “A matter of God passing by”

john-851Vision of the Summer Fruit: Thus the Lord God showed me: Behold, a basket of summer fruit. 2 And He said, “Amos, what do you see?”

So I said, “A basket of summer fruit.”

Then the Lord said to me:
“The end has come upon My people Israel;
I will not pass by them anymore.
3
And the songs of the temple
Shall be wailing in that day,”
Says the Lord God—
“Many dead bodies everywhere,
They shall be thrown out in silence.”

4
Hear this, you who swallow up[a] the needy,
And make the poor of the land fail,

5 Saying:

“When will the New Moon be past,
That we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
That we may trade wheat?
Making the ephah small and the shekel large,
Falsifying the scales by deceit,
6
That we may buy the poor for silver,
And the needy for a pair of sandals—
Even sell the bad wheat?”

7
The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
“Surely I will never forget any of their works.
8
Shall the land not tremble for this,
And everyone mourn who dwells in it?
All of it shall swell like the River,[b]
Heave and subside
Like the River of Egypt.

9
“And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord God,
“That I will make the sun go down at noon,
And I will darken the earth in broad daylight;
10
I will turn your feasts into mourning,
And all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on every waist,
And baldness on every head;
I will make it like mourning for an only son,
And its end like a bitter day.

11
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God,
“That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the Lord.
12
They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
But shall not find it.

13
“In that day the fair virgins
And strong young men
Shall faint from thirst.
14
Those who swear by the sin[c] of Samaria,
Who say,
‘As your god lives, O Dan!’
And, ‘As the way of Beersheba lives!’
They shall fall and never rise again.”

Footnotes:
a. Amos 8:4 Or trample on (compare 2:7)
b. Amos 8:8 That is, the Nile; some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac, Targum, and Vulgate read River; Masoretic Text reads the light.
c. Amos 8:14 Or Ashima, a Syrian goddess

John 8 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 Now early[a] in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught[b] in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded[c] us that such should be stoned.[d] But what do You say?”[e] 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.[f]

7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up[g] and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,[h] went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,[i] “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?[j] Has no one condemned you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and[k] sin no more.”

12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Jesus Defends His Self-Witness

13 The Pharisees therefore said to Him, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.”

14 Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. 17 It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”

19 Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?”

Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”

20 These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.

Jesus Predicts His Departure

21 Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.”

22 So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go you cannot come’?”

23 And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

25 Then they said to Him, “Who are You?”

And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.”

27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.

28 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. 29 And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” 30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.

The Truth Shall Make You Free

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Abraham’s Seed and Satan’s

37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with[l] your father.”

39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father.”

Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”

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. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.

44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

Before Abraham Was, I AM

48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

52 Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ 53 Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”

54 Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your[m] God. 55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”

57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”

58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple,[n] going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Footnotes:
a John 8:2 M-Text reads very early.
b. John 8:4 M-Text reads we found this woman.
c. John 8:5 M-Text reads in our law Moses commanded.
d. John 8:5 NU-Text and M-Text read to stone such.
e. John 8:5 M-Text adds about her.
f. John 8:6 NU-Text and M-Text omit as though He did not hear.
g. John 8:7 M-Text reads He looked up.
h. John 8:9 NU-Text and M-Text omit being convicted by their conscience.
i. John 8:10 NU-Text omits and saw no one but the woman; M-Text reads He saw her and said.
j. John 8:10 NU-Text and M-Text omit of yours.
k. John 8:11 NU-Text and M-Text add from now on.
l. John 8:38 NU-Text reads heard from.
m. John 8:54 NU-Text and M-Text read our.

God’s finances and fasting

keep-watchEconomists like to foretell the future. I too. But I know the human mind. We are vulnerable to innumerable variables that distract. In my two previous blogs I recorded my thoughts on Esther’s fast. I did not go through a full fast due to my long absence from practice. Indeed, taking less meals daily is an ordinary practice for Christians and non-Christians who watch their weights and it has nothing to do with the spirit. So it does not count as preparedness for Esther’s fast which asks for three days’ complete abstinence from food and drink. What happened was I managed to abstain from solid food and snacks etc. But I had to take a few cups of hot drinks and fruits just to occupy myself. So it was not a complete fast.

Coming back to what happened in the spirit. I had set my goal mainly for a financial breakthrough in discernment and investment. I have decided to be a good steward and participate by active investment in the kingdom of God advancement, through supporting a front line evangelical and discipleship focused ministry.

