The Kingdom Power of Prayer

Do you earnestly pray or do you do it because as a Christian we’re supposed to? Do you feel disconnected when you pray?

God has a conditional will and an unconditional will. God’s will is what He determines to happen, but it can happen in one of two ways. It can happen conditionally or unconditionally. God’s unconditional will is when He determines what will happen irrespective of what anyone else does. It’s not conditioned on us because He’s going to decide that it happens and cause it to happen without any human involvement. He sovereignly decided to make it come to pass all by Himself.

However, God’s conditional will is much different. There are many things that He’s decided to “not” let happen until He gets cooperation on earth. There are many things He’s decided He will not bring from heaven into history unless there is human cooperation with His desire and design.

One of the primary mechanisms that God has established to determine much of what He does on earth, in your life and mine, is conditioned by the absence or presence of prayer.

James 4:1 –  Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasures that war in your members? (Verse 2) You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. (Verse 3) You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

James spells it out for us: We either don’t have because we don’t ask or we ask with wrong motives. We have to cooperate with God in getting what we ask.

Prayer is relational communication with God. And the goal of prayer is to draw from heaven into history to get eternity to make a statement in time! It is to make heaven visible on earth, change something down here.

However, the problem is, we don’t always know what’s conditional and what’s unconditional. Some things can be very clear, but other things we’re just not sure. That’s why Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to pray without ceasing. Bring everything to God so we don’t miss anything!

Without prayer, we become limited to the physical realm! So we pray to get the spiritual God to enter into the physical. Prayer does not get God to do something that He doesn’t want to do. We can’t make God do anything. But what prayer does is access what He already has determined.

Isaiah 65:24 – “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer: And while they are still speaking, I will hear.”

Before we prayed, He has already answered the prayer! Do you remember the story when the disciples asked Jesus, “How are we going to feed all these people?” They found a little boy who had two fish and five loaves of bread. Before anything happened, Jesus looked up to heaven and He prayed and He invited God into the problem. All the disciples did was distribute what the supernatural had provided.

So if Jesus had to pray to get His heavenly Father to do something “up there” to change something down her, how much more do you and I need to pray? James 5:13 – Is anyone among you suffering? (This means to be going through a difficult period. You are hurting, physical, financial hurt, circumstantial hurt or relational hurt.) Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 

Praise is an expression of value to the Lord. It is honoring the Lord physically and verbally. There is no such thing as silent praise! Praise is always visual and vocal. If you are in pain, pray. If you’re not in pain or suffering, praise! People are either one or the other. This means we are always communicating with God because we’re either praying or praising.

God wants us to thread Him into every aspect of our day either in prayer or in praise! James 5:14 – Is anyone among you sick? (The Greek word for sick means to be weary.) 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. 

In verse 13, you are praying for yourself, but in verse 14, we need help. When life beats us down long enough, we can get weary and tired of even praying. At that point, James tells us to go to the elders of the church to get a breakthrough that we have not been able to get on our own.

Have the church minister at the point of their need. (Verse 15) And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. The prayer offered in faith restores. To restore something is to bring it back to its original intent.

God is a restoring God! However, we know that everybody that gets physically sick doesn’t always get well. We know that perfect health is not always restored in every situation. Sometimes God walks with us through. He will restore us emotionally even though we might be waiting for Him to restore us circumstantially or physically. And then sometimes God does both.

But the “restore” in this passage is to restore the “weariness.” (Verse 15) And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. All sickness is not due to sin, but some sickness can be caused by sins.

Therefore James says: (Verse 16) Confess your trespasses to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

The effective, energized prayer is the focused prayer, God-centered! (Verse 17) Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. (Verse 18) And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. Elijah prayed and closed heaven down when it came to rain. Then he prayed again and he opened heaven up concerning the rain.

God spoke to Elijah in Chapter 17 that it wasn’t going to rain and then in Chapter 18, God said it was going to rain. We need to know this so we know that Elijah didn’t just make this up on his own. He was praying based on what God had told him.

So we need to pray with our Bible open! We have to know what God has said in His word and what He has promised. That’s called “standing on His Word!” Start with the word of God concerning your situation.

Why do you think it feels like prayer is so hard to accomplish? Because Satan is always trying to block our prayers from getting through. This is warfare!

