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HIS KINGDOM

Adam and Eve’s rebellion in the Garden of Eden resulted in the loss of the Kingdom government of heaven on earth. In place of the Kingdom government the government of Satan was established and humans were led by the dictates of their flesh. Accordingly, through all of the dispensations from Innocence to Grace man continued to fail in keeping God’s laws but then came Jesus.

During the lifetime of Jesus Israel was looking for a Messiah who would come and deliver them from under Roman dictatorship. When Jesus came on the scene He performed miracles, preached and taught about the kingdom of God and men wanted Him to become their earthly king; however, His presence on earth was to redeem man back to God through His death, burial and resurrection. The time to set up His kingdom on earth would be in the distant future.

In John 18:33-37 prior to His crucifixion Pilate questioned Jesus in the judgment hall concerning being labeled “King of the Jews” and Jesus informed him, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” In His reply Jesus informed Pilate that there existed a superior kingdom with a different culture and values that were not part of Pilate’s world system.

Furthermore, after His resurrection and before He ascended into heaven the disciples asked Him, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” and he replied, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power” (Acts 1:6-7). Previously, Jesus had told his disciples that he was going away to prepare a place for them, and he would come back, and where he was they would be (John 14:3). So, from their question I believe they thought Jesus was going to establish His kingdom on earth at that present time despite the teaching and insight He had given them of their future.

It has been over two thousand years since Jesus ascended into heaven and soon His bride will be raptured to ever be with Him. First, His bride will be with Him in heaven and then back to this earth to reign with Him during His millennial reign, and finally living in His glorious kingdom in the new earth.

There are many scriptures that are found in the bible that describes His kingdom which will be universal, political, visible, peaceful, prosperous and spiritual and for your edification I have included some of them that you may read at your leisure. They are: Ps. 72:8; Isa. 2:1-4; Isa. 9:6-7; Isa.11:1-10; Isa.16:5; Isa.24:23; Isa. 29:18; Isa. 30:23; Isa. 32:1,14-15; Isa. 33:24; Isa. 35:1-2,5-7; Isa. 40:1-11; Isa.42:3-4; Isa. 44:3; Isa.52:7-15; Isa. 55:4; Isa. 65:20; Jer. 31:12; Ezek. 34:25-29; Ezek. 39:29; Dan. 2:35,44; Dan.7:14,27; Joel 2:21-29; Amos 9:13-14; Micah 4:1-8; Zech. 9:9-10; Zech.14:16-17 and Revelations 19-22.

Just thinking about His kingdom causes me to be excited knowing as Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 2:9 “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him,” and I pray you too feel the same as I do.

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THE SPIRIT OF FEAR

Merriam-Webster gives the following meanings for the word fear: dread, fright, alarm, panic, terror, painful agitation in the presence or anticipation of danger.

In our society the word phobia is often used to express the various fears that individuals experience and these fears (phobias) can be divided into three major categories: specific, social, or open spaces. Additionally, our fears or phobias can be obtained genetically, culturally or through life experiences. If you google the word, “phobia” you will be supplied with a list of the fears humans experience. I found a list of over 100 phobias and sadly it appears that humans fear almost everything.

Of course I believe some fears are healthy for they often preserve our lives, but notably from our birth onward the enemy seeks to plant within each of us the Spirit of Fear (phobia) via our life experiences, and for some of us, those fears grip us and hold us hostage. I am sure each one of us has our own story that we can share on how and where our fears began, and even how they have magnified over the years.

The great news for all of us can be found in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” In attempting to get to the essence of this scripture I looked up the keywords of this verse and found the following:
Fear = (deilia-Gk) timidity
Love = (agape-Gk) God’s love, affectionate regard, good-will, benevolence
Power = (dunamis-Gk) ability, abundance, strengthen, mighty work
Sound mind = (sophronismos-Gk) discipline, self-control, sound judgment

In Genesis 1:28 God commissioned humans to subdue and have dominion and His edict has not changed. Hence, as believers we do not have to lack confidence and question whether we are able to overcome the Spirit of Fear. Rather, in its place we have God’s love that permits us to love those who we once feared. We have the ability and strength not to succumb to the terror we may be feeling, and furthermore we have the ability to make sound judgment, practice self-control and think correctly.

The Spirit of Fear is real, but the power of God is greater. So, I encourage you to use the spiritual tools that have been provided to all believers and put this spirit under your feet.

DOES THE LORD KNOW YOU?

Matthew 7:21-23 Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

We are living in an age where many people acknowledge that the things they have obtained is by the help of God and they openly express their thanks to God; however, their lifestyle is questionable. I believe God requires more of us than words, I believe He is expecting us to live a godly life 24 hours a day.