On the second day I could focus more and listened to two good teachings: one on praying in tongue; another on sowing in the kingdom of God using His words as seed. On the third day I started reading economics and receiving financial news that are relevant to the short term future and the next three years. Within days I received good news about the ministry receiving the grace (favor) of God in significant financial saving in terms of expenses. The favor is significant because it means a hundred-fold reduction in cost (originally budgeted rent, transport, and fees). For me this is really good news! By faith I drew out the dividends I earned in the last two years to put into my own support fund for the ministry even though it does not need the fund right now. Incidentally the dividend I received last week from an investment I made a week ago amounted to one-tenth of what I drew out to start a new ministry support fund.

What have I learned? Align with the will of God and the heart of the Father in heaven. Learn from the Holy Spirit. Believe in the words of God. Take a step of faith. Action.

When I failed to adhere to a complete fast was I condemned? No. I stayed my position as a beloved child of the Father. I continued to believe in His underserved favor for me and the ministry I am supporting. Fasting is not to make me right with God. Belief in Jesus by faith has made me right with God.

Let us read Paul’s teaching to the Christians on the role of the Holy Spirit and believing in Jesus. These two are what a believer should always focus on. Our holy and godly living come naturally after these two flow in us. What do we do to receive these? By faith we believe the words of God. Let the words of God grow deep root into our heart based on the love of God in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3:14-21)

(Bible verse are taken from New Living Translation (NLT))
Galatians 3
2 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ.
5 I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.
6 In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”[b] 7 The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God.
9 So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.
11 So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised[h] Holy Spirit through faith.

Ephesians 3:14-21
Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Growth
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,[a] 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.[b] 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

Footnotes:
(a) 3:14 Some manuscripts read the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(b) 3:15 Or from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.

In short, fasting makes me more focused on God and His way according to His words. I see my shortcomings in reading and understanding His words. I see the need to read the Bible like the time I first believed in Jesus. I see the urgent need to know God more. Above all, I see my position in Christ as a child of God which cannot be shaken. Once again, the verse that came to me in my spirit when I was first converted to Christ becomes a significant force in my life:

Galatians 2:20 King James Version (KJV)
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Note: It is the faith of Jesus in me. Not my faith.

the powerful effect of a fast

fasting effectThe watchman was prompted to fast a modified Esther’s fast for three days and thereafter four days’ Daniel’s fast. The reasons? For money. Why? The goal is to sharpen his discernment to prevent thieves (the enemy) come in to steal, kill, and destroy his investment. No, unlike what some may think, he does it not for himself. He has offered to guard and ensure funds are readily available for another’s ministry for God. This is the outcome of his recent prayers. So here he is fasting on the first day. It has been sometime since he last did the Esther’s fast, in which he fasted all food except water. Prior to this decision he did not prepare himself. So on the first day he had to modify the fast to taking a bun, a few spoons of cooked rice, and an apple. He did his normal chores just like any other normal day.

By the end of the day he was tired. Then he was prompted in his spirit to do a search on someone who is unknown and of no particular importance. He has never met and does not even know the person except as a Mr. so and so name through a woman friend. Two days ago when he knew that she was going out for a meeting with that man he remarked to her to this effect, “Beware of his possible ulterior motive concerning money.” The remark was uncalled for and most unwelcome but he felt in his spirit then he just had to make that seemingly presumptuous warning. When alerted again today in his spirit to search for that name he did not expect anything to that effect would turn up. It was the last thing on his mind. But the outcome was not surprising -the man had a past which linked to the financial matter he warned his woman friend two days ago.

This is only the first day of fast and the fast is only partial. And yet there is already an outcome. When he looks at the watchman blog he notes that an article he posted in 2012 about Esther’s powerful fast had reappeared in his top ten list today! So the fast is not a coincidence.

Fasting and praying are one of the most effective ways we stay focused on God and matters of God’s concerns. We can hear Him better and respond more accurately when we put off our flesh and follow the spirit. The watchman has done other forms of fasting regularly, like skipping one main meal and/or taking Daniel fast (light vegetable meals) for prolonged periods. But he has stopped Esther’s fast for a long time. Why? Because it is a drastic measure. When he decides to fast this time he realizes the time is desperate everywhere. This is desperate time indeed. This morning the first message that appeared on his chat board was a message predicting gloom in the economy, falling share prices and depreciating currency value. Decisions need to be made within the next period shortly.

