God tells us in the Bible that all of his promises are “yes and amen”.
2 Corinthians 1:20
That means that God’s pledge or declaration of assurance that he will do a particular thing or that he will cause a particular thing to happen are affirmative. Agreeing with consent to happen. Shall happen because God’s word is trust worthy.
If this is so then why is it that many of us fall short of receiving the promises of God as clearly put forth in the Bible?
Jesus made it clear that God’s word or his promises are like a seed that one sows in a garden. In other words it is a process to receive the promises of God.
Now depending first of all on the condition of the soil the future success of the seed will be determined. Is the heart receiving the word thorny? Stoney? Good soil?
The seed not only has to be planted in good soil but once fallen into the ground it needs to germinate for a time.
Germination in itself has an intricate process. First of all the seed planted in the good soil must be absorbed by water in order for it to swell up.
Once this hydration of the seed happens oxygen released from the soil is utilized by the seed so that it becomes metabolic. That is the seed uses its stored food or energy for growth.
After that the seed must rupture its coat so that the radicle will come out of the primary root of the seed.
Jesus called this process, “the seed falls into the ground and dies.” John 12:24
Once the seed is sprouted it requires light in order to continue to grow.
Now that is just the seed!
After that the root of the sprouted seed has to grow deep down in the soil. The roots branch off and are then able to absorb water and food from the soil.
More growth takes place and the sprout turns into a stem. The stem then receives sunlight which is turned into energy. This process produces even more growth.
The promises of God that we are entitled to because we are children of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ do not come to us without a process. Just like a seed planted in good soil.
In our fast food society people don’t like to hear that. They would rather have a quick fix and a drive by solution.
It doesn’t however work that way. What the Lord is telling us through his word is that if we want to recieve his promises we must die to our self first. That old outter shell of the carnal man must fall off.
God’s promises are yes and amen to the surrendered Christian. The one willing to die to the ways of the world and put on Jesus Christ.
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Romans 13:14
By filling up on the water of the word, the promises of God will cause our hearts to burst forth with hopeful anticipation.
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:26,27
Faith will then take root in our hearts as we keep feeding on the word of God and getting revelation light from his Spirit.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10: 17
We are sure to see the promises of God take place in our life. Here a little and there a little. Line upon line and precept upon precept. Isaiah 28:10
As we continue to abide in God’s word, his promises will blossom. Bringing forth the sweet fragrance of Jesus Christ for all to witness.
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4
Then when the fruit is produced from God’s word everyone around us will taste and see that the Lord indeed is good.
For the word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness. Psalm 33:4
When our hearts line up to the conditions of God’s word then we have good soil! The seed we plant in our heart will grow in its time. We can expect a bountiful harvest !
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. Lamentations 3:25
As you mediate on God’s promises, pray over them and believe them. The promises of God will surely come to pass in the Lord’s time. His word is trustworthy. They are yes and Amen!
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Joshua 1:8
In Matthew chapter 10 Jesus is instructing his disciples on how they would minister in his name after he was not with them anymore in physical form .
Jesus told them that they would have power over devils and be able to heal the sick but they would face great persecution for it.
Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid because God will provide for them.
“You are more valuable than sparrows.” Jesus tells them.
This is a significant metaphor because not only are sparrows very tiny but they are the most common bird in the world. Their value on a monetary scale is less than a penny. You can buy two for one.
This metaphor reminds us that even though we may not consider ourselves to be very important in the grand scheme of things, Jesus puts great value on us. He says that if God cares about even a sparrow that falls to the ground, and makes sure that their needs are supplied then why wouldn’t he care for us? Our value to him is so much more!
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31
Not only are sparrows common birds but they live in any small area they can find. Sparrows particularly like to live near human populations.
The sparrow metaphor is used by the Lord because the sparrow signifies humanity. There are masses of people on the earth just like the common sparrow.
One has only to look at the parallel of the sparrow to realize that humanity is in a decline situation. The environment for sparrows is being effected by sin in the same way as it is for humans.
As humanity turns away from the living God they decline in every way in the natural realm. This in turn affects the sparrow who lives along side of humans.
The decline in sparrow populations today is significant. It is reflective of the human population turning away from God. This is a prophetic sign that we are indeed in the end times.
Sparrows feed predominantly on seeds. They do eat insects when they can find them but their mainstay is seed. Without seed sparrows perish. This is another reason for the metaphor.
