Saturday, September 15, 2018

He Will …


Today is the 7th Day of Awe in the 10 days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement this year. These events are worth mentioning because their ultimate fulfillments are still on God’s calendar for planet earth. This coming Wednesday the 19th is Yom Kippur. This Day of Atonement has been observed by God’s command for over 3500 years as a dress rehearsal pointing to the Second Coming of Messiah Yeshua, better known to us Gentile Believers as Christ Jesus.

Every year for the past 3500 years heaven and earth have been reminded that the Savior of the World will return on the Day of Atonement with His saints to the earth after the great tribulation to do battle with the Anti-Christ and the forces of evil, in the valley of Jezreel. Afterwards Jesus will establish His Kingdom on the earth and reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords for a thousand years. You can read about what happens after that and new heaven and earth in the last two chapters of Revelation.

Many of you have joined with me for a special time of personal prayer and Bible reading each morning during these 10 Days of Awe this year. Today we read 1 Corinthians 13 and refreshed our hearts and minds concerning the love of God. My prayer of dedication today included a commitment to love my neighbor as I love myself. Tomorrow we will read from James 4.

This world is waxing worse and worse day by day and to my knowledge all of the prophecies which must come to pass before the Rapture of the Church and the ensuing apocalypse have now been fulfilled. If I didn’t firmly believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, I’d be busy building a Faraday cage and storing up tribulation food. As it is, it would be better if we just  continue telling others about the saving grace of our Lord Jesus. Only Jesus can keep us from the wrath which is to come. I believe:

God wants to give you peace, and if you give your mind to Him, He will.

God wants to give you hope, and if you will turn your situation over to Him, He will.

God wants to love others through you, and if you will offer your heart to Him, He will.

Jesus came to earth to accomplish two important purposes.
1.   To save us from an eternity in hell,
2.   And to save us from the hell of this life.

The New Testament Book of Matthew records Jesus teaching a multitude on a hillside near the Sea of Galilee. He taught them how to take charge and change their lives. Many of you have traveled with me to sit on that same hillside and read from this account in chapters 5, 6, & 7. In the very middle of His sermon that day Jesus began to teach His followers how they ought to pray. He knew prayer to be the most powerful tool a person could possess. As He taught them to pray, He gave them specific guidelines.

Three years later Jesus told His 12 Disciples: “When you pray, say …”, (Luke 11:2), and then He again recited those same guidelines. This morning I want to teach you how to effectively pray with the same priorities, posture and passion Jesus did while He was on the earth.

Praying in this way will help you keep on track with God. It will help you take charge and it will change your life. This prayer has helped me to learn and to apply the Will and the Word of God to my life for many years. Jesus must have known we would need a personal plan if we were going to maximize our time and effectiveness in prayer.

Turn with me now to Matthew, chapter 6, and let’s begin. After we survey this personal prayer guide given to us by Jesus, I am going to ask you to consider praying with me for 21 days in accordance with what we will learn this morning. It will help you to establish your priorities, fix your posture and fuel your passion in prayer. Believe Jesus … it will change your life!

Matthew 6 NKJV
9  “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10  Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
11  Give us this day our daily bread.
12  And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
13  And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

The Model Prayer

The Model Prayer, also known as, The Lord’s Prayer, includes:
·        3 Proclamations
·        3 Petitions
·        A Personal Time of Praise

The 3 Proclamations
·        Your Name
·        Your Kingdom
·        Your Will

These proclamations remind us of the first priority of prayer. The first priority of prayer is to offer reverence and respect to our Heavenly Father.
·        Prayer is designed first to move us, not to move God.
·        Our prayer is God’s hope that we will understand and participate in His plan as our first priority.
·        Jesus shows the proper posture of prayer is one of humility and submission to God and His will above our own.
·        Prayer should first and foremost be about Him and His needs.
·        Remember, prayer, like faith, is less about what we can get God to give us and more about what He can get us to give Him.

Next, the Model Prayer teaches us about God’s provision for our lives. Jesus encourages us to petition God on behalf of ourselves and others.

     The 3 Petitions
·        Give Us – Simply tell God what you want and what we need.
·        Forgive Us – Find a private place and be honest with God about your sins, failures, frustrations and fears. Ask Him for help if you need to forgive others or if they need to forgive you.
·        Lead Us – It is reasonable to let God know that you will follow His leadership and work with Him as He delivers you from the power and the plan of the devil.

God knows what we need before we ask however, He teaches us that we should ask for what we want in prayer.