Ideally, a Spirit filled Christian should be able to hear God and we often do or think we do. But when it comes to matters of finances and intimate relationship one just needs to be accurate, because errors will be costly. There are many variables in financial matters or in any matter of life pertaining intimate/close relationship between two persons. An economist, like a cautious and truthful medical doctor, will tell you that there is no fool-proof system that can encompass all variable factors that can determine the outcome. What we have are known factors and we acknowledge that there are factors which are not yet known.

Fasting is a spiritual weapon that helps one to uncover and confront those unknown and unseen factors with boldness and supernatural strength and wisdom from above.

In the case of Queen Esther, she boldly uncovered and confronted the arch enemy of hers and her people, the enemy who would kill, slaughter, and annihilate them. It was a direct confrontation before the king. And the king decided to favor her. What did Esther do prior to that showdown? She fasted for three days before the physical confrontation. She asked her people to fast with her and they did. She received her divine reward and the enemy was duly executed and his intended destruction of the innocent was annulled and turned against him and his gang. Esther and her people were miraculously saved.

For Esther the drastic measure of fasting achieved two things: regaining the power to control her own life (a power that ties to finances as the king sold the lives of the Jews to Haman for 10,000 large sacks of silver. Esther 3:9), and regaining the intimate favor of the king (her lawful husband). (Esther 5:2-3)

(Read the Bible book of Esther)

Today’s prayer: the watchman’s 3 am prayer (august 22, 2016)

prayinghandsI am led to read and pray this prayer again at the dawn of today. There is an urgency for Christian to pray. The appointed time is now. Pray for your loved ones and their future. Pray for your brethren. Pray for nations. Pray for the Kingdom of God. Pray like Abraham, the father of faith! His prayer has come true in history! The outcome is not over yet. You will continue to see the positive results of the covenant God has with those who call on the name of Jesus.

Dear heavenly Father:

Today I read of the faith of Abraham. Abraham mourned and wept for Sarah who died at 127 years old, he went to buy a piece of land so he could give her a proper burial. The owner offered to give it to him free. But he said, “No, listen to me. I will buy it from you. Let me pay the full price for the field so I can bury my dead there.” So Abraham bought the plot of land for use as a permanent burial place.

Prior to this episode, Abraham heard from your angel from heaven regarding his descendants’ future, “This is what the Lord says: because you have obeyed Me and have not withheld even your only son, I swear by My own name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed –all because you have obeyed Me.”

Abraham was now a very old man and You have blessed him in every way. Then he sent his oldest servant to go to his homeland to find a wife for his only son (of promise).

Father, I pray You open my eyes to see why this episode about Abraham’s last lap of his faith journey was revealed today?

Please give me spiritual wisdom and insight so that I may grow in my knowledge of You.

I pray that my heart and those of my loved ones (including my brethren in the house church and all who have been led by the Holy Spirit to read this prayer) be flooded with light so that we can understand the confident hope You have given to those You called –Your holy people who are Your rich and glorious inheritance, and the rich and glorious inheritance You have given to Your holy people.

As there are so many hurting and suffering people in this world, Lord, I also pray that we (Your children, the sons and daughters of God) will understand the incredible greatness of Your power for us who believe You, the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of power and honor at Your right hand in the heavenly realms.

Your Son, Christ Jesus, has now all authority in heaven and on earth, including all realms (physical and spiritual). He is now far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else –not only in this world but also in the world to come. He has commissioned us to go and make disciples of all nations and teach them to obey all the commands that He has given us. But Lord, look at us, we are not manifesting His authority and power!

The thief has come in to steal, kill, and destroy. Your people are still being imprisoned, oppressed, and destroyed physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We are not exercising the authority and power Your Son has promised and indeed given to His disciples.

Lord, once we were dead because of our disobedience and many sins. By Your grace we have been saved. You have raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus, as vine branches united with the vine. Yes, Lord, we believe!

The Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Jesus has sent His disciples to go and announce that the Kingdom of Heaven is near, heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Jesus declared clearly that He is the Healer. Power came out from Him. He healed all. The disciples did likewise as Jesus had commanded. Power came out from them and they healed just as Jesus did. As they went everywhere and preached the Good News, Your Spirit worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.

Lord, speak through us. Grant us favor from heaven as You have granted Abraham, who walked by faith, believing in the unseen, and not by sight. Open our eyes to see the spiritual heavenly realms just as Abraham had seen. He was walking so close with You that You even called him friend. He was strong in your mighty power. He could see into the spiritual realms. How else can we explain the unquestioning faith and obedience to let go of his self, and unrelenting pursuit to be separate from the rest of the world and its way (devilish wiles), even paying high costs?