Jesus said that the word of God is like seed that a sower sows. The receptivity of the heart determines the outcome of the seed. Whether the seed goes on to produce a good crop or whether it does not. All is dependent on the soil of one’s heart.
God’s word is like seed. Planted in good soil the seed will grow into the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ. Planted in not so good soil the seed will die. Matthew 13
Just like sparrows need seed to survive so does humanity need the seed of God’s word to survive. Without God’s word humanity will die both physically and spiritually.
What is not commonly delivered to the Christian message today is the very Biblical truth of suffering or affliction. When the message of suffering is presented it is relayed as a common ailment which Christians must endure because they belong to Jesus Christ. Just because we belong to Jesus is the admonition.
However according to the Bible our suffering or affliction have a clearly defined out come. In other words suffering has a purpose which results, if endured patiently, in a victorious end.
2 Corinthians 2:14 tells us that our light affliction (burden, persecution, anguish, trouble, tribulation) which is temporary or for a fixed determined time, is WORKING FOR US.
That is our temporary affliction is accomplishing a purpose.
What is that purpose? Our afflictions are working for us a far more exceeding (super eminence beyond measure) weight of glory.
So our light affliction is working for us a beyond measurable weight (abundant authority, dignified honor) of glory .
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
This means that our suffering or affliction is working out for us something good in the end but also scriptures tell us that our suffering and afflictions will work for the benefit of others too.
Examples of this are when Joseph was in prison. What was an affliction and suffering in some respects was also a training experience for Joseph. In the end it worked out that Joseph gained favour and was elevated to a position of leadership. He represented God’s Kingdom in Pharoah’s kingdom.
Our afflictions in life are in reality training ground for our purpose in the Kingdom of God. Even our mistakes teach us valuable lessons.
Joseph was a bit of a braggart. His gift of favor was envied by his brethren. They wanted to get rid of him but in the end God worked it out for his good. Joseph’s life ended up bringing glory to God. (Acts 7:10, Genesis 37,38,39)
Paul suffered much affliction and persecution. However his experiences brought not only an increase in the gospel but much of the New Testament to Christians for the last 2000 years.
Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel. Philippians 1:12
Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 2 Timothy 2: 10
Peter made some mistakes. Even denying the Lord. However his life experience resulted in the furtherance of the gospel and writing parts of the New Testament as well.
It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes. Psalm 119: 71
The Bible is filled with stories about afflictions resulting in victory. Paul tells us to endure the hardships we face in life like a soldier in the army.
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:3
A solder doesn’t concern himself with worldly affairs. A soldier fights in battle. A soldier knows he is appointed to endure hardships for the sake of his country.
How much more Jesus Christ’s soldiers in the Kingdom of God ?
Paul tells us that we are to rejoice in our sufferings not for the sufferings in and of themselves but because we know that our afflictions are working out a purpose in the Kingdom of God. (Colossians 1:24, 2 Corinthians 6:4)
David tells us that the righteous suffer many afflictions but the Lord delivers the righteous out of them all. ( Psalms 34:19)
As we are appointed (1 Thessalonians 4:3, 2 Timothy 1 :8) to suffer afflictions in this life we are also appointed to be delivered!
Are you experiencing trouble? Affliction? Persecution? Suffering?
Then rejoice for God is going to work it all out for your good! He is training you, teaching you valuable lessons, getting you ready for your purpose in this life!
Be patient in affliction scriptures tell us. Don’t be moved by them!
That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. 1 Thessalonians 3:3
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. Romans 12:12
Endure like a soldier! Have faith in God! Fix your eyes on Jesus!
The Bible tells us to “fight the good fight of faith.” (1 Timothy 6:12)
According to the Greek translation this scripture actually means ; to contend for with your adversary and labor fervently in your battle for good, virtuous, honest and moral convictions of the truth concerning Jesus Christ for salvation.
The Lord is telling us to lay hold of or seize eternal values. To strive to attain God’s abundant life.
In another scripture we are told that we wrestle with the evil darkness of this world who we are called to resist steadfast in the faith. (Ephesians 6:12, 1 Peter 5:9)
In other words the Lord wants his people to oppose the darkness and wage war against the gates of hell. We have been given according to scriptures everything that pertains to life and godliness. All we need to accomplish this command is laid out for us in the word of God. (2 Peter 1:3)
The weapons of our warfare according to scriptures are not natural human weapons. They are mighty powerful Holy Spirit empowered weapons! These weapons are used to pull down demonic strongholds which Satan tries to build up in the mind.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
The mind is where the real battle is. When Satan can create a false narrative by using circumstance then he is able to bring disillusionment, fear and unbelief.
