Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Deciding God


Key Scripture: Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the LORD.

Text for Tonight:

Acts 1 NKJV

1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen,

3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me;

5 "for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"

7 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.

8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,

11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey.

13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James.

14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said,

16 "Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus;

17 "for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry."

18 (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out.

19 And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.)

20 "For it is written in the book of Psalms: ‘Let his dwelling place be desolate, And let no one live in it’; and, ‘Let another take his office.’

21 "Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

22 "beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection."

23 And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

24 And they prayed and said, "You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen

25 "to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place."

26 And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Casting lots was a time honored and much trusted practice of the Children of God which was supported throughout the scriptures.

It worked in many ways and was more than just a mere voting. One of the favored practices of casting lots was to write names on stones or other materials and place them in one jar or jug with a small hole in the top which only allowed one stone to be shaken out at a time. In another jar or jug there would be placed an equal number of stones with positions or with some left blank or perhaps many of one color and only one or a few of a different color.

It would be predetermined which stone would represent what position or situation and then the whole offered up to God in prayer asking that He superintend the process and the outcome. Then, the name jar would be shaken up to mix the names and one stone shaken out.

The same process would take place with the second jar. It was accepted that God did the choosing divine intervention. We see many instances of this process being relied upon in the word of God.

As well, there were other ways in which lots were cast or fleeces were put before God for God to decide. These methods were designed to settle issues by putting God in charge of the outcome.

For example: David divided the priests by lot.

1 Chronicles 24:5 Thus they were divided by lot, one group as another, for there were officials of the sanctuary and officials of the house of God, from the sons of Eleazar and from the sons of Ithamar.

The land of Canaan was divided by lot.

Numbers 26:55 "But the land shall be divided by lot; they shall inherit according to the names of the tribes of their fathers.

King Saul’s son, Jonathan, was revealed by lot as the one who had violated the King’s command.

1 Samuel 14

41 Therefore Saul said to the LORD God of Israel, "Give a perfect lot." So Saul and Jonathan were taken, but the people escaped.

42 And Saul said, "Cast lots between my son Jonathan and me." So Jonathan was taken.

One of the most dramatic casting of lots has to do with the story of Achan. Joshua 7:16ff

Achan was found out to be the person who had sinned in Jericho by taking gold for himself thus causing the defeat of the Children of Israel at the battle of Ai. This was determined by casting lots.

In each of these cases the use of the lot was regarded as a solemn appeal to God for his direct interference in cases which people could not know or decide for themselves.

Our Key Scripture for tonight confirms this: Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the LORD.

We read that David often used a method of casting of lots to determine if, when, and just how to go to battle against his enemies.

It seems that this method of decision making was much in use in daily life and in the affairs of state and military campaigns. Believe me it had plenty of room for corruption to creep in when greedy or ungodly people got involved in the process.

And, bear in mind … one cannot force God to answer.

However, in the Old Testament there were many other examples of casting of lots. Remember Gideon with his fleece in Judges 6.

Also there was the Urim and Thummim which were stones in the High Priest garment that perhaps changed colors to give direction.

Exodus 28:30 Insert into the pocket of the chestpiece the Urim and Thummim, to be carried over Aaron’s heart when he goes into the LORD’s presence. Thus, Aaron will always carry the objects used to determine the LORD’s will for his people whenever he goes in before the LORD.

Numbers 27:21 When direction from the LORD is needed, Joshua will stand before Eleazar the priest, who will determine the LORD’s will by means of sacred lots (Urim and Thummim). This is how Joshua and the rest of the community of Israel will discover what they should do." (NLT)

There were three main ways of hearing from God in the Old Testament times:

1. Divine Dreams

2. Urim and Thummim (basically a divine casting of lots)

3. The Prophets

But remember … God was not then nor is He now obligated to answer man at man’s will or in man’s time. Such was the case in:

1 Samuel 28:6 And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets.

When God is not answering decisions are no better than a roll of the dice. If education or intelligence or calculation or counsel was a sure fire method of best decision making … more people would be in agreement and no one would lose money in the stock market.

Without God’s direction, life is left up to man’s best efforts.

When Jesus died on the cross, was resurrected, spent 40 days proving Himself to be alive as the Son of God, ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives He promised to send the Holy Spirit back to become our guide, guard and guarantee. The Apostles in Acts 1 did not yet have the Holy Spirit to guide them.

