In Exodus 6:1-9 we read that the Israelites could not hear God’s word that he wanted to deliver them because they had a broken spirit.
Many times because we have been hurt or abused by someone emotionally or spiritually our ears become closed to the truth. Even if the truth is right there in the Bible staring us in the face! We will ignore it or simply outright deny it.
There are two ways to go when one has been abused. We can hold on to the grudge and allow a bitter root of judgment to set in or we can forgive and go to the Lord for healing.
Choosing to hold on to unforgiveness, resentment and unbelief can have effects on us physically. It can cause mental illness like depression, arthritis or rottenness of the bones as scriptures call it, as well as all manner of sickness.
By sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. Proverbs 15:13
God cannot heal us if we refuse to let go of hate, anger and revenge.
The Bible gives us a remedy for a broken heart and a crushed spirit.
Psalms 51:17 tells us that the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.
Broken in the Hebrew is shâbar. It means to be broken in pieces, to burst, break down, bring to the birth, (trauma,) crush, destroy, hurt, quench, tear apart.
A broken spirit “dries the bones”
A broken spirit causes shame, confusion, disappointment, depression, withering or pining away.
Ruach, is the inner spirit person or heart.
The meaning of sacrifice is to “offer up.”
When we offer up to the Lord our broken heart he will bring healing. The first stage of healing is to see if there is any part we may have played in the offense or abuse. If we provoked in any way we need to repent and stop the behavior.
Then we must forgive. To forgive is to let go of the offense. Don’t hold anything against that person. If we take matters into our own hands by revenge, like slandering, cursing, or putting our hand to the person we will only add more trouble to our grief. The Lord asks us to forgive others so he can forgive us.
We should allow the Lord to revenge or bring correction into the situation instead of playing God by taking matters into our own hands.
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 5:32
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Matthew 11:25
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14
The next stage to healing is to draw near to the Lord. As we draw near to him, he will draw near to us.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you... James 4:8-10,
The Lord draws near to one with a broken heart and a contrite or crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 He does not despise them or look down on them.
After the Lord ministers grace, healing, deliverance to each of us as he sees fit because we are all different, then its time to build up the walls around our heart.
Proverbs 15:13 tells us that without control of our spirit, that is without being able to influence or manage our heart, it is like a city with no walls. The heart is not protected from danger.
How is this done? By renewing our mind with God’s thoughts. Whatever scriptures are needed to counter act those negative thoughts and emotion we apply to our lives.
We do this by praying the word of God into our heart, meditating on the word, (thinking on those scriptures) and by praying for those who have hurt us! When we know deep in our heart the truth, the truth will set us free indeed!
When the Bible tells us that Christians are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, what exactly does that mean? Let us first of all examine what the word conquer means. According to the dictionary, to conquer means to defeat or subdue by force. Especially by force of arms. To overcome or surmount by physical, mental, or moral force.
Romans chapter 8 tell us that we are more than conquerors. To be more than something means to exceed. To go beyond a gain.
We are more than conquerors because Jesus Christ has conquered. He won the battle and we are now situated in his victory.
According to Romans chapter 8, we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, over all these things: over the flesh, the sufferings of this present time, having patience, perseverance and hope until the redemption of our bodies, condemnation, persecution, and tribulation of all kinds.
Romans 8 tells us that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ because the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.
How does the Holy Spirit help us conquer ?
Through Holy Spirit inspired prayer!
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26,27
In this present time of tribulation which we have in this world, not only will that tribulation never separate us from God’s love but it will in fact work together for our good. According to Romans 8, we are predestined to be conformed to or fashioned into the Lord’s likeness.
All the tribulations of this life keep us dependent on the Lord, they increase patience, help us see our weakness, brings us to repentance in areas of sin, give us spiritual insight, increase wisdom, develop experience, and bring hope.
Tribulation works the things we experience in such a way that it increases our trust in the Lord. We learn to rejoice through every trial we are brought through because we know that the victory is the Lord’s! He always turns things around for our good!
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. Psalms 34:19
Prayer is the key to deliverance from every trial! Holy Spirit inspired prayer will work every situation out in our favor. For our good and for our spiritual growth. For we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ who loved us and gave himself for us!
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-38
Proverbs tell us that a wise person will look well to their going. In other words a person who uses wisdom will make sure that they search out a matter before jumping to a conclusion.
The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going. Proverbs 14:15
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. proverbs 25:2
Unfortunately, some people believe every thing they hear if it is a popular “bandwagon”.
They will follow the leader, eating whatever meal is served up to them. In the book of Acts it talks about the Bereans who were more noble than others. According to Paul these Bereans actually searched out the scriptures ,checking to see if what the apostles were telling them was truth or not.