In order to counter act Satan’s deception we are told in the scriptures to take up our mighty Holy Spirit empowered weapons and fight.
What are these weapons? In Ephesians Chapter 6 the Lord tells us to gird ourselves with truth. God’s word, the Bible is the truth. All his promises are yes and amen! (2 Corinthians 1:20)
We are told to put on righteousness like a breast plate. We are made right or justified by the blood of Jesus if we have been born of God. We are called to wear that victory acquired for us as a sign of godly status! Let the devil know who we are in Jesus Christ! Redeemed! Bought and paid for by the blood of the lamb!
When we do fail we can ask God to forgive us. The blood of Jesus will continually forgive us as long as we acknowledge our sin and turn from it. (1 John 1:9)
When our feet are shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace what that means is that we are always prepared, always ready to give an answer for our faith in Jesus Christ. Always ready to bring the good news of reconciliation between God and man where ever we go. (1 Peter 3:15)
Preaching the gospel is a powerful weapon against the evil one. Declaring the word of God into the darkness of this world brings God’s light and faith to all who have been given ears to hear.
The shield of faith is important to withstand Satan’s attacks. When those fiery arrows are sent to try to destroy us we can stand on God’s word. What the Lord has promised he is able also to perform. (Romans 4:21)
Then with the sword of the Spirit we can make an offensive attack against the evil one.
Has God really said? IT IS WRITTEN !
The sum of Your word is truth,And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. (Psalm 119:160)
You can’t do that! IT IS WRITTEN !
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13.)
You are not important! IT IS WRITTEN !
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:6)
Then finally we turn always to prayer. Presenting our needs to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ the Son.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.(Hebrews 4:16)
Fight the good fight of faith! Lay hold and seize on to eternal life, for in Jesus the Savoir abundant life is manifest to all who believe and to all who receive.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.(John 1:12-17)
For this purpose Jesus Christ came: to destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 3:8
That was the whole purpose for God to manifest in the flesh, die on the cross and rise from the dead according to the Bible.
It is important to understand what exactly happened at the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ according to the Bible. By getting a better understanding we are then able to enter into fully our covenant with God provided for us by the Lord Jesus Christ. By that I mean understanding what Jesus actually did and what that means for the Christian in regards to position in the kingdom of God.
When Jesus destroyed the works of the devil at the cross he in effect stripped him of his power and authority.
The Bible tells us that Satan is the god or ruler of this world system but he is not ruler over the Christian who has been delivered from the power of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4, Colossians 1:13)
In other words even though Satan rules this world system he does not rule the born again person. Satan’s greatest weapon is deception. He is a trickster. If he can keep the Child of God ignorant of the fact that he has been defeated he keeps his position of ruler over them.
Without revelation of what Jesus Christ really accomplished at the cross and faith in that fact the Christian can live a whole life time of bondage under the dominion of the evil one.
Yes, even though the Christian is born again, blood bought and a part of Jesus Christ’s body the ignorant Christian can live defeated, sick, poor, and in bondage.
The Bible makes that fact perfectly clear.
MY PEOPLE are destroyed for lack of knowledge. HOSEA 4:6
Now let’s look at what the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ accomplished by manifesting in the flesh. Keep in mind that this is Bible doctrine. Written as plain as the nose on your face.
Unfortunately their are whole churches that don’t believe or teach this. You have to decide for yourself if you want to believe the Bible or the doctrine you were taught by others who do not teach the complete victory wrought by Jesus Christ according to scriptures.
Now let’s look at what it means to destroy the devil’s works.
To destroy in the Greek is luō. That means to break, dissolve, loose free from, to put off.
In other words Jesus broke the power over, closed down the operation of, released from captivity and made the devil to submit to through relinquishing control of.
Now most Christians believe this to some degree but they don’t delve into it deeper.
In order to have a complete understanding we have to under stand what exactly was put off!
What are the works of the devil? Not only that but we have to come to the realization that this defeat was complete. Not just some of the devil’s works were broken over the Christian but ALL!
You might ask yourself, well if this is true why am I sick, poor, depressed and defeated?
Did you ever stop to examine yourself? Are you really in the faith? The first thing to know is if you are really born again. How do you know?