Today however, we do not need the casting of lots. In fact like sacrifice for sin, the casting of lots could even be offensive to God. I don’t know for sure but I do know that we have a more sure way of determining God’s will for our life and our life’s decisions.

The avenue of approach to life’s most challenging decisions is the same as the everyday walk we should have with Christ.

God decisions are made based upon at least one of three elements.

1. The Word of God – Is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. (Psalms 119:105)

2. The Spirit of God – Our guide, guard and guarantee – He will teach you and give you the dreams of God for your life.

3. The Peace of God – Which gives us confidence or concern

Philippians 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

So today and every day, take thee three steps when deciding God.

1. Learn the Word and Walk the Word

2. Develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit

3. Let the peace of God rule

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Best Easter Sunday Message Ever


I do not want to waste the precious time each of you give to attend Church nor the opportunity Jesus affords me to deliver a relevant message to His Bride. I want this time to be meaningful, not boring.

However, what I have for you this Easter Morning is admittedly a sermon someone else has already preached. It is not original to me and it is possible that some of you have already heard this message. However, it is The Best Easter Sunday Message Ever

I ask for your attention while I repeat what I learned from this Man’s message. By the way, this is not my first time to borrow from one of His sermons.

Let me give you some background on what we are going to hear today.

* It was originally a two part sermon with 5 broad points

> Part One and point one was preached at a Sunday Morning outdoor Easter Sunrise Service some years ago.

> The remaining four points were preached that Sunday evening, in a more intimate setting at a home group prayer meeting. * Not all of the regular attendees could be there to hear it, so this well known traveling Preacher decided to come back the following week where He preached it again for those who had missed it the first time.

Here are the five points: Dont expect me to do as good as the Original Preacher.

Point #1. Go And Tell

> The Preacher told how that:

* Jesus chose a woman to be the first evangelist

* He told her to proclaim the resurrection

* We learn that some people who are looking for Jesus dont always recognize Him, and how that:

* One word from the Master can change everything.

Point #2. Dont Let Fear Rule Your Life

> Here He taught that:

* Even when there are reasons, we should not let fear control us or let problems keep us away from the Body of Christ.

* Jesus knows where we are, even in our secret places, our hurts, fears and disappointments, however …

* We cannot lock God out of our lives

* When we least expect it and may not deserve it, Suddenly Jesus shows up with a plan

* Jesus does not mind proving nor repeating Himself

Point #3. We Are Ambassadors Of Christ

> This point teaches that:

* Its not over, Resurrection is just the beginning

* The Believers duty is now as important as Jesus was

* Every Believer has authority in the Name of Jesus

Point #4. Receive The Holy Spirit

> Here the Preacher taught that:

* This was not just a suggestion, but an imperative

* The Holy Spirit is an evident necessity

* Gods presence is with His people

* Our cry, (should be) Breath on me, Lord Jesus.

* This and this alone can change the unchangeable

Point #5. What We Do Makes A Difference

> Finally that Sunday evening, those there heard how that:

* Jesus transferred real power and authority to His followers.

* Believers hold a key to setting others free

I happen to have an outline of the notes from that sermon right here.

I. Go and Tell That The Resurrection Is A Reality

II. Dont Be Afraid

III. You Have Authority In My Name

IV. I Am With You

V. What You Do Makes An Eternal Difference

In fact, I recently purchased a copy of the transcript of that preachers sermon. I dont mean to bore you, but allow me read it to you in its entirety. I dont think that I can do it justice, so Im going to let Him speak for Himself. The preacher that Sunday, Jesus!

Would you turn in your bibles to that first Easter Sunday sermon.

John 20 (NLT)

1 ¶ Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.

2 She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, "They have taken the Lords body out of the tomb, and I dont know where they have put him!"

3 Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see.

4 The other disciple outran Peter and got there first.

5 He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didnt go in.

6 Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there,

7 while the cloth that had covered Jesus head was folded up and lying to the side.

8 Then the other disciple also went in, and he saw and believed

9 for until then they hadnt realized that the Scriptures said he would rise from the dead.

10 Then they went home.

11 ¶ Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in.

12 She saw two white-robed angels sitting at the head and foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying.

13 "Why are you crying?" the angels asked her. "Because they have taken away my Lord," she replied, "and I dont know where they have put him."

14 She glanced over her shoulder and saw someone standing behind her. It was Jesus, but she didnt recognize him.

15 "Why are you crying?" Jesus asked her. "Who are you looking for?" She thought he was the gardener. "Sir," she said, "if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him."