In the above three recorded verses of Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus is coming to a close of His sermon on the mount and He makes some pertinent facts and they are:
1. Anyone can acknowledge Jesus as Lord.
2. Entrance into the kingdom of heaven is not granted because you acknowledge Him.
3. People can prophesy, cast out devils, and perform miracles and yet be denied access to the kingdom of heaven. Entrance to the kingdom is not granted solely on your works.
4. There are requirements to enter the kingdom of heaven.
5. Despite all that you have done in the work of the ministry there is a possibility you were never recognized as a candidate for the kingdom.
6. God has a standard of living which requires a believer to be righteous and holy. Iniquity when translated from the Greek means lawless, transgressor, wicked, and unrighteousness. Candidates of the kingdom of heaven will not be called any of these.

Though some are teaching that grace will cover the believer’s ungodly lifestyle, this is not true. Please know Romans 6:1-2, 15-16, 22-23 repudiates this claim. It states “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus we have obtained power and freedom from the penalty of sin. We are to move on from sinning and embrace a lifestyle of servanthood to God. This servanthood requires obedience and allegiance that ultimately renders us eternal life.

No doubt, Jesus shared the verses in Matthew 7 because many will stand before Him at the White Throne judgment declaring the works that they have done but they will hear the fatal words of Jesus, “I never knew you: depart from me.” Therefore, on today we have the opportunity to confess our sins, enter into a right relationship with God and daily seek His help in being an overcomer. Finally, I pray this blog has helped and encourage you to live a life that is well pleasing to God.

CHERISH THE WORD

Living in America may have its challenges but one of them is not religious freedom. We are so privileged that we can decide which religious group with whom we want to affiliate, we can change from one denomination to another, we can be agnostic, or an atheist. We have taken these religious freedoms for granted and fail to realize that a large portion of the world’s population does not have the same privileges as we do. Many are being imprisoned, tortured and killed for acknowledging a belief that is contrary to the belief of the government in which they reside. Thus, every time I think about this fact I say, “Thanks to God.”

Besides having religious freedom, we have the right to own religious material. In my own personal library, I have all kinds of Bibles to which I have access 24 hours a day. I can display them, read them, hold them and talk about them freely. Unlike those that live in the world’s most difficult and dangerous mission fields I don’t have to hide my Word. I don’t have to read my Word secretly by candlelight or in the dark of night, and I can read the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation and not a tore out page of the Bible that someone covertly gave me.

Being able to read affords me the opportunity to know that the Word cleanses, cuts, discerns, sanctifies, protects, builds me up, guides, converts, satisfies, causes growth, builds my faith, teaches, reveals the will of God for my life, and reveals the love of God and Christ. Additionally, I don’t have to question others for answers or take their word as truth; I can read the Word for myself.

Besides the many hard copy Bibles I have, I also have the Word on tape, CDs, my smartphone, iPad and Kindle. Unfortunately, the use of the equipment to hear the tapes and CDs have become obsolete and the use of our present-day techno gadgets can be cut at any time if we have a power grid failure. So, it is wise to own and keep a hard copy of the Bible.

Finally, with the realization of all the Word provides and how the Word could vanish for those that only have it on their gadgets, my prayer today for you and me is that we daily read the Word and most importantly cherish it.

DID YOU REALLY MEAN TO PRAY FOR THAT?

Several years ago I consistently scripture prayed Isaiah 58:5-11 and in that scripture was these words, “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones.” During this time, I was unsuccessfully dieting and trying to lose weight and then one day it hit me, God was answering my prayers and making fat my bones. I continued to pray Isaiah 58:5-11; however, I omitted the request to make fat my bones and I am happy to say I lost weight.

Also, I remember the experience of a young college student who attended my church. She purchased a second-hand car to get her back and forth to college which was about a 45-minute drive from her home. She prayed and asked God to keep the car working while she attended college and God answered her prayer and the day after she graduated her car died on her.

How many times have you heard people ask God to help them have patience, become fearless, build their faith in Him, or help them love people? Unfortunately, they did not realize that their request may possibly produce painful and unpleasant situations for these emotions and skills to develop?

I am sure that you like me have prayed and asked God for things without seriously thinking about the consequences of your prayers. Knowing God is a prayer answering God, I suggest that we should not make random prayers that sound nice. We should thoughtfully consider what we are about to request, and remember the saying, “Be careful what you ask for” and “Think before you speak.”

DAILY BREAD

Luke 11 records a discourse between Jesus and his disciples. Jesus had gone up into the mountain to pray and at the conclusion of his prayer one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples,” to which Jesus recited to them what we presently call the Lord’s prayer.