Sometimes when God is ready to move, He doesn’t let us see the whole thing, He’ll just let us see a “little something” to give us a taste of what’s to come. That’s why the Bible says, “Oh taste and see!” That will encourage us that the end result is on its way.

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

The Authority of Binding & Loosing

With God’s kingdom, comes authority. One of the ways that that authority is utilized is kingdom prayer. This is access from heaven to invade earth for heavenly intervention into circumstances.

Binding and Loosing

If you’ve grown up in church, we’ve all heard about binding this and binding that. What they are talking about is “exercising authority.” But do we all know when to bind and when to loose? This is not some magic formula to get God to do what we want.

Matthew 18:18 – “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

This statement doesn’t give an exception because Jesus says, “Whatever.” Notice, you are the one doing the binding and loosing, not God. Whatever “you” bind and whatever “you” loose will have been done in heaven. So God will back up legitimate binding and ligament loosing.

To bind means to restrict; to lock; to restrain; to tie down and it means to hold something so that it cannot do what it wants to do. We are limiting its ability to function because we’ve tied it up.

Loosing is to unlock or to release; permit, it is to free something up. The first thing that leads up to this statement that Jesus made, is the statement given to and about the church.

Matthew 16:18 – “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Verse 19) “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Binding and loosing is a specific authority given to the church. We must remember something very important about the church that some people don’t even know. There is another aspect of the church and that is legislating from the spiritual realm. The job of the church is to legislate from above to down here, to bring heaven to earth, not just sing, not just preach, but to bring the authority from eternity.

The church represents another realm although it’s located on earth. It represents heaven but it’s located in history. If we are disconnected from the church, we are disconnected from its spiritual authority.

Jesus said that the church that He would build would be so powerful that hell can’t stop it. When we see hell defeating the church, it’s because they are building “their” church in Jesus’ name only, meaning, they are only using His name but it’s really in “their” name. Jesus said His church won’t be overcome!

Then in verse 19, Jesus says, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” In other words: He is giving access to Him to legislate from heaven back down to where you live. There’s more than one key, He said “Keys.” There are multiple gates. Then Jesus says, “Whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

So, what exactly are we binding and loosing? Based on this passage, we are binding and loosing what’s coming out of hell! To bind is to hold something back that is coming after you. You don’t want it to get through to get to you, so you bind it. It’s holding evil and Satan off of you.

Loosing is for when the enemy has already caught you! He’s already controlling something, already living in defeat, being controlled by the enemy. The person is miserable and they need to be loosed from being taken, hostage! Binding is keeping him off you or anything that hell is influencing. Hell can influence any area of our life. So to loose means, it’s already having an influence in our lives and we need to be set free.

If the problem is the “gates of hell,” Jesus says we must use the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” and we must do it in connection with the church because that’s the entity that holds the keys. We don’t have a private “key-ring. The church has the keys. We use those keys for our situation.

Now that we have that framework, let’s go to Chapter 18 in Matthew: In verse 18, Jesus repeats about binding and loosing, but then when we read on, He goes further and explains how we get this working for us.

Matthew 18:19 – “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”

This is the same concept of “two or three witnesses.” Two or three witnesses were used to confirm something legally. So Jesus takes the principle of two or three witnesses and applies it to binding and loosing. This is not just two or three people out of nowhere. When people try to get help from people that are not connected to the church, they can’t help with binding and loosing. Binding and loosing has only been delegated to the church.

Matthew 18:20 – “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

So in verse 19, concerning anything that they ask, they are asking heaven to intervene on our behalf for the binding and loosing and the two must agree. They have to be on the same spiritual page! Then Jesus makes a promise, “It shall be done for them by My Father in heaven.” The Father is going to do it, but it has to be done in Jesus’ name.

Matthew 28:18 – Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Jesus is the link. In order to get it from heaven to earth, we have to come through Him! There’s one mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus!

Jesus will only give His authority when we are operating on His authority based on His keys, connected with His institution, done by agreement and it must be done in His name. Jesus says, “I am in the midst of them.”

Binding and loosing is tied to authority, authority is tied to Christ, Christ is tied to His church, then the Father responds when done in Jesus’ name. A lot of people will quote Scripture and a lot will even use His name, but without authorization, when not subjected to Jesus’ will or subjected to His authority, then it becomes an unauthorized use. Meaning that no binding and loosing will occur. It has to be done under the proper authority and Jesus has given that spiritual authority to the church when two or three are in agreement. It’s done through Jesus from the Father.