16 "Mary!" Jesus said. She turned toward him and exclaimed, "Teacher!"

17 "Dont cling to me," Jesus said, "for I havent yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, my God and your God."

18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, "I have seen the Lord!" Then she gave them his message.

19 ¶ That evening, on the first day of the week, the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! "Peace be with you," he said.

20 As he spoke, he held out his hands for them to see, and he showed them his side. They were filled with joy when they saw their Lord!

21 He spoke to them again and said, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."

22 Then he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

23 If you forgive anyones sins, they are forgiven. If you refuse to forgive them, they are unforgiven."

24 One of the disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came.

25 They told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he replied, "I wont believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side."

26 ¶ Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. He said, "Peace be with you."

27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Dont be faithless any longer. Believe!"

28 "My Lord and my God!" Thomas exclaimed.

29 Then Jesus told him, "You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who havent seen me and believe anyway."

This Preacher was Jesus, the sermon was His. It was so good, the message so powerful that everyone needed to hear it, but not all of the disciples were present at that first home group prayer meeting.

So, Jesus showed up the following week and proclaimed the resurrection message again to those who had only heard it from others, but had not yet believed it for themselves.

You know, He is still showing up each week to confirm His resurrection in the hearts, the homes and the houses of worship all over the world.

He is here today, right here, in this sanctuary, in your home, office, hotel room, in your secret place. You see:

The Crucifixion provides Reconciliation.

Our trust in the cross saves our souls for eternity.

The Resurrection makes New Creation Realities available to every believer.

When we embrace the Holy Spirit we receive the power to live these New Creation Realities as a witness to the whole world.

Wont you hear and believe what Jesus is saying today?

I. Go and Tell That The Resurrection Is A Reality

II. Dont Be Afraid(Don’t isolate yourself or stay away from the Body)

III. You Have Authority In My Name

IV. I Am With You

V. What You Do Makes An Eternal Difference

You can leave here today and tell people that you have just heard the best Easter Sunday sermon in the world.

And don’t forget to tell them that Jesus is Alive!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Resurrection Day - Part Two: The Journey Continues


Won’t you turn with me to the Gospel of John, Chapter 12. (John 12)

Almost 2000 years ago, in about the year AD30, Jesus left the Galilee on His historic journey to the cross during the last three weeks of His earthly life and ministry. Our Resurrection Day series follows Him as He stops along the way and ministers to some of the most memorable Gospel bible characters.

This past Sunday we heard the story of a man named Zacchaeus who climbed a tree in Jericho hoping to see Jesus. Zacchaeus got more than he bargained for and perhaps so did many of us from his story.

Remember the points?

1. Jesus is coming to our town

2. Jesus knows us by name

3. Jesus wants to go to our house today

4. Jesus will give us chances others may never give us

5. It may not be all about you

Today we continue the journey along with Jesus and His disciples as Jesus nears Jerusalem.

John 12 NKJV

1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead.

2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him.

3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

More time is dedicated in the combined Gospels to these last days of Christ than to any period. Almost half of the Gospel of John is written about these few days … from chapter 11 through chapter 21. (35 of the 89 total Gospel chapters are used to tell this story)

Next Sunday we observe Easter in celebration of the resurrection. Make no mistake, it is the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth that identifies Him and Him alone as Messiah, the One True Son of the Living God. Without the resurrection, Christianity is just one more claim in the long and complex line of religions. However, the resurrection seals our faith and sets Jesus apart from all others who would be God’s messenger.

Historically speaking, last Sunday marked the week that Jesus left the Galilee and walked south along the Jordan River arriving in the city of Jericho.

Jesus knew He was on His last earthly journey to Jerusalem. He was headed to be the Passover Lamb offered for the sins of the world.

In and around the city of Jericho two weeks before the resurrection, Jesus met and ministered to many individuals and groups of people who were camped on the road leading up to the feast of Passover. Two men whom Jesus met in Jericho were very influential. One named Zacchaeus who believed and received Jesus and the other we have come to know as the Young Rich Ruler who did not.

They were both unaware that it would be their last opportunity to meet Jesus and perhaps their last chance to change.

Now, here we are this morning only one week from Resurrection Day.

Here we are, attending a church on Sunday, the first day of the week, a very special day, Palm Sunday 2008. One week before the celebration of the anniversary of the Resurrection of Christ.

