The Bible says there is a court in heaven. God opens his court to hear testimony. God is the judge in his heavenly court. God stands up to open heaven’s court. He pronounces judgement in the earth. TLB PSALMS 82:1
The word for court or ‘congregation’ is Edah. This word does not just mean a group of people. The TLB version says God’s court system is a council. Like a king’s court in which David or Solomon made judgments for the people’s concerns. Like a judge and jury.
Psalms 89:14 “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants.
The heavenly court operates much like our western common law court.
In a court of law for criminality, the prosecution brings forth a charge based on a broken law.
To prove the law was broken, there must be evidence presented.
The defense needs a good argument based on a set of defense standards to beat the charges.
Our defense in God’s court is to plead the blood of Jesus Christ once we confess and forsake our sins.
In a civil case, the opposition must have more evidence for or against it to win or lose a case. It’s called preponderance of evidence. In other words, the more evidence one has, the better to prove guilt or innocence.
In God’s court, the accuser (satan) sets out his case against us. He tells the court of God how we have violated the law somehow. He points out all our failures and inadequacies.
It is important to confess our sins before God and repent ASAP because it can be used against us in a court of law. God’s court.
If the accuser has legal precedence against us, we will reap the consequence of our sin. There is a correlation between a particular sin and a particular judgment in our lives. These are set out in scripture under the law.
The law cannot save us but it can call us out on our sins. The law is not abolished under the New Testament, but the sting of death brought forth by breaking the law is broken through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Unconfessed sin is dangerous in a Christian’s life.
It causes a curse to operate. Scriptures call this the curse of the law. Breaking God’s law causes death. Spiritually, physically, emotionally, and materially.
Jesus came to redeem us from the curse of the law. All confessed, and repentant sin is redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Some Christians make excuses for having chaotic lives with trouble on their doorstep all the time. They argue, “well, we live in a fallen world.”
I know about the consequences of having sin in my life. I’ve had to learn things the hard way. Since I am old and wiser now, I can warn you to make sure you work out your salvation with the fear of the Lord always at your forefront. That is, don’t take anything in the Bible lightly. Disregarding the scriptures will cause you no end of grief.
Just because you may have been honest all your life but your mouth shoots off doubt, scorn, disbelief, accusations against others, gossip, slander, etc., this will cause demonic activity to flourish in your life. The tongue is a wicked member, but some Christians don’t take this seriously.
When I started doing some huck and chuck, my life got better. When I took God’s word more seriously, I had more success.
Jesus came to redeem us from the curse of the law. Not to let us wallow in sin with the world. Christians do have tribulation, but the Scriptures tell us there is deliverance. The devil will try to trip us up, but we have a way out. That way out is a sword.
In the story of Ester, when the wicked one wanted to kill all of God’s people, the King gave them a sword in order to defend themselves.
We have the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God to counter the accuser.
When MR. Devil tells you that you are a failure because you blew it too many times,you can take the sword of the Spirit and say…IT IS WRITTEN; Mr. Devil, that a righteous man, falls 7 times and gets back up again. That means I’m going to get this right, and you are a liar!
God will back you up.
That’s legal precedence for him to be able to kick the devil out of your life.
If Mr. Devil says, “oh, you are weak, sick, infirmed. You can’t possibly be of any use.”
Take the sword of the Spirit and give him a good one.
Mr. Devil, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Get behind me, in Jesus’ name.
The only thing that the devil listens to is the word of God. He has to. Its the word of God that holds all things together.
Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Hebrews 1:3
When we bring our legal precedence before God’s court, he will honor it.
If you believe that God’s word is more powerful than anything in the universe, you will see your life changed for the better. When you take God’s word and present it before the court of heaven, God will always honor it. He watches over his word to perform it. Be patient and give him time to work all things together for your good!
Don’t give Satan any place. Use the sword of the Spirit when he attacks. Keep a clean slate with the Lord. Plead the blood of Jesus over your life every day. Then the accuser will stay under your feet where he belongs.
In Mathew 10:1 Jesus called his disciples and gave them power that is excousia or authority in the Greek. Jesus made his disciples ambassadors representing the kingdom of God but did you know the delegated authority or excousia in the Greek is defined as one who is a magistrate.
A magistrate is a civil officer or lay judge who administers the law. Especially one who conducts a court and deals with offenses. When Jesus gave his disciples excousia or authority in the Greek what he did was call them to have delegated influence in a jurisdiction. Matthew 28:18
The Bible says that the whole world lies in wickedness under the power of the evil one. The world system and those not saved are under the influence of Satan and his hordes.