Acts 17, “These (Berea) were more noble than those in Thessalonica in that they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so.”
It is interesting to note that the apostles never got offended that a group of people did not just take their word verbatim. They rejoiced that these Bereans did a Bible study to see if what the apostles were saying lined up with the scriptures in its entirety or not.
If we get offended because some one challenges our doctrine or belief system by checking it out then we are more interested in our pride than in the truth.
Also, if we defend our doctrinal position based on tradition rather than truth then what we are saying is that we prefer familiarity over truth.
Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. Proverbs 12:1
The Bible tells us that we are to compare spiritual things with spiritual things. Not just take an isolate scripture and build a doctrine out of it. Nor for that matter should we trust a group of people with the same agenda to give us the complete truth. No matter what “council” they belong to.
Scriptures need to be examined not only according to its original language and intent but also comparing author to author. Does the doctrine have consistency between authors and does it flow with the whole picture?
I have found that scriptural doctrines many times are built on inferences and bias rather than the truth of scriptures. If something is NOT specifically stated in scripture then it is not a good idea to make it official church doctrine. I personally do not agree with some “church doctrine, ” that is not essential but never the less important in which the majority adhere to.
The reason many Christians will have a bird with you if you disagree with their “official” church doctrine is because most Christians do not base their “truth” on evidential facts but on a popular band wagon theology. If you disagreed with them they will label you a heretic.
Seems to me that Jesus had a hard time trying to convince a religious group that he WAS the truth and they were wrong about their beliefs concerning Messiah. Why was this? Exactly as Jesus said, “having neglected the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” Mark 7:8
In fact I have had debates with some of these scholars who don’t seem to be able to have good enough evidence to convince me they are holding the truth.
That being said, my point is that it is up to the teacher to teach doctrine scripturally based but it is up to the student to do a Bible study to see if what the teacher is teaching is correct or not.
However, it is not required of either teacher or student to argue with a person who wants to believe what they want to believe. All that is required is to do the teaching and leave the outcome to God.
As scriptures tell us, “if any be ignorant then let them be ignorant. ” 1 Corinthians 14: 38
Since teachers are to be judged more harshly than other ministries it is important to teach according to consistency of scripture. Then with a clean conscience, we leave our assessment for God on that day.
Since we are all only human and susceptible to human frailties, occasionally we will make mistakes and when convinced of error we must be quick to make it right.
Keep in mind that there are also cultural differences which may interpret scriptures biasedly or at least from a different perspective. A person from India may see an issue from a different light than someone from America for example. The Lord does allow some flexibility in how we interpret some matters. He said that to one person something may be sin while to another it is not. Every one must be convinced in their own mind. That is of course with minor biblical issues.
Another point to mention is the different personalities and the different giftings of people. One focus of biblical studies may not be another’s focus. I recently read a book by a wonderful old saint from the past who not being an eschatology scholar interpreted a scriptural topic based on personal experience rather than biblically based doctrine. Coming out of much suffering and ministering to the persecuted church she rejected the pretribulation rapture doctrine. The scripture she gave was that we are “appointed to tribulation”.
While this is true, what she failed to understand was that tribulation and THE TRIBULATION are different concepts. THE TRIBULATION or “Jacobs trouble” is when God deals with Israel. It is a 7 year time period. Christians are appointed to suffer for Christ’s sake but THE TRIBULATION according to many end time students including myself believe it is a specific 7 year period.
Lastly, we can all agree on objective truth. There are certain things in scripture that are black and white. Bottom line. No two ways about it. Just the way it is and it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, objective truth is truth. God expects us to keep it that way.
In conclusion, both the teacher and the student must look well to their going. Search out a matter. Dig into the word with all readiness of mind to find the truth for yourself.
The teacher is always learning and the student is always learning. Both the wise teacher and the wise student will make it their life ambition to sit at the master’s feet and continue to learn. Then they can be a workman not ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
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..
Matthew 10:1 tells us that Jesus called his disciples. Then he gave them power (excousia in the Greek) against unclean spirits. To cast them out.
Jesus gave them power (excousia in the Greek) to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Excousia in the Greek means authority.
This authority according to Mark 16: 17,18 is given to THOSE WHO BELIEVE.
It does not say, “to those whom I call to be apostles or church leaders.”
It also does not say, go into all the world (where demons are everywhere) and preach the gospel but baptize only.
Jesus gave commission not only to preach the gospel and baptize but also to cast out demons and heal the sick. Cherry picking the scriptures is simply wrong. Its not only bad theology but also spiritually dangerous because it is omitting scripture. Omitting scripture means having unbelief. Unbelief limits God which means he cannot do any mighty works.
Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. Psalm 78:41
And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:58
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
If you don’t believe God heals today, then you will not get healed.
If you believe God heals others but not you then you believe he is a respecter of persons. You will not get healed.
If you glorify sickness, use it to get attention, (many do) talk about the sickness 24/7 and reject scripture. You will not get healed.
Having faith means never ever giving up. EVER! It means standing, praying and seeking the Lord.
It means being obedient to change your life style if need be. Renouncing any sin that the Holy Spirit shows you (including pride). Being holy in conversation and deeds.
The saints of old believed in the coming Messiah even though they did not see any evidence of it. They stood on the promises of God. (Hebrews 11: 39)
In the same way we should stand on God’s word no matter what. Even if we are taken to heaven before any healing manifestation in this life. Genuine faith believes in God’s word regardless of what naysayers say or what is seen, heard or felt.
Bold faith pleases God! Just look at the woman who grabbed a hold of Jesus’ garment to be healed. Look at the blind man who cried out loud in a large crowd, and the guy whose friends opened up a roof top to get healing! All bold faith and all prayers were answered!
When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. Luke 7:9
Just like it is God’s will to save everybody, it is God’s will to heal everybody. Not everyone gets saved because they will not believe the gospel. Not everyone gets healed because of unbelief and or unrepentant sin.
As believers in Jesus Christ we have been given authority to cast out devils. Sickness is caused by devils. Directly or indirectly. The consequence of the fall is sin, sickness, disease. All from Satan.
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world is under the power of the evil one. 1 John 5: 9
God does not use sickness to teach us something! That’s like saying, God uses the devil to teach us something. God can bring good out of evil just like a flower can bloom in a manure pile but he is not the author of sickness or disease.
Sickness and disease is a result of sin. Sin is disobedience to God. Sin has consequence. Sin can be generational. If you don’t believe that then you don’t believe in science. Our DNA carry certain sickness that is passed on. That’s a fact with evidences to back it up.
Many times saints prayed for forgiveness of generational sins. Judges 3:9, 15, 1 Samuel 12:10-12
To have authority means to be delegated influence and strength in a jurisdiction.
We have been given authority over ALL the works of darkness. This includes sickness.
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19
Believers have been given authority (jurisdiction) over the evil one’s work. Notice I said believers.
These signs follow them that BELIEVE.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4
Now there are different ways in which this authority is manifest through believers.
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 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
In John 4:19-20, the Samaritan women said to Jesus, (after he told her information about her life) “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”
In response Jesus says to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Samaria was a part of Israel that many Jews avoided. They would go around on a longer journey rather than through Samaria when going to Jerusalem from Galilee.
The Samaritans were Israelites from northern Israel who historically were part of the Assyrian captivity. (2 Kings 17:24-29) They had intermarried with settlers from other nations who occupied northern Israel.
The Samaritans were not thought of as Israelites by the Judeans, but rather as “people of the Mesopotamian city of Kutha/כותה’, which refers in itself to a certain reception of thepassage 2 Kings 17.24, Josephus’Antiquities.)
While holding to many Jewish beliefs and customs which included looking for the Messiah, the Samaritans believed that because they had come to live on Mount Gerizim they were called (because of Moses), to protect it as a sacred mountain.
The Samaritans also held different theological and political beliefs than the Judaeans in the south of Israel. While the Samaritans worshipped YHWH they had competing temples. Mt. Gerizim was the Samaritan sanctuary while the Judeans worshipped in the temple built by King Solomon in Jerusalem.
They also had different religious texts. The Samaritans had 5 books of the Torah in their Samaritan Pentateuch with a Samaritan twist, including the Mount Gerizim doctrine. The Samaritans rejected much of the Hebrew Masoretic text consisting of 24 books.
The Samaritan women at the well was told by Jesus that the Samaritans did not know what they worshiped but the Judeans knew what they worshipped. This was due to the fact that the Samaritans had little knowledge of God because they rejected much of the Hebrew text but also because many Samaritans mixed Hellenistic ideology into their culture. (The idea of reasoning, science, moral ethics based on human standards.)
After the conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, the Samaritans, like all other people groups in the region, came under the influence of Greek culture. The Samaritans in time developed their own form of Hellenism.
Fragments of Samaritan literature in Greek, as well as a number of Greco-Samaritan inscriptions ( In Palestine and the diaspora) testify to this. The Ancient Samaritans and Greek Culture Pieter W. van der Horst Faculty of Theology, Utrecht University (Emeritus), 3512 JE Utrecht, The Netherlands
The Hebrew text confirms the temple of Jerusalem as the place where YHWY was to be worshipped. That is why Jesus said, “we know what we worship.”