YOU KNOW. (1 John 5:13)
If there is any doubt then you need to go to the Lord, confess your sin, repent which is turn from your sin (breaking God’s laws) and turn to the salvation and Lordship of Jesus Christ. Ask forgiveness for sin and ask him to make you his child. (Luke 13:3)
Then if you know you are born again, are you putting faith in God’s word or in your circumstance? Without faith it is impossible to please God. according to the Bible.
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seekhim.”
This is a fact whether we like it or not. It is a fact whether we disregard it or not and it is a fact even if we don’t believe it.
According to the Bible we must believe that Jesus is God. Sovereign over all things. We also must believe that HE WILL reward our seeking him for the victory. (Hebrews 11:6)
Don’t think that Satan is not going to put up a fuss. He has squatted for a long time in people’s lives. He doesn’t like to give up territory without a fight.
This is another thing. In order to receive our victory we have to battle for it sometimes! The Bible tells us that we do not wrestle with flesh and blood! We wrestle with demonic powers that oppose the kingdom of God.
The Greek is palē for wrestle and it means more than simply to struggle. It actually means a hand-to-hand combat with an opposing enemy. The spiritual forces of evil residing in the heavenly places or spiritual realm.
How do we wrestle? (Ephesians 6) Through prayer and standing in faith. We must decide who we want to believe. God’s word or the devil’s deception.
Its called fighting (contending, struggling, striving) the good fight OF FAITH. (1 Timothy 6:12)
Now let’s take a look at what Mr. Devil’s works exactly are.
Satan’s deeds or his actions and labour are as follows.
He is a big fat liar. He is a slanderer. A false accuser. He is a thief and a destroyer. He is a deceiver. Satan is diabolically evil.
These facts are all in the Bible.
The good news is that Jesus Christ exposed the devil and stripped him of his power and authority. He then gave the keys of the kingdom to his church. That is you and me.
Now the tables are turned. Jesus gave his church authority over ALL the works of the devil. Not some but ALL. Either All is All or it is not. (Luke 10:19, Revelations 13:11)
ALL compasses All Satan’s works.
All the devil’s lies, deception, sickness, disease, poverty, depression, fear, even death.
Death cannot hold the Christian anymore. Death is simply a translation into the spiritual realm of God’s light or heaven. If you miss the rapture you still get raptured! In the twinkling of an eye you are translated into glory!
Hebrews 2:14 tells us that through Jesus Christ, death was destroyed. The devil has no more power of death over the Christian.
Another Greek word for destroy is katargeō; To render useless, entirely idle, abolish Cease, do away with, none effect, loose free of to put down, vanish and make void.
Now keep in mind that there are prequisites for living in victory as a Christian.
This means that our lives must line up with the scriptures. We sow what we reap or in other words we harvest what we plant. That’s a spiritual principle in the kingdom of God.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption. Galatians 6:7,9
For example if I stuff my face on goodies I can get fat. Maybe even get really sick. Even die!
Using this example I mean that if our life is lining up with the flesh then we are agreeing with the devil and by doing that we will reap the consequences of our actions.
If we lie or steal or operate in Satan’s works we are agreeing with him and have no covering of protection because as scriptures tell us we can be turned over to the devil until we repent. (1 Corinthians 5:5)
What about grace? My answer to that is that grace will give a certain amount of time to repent. There is however the time when reaping will occur. There is no getting away from that fact.
What about sickness? My answer to that is what scriptures tell us. We reap what we have sown. Bitterness, anger unforgiveness all make us sick. Not only do we know this from a scientific perspective but it’s also in the Bible.
Can we get healed? Yes. God is merciful but he expects repentance from us or as scriptures say a worse thing can occur. (John 5:14)
Do you see the point I am making?
Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil. It is up to us to now line our lives up in obedience to his word, the Bible. Then we can stand in faith to receive all those benefits that Jesus Christ died for to give us!
Eternal life is the biggest gift. Granted. However Jesus Christ took away all the works of the devil. Not just some. Now it’s up to us to receive all that Jesus has obtained for us as we seek him.
It is not God’s will that any should perish according to the Bible but do they perish? Yes they in fact do! 2 Peter 3:9
Why? Because some will not receive the salvation provided for them.
Is it God’s will for you to be in health and prosper? Yes, according to the Bible.
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 John 2-5
Again it is up to us to believe, repent and receive.
Another spiritual principle. All 3 must be adhered to for salvation, deliverance and restoration to occur. It’s in the Bible.
