Breath – Air

The Bible is God’s “Breath.” Like bread and water, we need air, breath, to be sustained us. Experts say we can go without food 40 to 80 days; go without water, 4 to 14 days; how long can we go without air? Maybe 3 minutes and then we pass out. Within the body of Christ, we have malnourished, dehydrated, and oxygen depleted Christians!

2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (Verse 17) that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Not “some” Scripture, but “All” Scripture is given by inspiration of God! All Scripture is “God-Breathed.” God-breathed is what we call the inspiration of God. The word inspire, literally means to breathe in. It also has a secondary meaning, to breathe an idea, inspired with this idea to do something.

God breathed into men as they wrote Scripture. Expiration – to breathe out, expire,to exhale. Inspire is to inhale and expire is to exhale. So, God not only breathed in to inspire the men who wrote Scripture, but He breathed out to breathe it into them.

2 Peter 1:20, 21 – Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, (Verse 21) for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

God breathed out His word and breathed into holy men of God and they wrote as they were inspired or filled with the breath of God.

People like to say that the Bible is full of errors because it was written by ordinary men. This is not true, because if it was full of errors and written by ordinary men, then it certainly couldn’t have come from the mouth of God. God makes no errors. If you say it’s full of errors then you don’t believe that the Bible is God inspired. We can’t have it both ways. If you believe the Bible has errors, then you can pick and choose what part is right and which part is of God and that would make you “God.”

It’s hard to believe the arrogance of people that, think they can judge the word of God. We don’t judge God’s word, but we will be judged by the word of God one day. The Scripture is inspired by God, the Holy Spirit. Do you remember what Jesus said about anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit?

Mark 3:28: – “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; (Verse 29) “but he who blasphemies against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”  – Be very careful about what you say concerning holy Scripture and whom it was inspired by. God wrote it, God inspirited it, and holy men of God wrote it.

Error doesn’t refer to the different translations of  the Bible that are available. Error refers to the original language and then we translate it. And original text means when the men wrote it in Hebrew and in Greek. The only errors might be when a translation takes place, but there are no errors in the original.

People say there are contradictions in the Bible. No, there are just different eye witnesses of events that occurred or different expressions of what took place. The law of none-contradiction means that you can have two statements about the same event, from two different people, that are different statements about the same thing, but as long as one version does not prove the other statement to be false, there is no contradiction. It can only be a contradiction if one statement proves the other statement is false.

People like to use these two Scriptures to prove there is a contradiction in the story about Judas. In Mathew 27:1-10, it says that Judas hung himself. Matthew went right to the “bottom-line.” But in Acts 1:18, Luke declares Judas as “falling head long, and burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out.”

Those two Scriptures do not contradict each other. Judas did hang himself in the field that the “priest” bought with the 30 pieces of silver that Judas had thrown at them. But they bought it in the name of “Judas.” He hung himself the day before the Sabbath and it would have been considered work to wait and cut him down on the Sabbath, so he hung there all day. Gases began to build up in his body and he became bloated, so when they cut him down and he hit the ground, he burst open.

Gross, I know, but if you think about it this way, we also have to remember that Luke was a physician. so his description of what happened to Judas was a little more descriptive. One, the tax collector, simply said, “He hung himself.” but the physician described what a gruesome death it was. No contradiction.

We are born again by the Word of God, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible seed, that lives and abides forever. The Word of God is what we live and breathe by, so please watch what you say when you want to criticize how and by whom it was written.

Ezekiel 37:1 – The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley, and it was full of bones. (not skeletons, bones are unattached) (Verse 2) Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. (Verse 3) And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” (Verse 4) Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! (Verse 5) ‘Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. (Verse 6) “I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.” ‘ ” (Verse 7) So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. (Verse 8) Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. (Verse 9) The He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ‘ ” (Verse 10) So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.

The Breath of God Brings Understanding

If we are going to judge by the Bible whether we can understand it or not, it is not going to happen. Because there are going to be many things we will not understand. However, we believe it by faith.

In Ezekiel 37:3, (my words) “Is it logically possible? and Ezekiel said, “I don’t have a clue! But You do.” How about if God asked us this, “Can a man walk on water?” God knows. If God wants dry bones to breathe again or a man to walk on water, He knows.

Job 32:8 – But there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.

The Breath of God Brings Order

Remember, all Scripture is God breathed. Reading the Bible will bring order to our lives. Scripture brings an understanding. When God’s word was spoken by Ezekiel, to the dry bones, they began to connect – order.

Psalm 33:6 – By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. The breath of God, spoke order. Do we not breathe out our breath when we speak? Yes, but God’s breath gives life.