The Conclusion – Our daily prayer should both begin and end with our recognition of Who God is. The Creator of the universe is our Father and all power and glory belong to Him. So, Jesus encouraged us to offer God our:

·        There is nothing sweeter to a Father than the praise of His children.
·        I’m certain – Unless we have the same Father, my Dad can whoop your Dad.
·        He is bigger, better and stronger than any other … and I want Him to know how proud I am and how safe I feel just to know I am His child.
·        Prayer which comes from the heart of men will reach the heart of God.
Colossians 4:2  Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;

God wants to give you peace, and if you give your mind to Him, He will.

God wants to give you hope, and if you will turn your situation over to Him, He will.

God wants to love others through you, and if you will offer your heart to Him, He will.

He will … will you? Well, you’ll need to let Him know …

If you don’t have a personal prayer plan, or even if you do, I want to invite you to join with me beginning tomorrow morning for 21 Days of Prayer. It will help you to take charge of your life and change you to be more like Jesus.

And remember, it’s not the quantity of prayer but the quality … Keep it simple, remember the guidelines given to us by Jesus, and simply talk to God.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Believe and Embrace Part 8 – The Baptism


We previously discussed how Each Prophecy is fulfilled in three ways:
·        The Initial or Specific Fulfillment – It will happen to a specific person at a specific time to clearly fulfill the Word of the Lord. Such is the case of Isaiah 43:2 which was specifically fulfilled in Daniel 3:25&27.
·        The General or Continual Fulfillment – Every Believer can look to, profess, and have confidence in each and every Word of God. It gives hope to all and for many it releases the anointing and manifests the eternal will of God in this temporal life.
·        The Eternal or Ultimate Fulfillment – One day, when eternity begins with the new heaven and the new earth, every prophecy will have its ultimate fulfillment as it applies to the eternal will and purpose of God for His children. God has always been building an eternity …

Mark 16
15  And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
16  “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
17  “And these signs shall follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;
18  “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

1.  Cast out demons
2.  Speak with new tongues
a.   Speak: The use of words and sounds to communicate or disclose one’s mind and declare one’s thoughts.
b.   New: Unprecedented, uncommon, unheard of, unusual and new
c.   Tongues: A language or dialect specific to and distinct from those languages spoken by other nations

Joel 2
28 ¶  “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.
29  And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

Acts 2 was a Specific Fulfillment of the prophecy given by Joel: (Joel means = Jehovah is God.)

Acts 2 NKJV
1 ¶  When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.
4  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

In Acts 2 there was a specific fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy in that every person who was in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost was filled with the Holy Spirit to the point to where when they attempted to talk or pray or witness, the Holy Spirit changed the pronunciation of their words and instead of speaking their native language, they began speaking a heavenly language.

This was the specific fulfillment and we can look forward to the eternal or ultimate fulfillment when we get to heaven. It will have to happen to you and to everyone else … everyone else, forever and ever – or else we will not be able to understand 95 percent of the people in heaven or God for that matter. Without this miracle gifting you will be very lonely and isolated throughout eternity. I don’t imagine everyone who goes to heaven is going to speak English. And, if there was only one language everyone would have to speak I’m guessing it would be Chinese. 29,000 Chinese are currently born-again each day. Thank God there is a heavenly language!

Between Pentecost and heaven, we are in what I have called the general fulfillment period of this prophecy. This simply means that not everyone who gets saved experiences the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and begins to speak in tongues. Not every person receives the miracle gifting of interpretation of tongues and prophesying when they get Born-Again. It is the same with healing, prosperity, deliverance, faith and other miracle giftings from God. All of the miracle giftings and manifestations or the Holy Spirit are available to every Believer, but they are not automatic. We are encouraged in the scriptures to pray for these blessings and even to earnestly desire spiritual gifts and seek to prophesy. But, as the Apostle Paul says in:

1 Corinthians 12  NKJV
29  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?
30  Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
31  But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

1 Corinthians 14
5  I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.

14  For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.
15 ¶  What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.

18  I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all;
19  yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

And not only was the miracle of tongues present on the day of Pentecost but there was also the miracle of interpretation of tongues given to the thousands of people walking the streets of Jerusalem that day.

Acts 2
5 ¶  And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.
6  And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.
7  Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans?
8  “And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?

Without regard as to how God chose to do it, this event was definitely a specific fulfillment of the prophecy given by the Holy Spirit in Joel 2 as testified to by the Apostle Peter on that day. As well, there are several other instances recorded in the Bible and throughout history where people were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in this heavenly language. (Acts 10:44-48)

In Acts 19 the Apostle Paul encountered 12 men he recognized as disciples. Assuming they were Born-Again Believers in Jesus as Messiah working to spread the Gospel through Asia Minor, Paul asked them a reasonable question of that day. Let’s read from that passage:

Acts 19 KJV
1 ¶  And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2  He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
4  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
7  And all the men were about twelve.