Jesus delegated his authority to believers. Those who are his disciples (disciplined ones)
What is the Lord’s authority? ALL authority.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority power (translated excousia or authority) has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Matthew 28:18
Under the authority of Jesus Christ believers are delegated authority over all the works of darkness. Not some but ALL authority.
That is all power over unclean demonic spirits. To cast them out. To expel or send them away. Authority to set captives free from the dominion of darkness. Authority to heal, every manner of disease or sickness.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28: 18-20
Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld. John 20:19-24
In Luke 10 :19 Jesus said I give unto you power...excousia…athourity…to trample over…(put in subjection) snakes…(sly cunning malicious persons)…and scorpions…(the sting or piercings of evil attacks)..and over all the power of….(demonic activity ..demonic strength)….the enemy…(Satan and his demons.) And nothing shall hurt… (injure…do wrong)…to you.
Believers have been given authority or jurisdiction over the evil one. In order to exercise that authority one must receive dumanispower .
When Jesus was with his disciples he gave them his authority to cast out devils and heal the sick but after Jesus was risen from the dead he sent the Holy Spirit to empower them to have delegated power and authority over the works of darkness.
Luke 24:49 says wait until you receive power from on high. Endued with or clothed with….power… dumanis … from heaven.
To be clothed with means to be endowed with or provided with a quality or insight. This power works in conjunction with authority.
One must not only be saved or regenerated by the Holy Spirit but also empowered by the Holy Spirit in order to exercise authority in this world to do works of the kingdom of God.
Some Christians call this being baptized in the Holy Spirit or sanctified by the Spirit. The Bible calls it receiving or being clothed with dumanis power from on high.
Notice that the receiving of power is from heaven. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit occurs from regeneration or being born again. There is also an endowment of supernatural ability the Lord gives.
Some Christians have dumanis power but they do not exercise authority. You can find this kind of situation in many churches. There are also Christians who use authority in Jesus Christ but have no power to back that authority up.
Positionally Christians have authority over the devil but that authority cannot be exercised without power or dumanis.
In Luke the scriptures tell us that the power or dumanis of the Lord (power of the Holy Spirit) was present to heal. With power or dumanis Jesus commands the unclean spirits and they come out.
Dumanis is also power to preform God’s mighty miraculous strength and power.
With authority or jurisdiction, Jesus commanded the evil spirits and they obey him.
This is exercised through authority and power which is given from on high or heaven.
Jesus preached the word or logos with power and authority delegated to him from heaven.
John 1 :12 tells us that those who receive Jesus have been given authority to become the sons of God.
What does being a son of the most high give positionally? Basically the power and authority to not only walk in the same character as Jesus Christ but also to perform the same works. Greater works because there are now many sons of God in the earth.
Satan hides this biblical truth from Christians. Most Christians do not walk in what Jesus Christ died to provide for them.
Why? Unbelief. Ignorance. Disobedience to the truth.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:7 We have this power in earthen vessels when we have become born of God.
All true Christians have been given authority and power over the works of darkness.
Being endued with power from on high is a one time experience but it is also a continual experience.
Just because we have a well of water or Holy Spirit power dwelling within us does not mean we can drink without drawing from that well.
We must draw from that well. In other words we must tarry with God. Spend time with him. Get our heart right. Repent of all sin. Gain spiritual insight from him. Get his plan or purpose for our life.
It is the same with endowment with power from on high to perform miraculous signs and wonders. We must continually pray and stay close to Jesus to appropriate his dumanis power.
Jesus specifically said that the Holy Spirit will be in you AND on you.
If we are born again the Holy Spirt indwells us but also cloths us with his power.
Acts 1 :8 says that when we receive power dumanis after the Holy Spirit has come upon you, that is arrives to bring his influence then we become his witnesses. Bearing record of him by becoming a martyr (sold out to God) in all the earth.
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. Acts 10:38
The Bible talks about being indwelt with the Holy Spirit and having the Holy Spirit come upon you to be a witness.
Some Christians teach there is no difference but scriptures tell us other wise. To indwell or be in you is the anointing. All Christians have an anointing for service. All who believe in Jesus Christ can operate in the gifts of the Spirit in utterance, inspiration, healing, etc.
There is another phenomena of the Spirit that can occur. Being clothed with power from on high to preform miraculous signs and wonders.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8
Acts 4:33 says that God gave apostles. (ambassadors…commissioners….sent with miraculous power to witness with great grace charis...that is with mighty divine influence.)
When Holy Spirit comes upon some one it is to demonstrate miraculous power.
This power and authority was given to the apostles as well as evangelists and prophets after Pentecost. However, this power and authority has not passed away as some teach. It is given specifically for a particular ministry God raises to be a witness for him in this world. Usually with miraculous signs and wonders.