The Breath of God Brings Strength

In verse 8 of Ezekiel 37, the “sinews” and the flesh came upon the bones. God will bring structure and order to our lives but we still need to be connected to the power of God – to the muscle. When we combine reading God’s Word with receiving the Holy Spirit, we then walk in the power of God.

Right after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, in Exodus 15, they sang the song of Moses and sang unto the LORD: Exodus 15:8 – And with the blast of Your nostrils the waters were gathered together; the floods stood upright like a heap; and the depths congealed in the heart of the sea. (Verse 9) The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my desire shall be satisfied on them. I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.’ (Verse 10) You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters.

A blast from the Almighty’s nostrils parted the Red Sea and they crossed on dry land. And then Scripture says He blew again and covered the enemy in the waters. How powerful is that? Please don’t ever minimize the miracles in the Bible. We won’t find any logical explanation for them.

The Breath of God Brings Life

Ezekiel 37:10 – So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived. When we read God’s word, we get understanding, our lives come into order, we receive the power of God and we get life itself!

Job 33:4 – “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”

Genesis 2:7 – And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Every time we read and meditate on God’s word, we are breathing in what God breathes out. You can’t just breathe once a week at the house of God and expect to live that abundant life!

 

 

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Living Water

If God’s Word is our food and water, how long can a person go without eating? We can go a lot longer without food than we can water, but how long can a person go without being spiritually fed?

Our Bible is written by a spiritual God to us, spiritual beings. The natural mind cannot understand it. That’s why people who are not “born again” cannot understand what it says and means. It’s foolishness to them.

1 Corinthians 10:3 – All ate the same spiritual food (manna), (Verse 4) and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. (Did you catch that the Rock followed them in the wilderness?) And if you remember the cloud that followed them by day and the fire by night, they were the Holy Spirit.

God tells us in the Bible what actually happened and what is true, but Satan plants the questions of doubt, “Did God really say that?” Are you going to believe God’s Word or what Satan whispers in your ear? Satan doesn’t want you reading God’s Word. He wants to famish you, but he wants to also to flood you with his doubt.

Revelation 12:9 – So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:15 – So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman (represents the Church), that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.

What comes out of our mouth? Words. Satan spews water – words out of his mouth, after the Church, to cause us to be carried away with his lies. Have you ever had a flood of words come at you? Like when you hear people say things negative about you: “You are never going to make it; you will always be broke; you married the wrong person and on and on. So, water represents words and Satan will flood you with his lies in order to destroy you.

David writes about it in Psalm 69:1 – Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. David is talking about the accusations that are coming against him from his enemies. This is a war of words.

Have you ever heard someone say to you, “God’s punishing you for your sin?” This is one of the biggest lies from the devil. If you are born again, Jesus paid for all sin and took the punishment for all your sin. God is never going to punish two people for the same sin!

Psalm 69:2 – I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. (Psalm 69:14) Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink; let me be delivered from those who hate me, and out of deep waters. (Verse 15) Let not the floodwater overflow me, nor let the deep swallow me up; and let not the pit shut its mouth on me.

Psalm 93:3 – The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. (Verse 4) The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea.

God’s words and His voice is mightier than any voice that the enemy can speak. Jesus even told us to build our house on the solid Rock and when the floods come, it will still be standing! Build your life on the Word of God, and when the enemy spews his lies and deception, you will still be standing when it passes.

God speaks and Satan speaks, but here’s the problem, we speak too. Has our mouths ever gotten us in trouble? Our words are also water. And we can drown ourselves.

Proverbs 18:4 – The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook. People can talk themselves into falling by the words they say.

Proverbs 6:2 – You are snared by the words of your own mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth.

And one of my favorites: Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

God’s word speaks life. Satan speaks words of death and destruction; and I have the power to agree with one of them with my tongue. Speak life!

Death and life are in the power of “my tongue!” It’s a choice. Are we going to repeat what God says about us and others or are we going to repeat what Satan says? And then it says, you will eat its fruit! You will have what you say!

There is only one thing that can defeat the floods – the words of the enemy, and that is found in Isaiah 59:19 …When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him. And that standard is the Word of God!

When Jesus was tempted by the devil, He said, “It is written!” How much more should we use our Bible, what is written, to come against the words of the enemy in any temptation? After Jesus spoke, “It is written,” three times, the tempter left. The Word of God will deliver us!

Amos 8:11 – “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.” The Lord is talking about a “Spiritual famine.”

All though the Bible there is a natural message and a spiritual message. Most miss the spiritual one because they won’t read God’s word for themselves. They would rather sit and listen to a pastor tell them what the Bible says every week.

It did not say, “A famine of the words of the Lord,” it said of “hearing” the words of the Lord. The problem is, are we hearing, meaning spiritual understanding, the words of God? Are we taking His words deep in our spirits and receiving understanding in order to change us?