Yes, Father, we want to imitate You, in everything we do, because we are Your dear children. We want to live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. We want to live by the power of the Holy Spirit. We want to be strong in You and in Your mighty power, so that we may be able to stand firm against the strategies of the devil. Help us to put on every piece of Your armor and stand our ground.

O, Spirit of Christ, help us in this hour of our weakness. For we do not know what to pray as we ought. Intercede for us with groaning too deep for words. Help us to set our minds, like Abraham did, on the things of the Spirit, walking according to the Spirit, receiving Your life and peace.

Father, we thank you for You have poured Your love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. You called Abraham friend. Jesus had called His disciples friends. And now, we are called Your children. You have given us the Holy Spirit who bears witness with our spirits that we are Your children.

By Your Spirit, we are led as Your children. And we now cry, “Abba, Father!” Thank You, Abba Father, for hearing my prayer.

In Jesus name, I pray.

Jesus and the Father in heaven

John 5-36On Sunday (Today Christian equivalent to Jewish Sabbath-Saturday) Jesus performed a miracle and healed a man who had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years. The Jewish leaders objected to the miracle because it happened on their traditional rest day. Jesus further revealed that He is the Son of God who can override all the traditions of man. Thus the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to kill Him. So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. 21 For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. 22 In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, 23 so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.Let us compare the religious leaders at that time with Jesus.

The religious leaders were not interested in the miraculous healing of a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years.
They were only concerned with the loss of their own authority and control through the Law of Moses and their added traditions.
They did not care whether their religion or tradition brought lives and healing to the suffering people.
They did not have an accurate knowledge of the God whom they claimed to worship.
They did not have a relationship with the spiritual God.
They were merely using God’s name to perpetuate their own self-importance through exercising their religious authority.
They felt threatened by Jesus because Jesus had all that they wanted but could not have: real spiritual relationship with God, authority and power from God, and a genuine love from God.

Jesus explained to them why he had what they wanted but they did not have:
Jesus is the Son of God.
He has a close relationship with His Father in heaven.
He only does God’s will: Whatever God does, Jesus also does.
This miraculous healing of a man who had suffered for thirty eight years (and daily placed in a location right in front of the religious leaders and they could not do anything about his sickness) is no big deal to Jesus.
There are bigger miracles Jesus can do: Raising the dead. Giving life. Absolute authority to judge the living and the dead. Give eternal life.

Jesus also told them who would qualify to receive eternal life:
“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” (John 5:24)

today’s reading is from: John 5

Jesus and His brothers

John71617The world can’t hate you, you go on to this festival of Shelters. Jesus replied His brothers. For even His worldly brothers didn’t believe in Him at that time. He was traveling around Galilee to stay out of Judea where the Jewish leaders were plotting to kill Him. His brothers told Him to leave and go to Judea, “where your followers can see your miracles!” They knew and had seen His supernatural power but they were not His followers. They wanted Him to show off the physical power He could display. They further said, “You can’t become famous if you hide like this!” They wanted him to become famous in their world. Judea was the centre of religious and political activities as people went there yearly for various national festivals. The ‘who is who’ would all be there, people of political/social/economic power, wealth and influential connection. They also said (obviously with unbelief), “If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!”

What makes a person believe in Jesus? Even His brothers did not believe, who can believe? This is the question today.

Jesus told us the answer in John 7:17 “Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether My teaching is from God or is merely My own.”

Anyone can believe.
The condition in your heart must be right and ready. You really want to do the will of God.
Believing in Jesus is the will of God. (John 6:29, 39-40)
You will be given the discernment from God to know that Jesus is the One who comes from God and is speaking to you God’s message for you.
Anyone who is thirsty for God. (John 7:37)
Anyone who loves God will love Jesus. (John 8:42)
Everyone who listens to the Father (God) and learns from Him comes to Jesus. (John 6:45)

to him I will give power over the nations

Revelation 2
Revelation 2:26

“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power ove the nations-“
The Message to the Church in Ephesus
“Write this letter to the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands:

2 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. 3 You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.

4 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first![b] 5 Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. 6 But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do.

7 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.

The Message to the Church in Smyrna
8 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Smyrna. This is the message from the one who is the First and the Last, who was dead but is now alive:

9 “I know about your suffering and your poverty—but you are rich! I know the blasphemy of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they are not, because their synagogue belongs to Satan. 10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.

11 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.

The Message to the Church in Pergamum
12 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum. This is the message from the one with the sharp two-edged sword:

13 “I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there in Satan’s city.