Can all have this dumanis power come on them for service? I can’t answer that but I do know we can ask for it when we desire to reach others for Jesus or minister to the body of Christ.
Stephen was not one of the original 12 disciples nor did he have first hand testimony of Jesus Christ but he still had a testimony of what good things happened to him through his salvation. Stephen was an evangelist according to the Bible.
Today many apostles as well as evangelists have been given miraculous dumanis power to be witness in this world. To heal, deliver and perform signs and wonders.
Acts 6:8 says that Stephen was full of faith. (trust in the Lord) and power. (dumanis). He did miraculous miracles, performed supernatural signs among the people.
Paul was not a first hand witness either but he became a believer supernaturally and according to Romans 15:19 Paul did mighty signs and wonders by the dumanis power of the Holy Spirit. He fully preached the gospel.
Paul said that in 1 Cor. 2:4 that his preaching was not in man’s persuasive words or wisdom but by demonstration of the Holy Spirit in power or dumanis .
I can only tell you what the scriptures tell us about being endued with power from on high but I can also give you a personal example.
Both my husband and I are evangelists. We are highways and byways preachers and ministers.
That is we witness for Jesus Christ every where we go. Although I have worked in many faith based ministries over the years I finally got fed up with the unbelief and boxes I was put in so with God’s direction I went independent. Now I listen to Jesus and do what he tells me to do.
God wants his people to minster in the world. In their neighborhoods and cities. There are too many big shots out there and not enough believers who want to minster in dumanis power in their neck of the woods. That’s what we do. I preach Jesus Christ every where I go and to all kinds of people. From the homeless to clerks and bank tellers.
My husband has a powerful healing anointing. He is a tradesman. God gives him opportunity to minster on his job and in his private life. Every where he goes My husband carries this anointing. I know because one of my gifts from the Lord is the discerning of spirits. I can discern gifts, anointings, hearts, heavenly manifestations and the demonic realm as the Lord wills.
My gifting is different. While I have the Holy Spirit indwelling I also have the Holy Spirit come on me for specific works he wants to perform. I can be feeling normal one minute and the next minute the power of God comes on me to be a witness. When this happens I never know what is going to occur.
Sometimes the conviction of the Holy Spirit falls. He will fall in a bank, a store, the street. People will start feeling uncomfortable. I can see them squirming. Other times they start crying and confessing their sin.
Sometimes the word of knowledge starts operating. Sometimes prophecy. Sometimes the gift of faith comes on me. Sometimes a miracle occurs. Sometimes a deliverance.
This dumanis power comes on me only for a specific work the Lord wants to do. Other wise I’m as normal as can be. My husband on the other hand has an anointing that’s constant even if he is not praying for some one.
I am an intercessor so not only can I feel the Holy Spirit manifestations but I can also feel the demonic. This means many times I’m wrestling for the soul of someone in prayer or some spiritual situation. All I can feel in those many times is the oppression I’m praying against. Its not an easy ministry.
When my husband comes home the whole room fills up with the healing anointing. That’s an upside of being married to him! I start feeling better!
Paul exhorted believers to be filled with joy and peace in the Holy Spirit power. He said to put on the armor of God, be filled with the word of God and continually be filled with the power of God. Romans 15:13, 2: Corinthians 6:7
Each of us have been given gifts and callings from God but we must be endued with dumanis power to perform them. Whether indwelling anointings or endued from on high for specific works.
Not just once but every day. We must draw from the wells of salvation as David exhorted. That means walking holy, being in prayer, and the word.
Eph. 3:7 I was made a minister (servant of the gospel) according to the gift of grace (divine influence) given by the operation or working of God’s dumanis power.
We need to preach God’s word with dumanis power and authority and not by our own abilities. Other wise we will not be truly effective. 1Thessalonians 1:5
Not with man’s wisdom but in the power of God.
Be filled with or supplied with the Holy Spirit.
To walk in authority over all the works of the evil one we must be continually supplied with dumanis power whether flowing from us, coming on us, or both. This comes from a life dedicated to seeking God and being obedient do what he tells us to do.
Scriptures tell us that regarding faith, we must contend for it, fight for it, and stand on it.
Faith or trusting in God is always challenged by the devil. Faith is the key that opens heaven’s resources.
Jude tells us to contend for the faith because people will sneak into your church, your life, your family and try to corrupt the word.
Someone may come along and try to sway you from God’s grace by altering the word of God in order to try and trip you up. Jude says contend for the faith. (Jude3,4)
To content, gârâh in the Hebrew means to strive. To earnestly struggle. To Contest to victory.