Mark 4:14 – “The sower sows the word. (Verse 15) “And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. and when they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.”

Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. That’s scary! How can Satan do this?

Remember: God speaks and Satan speaks and we can speak and we either agree with God or Satan. But when we speak, we speak from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.

So, God or someone speaks the word, sown, Satan immediately tries to get us to speak something in opposition to what we’ve just heard or read. When you speak out agreement with Satan, that word leaves your heart.

This is why it is so important to meditate on God’s Word for yourself. We hide it in our heart and don’t speak the opposite of what He says. Hold fast to the word you have received!

Jesus wants to fill us with His word. 1 Corinthians 2:13 – These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (Verse 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.

Plain and simple: Don’t argue with an unbeliever about the understanding of the Bible. They will never understand the things of God because nothing will be revealed to them until they are filled with God’s Spirit and truly born again. They all have their own opinion of who God is and do not set their standards according to His Word. They think it is all foolishness.

Do you remember the story of the woman at the well in John 4:6-26? The woman didn’t understand that Jesus was talking about a spiritual water when He answered her and said, (John 4:13, 14) “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, (Verse 14) but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

That was a conversation between the “natural’ and the “spiritual.” Here is what’s great about this “fountain” that the Lord places on the inside of us. It washes us from the “inside out!” Most people try to take care of the outward things in their lives, while neglecting the things on the inside.

Our spirit is cleansed by the “blood,” but our souls are cleansed by the washing of the Word!” The war is in our mind, will, and emotions , the soul! Reading God’s word every day will sanctify and cleans our souls.

Remember:” When the enemy tries to flood you with lies, stand on God’s Word and he will flee!

 

 

Bread

The Bible is much more than just words. Too many people think that they should interpret the Bible “According to their world view.” The Bible is inspired by God. The doctrine of “Biblical interpretation” is” The Bible is of “No” private interpretation. We don’t interpret the Bible, the Bible interprets us.

So many want to use science to try to disprove Scripture. For instance: It’s scientifically impossible for a man to live inside a big fish for 3 days; its scientifically impossible for a sea to part and people walk on dry land; its scientifically impossible for a person to walk on water. However, this does not prove that the Bible is not true. It proves “God is God!” This proves we have a supernatural, miracle-working God!

The first work of Satan was to cast doubt on the Word of God, by saying, “Did God really say…?” If we, ourselves, are allowed to decide which passages are inspired and which passages are not, that means “We become God!” Interpretation is not up to us because we are not God!.

Let me say right here and now, “I believe every word of the Bible even if I don’t understand it.” Satan doesn’t have to argue issues anymore, he just has to cast doubt on the Word of God. He has no new tricks.

God’s Word Is Spiritual Bread

Exodus 16:4 – Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.

Then if we go to the New Testament where the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray: Matthew 6:11 – “Give us this day our daily bread.” Yes, He’s talking about provision, but is it not also talking about “a daily word from God? If we don’t eat every day, we will begin to feel tired and weak. Psalm 68:19 – Blessed be the Lord who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! Selah

God’s Word Is Our Sustaining Bread

Matthew 4:3 – Now when the tempter came to him, he said, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones become bread.” (Verse 4) But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ “

If the Bible is just another “literary word,” why then did Jesus use Scripture to overcome temptation? You can quote words from other books all day long but it won’t rebuke Satan. God’s word can only do that.

Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 which says, “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.”

We need food to sustain our physical bodies, so why would we not feed our spiritual body with the Word of God? Too many Christian are wasting away from spiritual malnutrition.

Isaiah 55:2 – Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?

Job 23:12 – I have not departed from the commandments of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. 

Joshua 1:8 – “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Meditating on the Word of God will make us prosperous and have good success. That is in all areas, not just financially. Why is it so hard for some to understand this? I hear from too many Christians, “I don’t like to read!” However, they hardly drop their phones long enough to have a conversation. They won’t read because they don’t want to!

God’s word is not only our daily bread and sustaining bread, its our “True bread.” John 6:31 – “Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” (Verse 32) Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you “the” bread of heaven, but My Father gives you the “true bread” from heaven. (Verse 33) “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (Verse 34) Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” (Verse 35) And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

John 6:48 – I am the bread of life. (Verse 49) “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. (Verse 50) “This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. (Verse 51) “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is MY flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 – And the Word became flesh (Jesus) and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Revelation 19:13 – He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

So why is reading the Word of God a matter of life or death? Because when we read and meditate on His Word, we are “taking in Jesus!”

Look what Jesus says in John 6:63 – “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. The more we read the Holy Bible, the more Jesus “gets in us.”

With the Word of God, we have the key to every area of our lives; we have the secrets to miracles; we have God’s autobiography, He wrote it! We have the words to eternal life. The answer to every problem is in His Word.