Within that prayer there is an important request that I believe many believers say but do not fully comprehend and it is “Give us day by day our daily bread.” When we pray we think about tomorrow, we think about the future and we request many things pertaining to future endeavors. These things or provisions are what we consider important; however, Jesus gave his followers a formula to practice that would alleviate stress and worry. Just pray for today’s provisions and when tomorrow comes, pray for the provisions for that day, in other words, take one day at a time for God provides for us daily as he did for the Israelites in the wilderness.

The Lord’s prayer is also recorded in Matthew 6 which is part of Jesus’s sermons on the mount and it was part of several discourses which Jesus shared with his followers on that day. Furthermore, in this particular chapter Jesus tells the people to, “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.” He continues to explain to them that if God feeds the birds, and makes the grass which withers quickly to look beautiful, surely he will take care of man. Less they forget Jesus repeats himself in verse 31 “Therefore take no thought…” and ends the chapter with verse 34 reiterating, “Take therefore no thought for tomorrow.”

So, let us adhere to the words of Jesus and daily pray for the bread (provisions) for that day and take no thought for tomorrow’s bread.

YOUR ENEMIES’ BEST INFORMANT

I have found that we blame the devil for most of the bad things that happen in our lives, and we give him undeserving credit. We forget Satan is a created being, he is not omnipresent, omniscient or omnipotent. Satan has his headquarters and he rules from that place. He has angels and demons that do his bidding and some of them are assigned to you.

These angels and demons can cause things to happen in your life but their best informant on the success of their plans is you. Your conversation and actions inform the evil spirits whether their strategy is effective. Your conversation and actions give fuel to evil spirits. They watch you closely and pay attention to your words. They delight in hearing you speak particularly when it is to their advantage. Thus, we must be on the alert and apply the following scriptures:

1 Thessalonians 4:11a And that ye study to be quiet. (Learn when to talk and what to say when you talk. And if you have difficulty doing this, pray and ask God for help and guidance).

Ephesian 4:27a, 29a Neither give place to the devil. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth but that which is good to the use of edifying. (When you talk be mindful of what you are saying).

1 Corinthians 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. (When in difficulty, start praying in your unknown language).

Romans 8:26 – 28 And in the same way—by our faith[e]—the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying. For we don’t even know what we should pray for nor how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows, of course, what the Spirit is saying as he pleads for us in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans. (For this scripture I used the Living Bible because I believe it needs no explanation).

If you diligently follow these scriptures, you will not be your enemies’ best informant.

SPEAKING LIFE TO DEAD SITUATIONS

When faced with difficult or unpleasant situations people will cry, pray, complain, share their situations with others, or become depressed and overwhelmed. Therefore, on today, knowing our words have power I would like to use Ezekiel 37:1-10 as the scriptural reference for this blog about speaking life to dead, difficult or unpleasant situations. Also, I will be extracting from this scripture keys to follow when you like Israel who in this text was feeling hopeless and discouraged.

The main character in this scripture is Ezekiel the son of Buzi who was a priest but is known to us as a major prophet who lived during the Babylonian exile and was commissioned by God to be a watchman to his peers who were a rebellious people.

In a vision Ezekiel is transported to a valley filled with disjointed human bones that appeared dry, brittle and were scattered on the ground throughout the valley. Ezekiel was asked whether he thought the bones could live, to which he replied, “O Lord GOD, thou knowest.” He was then told to prophesy to the bones to hear the word of the LORD which said “Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” Accordingly, Ezekiel did as he was instructed and there was a noise, and shaking as the bones came together and formed skeletons. Then sinews, flesh and the skin covered the bones but they remained lifeless without breath in them until Ezekiel prophesy to the four wind for breath to come and breathe in the slain bodies that they may live. Again, Ezekiel followed the instructions and breath came into the slain bodies, they stood up and lived.

According to the text, in the vision, Ezekiel was taken to a place where a calamitous battle had occurred and the bodies of the dead soldiers were not buried. This may have occurred because there were no survivors to do the burial, the victors may not have thought their enemy was worth burying, or they may have left the bodies as an example to others. The vultures and other scavenging animals had devoured their flesh and over time the bodies that were exposed to the sun and wind became dry, brittle and disconnected.

Israel had been warned by God their rebellion would lead to the scene that Ezekiel was experiencing (Deuteronomy 28:25-26; Jeremiah 34:20). However, in his priestly role Ezekiel was forbidden to be defiled by going around dead bodies except for his near kinsman, so, in this vision he was taken out of his customary element (Leviticus 21:1-3). This lets us know that there are some places God will carry you because on your own you would not go.

Everywhere Ezekiel turned all he saw was the ravages of destruction and he was made to look at the situation not with his natural eyes but with faith in the Word of God. He was instructed to prophesy to what he saw. Understanding that prophesy is the mind of God revealed, Ezekiel was speaking God’s mind.