In Deuteronomy 2:24 the Lord tells his people to contend in battle for the land that he gave to them. When God gives us a promise many times there is a battle with the enemy in order to obtain it.
“Rise up, take your journey, and pass over the valley of the Arnon: behold, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land; begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle. Deuteronomy 2:24
In the Greek contend is epagōnizomai which implies wrestling or battling in warfare.
Everything in the kingdom of God for your life will be contested by the devil. He is a thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus said in his word that he came to give us an abundant life. Even in hard times and horrible circumstances the Lord is faithful to his word. He will always come through if you contend, fight, and stand.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
The parable of the Sower tells us that the wicked one comes to steal the word sown in our heart. (Mark 4:1-20)
The enemy brings doubts. Did God really say that? (Genesis 3:1-3, Luke 4:3)
Without faith we cannot please God because faith is the key to all operations in the kingdom of God. (Hebrews 11:6)
Whoever comes to the Lord in prayer must believe that he is. Is what? Is Savior. Is able. Is truthful. Is Lord of all.
And that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.
That is God will reward your seeking if you are diligent. Persistent.
“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 seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
The devil does not want you to be blessed. He wants to steal, kill and destroy. He is the devourer of anything good.
That’s why scriptures tell us to contend for the faith. Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold of eternal life. (Kingdom blessings)
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12
Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; Romans 15:30
Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. Luke 13:24
And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. 2 Timothy 2:5
When you plant a garden all kinds of critters will want to get in and eat up your crop. So, you build a fence. You put up resistance of all kinds. Scarecrows, pesticides (natural so your crop is healthy), and you keep watch.
This way no critter can get in and steal your crop. When God’s word is planted in your heart the devil and his goons will try to steal it. We must contend earnestly with him. Resist the devil. Put up a fight.
Take that shield of faith and bash him a good one.
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Ephesians 6:16
No way Mr. devil! My God has spoken. His word is true. You are a liar. Get out of here!
We keep contending for the faith until harvest time. Then when we eat the good food from the seed of God, planted in our hearts we will do so in the presence of our enemies.
Satan and his goons will just have to sit and watch God’s word that has come to fruition bless our lives. He will have to suck it up!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Psalm 23:5
So, contend for the faith. Content with the enemy by wrestling in prayer, declaring the word of God and standing in faith.
Remember that Satan uses people to do his dirty work.
Don’t listen to all the Nay Sayers out there. Listen to God’s word, for it is above every word! You will win the battle of faith if you don’t give up!
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9
Whoever helps the poor will be helped in their time of need according to the scriptures.
Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. Psalm 41:1
This is a spiritual principle we see throughout scripture. Helping the poor is giving to to the Lord.
He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” Psalm 19:17
The person who considers the poor is blessed according to scriptures.
“Considers” Zaman in the Hebrew includes the following: To look at attentively; to observe; to examine. To have regard to; to take into view or account; to pay due attention to; to respect. To estimate; to view. To think seriously about; to make examination; to reflect; to deliberate. Giving serious thoughts to. To practice, purpose, devise. To contemplate, think seriously about.
The Lord says that he blesses those who give not just monetary means but also discipleship and service to those who are in need.
The promise attached to this outreach to the poor is deliverance when they themselves are in need. The Lord promises to save and rescue from trouble, evil, distress, calamity, sorrow, harm, adversity. “As you have helped others so will I help you.”
The Lord goes even further. He promises that those who give to the poor or those in need, (physically, emotionally and spiritually) will be preserved and kept alive.
Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. Psalm 41:1-4
The Hebrew translation of the word preserve (Shamar) means to keep or save from injury or destruction; to guard or defend from evil, harm, danger, protect, put a hedge about, watch over.
The Lord will bless those who give to the poor. He will not allow them to be delivered over to their enemies. He has promised to give power and strength to them. He has promised to recover or heal them in sickness.
This means that God will overthrow all attacks, turn back the evil ones plans and agendas. Thwart off all distress, diseases, grief, anxiety, depression.
For those who help others in their need the Lord will always be there to help them in their need.
Those who give to the poor are blessed by the Lord.
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35
He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor. Proverbs 22:9
And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday. Isaiah 58:10
Refusing to help the poor or ignoring their pleas brings a negative result according to the Bible.
He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse. Proverbs 28: 27
If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee. Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. Deuteronomy 15:7-10
Giving to the poor not only brings God’s blessings in this life but also in eternity.
Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsemen, nor thy rich neighbours, lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And thou shalt be blessed, for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. Luke 7:12-14
Blessed by God are those who give to others who are in need!
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38
The Bible tells us that we are saved by grace THROUGH faith.