My question is; So, why do so few open the Bible and learn how to live? We can’t get our answers from only others telling us what they’ve read. We have to read it for ourselves!

 

Hearing God

There are general and specific wills of God. Of course, everyone wants to hear the “specific” voice of God. Every individual wants to know and hear what the Lord wants specifically for us.

However, we want to hear a specific word from God at different times and for specific situations without hearing the “general” will of God every day. If we are not accustom to how He speaks on a daily bases, and we’re not in a habit of meeting with Him and hearing from Him on a regular bases, it’s going to be much more difficult to hear those specific words from God when making decisions that are important in our lives.

When we value something, then we give time to that. So, we need to value His voice. Ask yourself this question: How much time do you give to God daily in hearing His voice? Some will be embarrassed by their answer. So, how do we hear God’s voice?

We Set an Appointment

Exodus 19:10 – Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. (Verse 11) “And let them be ready the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. (God is setting an appointed time to meet with the people.) (Verse 19) And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.

God comes to a prepared atmosphere. When we look through the Bible at the times people had encounters with God, there was a preparation before that encounter.

Think about your personal house of God you attend. There is a lot of preparation that takes place before the people came. Think about how odd it would be if no one greeted us at the door; or you go to drop your child off and there are no children’s church or nursery attendants; and then came in the sanctuary and no one was set up to sing and lead in worship; no ushers; no bulletins; and the preacher was just standing at the front of the building, but didn’t say anything.

Believe it or not there are a lot of churches today that don’t put a lot of preparation into a weekend service and say, “We are just going to let the Holy Spirit lead.” Then when things don’t go well, they blame God. First of all, the Holy Spirit is not the author of confusion or disorganization.

So, if you want to hear God, then you need to prepare to meet with Him. Set a time and appointment. If you don’t set a time, you will miss it. It will never happen. We set appointments to meet with others and don’t miss them. So, why not with God?

We just need to get in the habit of setting a time and a place, and keep it. People are different of when that time is. Some are best in the early morning, some in the middle of the day, and then some at night. It doesn’t matter, just pick a time and place. Many Christians live disappointed lives because of so many missed appointments with God.

Be Still and Worship

Psalm 46:10 – Be still, and know I am God; I will be exalted among nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Exodus 14:13 – and Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD,…”

2 Chronicles 20:17 – ‘You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you. O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you.” (They had been surrounded by the enemy. Now look what happens.)

2 Chronicles 20:21 – And when he had consulted with the people, appointed those who would sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever.” (Notice that the singers and worshipers went out in front.) (Verse 22) Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. (Verse 23) For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. (Verse 24) So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen n the earth. No one had escaped.

Everyone of us fight battles. Stand still and worship God. When we get still, no outside distractions or noise, we can begin to enter His presence. I wonder, how many Christians actually find a time each day to do this?

Acts 13:12 – As they ministered (worshiped) to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 

Pray and Read

Mark 1:35 – Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; ad there He prayed. If Jesus set a time and place to be with the Father, why shouldn’t we?

Psalm 119:147 – I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your word. And what do we pray about? Whatever is on your heart that day.

And always read your Bible. I am amazed at the Christians that don’t read the word of God. But I will say this, those who won’t take the time to read and learn of God, have messed up lives, and are always wanting someone else to pray for them. They just won’t stop “being busy” to maybe find the answers they are looking for right before their eyes. We should never rely on someone else to “tell us” what the Bible says. Look it up yourself.

There is so much wisdom and knowledge about our God in His Word, that it will begin to take hold and give you revelation for daily living. It will change your life!

Listen And Write

Listening for God’s voice seems to be the hardest thing for us to do because we have to “be still.” Psalm 45:1 – My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the king; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

I keep a journal and I know a lot of people who do also. I put the good things of God down on paper so that, if I go back and read it when times get tough, it reminds me He got me through that time and He’ll do it again. We can write revelations that the Lord has given us. Putting our thoughts down on paper may help you to look at something totally different.

1 Chronicles 28:19 – “All this, said David, “the LORD made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans.” (David was talking about the temple.)

Here’s what David is saying: As the LORD spoke to David about the details of the temple, David wrote them down and then would understand what God was saying.

Habakkuk 2:2 – Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.”

The best way I know to learn to hear the voice of God is to write when you are meeting with Him. We can write our prayers. Then write what you think God’s answer would be to your prayers. Write what you think God is saying to you through the Scriptures you read that day. You may not believe it, but the Holy Spirit will guide you to your answer. After a while, you will find that God is speaking to you so fast that you won’t be able to keep up. You can always look back on these journals and see how God directed our lives.