“The Lord said to him: ‘I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” 1 Kings 9:2-4
The Samaritans rejected the Judean authority of scriptures and their oral law.
Jesus made it clear to the Samaritan woman that the hour would come when neither on Mount Gerizim nor in Jerusalem would the Father be worshiped. For two reasons. Both temples would eventually be destroyed but also after Jesus’ death and resurrection those who were true worshippers of YHWY would now worship Him in spirit and in truth.
No longer would those two temples be necessary anymore because after Jesus’ death and resurrection the temple veil in Jerusalem was ripped in two, giving direct access to God for his worshippers. Jesus would now be the high priest and intercessor of his people.
Jesus told the Samaritan women that God is a Spirit and requires his worshipers to worship him from a spiritual perspective. Not from a religious perspective based on a physical temple.
YHWY no longer lives in a temple made by hands. Those who are born of God by his Holy Spirit are God’s temple. He resides in the born again spirit of his elect, chosen from the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4
Jesus said, “You must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
Jesus continues in John 3, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So, it is with everyone born of the Spirit”
To be born again is to be born of God, born of his Holy Spirit. (Regenerated into a new spiritual person.) Mark 1:15; Acts 2:38
How can one become born again in order to become a child of God and enter his kingdom?
Consider the following scriptures.
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel. Mark 1:15
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.” John 5:1
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.
Luke 17:5 tells us that the apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith.
This was the Lord’s response.
And the Lord said, Ifye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. (vs. 6)
(Note some versions say mulberry tree but I lean towards the KJV sycamore. Mulberry in comparison to a mountain in the gospel of Mark just doesn’t fit the context of what Jesus was talking about. Check out the link below)
A sycamine or sycamore is a huge tree. In Mark this story is relayed as a mountain. The sycamore tree can grow as tall as 30 to 40 meters (or 98 to 130 ft) with a diameter of 1.5 to 2 meters (or 4.9 to 6.6 ft)
The sycamore has a very deep root structure. The root structure is so aggressive that it can even lift a side walk. While a mountain being tossed into the sea is a big obstacle the sycamore tree is a deep rooted problem. Either way it takes faith the size of a mustard seed to get rid of it.
Jesus uses the illustration of a mustard seed to describe the Kingdom of heaven or how the kingdom of heaven operates in Matthew chapter 13. That is why when the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith he referred to the mustard seed.
The kingdom of heaven is like a grain ofmustard seed that a man planted.
The mustard tree Jesus was referring to is a black mustard tree or bush that grows in Israel. A large annual plant which grows up to 9 feet (2.7 m) tall.
The black mustard seed is quite small. About 1-2 millimetres.
The mustard seed must be planted in order to grow. In God’s kingdom many times things have small beginnings.
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand. Zechariah 4:10
On the seventh time the servant reported, “There is a cloud as small as a man’s hand rising from the sea.” And Elijah replied, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’” 1 Kings 18:44
Growth of a mustard seed into a mustard tree takes time. Faith takes time to develop in the same way. Faith is having complete trust in God without doubting.
Faith comes from God’s word to our heart. Planted in our heart God’s word will grow and our faith will grow too.
Consequently, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
Take for example the scripture. Butmy God shall supply all your needs according tohis riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
When we make petition in Jesus name for our need to be met and that need is met our faith grows. A sprout occurs!
After a while another petition is answered and our faith grows even more.
God proves he is our provider and our faith in him grows through having experience with his faithfulness.
Then after a time of trust and reliance on Jesus a great big need presents itself. A great big mountain or a great big sycamore tree which is rooted down deep in our heart or someone else’s heart. It needs plucking up and cast into the sea.
We now have experience with God. He met all those little needs. He has proven himself faithful. Now that grain of mustard seed has become a mustard tree where the birds can feed and take rest.
Feeding on God’s word is important for our faith to increase.
I rise before dawn and cry for help; in Your word I have put my hope. Psalm 119:147
Resting is an important factor in the development of faith. When we rest we trust that the Lord is doing his work. No matter what the circumstances look like to the contrary.
Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
By telling the apostles the parable of the mustard seed Jesus was showing them how to increase their faith. By planting the mustard seed of God’s word in the heart faith will grow.
That big sycamore in your life may look like it’s an impossible problem. That mountain standing in your way may look like a real big hindrance but the Lord tells us to plant our mustard seed. Plant the word of God in our heart! Water it every day and it will grow!
The Lord has promised in his word to come through for us. We may not know the exact process or the timing but what we do know is that the Lord is faithful to perform what he has promised.
So we can say with confidence: “The Lord is my helper!” Hebrews 13:6,