Satan is always looking to kill, steal and destroy. It’s what he does. It’s up to us to put him in his place. Under our feet. It is also up to us to believe God’s word above any other word. If God said it then it’s TRUE. For he cannot lie.
( Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18)
Jesus Christ came to destroy All the works of the devil. Our part is to enforce by God’s power in us (the Holy Spirit) that victory. We have been given the keys to the Kingdom of God!
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober watchful Put up a watch Guard your heart
James 4:7 Submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and resist the devil. He will flee.
Ephesians 6:12 We wrestle through prayer and preaching the pure unadulterated word of God.
1 John 4:4 Greater is the Holy Spirit in his elect that the devil in this world
Ephesians 4:27 Do not yield to the devil. Put on the whole armor of God to stand against the devil and having done all to stand!
What does the Bible say about women preachers and teachers?
1 Timothy 2:11-15 scripture is used by some Christians to forbid women to have preaching and teaching positions in the church.
On closer examination of scriptures we see another position entirely.
1 Timothy 2:11-15 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
This verse seems to be saying that allowing women to teach men would be giving them “authority over a man” but on closer examination we can see something else entirely is being presented.
The Greek word authenteo for authority occurs in this verse but no nowhere else in the New Testament. While the word authenteo has been translated by the word “authority” in nearly all English versions of the Bible, it is not the same word as exousia, the word used for “authority” in many other passages in scripture. Let us look at the difference in these words.
one who with his own hands kills another or himself one who acts on his own authority, autocratic an absolute master, to govern, exercise dominion over one
power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases leave or permission,physical and mental power the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege) the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed) universally authority over mankind, specifically the power of judicial decisions of authority to manage domestic affairs, a thing subject to authority or rule, jurisdiction one who possesses authority, a ruler, a human magistrate,the leading and more powerful among created beings superior to man, spiritual potentates.a sign of the husband’s authority over his wife the veil with which propriety required a women to cover herself,the sign of regal authority, a crown
Now why do you think the word authenteo is used instead of the more common usages of exousia ?
According to Gnostic teaching Eve was not deceived because she was the illuminator and all-wise mother goddess and was before man.
Timothy corrects this false teaching by saying that only One is all-wise, and that is God Himself. So what Timothy was saying is this .
“I am not allowing (present tense for that situation) a woman to teach or to proclaim herself the originator of man (authenteo). Adam was formed first, then Eve.”
This mother-goddess heresy and emerging Gnosticism in First and Second Timothy and Titus, makes it clear that Paul was bringing correction in 1 Timothy 2:11-15.
He was correcting women who were teaching this heresy
If this scripture was meant universally rather than to a specific situation it would have been stated more in the rest of scriptures, (1 Corinthians 2:13) and it was not. In actuality women did teach men and held significant places as leaders in the church (Acts 18:26;21:9; Rom. 16:1,3,7).
In the Old Testament, we find women teaching men. (2 kings 22:14; Proverbs 1:8;31:26; and Micah 6:4.)
So we can see that women can teach both men and women in the scriptures but they are not to be over men in a superior position as the Gnostic doctrine elevates women.
For more information about the eve goddess of wisdom heresy check out this link.
Lets take a look at what the Bible has to say about women preaching the word of God in other scriptures. Remember in discerning the truth we must always compare scriptures with scriptures.
Scriptures tell us that in the last days women will prophecy. What does it mean to prophecy? To speak under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; Acts 2:17
Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.Romans 16:7
Junia is a latin Femle name.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.Philippians 4: 2,3
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.Proverbs 31:26
And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to Godand to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.Luke 2:36-38
Prophetess speak on behalf of God. They speak his words to the people. Men and women.
Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,Romans 16:3
A husband and wife team in the ministry
The Lord gives the word; the women who announce the news are a great host: Psalm 68:11
To announce is to preach and teach. To proclaim.
And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud died. And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, for he had 900 chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years. Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. Judges 4:1-24
To bring “judgment” is to teach and instruct in righteousness.
Lastly let us not forget the Samaritan women who was not only a sinner, rejected by the religious people of Jesus’ day but a woman that Jesus ministered to at a well. She went about proclaiming the gospel.
“Come and see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Christ?” (John 4:29).
Many “began to believe in him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me everything I have done’” (John 4:39).
Historically speaking it was mostly women who went out on the mission field to preach the gospel. They preached to both men and women.
The Scriptures tell us that God has magnified his word above all his name. (Psalms 138:2)
Magnified in Hebrew is gâdal which means to lift up in power, high estate, to increase and grow.