1 Samuel 3:1 – Then the boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.

Rare in the Hebrew, hints to a “limited supply.” But that’s the secondary meaning of this word. The primary meaning is valuable and precious! The word of the LORD was valuable.

Do we “value” hearing God’s voice? If hearing God’s voice is valuable and precious to you, set a time and place to meet with Him every day and watch what He will do in your life!

 

 

 

 

Death And Life

Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

The very words we speak will produce life or death in a situation. We do what we do because of the words we say. Words affect our lives more than some people know.

Proverbs is a book that has three major themes: money, morals, and our mouth. Proverbs 6:16 – These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, (Verse 19) a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren. (Three out of seven have to do with the tongue.)

Proverbs 12:22 – Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight. The Hebrew word “abomination” means “detestable.” It comes from the word “idolatry.” So, God is saying, these seven things are idolatrous to the LORD. This is like leaving the throne of God and worshiping at the throne of Satan.

When a person lies, they leave the throne of truth and they go to the throne of lies. Lying is the opposite of God’s nature. He doesn’t just speak truth, He is Truth! Lying can be a huge stronghold in a person’s life. Strongholds are habits that we can’t break on our own. It’s what a person will do over and over again.

Breaking a stronghold will come when the person becomes accountable and correctable! Have you ever met someone that can’t be corrected? Their response will show you whether or not they are correctable when they are confronted.

Sowing discord – Proverbs 6:12 – A worthless person, a wicked man, walks with a perverse mouth; (Verse 13) He winks with his eyes, he shuffles his feet, he points with his fingers; (Verse 14) Perversity is in his heart, he devises evil continually, he sows discord. (Verse 15) Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; suddenly he shall be broken without remedy. People who will sow discord, will reap calamity. When a person speaks discord, they will reap disharmony and dis-unity in their lives.

Gossiping – Spreading intimate or private rumors or facts. We think gossip is just spreading rumors. That is part, but even if it’s a fact, if its intimate or private, we shouldn’t be talking about it. Doesn’t matter whether true or not, it’s still gossip. Proverbs 20:19 – He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.

2 Corinthians 12:20 – For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions , jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbiting, whisperings, conceits, tumults (uproars);

Gossip is disguised in the church like: “I’m going to tell you something so that you can pray for them.” Here is the problem with that statement. The person who says that, is doing more talking, by telling the secret than praying for the situation that was told to them in private.

Slander – This is a false, malicious, statement or report about someone. We do this all the time because we pass on what we’ve heard when we don’t have personal knowledge that they are factually true. If you were not there and involved in that conversation, its slander. Look how deadly slander is: Psalm 140:11 – Let not a slander be established in the earth; let evil hunt the violent man to overthrow him. Proverbs 10:18 – Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool. 

1 Corinthians 5:11 – But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother (one that calls them-self a Christian.), who is a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner – not even to eat with such a person.

Tale-bearing – revealing secrets or breaking confidence. Proverbs 11:13 – A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit, conceals a matter. The body of Christ, should be the safest place for Christians to reveal something personal about their life.

This is why this is so important: We confess our sins and faults to God, so that we can be forgiven; we confess our sins and faults to one another , so that we might be “healed!” This is according to James 5:16.

My question is this: Why are there so many in the church that are not healed, whether physically or emotionally? It is because they have told people in the body personal things before and it got spread all over the church. People don’t tell others personal things anymore because people run their mouths. That should not be like that. When we know something about someone, its power. Character, is having power and using it wisely. Don’t tell others peoples secrets.

Cursing – Romans 3:13, 14 – “Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit.”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; (Verse 14) “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”

Most of the time, when we are around someone that curses, we will find and hear that they are a “bitter” person. When people curse, they are cursing, not blessing. We as Christians are to bless, not curse.

In other words: When someone curses they are speaking a curse. The word “damn” comes from the word “damnation,” which means condemnation or eternal damnation. So, why would we ever “damn” someone? If anyone has a problem in this area, read this: Psalm 109:17, 18 – As he loved cursing, so let it come to him; as he did not delight in blessing, so let it be far from him. (Verse 18) As he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, so let it enter his body like water, and like oil into his bones.

Water and oil don’t mix. Blessing and cursing don’t mix either, coming out of the same mouth. The Bible says right there that a person who curses is not blessed! Those who curse, the curse will come on them-self, and blessing will be far from them.

Blasphemy – to use God’s name in a unsacred or self-serving way. Exodus 20:7 – “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”

There are two ways someone can take the LORD’S name in vain: one to use God’s name as a “curse word”; two, to use God’s name in a vain way, a self-serving way. Believers do this all the time by telling others, “God told me this…!” Jeremiah said, “Don’t say the LORD said, when the LORD has not said!” (Jeremiah 23:21) Don’t use God’s name to manipulate or get your own way.