Many people all over the world and especially in the Western world treat Sunday as though it was the last day of their weekend. However, Sunday is not the weekend but the week-beginning. Sunday is the first day of the week and as such the Western world has too long forgotten just why we treat Sunday as a holiday.

Actually it is not even a holiday, but a holy-day. The first day of the week, also known in the New Testament as ‘The Lord’s Day’, was established as a day in which no work would be done, no goods sold or traded and a day families would gather to worship, rest, relax and fellowship, putting first things first. Each new week should begin by giving God what is due His name and starting the week dependent on Him to make the most out of the time and energies we have left.

Jewish law and tradition sets worship on the Sabbath, which begins at sundown on each Friday evening and last until sundown on Saturday, the last day of the week.

After the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, believers began to worship on Sunday, the first day of the week, instead of Saturday, the last day of the week. This is done for several reasons, of which is the fact that the resurrection of Jesus took place early on a Sunday morning, as did the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

I don’t want to lose you in the details of why we worship on Sunday. Without regard to how we got here, we know where we are today, right here attending church on Sunday, the first day of the week … but where was Jesus on this same day in history, the first day of the week, Passover week, in about the year AD 30 – the first day of the last week He would spend on earth before going to the cross that coming Friday afternoon?

As best as my studies can conclude, given that the account is recorded in all four of the Gospels, Matthew 21; Mark 11; Luke 19 and John 12, Jesus must have arrived in the small village of Bethany, almost two miles outside of the city walls of Jerusalem, on the Eastern crest of the Mount of Olives, on Friday, late afternoon, just before sunset and the beginning of what the Jews still call Shabbat HaGadol - The Great Sabbath -- which is the Sabbath just prior to Passover.

John 12 reveals that on Saturday evening, most likely immediately after sundown, Martha made a special meal and many people came not only to see Jesus but also to see Lazarus, Martha’s brother, who had been raised from the dead, sitting alongside Jesus. These were not doubt Jews visiting Jerusalem during their Passover pilgrimage with no place of their own to lodge and eat. They had heard the story of Lazarus and wanted to see for themselves.

John 12

9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.

10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also,

11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

On account of him.

Lets hold that thought for a moment while we continue to read.

John 12

12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,

13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: "Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ The King of Israel!"

14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:

15 "Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt."

John says, ‘the next day’. That next day was Sunday, we refer to it as Palm Sunday since multitudes of people took palm branches and waved them and laid them in the way, declaring Jesus’ royal estate.

In this passage John says very little about this little young donkey. However, Mark’s Gospel account in Chapter 11, gives us insight into the behind the scenes details of this little colt.

Donkeys in the scriptures speak to us of the stubbornness and strong will of some people. Donkeys like to go their own way and resist being harnessed or broken. They can be very hard to work with just like some people.

I believe that Jesus’ choice of a donkey not only fulfilled the prophecy in Zechariah but was also aimed at reminding us that Jesus can use any person who is willing being broken, willing to be harnessed, willing to be controlled, unlike that Young Rich Ruler whom Jesus met between Jericho and Jerusalem a few days earlier.

The fact that this donkey was young speaks of Jesus’ desire to use people who perhaps have never been used before.

"And if anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it,’ and immediately he will send it here." Mark 11:3

In Mark 11:3 Jesus told his disciples to tell anyone who ask why they were untying the young donkey: ‘The Lord has need of it.’

Continuing the story, John 12 tells us that Lazarus was asked to sit at the table with Jesus during that special Sabbath meal. What was so special about Lazarus? Sure he was a friend but there was more.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead?

There could of course be many reasons: He loved him, missed him, and certainly did not want Mary or Martha to grieve … all good reasons. However, scripture tells us that above these personal reasons of relationship and concern, God had a specific plan for Lazarus being brought back from the dead.

Let’s look at the story in the Gospel of John, chapter 11. Jesus discusses Lazarus’ death and reveals God’s plan.

John 11:4 "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it."

John 11:15 I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe.

John 11: 26 "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

John 11:40 "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?"

John 11:42 because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe

John 11: 45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him.

John 11: 48 "If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him

John 11

10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also,

11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

On Account Of Him

Why did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead? Much on account of those all those who would become believers as a result of Lazarus’ miracle.

Jesus wants people to believe and be saved; To miss an eternity in hell and to miss the hell of this life.

This is why Jesus reached out to Zacchaeus, The Young Rich Ruler, and Lazarus and is now reaching out to you. Like everyone else including the little donkey: God has a plan and ---

“The Lord has need of you!”