14 “But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. 15 In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. 16 Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

17 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.

The Message to the Church in Thyatira
18 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze:

19 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.

20 “But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.

22 “Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering,[c] and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.

24 “But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them—depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you 25 except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come. 26 To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end,

To them I will give authority over all the nations.
27 They will rule the nations with an iron rod
and smash them like clay pots.[d]
28 They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star!

29 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

Footnotes:

2:1 Or the messenger; also in 2:8, 12, 18.
2:4 Greek You have lost your first love.
2:22 Greek a bed.
2:26-27 Ps 2:8-9 (Greek version).

The above passage is quoted from: The Holy Bible, Revelation 2 New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus talks about hate crime

Jesus the Son of God
Jesus, God’s beloved Son

Jesus talks about the hate crime against Him and His followers. “The world does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil.”

Here is a summary of what Jesus has said about hate crime against Him and Christians:
The world hates Jesus.
Anyone who hates Jesus also hates God.
It hates Jesus because He accuses it of doing evil.
The devil does evil things.
The devil is a murderer from the beginning.
The devil has always hated the truth.
Because there is no truth in the devil.
When the devil lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
His children love to do the evil things he does.
All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.
The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it.
If the world hates you, remember that it hated Jesus first.
But the followers of Jesus are no longer part of the world. Jesus chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.
Jesus has given them you God’s word. And the world hates you because you do not belong to the world, just as Jesus does not belong to the world. Those who hear God’s words, receive and believe, are separated from the evil world. God’s words are truth and light. The world hates truth and light. God is truth and light. Jesus is the truth and the light.
Those who love God will not love money. No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
Jesus said, “And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.”

Why does the devil hate Jesus? Jealousy. Here are some classic examples of how jealousy can cause hatred and murder.

The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but He did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry…and while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him. Genesis 4
Esau hated Jacob because their father had given Jacob the blessing. And Esau began to scheme: “I will soon be mourning my father’s death. Then I will kill my brother, Jacob.” Genesis 27
But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him. His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. Genesis 37

Was God unjust in favoring Abel, Jacob and Joseph?
Here is what God says about His standard of holiness and reason:
Let us look at the case of Abel and Cain, which is the classic case representing all mankind, the division of two groups: those who follow and obey God, and those who follow and obey the devil.

“You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. but you must subdue it and be its master.” Genesis 4:7
It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed His approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith. Hebrews 11:4

What did Abel give as an offering and why did it meet God’s requirement? Genesis 4:4
When it was time for the harvest, Abel brought the best of the first born lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift.
We note two things that must meet God’s requirements: the person who gives and the gift itself. God accepted both Abel and his gift, the best of his first born lambs. How did Abel know about God and His requirement? God had shown Adam. Adam had taught his two sons, Cain and Abel. But Abel obeyed and Cain disobeyed.

The lamb represents Jesus. The redemptive symbol and spiritual implication.
Without Jesus the Lamb of God, human race will perish forever, forever cut off from the holy God.
Sin is the number one enemy that blocks man from God.
Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
Jesus shed His blood to redeem human race from sins and the penalty of sins.
Abel became a righteous man because of his obedience to God’s holy standard, by an act of faith, offering an acceptable sacrifice. God’s holy standard has never changed. God does not change. That is why He sent His Son Jesus who is without sin to die as the Lamb of God.

John the Baptist witnessed that Jesus is the Lamb of God -the Son of God:
When he saw Jesus coming toward him he said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 (26-34) “The Father loves His Son and has put everything into His hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgement.” John 3:35-36 (27-36)

God witnessed that Jesus is His beloved Son:
“This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy.” Matthew 3:17
“This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy. Listen to Him.” Matthew 17:5
“You are My dearly loved Son, and you being Me great joy.” Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22
“This is My Son, My Chosen One. Listen to Him.” Luke 9:35
“This is My dearly loved Son. Listen to Him.” Mark 9:7

The Apostle’s testimony: 2 Peter 1:16-18 New Living Translation (NLT)
16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”[a] 18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.
Footnotes:
a.1:17 Matt 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35.

He faithfully reported everything he saw

Revelation 1
Revelation 1

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.

Revelation 1 New Living Translation (NLT)
Prologue

1 This is a revelation from[a] Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants the events that must soon[b] take place. He sent an angel to present this revelation to his servant John, 2 who faithfully reported everything he saw. This is his report of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

3 God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.
John’s Greeting to the Seven Churches

4 This letter is from John to the seven churches in the province of Asia.[c]

Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come; from the sevenfold Spirit[d] before his throne; 5 and from Jesus Christ. He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world.