We try so hard to fix our messes down here on earth but seem to forget we need to solve the problem in the spiritual realm to give us victory down here. We can’t do this by ourselves and that’s why we need the church and two or three witnesses who stand in agreement to either bind or loose!

Do you remember when Moses was holding up his staff and as long as it was raised the Israelites were winning the battle? However, Moses’ arms got tired and when he lowered his staff the enemy prevailed. So Moses got two men to help hold his arms and staff up. They became the two witnesses standing in agreement with God, Moses, and the Israelites! The power for the victory was not on the ground where they were fighting. The authority, victory, and power would come from what was happening in the “invisible realm” that would determine whether they won or lost in the visible realm.

The responsibility to bind or loose, whatever it is, God will have already done in heaven. If people ignore the spiritual, ignore the keys, ignore the connection with the church, if we ignore the agreement, if we ignore all those things, we will not get help from heaven while battling the warfare on earth!

We engage the authority in heaven God’s way, not ours. And when we do this binding and loosing His way, we’ll see victory!

The Balance of Grace & Faith

Grace and faith are both essential ingredients in our walk with God. However, emphasize either to the exclusion of the other and the imbalance will make it difficult to receive from God. The lack of understanding will lead to confusion, frustration, and disappointment in the body of Christ. It’s a combination of both grace and faith.

People can take one truth of God and take it to an extreme or they can just exclude one truth and they lose the balance between the two. For instance: People say that it is by faith alone we are saved and won’t include works. But then what do we do with what James said in Chapter 2, verse 26? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. It’s a matter of believing it in your heart and then “act” on it!

Saving faith alone saves, but saving faith is never alone. There always has to be action. We live what we believe! It’s the same thing with grace and faith. People that only believe on faith and don’t balance the grace of God, will always feel burdened that they have to earn His favor. A Christian will never have the rest and peace that God intended for us to have if we don’t balance the two.

Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (Verse 9) not of works, lest anyone should boast.

We are not saved by grace alone. We are saved by grace through faith. We aren’t saved by faith alone either.

Ephesians 2:5 – even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, (by grace you have been saved).

But then Paul goes on in verse 8 to clarify that “you are saved by grace through faith…” Grace is God’s part, faith is our part. We aren’t saved just by what God does. Some people believe that it’s all God’s grace so it doesn’t matter what we do. God did not choose some people beforehand to go to heaven and some to go to hell, that’s “predestination.” But that’s not correct. It does matter what we do! God gives each one of us a choice. The Bible says, “Whosoever will.”

God by His grace provides salvation but then we have to respond with faith. God doesn’t “make us get saved.” He won’t save us without our cooperation. Grace plus faith releases the power of God!

Some people believe like a pendulum swings, too far to one side. They will preach faith to the point that they are believing and teaching, “You have to do this and you have to earn your way to God.” Then the pressure builds to the point where a person believes that they’ll never make it. Before long they are totally into works and legalism.

However, it is true that we can build ourselves up in faith and learn to receive from God. If there has been an abuse of extreme faith, don’t go completely in the opposite direction. We have to come to a proper balance. It’s not one or the other. There is a balance.

Every truth in God’s word is balanced by an apparent opposite contradictory to truth. And we have to learn the balance between those two to really see the power of God manifest.

When grace is emphasized without faith, it will bring all kinds of sinful acts. Why? Because they believe it’s just all up to God no matter what they do. The abuse of faith, if you leave out grace, becomes legalism. These are those who look down and condemn anybody that they think is not living up to their standards. But when we put grace and faith together then it releases the power of God to give us stability in our lives.

If people don’t have a balance of grace and faith in their lives, they won’t stick with Christianity very long. This is one reason that many walk away after a short time.

Our faith is not independent of God because even our faith comes from God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. That Word brings faith to us. This gift from God called grace, came long before you or I were even born, so there is no way that we had anything to do with it, it was all God.

There is a movement going on in the churches today that is called “Hyper grace” teaching. Their thinking is that people don’t truly need to seek salvation because it really doesn’t matter what a person does, it’s just up to God’s grace whether they get saved or not. This is simply not true.