Filthy language – if cursing covers “damning” and using God’s name in vain, filthy language covers the rest of the bad words. Colossians 3:8 – But now you must also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy filthy language out of your mouth.

When filthy language comes out of a person’s mouth, its because it’s in their heart. Filthy language stirs up lust in the heart, if someone has a problem with lust. Don’t listen to it. Walk away from filthy language because if you don’t, you’ll soon find yourself talking like that. Christian men need to be respectable and let people know they are not going to listen to that kind of talk.

Contentious speech – hurtful, hateful, disagreeable, argumentative. Proverbs 21:9 – It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman. Proverbs 26:21 – As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife.

There are people that just love to argue about everything. What they are actually doing, is stirring up a contentious spirit. People don’t like to be around others who are always fussing and starting arguments. They always have to win the disagreement and have the last word.

Unbelief – this is a sin that we commit with our mouth. Remember, if it’s in your heart, it will come out of your mouth. Negative words are words of unbelief.

Hebrews 3:12 – Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; (Verse 13) but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

As Christians, we are to speak words that build up, not tear down. Remember the ten spies that gave the negative report? The Bible called their negative report, unbelief! Two gave a positive report, Joshua and Caleb, and the Bible called that “Faith!”

Arguing and negative words never bears good fruit. This doesn’t mean that we can’t ever say that something is wrong with something or a situation. It just means use common sense and don’t look for an argument over petty stuff. Faith is not denying the facts, faith is simply stating the truth, according to God’s Word. Faith is not denying that the mountain is there, it’s seeing the mountain move by God. We look at the situation, but our God’s bigger.

Our “Mouth” has to line up with His Word. And the only way God can bless us is for us to get our mouths saying what He says in His Word.

Watch what you say; don’t ever forget whom you represent as a Christian; and remember words matter!

 

 

 

 

Is The Holy Spirit Pentecostal?

When most people hear the word “Pentecost”, they think, “Oh, no, restrictions!” They only wear dresses to the floor, no jewelry, no make up, and the women don’t cut their hair. This sounds like the restrictions are only for the women.

However, those are man-made rules and has nothing to do with what the Bible says is Pentecost. Pentecost is the fulfillment of the feast of Pentecost and every believer needs a vital relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Certain denominations give a much different view of Pentecostal, but not according to the Bible. But before we can answer the question of “Is the Holy Spirit Pentecostal? we need to answer some other questions first:

What is Pentecost?

Acts 2:1 – When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (Verse 2) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as a rushing mighty wine, and it filled the house where they were sitting.

There were three major feasts in Israel, in the first, second, and third month. All were to gather in Jerusalem to celebrate these feasts. Passover represented when the angel of death passed over the children of Israel when they were in Egypt. Passover was the first major feast, then Pentecost, and then Tabernacle. Within those, there were seven feasts of Israel; within Passover, there are three feasts; within Tabernacle there are three feasts; and then they had the feast of Pentecost. Pentecost was held 50 days after Passover; and then Tabernacles; which includes the feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement.

Pentecost was the celebrating of the giving of the Law on Mt Sinai, 50 days after Passover. Pentecost means Pente; means 5; cost means to the tenth power. So, Pentecost means 50th.

But how many Christians think negatively when they hear the word “Pentecost?” People have made it to mean everything except what it means which is 50.

After Jesus’ resurrection, He walked the earth 40 days and then ascended. Ten days later is when they were gathered in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost – 50 days after Passover. Actually Pentecost came 50 days after Jesus resurrection. He was resurrected on Sunday the first day of the week.

Leviticus 23:15 – “And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. (Verse 16) Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD.”

God knew that His Son would die on Passover and resurrect the day after the Sabbath (Saturday). But don’t start counting until the day “after” the Sabbath. So, it didn’t matter if Passover fell on Tue., Wed., or whatever day. God gave instructions to not count the 50 days until after the next Sabbath. He knew when the Holy Spirit would come, and it was to come on the “exact” 50th day. Our God is amazing!

What Happened At Pentecost?

Acts 2:5 – And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. (Verse 6) And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.

All these people who spoke different languages, from all over, heard and understood the wonderful works of God in one language. Pentecost is the blessed reversal of the cursed judgment of Babel. (Go back to Genesis if you are not familiar with the Tower of Babel.) This was a day that every tribe and culture was praising God and understood!

So, when the Law was given there was a loud noise, a cloud descended, there was fire, God wrote His law on tablets of stone, and on that day 3,000 people died.

On the Day of Pentecost, there was a loud noise, and there was fire, a cloud descended God wrote His law on men’s hearts, and 3,000 people were saved!