Grace (charis) is defined as the divine influence upon the heart. A benefit of favour.
Paul uses the Greek word charis to define God’s favor bestowed by his Son Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
Paul is preaching to ancient Greeks who were idol worshippers.
Characteristics in ancient Greece were often personalized as gods in Greek culture.
In ancient Greek mythology Charis is a representation of several Greek goddesses known as the Charities whose characters are charm, beauty, goodwill, human creativity and fertility.
Paul was pointing out to the Gentiles (non Jews) that the benevolence of God acquired for us salvation through the death and resurrection of his Son Jesus Christ.
Grace or unmerited favor extended by God according to the scriptures must be accompanied by Faith in order for salvation to occur.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9
Some people preach that God’s grace saves in and of itself. This is not true. While God’s grace poured out by his divine love is extended to all it is not realized by any until grace is received by faith.
What is faith? In ancient Greek mythology Pistis or Faith was the personification or god of good faith, trust and reliability.
It is the same in our common law. Faith or “good faith,” is having an honest and sincere intention.
Many believe faith to simply mean belief. Again this is not true. To intellectually believe something to be true does not mean one receives that truth for themselves.
I may believe that red peppers have a very high amount of vitamin C and are good for me but I may not want to eat them because I don’t like them or because I am not in the mood for them or I’m indecisive about other aspects concerning them. Maybe I think I may get heart burn if I eat them.
Believing something to be true does not mean adhering to that something personally.
Pistis in the Greek is faith which sincerely believes and trusts in something which in turn leads to conversion or changing from one particular thing into another.
Pistis according to the ancient Greeks was faith or belief which came about by the act of persuasion.
To be fully persuaded is induced by evidence or proof which is given.
And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Romans 4:21
Blind belief is not Biblical faith. God has given much evidence for his existence and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Examples of this are;
Jesus rising from the dead seen by many witnesses.
Witness testimony of the disciples.
The power of the Holy Spirit confirming the word through signs following.
Jesus mentioned by Jewish and Roman historians in their historical texts.
In the Old Testament we can see an example of faith in action.
Abraham heard God’s voice telling him to follow him.
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. Genesis 12:1-4
Abraham heard God’s voice speaking to him. What Abraham did not know is where he was going. Abraham trusted God because he was a friend of God. You don’t become someone’s friend without a bona-fide relationship.
According to the Bible, faith comes by hearing God’s word or voice. (rhema)
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word (rhema) of God. Romans 10:17
Evidences of faith are built by having a relationship with God.
This relationship requires obedience to his voice.
Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness.
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Romans 4:3-5
Believing or Faith (pistis) in God requires trust. This trust is developed by having a relationship.
Paul used the word pistis to describe trust in God for his grace.
How is grace through faith received? The Bible tells us it is by repentance or metatoia.
Metatoia in ancient Greek meant changing one’s mind about something or some one. Metatoia was depicted by the ancient Greeks as a sorrowful goddess filled with regret for having failed or missed the moment.
In early Christian literature (See Tertillian) metanoia is expressed as a change in one’s thinking that leads to a fundamental change in behavior or way of living. This change is a key ingredient for receiving salvation.
Jesus made it very clear in scripture that without repentance there is no salvation.
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, yeshall all likewise perish. Luke 13:3
In conclusion, God’s grace extended through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the Savior is received by faith which is trusting in God through obedience to the truth.
Since you have purified your soulsby obedience to the truthso that you have a genuine love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from a pure heart. 1Peter 1:22
This faith is realized by repentance or a turning away from one’s own ways to walk in obedience to the voice of God through his eternal word.
But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. 1 Peter 1 :22
When this is done, God through his grace by faith imputes or accredits to the recipient his righteousness.
That is the convert now is in perfect standing with God.
Jesus said in his word that no one can come to him unless the Father draw him. To draw in this verse from John 6: 44 is the word helkuo which means to drag or haul to lead or compel.
The Holy Spirit must draw or compel a person to Jesus the Savior through convincing. He convinces them of their sin, their need for salvation and the judgement of sin on them in their fallen state. (John 16:8)
When this convincing by Grace or God’s mercy becomes compelling then faith must be obtainedaccording to scriptures.
“SIMON PETER, A SERVANT AND AN APOSTLE OF JESUS CHRIST, TO THEM THAT HAVE OBTAINED LIKE PRECIOUS FAITH WITH US THROUGH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD AND OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.” 2 PETER 1:1
To obtain something is to get, acquire, or secure something.
The Greek word in this scripture is lagchanō which means to receive by divine allotment.