Grace is not only what God does for us, but we have to respond with faith. Faith is not something we do to get God to respond to us! Faith is our positive response to what God has already done by grace! Faith is not something we have to make God move on our behalf. Too many have been taught that in order to make God do something for us we have to have more faith. That’s just not true. We aren’t going to make God do anything.

But does grace alone provide us with what we need? Grace makes the provision, but it will not come to pass in our life until we reach out and respond positively to what God has already provided. Think about that for a little while.

It takes our response of faith before what God has already provided to manifest. Think about it this way: Jesus didn’t just die yesterday for you and me to get born again today. He died over two thousand years ago, meaning that the provision for us to be born again today was already done! Our provision was already there by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It’s simply up to us to respond!

If grace alone saved us, then every person would be saved. Why, because Titus 2:11, says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. But we know all people are not saved, don’t we? Jesus died for all, but all don’t respond to that saving grace even though Jesus died for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 2:2 – and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. God, by His grace through Jesus paid for all the sins of even those who reject Him!

God, by His grace provided for everyone’s sins to be forgiven, but people have to respond to that grace by faith in His Son. Before anyone had ever sinned, God had already made a provision for our sins:

Revelation 13:8 – And all who dwell on the earth will worship Him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the “foundation of the world.” God’s grace was put in motion long before any of us existed!

How sad to think that a full pardon is given to every human being for their sins, but yet many will simply say, “I don’t want it!”

What God has done, meaning “past,” was already provided for: 1 Peter 2:24 – who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed. This is all past tense!

Most have been taught that if they pray more, fast, give more and do everything right, God will respond to their faith. They think because things aren’t moving it’s because they’re not praying hard enough or their faith is weak. That is not accurate. God by grace anticipated every sickness; every disease; every problem that would ever happen in the history of the world. His Son, Jesus, bore those sicknesses and diseases in His body. Healing is a done deal! That’s what Scripture says, so why don’t people believe it? We trusted Him for our salvation, all sin forgiven, so why not believe the rest of the provision, like healing?

We do have to reach out by faith that our healing was already provided for and thank Him and receive it! We speak to that mountain by the authority that is given to each believer through Jesus Christ! “By His stripes, we were healed!”

Romans 8:11 – But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 

Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue,…

We learn to say what God says in agreement with what He’s already provided. Then thank Him and receive it! We thank Him before we ever see the end results because if He said it, it will come to pass. We take a stand in agreement with what He’s said and already done.

Did you believe you were saved when you got saved? Yes, you did. So why is it to some, so hard to believe that He’s going to provide everything else that a believer needs? He will and He does!

The Shoes of Son-ship (Part 3)

In Luke 15, the prodigal son comes home and the father gives him three gifts. In the previous two studies, we looked at the “Robe” of righteousness and the “Ring” of authority. This study is about the “Sandals,” the shoes of sonship.

Luke 15:22 – “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.’ “

So what do shoes represent in the Bible? First, what does “taking shoes off represent?

Take Your Shoes Off

What would taking your shoes off represent in the Bible? Shoes represent “rights.” So when the father said put sandals on his feet he was giving him his “rights” back as a son. But when a person took their shoes off in the Bible, it meant they were giving up their rights.

Ruth 4:7 – Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging, to confirm anything: one man took off his sandals and gave it to the other, and this was an attestation (confirmation) in Israel. 

This was a confirmation that they were giving up their right. This man had the right to marry Ruth but gave that right up.

Here’s what the Law said about this when a man dies and he doesn’t have an heir, then the brother of that man was to marry his widow so that she would have an heir. But what if he doesn’t want to marry her?

Deuteronomy 25:7 – “But if the man does not want to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate to the elders, and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to raise up a name to his brother of Israel; he will not perform his duty of my husband’s brother.’ (Verse 8) “Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him; and if he stands firm and says, ‘I do not want to take her,’ (Verse 9) “then his brother’s wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders, remove his sandal from his foot, spit in his face, and answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who will not build up his brother’s house.’ (Verse 10) “And his name shall be called in Israel, ‘The house of him who had his sandal removed.’ “

So, if taking off your shoes means giving up your rights, what did it mean when Moses was told to remove his shoes at a burning bush? The first thing God said to Moses was, “Remove your shoes, the place where you stand is holy!” Same meaning: You want to talk to Me, give up all your rights!”

The same thing happens to Joshua when they go in the Promised Land and are about to take Jericho.  Joshua 5:13 – And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?”