A similar thing happened to Peter and John when they went to Samaria to check on the progress of the revival being held by one of the deacons named Phillip.

Acts 8
14 ¶  Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,
15  who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
16  For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
17  Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

The conclusion we draw from the whole counsel of God’s Word concerning speaking in is without reasonable refute. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is secondary and subsequent to being Born-Again and this “infilling” either awakens or deposits or releases certain manifestations of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life. Acts 1:8 is clarifies what a person receives when the Holy Spirit comes upon a Believer.

Acts 1: 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.”

Two conditions can be found in the New Testament for the Believer who wishes to pursue this offering and they are no different from those associated with a Believe seeking healing or prosperity from God. First: Acts 5:32 – obedience; and Luke 11:13 – asking God to fill you.

Good News! You can be filled with the Holy Spirit just like on the day of Pentecost if you will simply dedicate your life to God and seek that miracle gift of God just like you would pray for healing if you were sick.

3.  Take up serpents

Mark 16:18  “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

The specific fulfillment of this prophetic word came to the Apostle Paul as recorded in:

Acts 28
3  But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
4  So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.”
5  But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.
6  However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.

The general Word gives each Believer hope that if spiritual or natural serpents attach themselves to us that we will be victorious and that they cannot harm us. We can hold to this Word of God to know His will and therefore never doubt God’s ability to save and deliver us from evil.

If we were to consider the wording in the translation of Mark 16:17 of the phrase, “will take up”, we would find the Greek word used herein is also translated: take off; take away; remove; carry off; carry away; take from among; and cause to cease. This shows a clear intent to reveal the power and the authority we have over serpents whether natural or spiritual. In other words, … nothing shall by any means hurt you … and this is for today!

Luke 10
19  “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
20  “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

There are … nonetheless, greater concerns and greater miracles and greater priorities for the Believer.

As well, the eternal fulfillment of this Word from Jesus will be seen in the ultimate binding of the original serpent which deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden … One day we will witness the physical binding and removal of this sneaky snake from our midst forever and ever!

I do not believe, nor do we teach that anyone should ever put themselves in the path of a poisonous snake or any other danger on purpose trying to prove faith or spirituality … one might as well step in front of a moving train and trust God to be delivered. It’s not a consideration of faith … that would be more akin to testing God from the standpoint of stupidity … forgive me for using the S word.

4.  If they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them

Just like the practice of handling snakes, we should not drink any deadly thing on purpose either. Jesus encourages us with a strong admonition to not tempt God.

Matthew 4
5  Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,
6  and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”
7  Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’ ”

However, if anything does try and harm us, thank God we have an advocate with the Father and a reason to hope and pray that no deadly thing will hurt us. But, if we tempt God, we may find ourselves discussing this doctrine in person with St Peter.

5.  Lay hands on the sick and they will recover

James 5
14  Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
15  And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

I cannot tell you why we don’t see every person instantly healed from every sickness and disease when we pray. I can tell you that it does happen and that our faith has a huge part to play in moving the hand of God however, even the greatest faith a man or woman could possess will not and should not override the purpose-filled plan and will of God.

We are told to not worry about anything but instead, pray about everything; tell God what we want and then thank Him for everything He does. (Philippians 4:6 NLT)

I believe that there is more work to be done in heaven than there is on the earth. I also believe that the work which is being done in heaven is very important. Jesus said that He was more needed in heaven and that it would be better for us if He went there and worked from here. I believe that Jesus did His job on earth and He is doing more for us from there than He could do from here. It was the will of God to limit the span of lives on earth and to take the limits off of life beyond death for the Believer.

We pray to keep the ball in God’s court … And to help keep our heart and will in agreement with His. Prayer always gives us the victory … and we often see victory in the situation before we see victory over the situation.

When discussing the plight of Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego, we confirmed that:
1.   We know what God is able to do
2.   We do not know what God will do
3.   We do know what we will do
4.   We will trust God, put our hope in Him and pray the Word.

Mark 16
19 ¶  So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
20  And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

Notice: He sat down, and they went out …
·        The work of the Kingdom of God has now become the responsibility of man.
·        Each person who gets saved as a result of us going and preaching the Gospel to every creature gets to go to heaven.
·        Every worker/disciple of Christ will be eternally rewarded/paid according to the work they have done for Christ on planet earth.
·        We have been given power and authority to go in His name.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

10 Days of Awe


Revelation 20 NKJV
11 ¶  Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
12  And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
13  The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
14  Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Allow me a few minutes this morning to refresh us all concerning the calendar God gave His children. He told them to observe certain days and weeks each year. God still works off of His calendar and He has pre-scheduled every major event on the earth to coincide with the times He has prescribed. It would be remis to imagine dates are not important to God. He gave us an eternal calendar and clock in the Bible. Jesus was born, lived, died and is coming again according to the predetermined dates written beforehand in the Bible. Jesus did not consider Himself too important to participate in God’s plan for mankind. Today is one of those predetermined, special days listed in the Bible. Today is a Holy Day.