Faith is not earned by good deeds, intellectual prowess, or human ability. Faith is a divine attribute. Faith must be obtained or received.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Eph 2:8
Scriptures tell us that Jesus obtained salvation for us.
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Hebrews 9:12
Obtain in this verse is the Greek word heurisko which means acquired, find, to get,
To obtain is to get or acquire something.
How is faith obtained?
Faith is obtained by divine providence.
By Grace or God’s divine mercy which draws by the Holy Spirit to Jesus Christ for salvation or whatever the need is, faith comes or is brough forth.
Faith comes. Faith is brought forth.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10: 17
Faith is not a human attribute. It is divine or comes from God by hearing.
Faith is obtained by hearing.Akoe To hear or incline the ear.
The word (gospel message) being preached. (proclaimed)
It is through preachingthe word is heard.
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 1 Corinthians 1:21
Faith is obtained by hearing God’s word preached. (proclaimed)
Let me simplify this spiritual principle.
The Father has sent the Holy Spirit to draw or compel by convincing of a need. (Whether salvation or deliverance or whatever)
Then when convinced of the need faith is obtained or acquired by grace or God’s mercy.
God’s mercy has inclined the ear to hear.
Faith is obtained or acquired in order to receive by hearing. (Having a hearing ear by the Holy Spirit’s work) through the preaching or proclaiming of God’s word. (Rhema living word of Christ)
Dear Father draw us by your Holy Spirit to recognize our need. Give us ears to hear your word being spoken to us by your Holy Spirit. Grant unto us by your grace the ability to receive what you are telling us and help us to apply it to our lives. In Jesus name. Amen.
God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or they would die. That is they would experience physical death (which eventually they did) as well as spiritual death, separation from God or YHWY.
Death or maveth‘ in the Hebrew is the giving up of the spirit from the body. For the Christian death means to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8 )
For the unsaved death is to be separated from God, cast into torments or hell which is a holding place for lost spirits. (Luke 16:19-31)
The “second death” is the everlasting perdition of the wicked in the lake of fire. (Revelations 2:11, Revelations 21:8)
Why would partaking of the tree of the “knowledge” of good and evil cause death?
According to Gnosticism (mystery Babylon ideology) da‛ath (Hebrew for knowledge) is the gateway to having “knowledge” or having mystery understanding of spiritual realities.
This concept of “knowledge” is known in all mystery Babylon religions. By that I mean all religious systems outside the gospel of Jesus Christ. These systems have one thing in common. Belief or “knowledge” that is contrary to the gospel.
In other words, this partaking of the knowledge of Satan’s religion causes both physical and spiritual death to occur.
It is interesting to note, that the word for good, or the knowledge of mystery Babylon “good” is the word ţôb in Hebrew which means to prosper, be wealthy, having everything associated with temporal earthly pleasure.
Satan offers worldly pleasures to those who partake of his kingdom. He even tried to bribe the Lord with worldly gain. (Matthew 4:9)
Jesus on the other hand offers life abundantly. The same life YHWY offered to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.
Scriptures tell us that whoever has the Son has life but whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life but the wrath of God abides on him. (1 John 5:12)
This abundant life which Jesus wants to give is not the same as what Satan has to offer. It is not worldly pleasure and sensual gratification.
God’s life is chay in the Hebrew language. To be alive, renewed, revived, spiritual life in YHWY. Eternal life.
Jesus says he is THE LIFE.
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. John 11:25
This is the purpose that Jesus came to earth as God incarnate. To give life.
Jesus is the tree of life. He is the life offered to mankind.
Whoever partakes of Jesus Christ by being born again or revived with renewed life has eternal life. Life forever and always.
No death can keep the born again child of God in the grave.
The thief or Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. Satan offers worldly pleasures that in the end cause spiritual death.
Jesus offers life or eternal chay with him. Everlasting life. Life that never ends.
This abundant life that Jesus gives flows from the Kingdom of God. It is not of this world. It is not material temporal earthly pleasures. (John 18:36)
God’s life flows from his Son. It is a life expressed from a heavenly point of view. A life operating in God’s realm or through God’s Holy Spirit.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoeverwill lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25
The tree of knowledge is not just an evil or dark and sinister knowledge but a knowledge of earthy sensual wisdom which gratifies the carnal nature. Satan’s “good” is really a death trap for all who partake of it.
God’s life is in his Son. It is eternal life. Life with YHWY forever.
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 1 John 5:12
Do you want to have God’s life? Eternal life that flows from his kingdom?
Jesus is the tree of life. Come to him Jesus Christ and be saved.
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
This is the admonition Jesus gave to his disciples concerning his coming again.
Let’s recollect about Lot’s wife.