God magnifies his commandments, his speech, his word both written and oral above all his name, shêm which means individual position, honor and authority, renown.
The reason for this is that a person’s word proves their name. If my word does not back up my name then my name has no credibility. It’s discredited if I do not honor my word.
Have you ever had any “friends” like that? I have. Say they will do something and they don’t. Talk a good talk but don’t do what they say? Yeah, not someone you can count on and so they end up on your “not reliable list.”
When one gives their word it is like drawing a contract. It is binding. To break one’s word dishonors one’s character and then their name is not worth very much. One’s name must back up their character.
The legal term in contract law is “good faith” which means fair dealings that are honest and sincere towards the other party in a contract.
In other words God’s name is only as good as his word.
When you enter into contract with another person whether a marriage or business contract for example the contract terms must be binding in order for that contract to have any credibility.
I can tell you what my name is or my company’s name but so what if I can’t back up the terms of the contract.
In the same way the name of Jesus is validated by his word. His contract with the other party.
The name of Jesus is honored and glorified because his word has preeminence.
In other words the word of God as laid down in scriptures (contract in writing) represents who Jesus is. All the word (Bible)had to say is all about who Jesus is and like every contract it must be entered into by two parties for the contract to be binding.
Jesus tells us in scriptures that he is the word. The significance of that is that he is what he says. 1 John tells us that in the beginning was the word. God’s word existed before anything in our natural realm existed.
The word was with God, that scripture goes on to say.
God’s word accompanies him at all times even from the moment of creation.
The word was God. Jesus is God’s word. God actually became flesh in order to demonstrate his word.
Like they say, talk is cheap or unless backed up by action is worthless but God not only spoke his word in the beginning and created our natural realm but he became his word through taking on flesh.
Jesus demonstrated who God was.
But it doesn’t stop there. Scriptures tell us that those who receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord become born again of his word. (1 Peter 1:22)
Now God’s seed can propagate the Kingdom of God in the earth. We are epistles read of all men. Not written in ink on tablets of stone (written law) to bring the message of reconciliation between God and man but in fleshly tablets of the heart. ( 2 Corinthians 3:3)
This is significant in regard to God’s word magnified above his name in that as God’s seed the Holy Spirit bears witness in the world that we are the sons of God. Therefore our representation in the world proclaim God’s word to the world. For we are temples of the Holy Spirit which demonstrates through us the word of God to every one we come in contact with.
In conclusion God’s word which represents who God is through the Holy Spirit is manifest through Jesus Christ and consequently through the born again person to manifest the Kingdom of God and bring reconciliation between God and mankind.
God has magnified his word above all his name. At the name of Jesus who is the word manifest in the flesh every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!
According to Philippians 2:12, We are told to work out our own salvation with godly reverence. Then we are told in vs 13 that God works in us his desire and purpose.
On first glance this sounds like an oxymoron but when you look at the fact that the word “work” for vs 12 is a different word than vs 13 then you can see there are two different operations at play here.
In vrs 12 we are called to “work out” which uses the word katergazomai which means to accomplish something. To perform an action. To finish a task.
When we “work out” something we may be striving for a goal, working out kinks or finishing up a project.
The emphasis for that working out is on the self or the person. In other words we have to put in some effort to get the job done.
Paul talks about godly exercise. When we work out at a gym for our physical bodies It has some profit or benefit but when we exercise towards godliness the gains are much more beneficial because there are eternal benefits.
What are we working out? The Bible clearly tells us that we are to work out our salvation or sōtēria which means deliverance, health, preservation.
We are called to perform an action, accomplish a task or finish a project in regards to our health, preservation and deliverance.
There are some Christians who won’t like to hear this because they think because God is sovereign he just drops everything in our plate at his whim but it doesn’t work that way according to the Bible
The good news however is that God has given us a helper. He is called the Holy Spirit. He is our teacher and coach. Like a spotter when we are working out. The one who helps us lift the weight, carry the burden, and trains us to run the race.
Vrs 13 says that it is God who is at work in us to perform all his good pleasure. That word for work is energeō.
Translated it means activating power, effectual energy.
So in other words we are performing an action and the Holy Spirit is giving us his power to perform that action.
God is working in us by his Holy Spirit power releasing his energy in order for us to work out our salvation.
In order to be saved from our old sinful selves (sanctification)it is an on going process. The Bible tells us that we have been saved, are being saved and will be saved.