God knows who it is that will come closer to Him because of you. God has someone in mind that you can influence.

If Jesus can only get you to follow Him, others will follow you to Him.

Who is it that will come closer to Jesus on account of you?

You see Jesus in you is all about others.

Sure, He will give to you … however,

God will seldom give to you what He cannot give through you.

Jesus wants others to see, hear and know Him through His goodness to you.

Respond to Jesus today … follow Him … Be like Zacchaeus and Lazarus instead of the Young Rich Ruler.

Let Him save you, bless you, heal and deliver you while you become an example of His loving grace. Your testimony might be all it takes to save your whole circle of family and friends.

Who will you influence for Him this week?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Transformation - Part Three: The Three Stages


God loves us to much to leave us like we are. This is the whole message of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Key Scriptures: Romans 12 NKJV

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

God changes us by way of transformation. More than mere evolution or adaptation to surrounding elements or long term reaction to environment, transformation is that which takes place in the spirit of a person affecting the whole being, spirit, soul and body, mind, will and emotions, bringing us ever closer, step by step, stage by stage, glory by glory, as the scriptures put it, into the image of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (NKJV)

In part one of our Transformation series, we read from 2 Corinthians chapter 3, verses 5 thru 18. In those verses we discovered that what the Law of Moses was unable to do, God did through sending His Son and by Him unveiled the hearts of man so that we can, through Jesus, understand the intent of God’s Word.

The Word of God was not given to convict and condemn, but to save and transform. What the letter of the law could not do, the Gospel of Christ can.

In part two of the transformation series we laid the foundation for understanding the stages one goes through during the transformation process.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The natural man cannot understand God’s intent from reading the word of God without the help of the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3 NKJV

16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

However once we receive Jesus by grace through faith the veil is taken away from our hearts and minds and we can then understand what the Spirit of God is saying through the scriptures.

Then as we continue to search the word we see Jesus and are changed little by little, glory by glory, stage by stage, into His image.

2 Corinthians 3 NKJV

18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

In other words transformation is a process – We go through Stages

Completing part two of the transformation series we concluded that just as our Key Scriptures told us we are being transformed to prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God.

For more information on that subject log onto or and search the archives for notes and to view the service.

Now for The Three Stages of Transformation

The First Stage – (The first step in the transformation process)

Transforms seed into a new creation …

* The Blade

Mark 4 KJV

26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.

28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

The Second Stage –

The seed left rooted in the ground continues to produce –

* The Ear

The Third Stage –

The final stage of transformation is full replication of the seed –

* The Full Corn

> In the Ear

The Three Stages of Transformation

The Blade The Ear The Full Corn In The Ear

30 Fold 60 Fold 100 Fold

Mark 4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

Outer Court Inner Court Holy of Holies

Wilderness Promised Land Holy Land

Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:

Three Old Testament Feasts

Feast of Unleavened Bread

Feast of Weeks

Feast of Tabernacles

Three New Testament Feasts


Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Full Sonship

Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

Philippians 1:6 tells us that in whom God begins a good work, He will continue to perform it until the day of Christ.

Psalms reveals that the Lord is daily loading us with benefits and that He is perfecting that which concerns us. (Psalms 138:8)

And we do know that when we see Christ we shall be changed to be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. (1 John 3:2)

It is the Word of God which is able to build us up and give us an inheritance among the saints in Glory. (Acts 20:32)

God is changing us little by little, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, not in one year and perhaps not in one generation. (Isaiah 28:10 & Exodus 23:29)

It is my personal belief and not doctrine I can teach for certainty that there will come a generation which will experience the fullness of God’s Spirit and Power in the earth being fully transformed just before the coming of the Lord. I believe we will see the church in power as we have never seen it and awesome signs, wonders and miracles will be displayed through the faith and practice of God’s servants. (Isaiah 2:3; Matthew 13:33; John 14:12)

In fact the latter house will be greater than the former house and all the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Haggai 2:9 & Habakkuk 2:14)

In that final day when the harvest is fully ripe, God will say to the Lord, “thrust in Thy sickle and reap” the earth. (Revelation 14:15)

Today we have but the earnest of our inheritance, the down payment in which we see the fullness to come. (Ephesians 1:13 & 14)

Even so, come Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20)

Until He comes we pray, transform us Lord.

Perhaps we must grow up before we go up!