As he spoke there were noise and movement, the bones did not come together quietly, and Ezekiel did not become unnerved by what he was seeing. That which was needed to give structure, strength, and covering materialized but there still was no life.

Ezekiel’s last act was to speak the mind of God in the atmosphere and call the four winds that controlled and did different acts in the atmosphere to work in concert with each other. The conclusion of this final action produced an exceeding great army of living men.

This is what I learned from this text:
1. To know that even when I am placed in difficult situations God is with me and gives me the ability to speak change.
2. When I speak, change comes progressively. Change may involve noise and things being moved around.
3. I am to call forth structure, strength and covering.
4. Speak into my atmosphere for everything to work together to produce life.

Be blessed and I pray this blog has provided you within insight, answers and instructions

FOLLOW THE PLAN

While talking to a fellow believer this week I encouraged him to follow the plan. What plan might you ask? My answer, “The plan that God has provided in His Word for our continued success.” The Word provides us with knowledge or information that is needed to obtain that success but it requires us to seek after it. The consequence of not having or seeking after the knowledge that is found in the Word is expressed by God to Israel “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6a).

A believer that wants to be successful cannot be lazy. We have to do the work but this unfortunately is not the case in a large percentage of our lives. I have come to realize believers can fall into various categories and they are:
1. Those who do not read the Word on a consistent basis.
2. Those that do not know the Word because they are not reading it.
3. Those that read it but they are not applying it to their lives.
4. Those that read, know, and apply the Word.

For believers, it takes reading, knowing and applying the Word for complete and continued success. So, I reiterate we cannot be lazy.

Furthermore, many of us worry about issues that confront us which is a natural thing to do but we must follow the words of Peter, “Cast all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7) and the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:34a, “Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” Thus, knowing that the Creator of all things is with you and willing to take care of you is paramount, and practicing not to worry about tomorrow or your future gives you peace.

Finally, God’s Word is the COMPLETE PACKAGE, it holds the answers to life problems and all we need to do is FOLLOW THE PLAN that is found in the Word

PROVISIONS FROM UNEXPECTED SOURCES

Often I have found that we limit God’s intervention in our lives because of our expectations. In our restricted minds we think of the ways God will resolve our issues and we don’t expect the unexpected. Therefore, I pray the following three accounts I am going to share of Divine intervention will encouraged and inspire you as it did me.

1 Kings 17 introduces us to the prophet, Elijah the Tishbite who told King Ahab Israel would not have dew or rain until he said so, and consequently it did not rain in Israel for 3 years. This word was given because of Israel’s idolatry and this word challenged the strength of the god Baal-Melkarth, the god of rain and crop production whom Israel was presently worshipping. However, during this time as seen in 1 Kings 17 God provided food for Elijah from unexpected sources and then He again provided food for Elijah in 1 Kings 19 when he was fearfully on the run from Jezebel.

1 Kings 17 reveals after his prophetic word to Ahab God instructed Elijah to hide himself by the brook Cherith, Elijah followed God’s instruction and he was able to drink water from the brook and eat bread and flesh in the morning and evening provided miraculously by ravens commissioned by God to bring him food.

When the brook dried up God sent Elijah to Zarephath, to a Gentile widow who was also commissioned by God to sustain Elijah. Upon arrival in Zarephath Elijah saw the woman and told her to get a little water for him to drink and to bring him some bread for him to eat. Her response to this request was, “As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” However, Elijah encouraged her to respond positively to his request by sayings, “For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.” The women did what Elijah said and for the remainder of the drought she, her son and Elijah who stayed with them had food to eat, their daily bread was supernaturally provided.

In 1 Kings 19, after his great victory over the prophets of Baal and Asherah Elijah becomes fearful when he heard Jezebel wanted him killed and in despair, weariness, and depression he heads south to Beersheba. While journeying, exhausted and wanting to die Elijah stops and falls asleep under a Juniper tree until an angel touched him and woke him up saying, “Arise and eat.” Elijah supped on a cake and a cruse of water after which he returned to sleep. A second time the angel woke him and told him to eat, because the journey ahead of him would be too great without nourishment. Elijah followed the instructions of the angel and was able to travel forty days and nights to Mount Horeb without any further substance.

In these two chapters despite scarcity, Elijah was provided for first by an unclean bird, then by a Gentile widow and finally by an angel. He was provided by a creature, a human and an angelic being.

God’s Word tell us not to worry for God promises to take care of our daily needs. God understands our frailty and he supplies the substance necessary for our survival. He can and will send us provisions as He sees fit. Our response is to expect it from many source and thank Him for His gracious care.