Jesus died once for our sin. He took our sins and also destroyed the power of sin. By doing that he saved us from eternal death and has given us eternal life.
Automatically when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord we become a child of God born of his Holy Spirit and a joint heir with Jesus Christ but we still have to by the power of the Holy Spirit work out our salvation with reverence while we are living in this world.
Let me put it this way. When we give life to children they become our family. It is a natural birth and heritage. The children have our DNA. However as they grow their responsibility as our children become greater.
Let’s put it this way, just because you are my child does not mean that you don’t clean your room!
You will have to pick up your toys, make your bed and brush your teeth too!
It’s the same way in God’s kingdom. He expects us to pray, exercise our faith, read our bible, fast and clean our house!
He expects us to take the garbage out too. That means get rid of the sin stinking up his house.
As a parent we help our children along. Give encouragement, help rearrange furniture, put new sheets on the bed. It is the same with the Lord. He will give us his energeō to get the job done.
Do you need deliverance or healing today? Then get ready for your work out! Take up that bed and walk!
Believe God’s word. That’s your part. Exercise your faith and rely on Holy Spirit power to perform his part.
Do you need salvation? Need to be saved out of debt or discouragement? Need to be free from a bad habit?
Then work out your salvation with the Holy Spirit. Call on your coach to help you lift that weight, give you a word of wisdom, and lead you in the right direction.
If you try to work in your own power you will fall on your face but if through the power of the Holy Spirit that is in you, you “work out” your salvation then you will achieve your goal! You will get the victory! Accomplish the task and finish the race!
Why does Jesus say in scriptures that he comes like a thief in the night?
A thief sneaks in without anyone knowing to snatch something away. Jesus was referencing in this parable to his coming for his bride.
In Revelations 3:3 Jesus is reprimanding his church. In particular the church that was in Sardis. He tells them that if they don’t repent of dead works and strengthen their walk in the Lord by returning to him zealously and being watchful (watching in prayer) then as punishment for disobedience they would find Jesus coming to them as a thief in the night.
In other words, like a thief who comes unaware to the owner of the house, ,Jesus will come to snatch away his prepared bride but those luke-warm and not watching will be left behind.
This scripture reveals that there will be unrepentant believers left behind in the snatching away of his bride. Referred to by some as the rapture or translation of the Spirit.
In Matthew 25 Jesus talks about coming for his bride. There are 5 virgins with oil in their lamps and 5 virgins without oil. The 5 with oil were watching and waiting having their lamps filled with oil.
What is this oil? A Holy Spirit filled life. The other 5 virgins had the word. They knew what the Lord’s will was. They knew he said he would come to get them someday but these 5 did not take his word seriously. They were fooling around in the world. They thought they had lots of time but suddenly like a thief in the night the bridegroom came and they were left behind.
In 1 Peter 3:10- 11 it also says that the day of the Lord’s return is going to come like a thief in the night.
Peter goes on to exhort Christians to keep the Lord’s exhortation in mind. To walk worthy of our calling while we are here. Not walking in riotous living but in holiness and the fear of the Lord.
That is what Jesus was talking about. Having our oil burning. Having zeal in our walk with the Lord. Going about our Father’s buisness but at the same time having our eyes fixed on his return. Living in the world but not of this world.
Jesus told his people to be zealous and repent for not watching and living a Spirit filled life. He warned that if the owner of the house had been watching he would have known in what hour the thief would come.
Are you watching for the Lord’s return? Are you ready for his appearing? Is the oil in your lamp burning with zeal? If not return to the lover of your soul today! You do not know in what hour your Lord will appear!
Grace or charis in ancient Greek is the divine influence upon the heart. Charis means to be gracious, loving, kind, extend favor, benevolent and life giving.
The word charis was used both in Greek and Roman mythology as the personification of graces. To be appropriated as having charis was to be divine.
Paul being an educated man of his era used the word Charis from the Greek to describe God’s desire to save mankind from sin. This word was understood by the Greeks and Romans in their culture to mean an act of divine kindness. Paul was using this word to convey to the Gentiles of his day how much God cared about them.
Paul went on to tell these Gentiles that the One true God’s charis could be extended to them through pistis or faith in Jesus Christ. In Greek mythology Pistis was representative of having good faith, trust, and reliability. Pistis was a principle used as a classical form of argumentation in Paul’s day. To fully persuade through logical reasoning. In other words, the mind must be fully persuaded in an argument to agree with the evidence presented to be convinced of a particular truth.