Before Lot and his family left Sodom the angels gave the Lord’s command.
“Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.”
Lot’s wife however disobeyed the word of the Lord and turned into a pillar of salt.
Now why do you suppose she would do that? Obviously it was more than just curiosity.
To “look back” in this scripture is the Hebrew word nâbaţ which means to look intently at, to regard with pleasure and care, to consider, to have respect for.
This means that Lot’s wife had an affinity to the place she was leaving. A sentiment for her home. An emotional attachment to the people she was leaving behind.
Jesus goes on after giving this admonition to say in Luke chapter 17,
Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall preserve it.
“Losing our life” is the key point that the Lord is telling us here.
According to scriptures our lives are not our own. We were bought with a price.
“To lose” in this scripture means to die. Apollumi in the Greek. Which means to put to death or consider non operative.
Paul says that he dies daily. Death to self and the world is an every day thing.
Did you know that if we love the world or the things of the world then God’s love does not reside in us?
A sure way to tell a true Christian from a false one is if they are accepted by the world and if they love the things of the world.
What are the things of the world? Anything that the world esteems highly!
What does the world esteem highly?
John (1John 2) tells us that the things of the world are whatever your flesh or carnal nature lust after. Whatever your eyes lust after and whatever outside of God makes you feel prideful or you boast about.
So let me put this in modern terms. Whatever the world is running after, craving, pursuing, seeking for, desiring, addicted to, loving, and is their heart’s desire.
If you love those things too then you are not one of the Lord’s disciples. Sure you may believe in Jesus Christ but even the devil believes in God.
Remember that Jesus gave this warning.
Another way to tell a true Christian from a false one is how much they brag about themselves. How worthy they are. How blessed they are. How many special qualities they have. How wonderful their position in life is. How awesome their works are. How great life is treating them. Basically whatever is all about them.
Paul said that he boasted only in the Lord. He put no confidence in his own abilities. He boasted in being weak so that God could demonstrate HIS power through him.
Galatians 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Jesus told us as recorded by Luke(14) that if we desire to follow Jesus Christ and become one of his disciples then we must take up our cross. That is we must be willing to suffer like he did.
How did Jesus Christ suffer?
He was misunderstood, persecuted, judged, bullied, hated, ridiculed, beaten, and even put to death.
Yea, and all that will live godly inChrist Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12
Remember Lot’s wife? She turned into a pillar of salt for looking back to what God judged as evil. In the Hebrew pillar is netsîyb which means a post or garrison.
God made Lot’s wife into a sign post. For all with eyes to see. A reminder to “don’t look back.”
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep your’s also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
While today we think of the word “offend” as insulting one’s standard or principles, the Bible has a different definition.
Depending on the context of the verse, ultimately the word offense in the Bible has the same connotations. To offend someone does not mean to insult someone’s principles but rather to cause someone to fall.
Offend in the Hebrew language has several definitions but all pertaining to the same concept. It can be translated as châbal which means to pervert, corrupt or spoil.
It can be translated as bâgad which means to deal deceitfully, be treacherous or unfaithful.
It can be mikshôl which is to be a stumbling block or cause to fall.
It can be âsham which means to perish, become desolate, be found guilty, to trespass.
In the Greek language the word offend can be translated as skandalizō , skandalon or ptaiō which all mean to entrap, to trip up, to entice to sin, to cause to stumble.
In effect, “to offend” according to scripture means: to cause someone to fall, be a stumbling block, to corrupt, cause to err, to pervert, to spoil,
Jesus tells us what he thinks about offending others.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6
The epistles of the apostles reiterate this admonition.
But take care that this rightof yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 1 Corinthians 8:9
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. Roman’s 14:13
What the Bible is telling us is to try and live our life in such a way that our conscience is clean. Even if it means giving up something that would cause others to reject Jesus Christ.
In this way we can be a witness in the world.
Now we are not going to be able to please everyone and some people will find fault with us no matter how holy we live but we must not deliberately offend or be nonchalant in our witness.
Paul said he became all things to all people that he might win them to Christ. In other words wherever he went he respected (within reason) the culture he was in. He maintained his Christian witness while not offending anyone on purpose.
To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 1 Corinthians 9:22
The cross in and of itself is an offense to some people. They may behave very inappropriately towards Christians if they have an offense towards the gospel. If they do that they may cause themselves to stumble away from the truth. (1 Corinthians 1:22)
However, as Christians we must in all good conscience live in the light, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and not be a stumbling block deliberately to another person.
That means not causing anyone to do anything that goes against their conscience or doing anything in front of someone that may cause them to fall even if we have liberty to do it.