Is this not amazing how this all comes together? So, the Day of Pentecost is the fulfillment. When God gave the law, no one could keep it. But when the Holy Spirit comes, God’s standards are written on your heart. Jesus came to make us in right standing with God, because we couldn’t be right on our own. The Holy Spirit comes to empower us to live righteous.

Can I experience Pentecost?

Acts 2:3 – Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. (Divided tongues just means individual tongues.) (Verse 4) And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

To many people think “tongues” is a scary word. Tongues comes from the Greek word “Glossa,” which means language. Why in the world would anyone be afraid of that? There is no earthly reason why anyone should be afraid when someone says, “tongues.” It is a language. On that day, all these people that were gathered, heard the wonderful work of God in their own language.

Whatever upbringing you may have had in church about the Holy Spirit, and it made you afraid, there was something defiantly wrong with it. Don’t ever be afraid of what God has written!

You have to believe, by faith that there is a tongue of fire on your head also. We receive Jesus by faith so we receive the Holy Spirit by faith too! There were 120 people in  the upper room. This baptism in the Holy Spirit wasn’t just for the 12 disciples. This was for everyone.

Acts 1:4 – And being assembled together with them, He (Jesus) commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father which, He said, “You have heard of Me; (Verse 5) for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” The Promise of the Holy Spirit. is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

So after the Holy Spirit fell, Peter gets up and speaks, because the people asked what should they do. Peter answers: Acts 2:38 says, “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Verse 39) For the promise is to you and to your children and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

All who are “afar off,” is me and you! We weren’t born during this time, however, we are included in this baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is the Promise.

Passover was fulfilled on the day Jesus died (a spotless lamb was slain for the sins of the people – Jesus). The the unleavened bread was taken out the morning after the Sabbath and would wave it before the Lord as a symbol of the first fruits harvest. (Jesus is coming out of the tomb as the symbol of the first fruits of the harvest to come.) Everything that was done lines up the way God intended.

So, can we receive Jesus as our spotless lamb that was slain for us, today? This is the argument against the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit,” which I might add is ridiculous. Too many have taught that it is not for us today, which makes no sense. They teach, because we weren’t alive back then, this is not for us today. We all can experience the fulfillment of Passover and so can each one experience Pentecost. Why one but not the other?

You can be filled with the Holy Spirit just as they were on the Day of Pentecost and don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise. Yes, we receive the Holy Spirit when we are saved but think of it this way: Have you fully received Him who lives in you? There is a power that comes when we fully receive and accept being baptized with fire by the Holy spirit. Jesus will baptize you with fire to be a witness for the kingdom of God, only if you ask. Ask and receive, doubt and go without. You cannot truly make it in this world without the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let me add one more thing: this is not just a one time deal, it is continuously being filled with the Holy Spirit. And Yes, the Holy spirit is Pentecostal.

 

 

Are We Good Enough?

Most people when asked, “Do you know where you are going when you die?” will answer, “Well, I hope I’m good enough to go to heaven.”

Mark 10:17 – Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” (Verse 18) So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. (Verse 19) “You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ” (Verse 20) And he answered and said to Him, Teacher, all these things I have observed from my youth.” (Verse 21) Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” (Verse 22) But he was sad at this word, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions.

At first glance, we will think “good is not good enough.” This story is also in Matthew 19:16, which puts the question the man asked a little different: “Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” Again, the focus seems to be, will I do more good than bad?

Most people that we talk to before they are truly saved or even Christians don’t understand the Bible and will say this, “I have done more good than bad.” Or they will say, “I’m not as bad as others.” They think that there is a big scale somewhere weighing the good against the bad.

But Jesus answers, and says, “There is no one good but One, God.” In other words: There is no one good enough to go to heaven but God.

Don’t take this the wrong way, as if we are never to do good works. We are saved to do good works. It almost, for a second, seems like Jesus is supporting this train of thought, “Am I good enough, or what shall I do?” Because, Jesus quotes the commandments to him and the man thinks he has done enough.

Jesus quoted six commandments, but there are ten. Why didn’t Jesus name all ten? The commandments are divided into two categories: The first four commandments have to do with man’s relationship to God. The last six commandments listed by Jesus, have to do with man’s relationship with man.

Just a side note: Jesus says these two are the greatest of the commandments: Love God with all your heart, mind, soul; the second is to love your neighbor as you love yourself. The first one covers the first four and the last one covers the last six of the commandments.

So, Jesus only list and tells the man the six that have to do with man’s relationship with man.” Why? Because the first commandment the man had already failed, which is “You shall have no other gods before Me.”

This man’s possessions was his god. Jesus went right to the heart of that because He could see into his heart.

Romans 3:12 – They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”

People will argue with you about doing good, but the Bible is very plain when it has written, “No, not one! (I’m going somewhere, with this, so hold on.)