All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. 6 He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

7
Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven.
And everyone will see him—
even those who pierced him.
And all the nations of the world
will mourn for him.
Yes! Amen!

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,”[e] says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”
Vision of the Son of Man

9 I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus. 10 It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit.[f] Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. 11 It said, “Write in a book[g] everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

12 When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. 13 And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man.[h] He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. 14 His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. 15 His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. 16 He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance.

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.[i]

19 “Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen.[j] 20 This is the meaning of the mystery of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the angels[k] of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
Footnotes:

1:1a Or of.
1:1b Or suddenly, or quickly.
1:4a Asia was a Roman province in what is now western Turkey.
1:4b Greek the seven spirits.
1:8 Greek I am the Alpha and the Omega, referring to the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.
1:10 Or in spirit.
1:11 Or on a scroll.
1:13 Or like a son of man. See Dan 7:13. “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself.
1:18 Greek and Hades.
1:19 Or what you have seen and what they mean—the things that have already begun to happen.
1:20 Or the messengers.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”

writing on wall2The watchman hears today. This a valley of decision now for the nations (states) which are gathered together to vote. Are they electing a Persian King like King Cyrus the Great, or a Babylonian king like King Belshazzar who would see the writing on the wall? (His kingdom fell overnight and Babylon was no more!)Read Daniel 5 for “Writing on the Wall”. Either you are with Cyrus the Great who protected God’s people and rebuilt the Temple of God, or you just wait for the writing on the wall to appear on your wall.

Daniel 5:25 “This is the inscription that was written:
mene, mene, tekel, parsin
26 “Here is what these words mean:
Mene[e]: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
27 Tekel[f]: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
28 Peres[g]: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

Isaiah 1 New International Version (NIV)
1 The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
A Rebellious Nation

2
Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth!
For the Lord has spoken:
“I reared children and brought them up,
but they have rebelled against me.
3
The ox knows its master,
the donkey its owner’s manger,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand.”

4
Woe to the sinful nation,
a people whose guilt is great,
a brood of evildoers,
children given to corruption!
They have forsaken the Lord;
they have spurned the Holy One of Israel
and turned their backs on him.

5
Why should you be beaten anymore?
Why do you persist in rebellion?
Your whole head is injured,
your whole heart afflicted.
6
From the sole of your foot to the top of your head
there is no soundness—
only wounds and welts
and open sores,
not cleansed or bandaged
or soothed with olive oil.

7
Your country is desolate,
your cities burned with fire;
your fields are being stripped by foreigners
right before you,
laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.
8
Daughter Zion is left
like a shelter in a vineyard,
like a hut in a cucumber field,
like a city under siege.
9
Unless the Lord Almighty
had left us some survivors,
we would have become like Sodom,
we would have been like Gomorrah.

10
Hear the word of the Lord,
you rulers of Sodom;
listen to the instruction of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!
11
“The multitude of your sacrifices—
what are they to me?” says the Lord.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
12
When you come to appear before me,
who has asked this of you,
this trampling of my courts?
13
Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
14
Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals
I hate with all my being.
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15
When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.

Your hands are full of blood!

16
Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
17
Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.[a]
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.

18
“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
19
If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good things of the land;
20
but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

21
See how the faithful city
has become a prostitute!
She once was full of justice;
righteousness used to dwell in her—
but now murderers!
22
Your silver has become dross,
your choice wine is diluted with water.
23
Your rulers are rebels,
partners with thieves;
they all love bribes
and chase after gifts.
They do not defend the cause of the fatherless;
the widow’s case does not come before them.

24
Therefore the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
the Mighty One of Israel, declares:
“Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes
and avenge myself on my enemies.
25
I will turn my hand against you;[b]
I will thoroughly purge away your dross
and remove all your impurities.
26
I will restore your leaders as in days of old,
your rulers as at the beginning.
Afterward you will be called
the City of Righteousness,
the Faithful City.”

27
Zion will be delivered with justice,
her penitent ones with righteousness.
28
But rebels and sinners will both be broken,
and those who forsake the Lord will perish.

29
“You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks
in which you have delighted;
you will be disgraced because of the gardens
that you have chosen.
30
You will be like an oak with fading leaves,
like a garden without water.
31
The mighty man will become tinder
and his work a spark;
both will burn together,
with no one to quench the fire.”
Footnotes:

Isaiah 1:17 Or justice. / Correct the oppressor
Isaiah 1:25 That is, against Jerusalem