Today in law we use the term “good faith” or bona fide to describe the act of putting trust in and confidence with sincerity in something without intent to defraud with malice.
The Bible tells us to be fully persuaded about something in our mind. What we believe will determine our course of action. (Romans 14:5)
According to scripture, Thomas was not fully persuaded in his mind that Jesus had risen from the dead. Jesus did not condemn him for his lack of faith or pistis. Rather he demonstrated his eternal word by revealing himself to Thomas. Some people think that faith is supposed to be blind. Just trust even though you have not been fully persuaded. This simply is not true!
Faith comes by hearing a word from the Lord! (Romans 10:17) Presumptuous blind faith has caused many a life to go ship wrecked.
Faith or pistis comes by a word from God who has worked upon the heart by his divine nature with benevolent intentions, through Grace or charis.
Pistis is being fully persuaded based on convincing. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit convinces us that something is true. (John 16:8)
Grace or God’s loving kindness convinces the heart through faith (which is relying upon as true) creating the assurance of what is hoped for but not fully materialized.
Faith or pistis persuades and convinces by divine intervention a truth.
Thomas was fully persuaded that Jesus rose from the dead by experiencing the logos manifest in the flesh. It is the word of God which creates the ability to believe with fully persuaded assurance.
Even though a person were raised from the dead, if a heart is not fully persuaded by the Holy Spirit they would not believe. The unbelieving heart would just explain away the miracle. It takes charis through pistis to be fully convinced of truth.
Divinely inspired reasoning through the word of God convincing the heart is what produces faith. Miracles confirm the word of God. Jesus is the logos made flesh. His word through scriptures by divinely inspired utterance or manifestation worked on the heart is what produces faith, pistis.
In Roman’s chapter one we are told that evidence for a Creator is made evident by the things which are made. That does not convince everyone of that fact however.
A mind can be fully persuaded to believe a lie. Satan has built up strongholds of delusion in many people’s mind. They believe something to be true when it is not. Hence the need to have full persuasion of the truth. Scriptures tell us plainly that not all men have faith (2 Thess. 3:2) and that all born again Christians have been given a measure of faith. Notice the word given. Faith is given. An act of divine grace.
Even among Christians this is so. Paul pointed out that one person in persuaded that eating meat is fine while others do not have faith to eat meat.
Paul says that if you do not have faith being fully persuaded about something and you go against your conscience then it is sin. (Romans 14:2-5)
We know from scriptures that God sanctified meats but that some cannot eat meat because of an unpersuaded mind.
To one eating food offered to idols is no big deal because to them the idol is just a man-made construct. A piece of wood or a rock. While to others it is a demon spirit’s offering. Therefore, the thought of eating an offering sacrificed to an idol is abhorrent. (1 Corinthians 8)
Adam and Eve were walking in the garden naked without a problem and then after they sinned their nakedness became sin to them. They felt vulnerable and unprotected. God made a sacrifice of an animal for their atonement and clothed them in the skin. What was the difference? Perception. Their nakedness was seen not from a perspective of innocent children but naked in their beings in front of a Holy God. (Genesis 3)
We see this same principle today in cultural practices. Some have liberty in somethings while others do not have that same liberty due to cultural beliefs.
Unless the heart is fully persuaded (having faith) through divine intervention about a matter they cannot believe. Faith is a supernatural attribute produced by divinely inspired grace.
The conscience if not adhered to can sear. Basically, can have a flamboyant disregard for something. Many non saved people have this. Their sin does not feel like sin to them because it is a natural practice. It takes Holy Spirit convincing to produce an awareness of sin. (Romans 1)
Charis divinely influenced upon the heart convinces that God’s word is true. Grace through faith produces a change of mind or repentance. (Ephesians 2:8,9)
Evidence that is presented by the Holy Spirit through the word; written, oral or even supernatural produces faith. (John 20)
God’s word graciously worked upon the heart produces faith.
Paul reasoned with, persuaded, argued, testified, to the Gentiles through scriptures that Jesus is both Saviour and Lord. The Holy Spirit divinely moved upon the hearts to convince.
Paul also performed miracles confirming the word of God that he preached through demonstrative power of the Holy Spirit. Charis demonstrated evidences of the truth of the gospel message.
Grace or charis is the divine work of the invisible God the Holy Spirit upon the heart. Blessed indeed are those who believe and are fully persuaded that God’s word is true.