Jesus gave us an example in scriptures. He paid his taxes so as not to offend, he took a lowly position in order to not be offensive to others, he fulfilled all righteousness even though he was Lord of all and he remained humble throughout his walk in this earth.
Jesus tells us that just as he laid down his life to be a benefit for others so should we lay down our lives for the benefit of others. It does not matter if it causes us discomfort, rejection, or ridicule.
What matters is that we do not offend in all conscience by putting a stumbling block before others.
A perfect example of this is Paul’s attitude in dealing with the Corinthians.
Wherefore, if meat causeth my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh for evermore, that I cause not my brother to stumble.
1 Corinthians 8:13
Dear Father in Jesus name help us to not be a stumbling block to others in this world. Give us your wisdom in every situation. Let your light shine through us always. Amen
1 Peter 4:1,2 tells Christians that just as Jesus Christ suffered for us in the flesh, we should also have the same mind, for whoever suffers in the flesh ceases to live a life according to the desires of the carnal nature. Those living in the Spirit live according to the will of God.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Romans 8:14
What does Peter mean by suffering in the flesh?
Suffering is experiencing discomfort and even pain. Peter is referring to suffering in the body or physical pain. The body is still in an unredeemed state and if allowed to will sin like the dickens! Peter is telling Christians that the body needs to be crucified or put down so that the life of Christ in our spirit can live for God according to God’s will.
Putting the body or carnal nature down (not allowing it to rule ) is not something we can do in our own power.
Romans 8:13 tells us that if we live according to the flesh or sin nature we will die. The flesh wants all kinds of things that can kill us. Junk food, addictions, entertainment, laziness and much more! The bible says that those who live in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:8)
Living for self is harmful. The desires of the flesh and the carnal mind will lead to spiritual dysfunction, physical ailments, and emotional sickness.
God gives us his remedy for putting down the flesh. He tells us that if we mortify or put to death the desires of the flesh by the Spirit that dwells in us then we will live or have an abundant life as promised by Jesus in the gospels.
Let’s take a look at the suffering of Jesus Christ according to Isaiah 53.
Peter tells us to have this same mind concerning suffering.
According to this prophecy Jesus Christ was despised.
To be despised means to not be valued. To be seen as worthless. Our flesh wants to be valued and praised and adored but sometimes in order to do God’s will we my have to be despised. Not everyone will like us and in fact they may even hate us. Preaching the gospel for another’s benefit or serving someone who does not like us may actually be bringing them a benefit.
Our flesh does not like to suffer shame and humiliation but sometimes it is necessary in order to accomplish God’s will in certain situations.
Jesus Christ gave his life for his enemies. He loved those who did not love him back. Are we armed with this mindset?
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. John 15:18-20
Jesus was rejected because his values are not appreciated by some people. We may not be liked or valued or accepted ether by those who are not disciples of Jesus Christ. Are we armed with this mindset?
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Luke 6:22
Jesus was afflicted. That means he had to endure pain, abuse, bullying and scoffing. Are we armed with this mindset?
How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. Jude 1:18
Jesus bore our sorrows, he endured shame, he bore our griefs, and he carried our burdens.
Galatians 6: 2 tells us to bear one another’s burdens. This means that when we are armed with the mindset of Jesus Christ, we come alongside another and help them carry their burden. Whether it’s in prayer, giving, ministering, helping, or serving. Even if it is not appreciated.
Paul tells us that we are to consider our sufferings in this world to be unworthy of the glory that will be revealed in us. Jesus suffered for us and as his children we are to have the same mindset.
Our flesh wants pleasure not suffering. We want recognition, respect and rewards for our good deeds, but Jesus tells us to love like he does, unconditionally. That means no strings.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Jesus bore sorrow, pain, and grief for our sake so that through his affliction he could bring us healing. Jesus was wounded so that through his stripes we could receive forgiveness, healing, and restoration.
Jesus endured the cross and the shame so that he could bring many out of darkness and make them his children. When we are armed with this mindset, we can endure our sufferings for the benefit of others.
Jesus Christ’s suffering brought us not only salvation but righteousness and justification. He suffered in patience and endurance because he knew what the outcome would be. Armed with Jesus Christ’s mindset we can patiently wait for a good outcome too.
No suffering in this life is pleasant scriptures tell us BUT it is working out for us a far greater work of glory.
Think about that! When we patiently endure and pray then God will walk through our suffering with us. He will help us carry our burdens so that we can bear up under it.
The outcome of our suffering will come in God’s perfect timing. Just trust him for faithful is he who has promised.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you in your weakness to keep your flesh down so it doesn’t react to injustice.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. Psalm 34:19