There is not one “good enough.” Here’s what the Bible says; If you have violated even one of these commandments, you are guilty of all! There is only One that is good, and just as Jesus said it belongs to God, perfect in all His ways.

However, we have degrees of good. For instance: This might not be good, but it’s not real bad either. Our good, is not good enough.

God requires total commitment according to this passage in Mark and this man. When Jesus starts to list the six commandments of “do’s and don’t’s, this man was feeling pretty good about himself because he hadn’t done any of those things Jesus listed. However, Jesus tells him there is one more thing he needed to do, “Sell all of your possessions and give it to the poor and take up your cross and follow Me.”

Maybe we need to ask ourselves, “Would I be willing to give everything I own away in order to go to heaven? Have you? Who is the owner of all our stuff? Don’t forget, God requires total commitment. Isn’t it funny that some of the same people that tell us they are completely sold out for God, have trouble even paying their tithes?

God does want us to prosper and He does bless us to be able to give, but are we being totally honest with ourselves about total commitment to God? Let’s not also forget: There are people who think they are a Christian who really are not! Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Money is always a sore spot with the saved or unsaved.

Did Jesus tell this man that he had to sell everything in order to go to heaven? No, He did not! Read Mark 10:21 again, “Then Jesus looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and take up the cross, and follow Me.”

Jesus was telling him to do the same thing every person has to do in order to got heaven, “Take up the cross and follow Me,” Matthew 16:24 says, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

The place where this man needed to deny himself, was in his possessions. Money was his god. These verses have nothing to do with God wanting us to be poor, as I’ve heard some Christians say. This has everything to do with, “Where is your treasure; where is your focus; where do you place the most value; what or who is first in your life?” We all need to get to the root of what stops us from being totally committed to God.

Everybody is different, so we need to ask ourselves this question: What is the one thing that is stopping me from having a full relationship with Christ?

We have to deny our-self in order to pick up the cross. Did you catch what Jesus said in Mark? “Jesus loved him.” Jesus loved him enough to tell him the truth! He loved him enough to confront him. He loves us enough to tell us the truth too. But the man went away sad. It laid heavy on his soul to get rid of all that he had.

Mark 10:23 – Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Let’s not exclude ourselves, because if you live in America, you have more than most in other parts of the world.) (Verse 24) And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! (Verse 25) “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Verse 26) And they astonished beyond measure, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” (Verse 27) But looking at them, Jesus said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

The disciples were astonished when Jesus said this because the disciple had “riches.” Many think the disciples were poor. Peter and John left their fishing boats and their nets, all plural, with their hired servants. Poor people don’t have hired servants. Poor people don’t have employees. These were small business men. Matthew was a tax collector and we know how rich they were. These disciples weren’t poor. And that is why they were “flabbergasted” at what Jesus had said about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.

Here is the bottom line of what Jesus was saying, “It is impossible for you or me to save ourselves! We need a Savior because not one of us is or ever will be good enough. That’s what Jesus meant when He said, “With men it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Our good is not good enough. That’s the bad news, but the good news is Jesus Christ is the bridge to the good news.

There has always been a misconception of this man. We just assume that the man went away and didn’t sell all of his possessions. Scripture never says that he didn’t or did do what Jesus told him to do.

But we know that a man names Josephus wrote about a man that was called the richest, youngest, ruler in Jerusalem. Matthew, Mark, and Luke, all say he was a rich young ruler. Matthew says he was young and Luke says he was a ruler. The story says that he had so much wealth that, he could support all the inhabitants of Jerusalem for 10 years. Josephus wrote about him because he was his brother. His brother’s name was “Nicodemus.” Now do you remember who this is now?

In John Chapter 3, Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night and Jesus tells him he needs to be born again. And in John 3:2 we know Nicodemus calls Jesus “Teacher.”  Teacher is the same word used in Mark 10. But, Nicodemus uses the same word that this rich, young, ruler uses. In John 3:50-52, he comes to Jesus. In John 7, he stands and defends Jesus. In John 19:39, Nicodemus shows up at Jesus tomb bringing myrrh and aloes for Jesus body.

Also the tomb that Jesus was laid in belonged to “Joseph of Arimathea” whose best friend was Nicodemus.

Here’s what else we know about Nicodemus: If Nicodemus was the richest, why didn’t he put Jesus in one of his tombs? Why would he ask his best friend to use his tomb? Because if you follow the history, it tells us that Nicodemus sold everything he had!! Wow! He sold everything he had and became a disciple of Jesus. He was kicked out of the Sanhedrin because he professed faith in Christ.

I think this rich, young ruler that came to Jesus was one and the same that Jesus told to sell all he had, deny himself and pick up his cross and follow Him.

Are you totally committed to Jesus Christ? If you are not you cannot pick up your cross and follow Him with a whole heart.