Today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year 5779. This day is also known in the scriptures as Judgment Day.

2 Corinthians 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

The fall season is especially important to us and to God because of the Fall Feasts which have yet to be fulfilled in the earth by Christ. Each year is but a dress rehearsal aimed at keeping us mindful of a day which is yet to come. So today, at sundown in Israel and all around the world, the Bible instructs God’s Children to observe this very important holy day:

Rosh Hashanah
o   Sundown today - Marks the 1st Day of Tishri 5779
o   New Year’s Day on God’s Calendar
o   This is the day we believe God created Adam and Eve
o   It is the day that the Ark of the Covenant was brought into the Temple of Solomon at the dedication of the First Temple.
o   The Second Temple was also dedicated on this day.
o   This is the day of the year we believe Jesus was born
o   This is the day of the year we believe Jesus will return for His Bride which is also known as the Rapture of the Church.
o   It is the Judgment Day we have all read about in the scriptures
§  Judaism teaches that today is the day that God decides the fate of every person currently living on the earth
·        The day on which God writes the names of the righteous in the Book of Life and writes the names of the wicked in the Book of Death.
·        Then, everyone on earth is given the next 10 days in which to repent and change their fate before God makes His final decision on Yom Kippur - The Day of Atonement.

These 10 Days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, sundown September 9th through sundown, September 19th, are called:

·        The 10 Days of Awe
o   Remember – These are the days between Judgment Day and The Day of Atonement.
o   For thousands of years Jewish Rabbis have been teaching that these 10 days are given to mankind by a merciful God so that we can:
§  Take inventory of our lives
§  Repent of our sins
§  Offer ourselves to God
§  Begin living a life pleasing to Him
o   All of these things are done in hopes that God will forgive our sins and save us from the punishment we deserve.

Of course, we know that Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died an atoning death, was raised to life again victorious over sin, death, hell and the grave and that He is coming again to gather the righteous to heaven and to judge all those who refuse to submit themselves to His Lordship. Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the World!
·        His birth represents God creating man without sin in the Garden of Eden.
·        His life shows us the goodness and grace of a loving God towards humanity.
·        His death fulfills the Passover promise of a spotless Lamb who would be sacrificed to pay for the sins of all who receive the blood of Christ.
·        His burial carried our sins to an eternal grave.
·        His resurrection granted us the power of immortal life.
·        The time between our birth and our death are our Days of Awe.
·        But one day we will all stand before God on Judgment Day.
·        Will you be right with God?

What does it take to be right with God? (Saved or Lost …)
1.   Recognize your need of a Savior.
2.   Repent of your sins and turn your heart towards God.
3.   Receive Jesus by faith as you pray and ask Him into your heart.

Just because we are saved and are living in the New Testament era of grace, and on our way to heaven, does not mean that we should shirk our responsibility or disregard our daily opportunity to clean our lives up and draw closer to God each day.

This year the 10 Days of Awe will begin tomorrow morning. In consideration of this opportunity and our responsibility, I want to encourage you to do something with me.

·        Today I am asking you to consider joining me in a personal time of devotion each morning for the next 10 mornings as we observe the Days of Awe together. We will use this time to draw closer to God. I am going to add an Early Morning Daily Devotional to my regular morning routine. It will include an extra Bible Reading and a brief time of Personal Prayer. I will do this at my home and I’m asking you to do this at your home as well. Here is what I will do:

o   Daily Bible Reading for the next 10 days
§  Monday the 10th  – Genesis 1
§  Tuesday the 11th – Psalms 23
§  Wednesday the 12th – Ecclesiastes 3
§  Thursday the 13th – Isaiah 53
§  Friday the 14th – John 14
§  Saturday the 15th – Acts 3
§  Sunday the 16th – 1 Corinthians 13
§  Monday the 17th – James 4
§  Tuesday the 18th – 2 Peter 1
§  Wednesday the 19th – Revelation 22

Note: (You will find this list on our website at

o   Daily Time of Prayer and Personal Dedication
§  A time of seeking God for me – that I might know Him better and walk in His will for my life.

Don’t forget, “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” And, Judgment Day is today!

Join with me if you can … and I wish you L’shanah Tova! Have a good year!