(Verse 14) So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” (Verse 15) The Commander of the LORD’S army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.

There was no way Israel could have defeated Jericho. The Angel of the LORD was asking, “Will you give up your rights?” The Commander of the LORD’s army was “Jesus!” Joshua gave up his right to be commander. Jesus wasn’t there to take sides, He was there to “Take Over!” He was there to see if Joshua would get on His side.

Put Your Shoes Back On

The rights of sonship. This is not what we can do on our own, not what we’ve earned or how smart we are, but the rights of being a son or daughter of the Almighty! Moses and Joshua put their shoes back on and led the people of Israel, but they led under God. The rights are too many to name, but here are a few that we can see through Scripture: one is the power to share the gospel; authority over the enemy; freedom.

But to sum up what all the rights are: First, why did Jesus put two sons in the parable of the prodigal son? Keep in mind: The father gives the prodigal son a robe, a ring and puts sandals on his feet and has a big party for him. The older son won’t come to the party.

Luke 15:25 – “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near the house, he heard music and dancing. (Verse 26) “So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. (Verse 23) “And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’

(Verse 28) “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. (Verse 29) “So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.

(Verse 30) “But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ (Verse 31) “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.’ “

The “rights” of sons and daughters: The presence and the provision of God, sums all the rights up. In Luke 15, Jesus tells three parables and all three are about what was lost and what was found, but look at why He was even telling these parables.

Luke 15:1 – Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near Him to hear Him. (Verse 2) And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” (Verse 3) So He spoke this parable to them, saying:

Because of what the Pharisees and scribes were murmuring, Jesus tells three parables to show how much the Father loves to recover stolen children. He also is showing that it’s all grace and not works. The Pharisees were constantly badgering Jesus, but Jesus told hundreds of parables to try and get them to understand they couldn’t earn their relationship with God. However, the Pharisees would get furious because they felt they had earned that right to have a relationship with God.

The sinners that hung out with Jesus knew that they hadn’t done anything to earn that relationship. So the “older son” represents the “Pharisees” in this parable. He felt he was entitled to the right of a relationship because he had served all these years without transgressing. Did the son really go al those years without transgressing? No, there is only one that was perfect and His name is Jesus.

The prodigal son also represents the sinners. The Father gets excited when one sinner comes home! However, Jesus makes it clear that it was all available to the older son and the Pharisees too, but they got mad instead because attention was given to the one sinner, the prodigal son, that came home.

The Pharisees felt they had worked harder to earn the right of their position and the sinners hadn’t earned anything. Jesus was trying to get them to understand they couldn’t earn it and they didn’t get it. They also didn’t want to be equal with sinners!

Arrogance and pride and the feeling that “I didn’t do any wrong,” will keep a person from “giving up their rights” and becoming a follower of Jesus.

We first take our shoes off and give up our rights. Then we put our shoes back on and come under Christ’s authority to accomplish what He desires for our lives. Trust HIm!

 

The Ring of Authority (Part 2)

Luke 15:22 – “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.

The robe represents righteousness, as we saw in the last study. The ring represents authority. God gives us authority by grace through faith.

Genesis 41:42 – Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. (Verse 43) And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt.

Esther 8:8 – “Write a decree for the Jews, as you please, in the kings name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for a letter which is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke.”

The king’s signet ring represented authority. We have many symbols of authority today, like a badge an officer of the law has. The Father gives us authority and backs it up with His authority.

Mark 1:22 – And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

When we say that we have authority, it means its “delegated” to us by Him. Romans 13:1 – “all authority comes from God.” So in this parable, the father delegates authority back to the son when he gives him the ring. But as a son or a daughter, can we not walk in that authority? And how do we walk in that authority and how do we use that authority?

Humility

The quickest way to lose authority is to walk in pride! Even Jesus showed humility. He laid down all of His divinity and became a human.

Luke 10:1 – After these things, the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. These seventy were “baby” Christians and new believers. Read on down and you will see that Jesus gives them the same authority that He gave the twelve apostles. Then the seventy come back:

Luke 10:17 – Then the seventy return with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” (Verse 18) And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (When Satan crossed the line, he was out.) (Verse 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. (Keep in mind: serpents and scorpions are demons, fallen angels.) (Verse 20) “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (This next verse proves that these seventy were new believers.) 

(Verse 21) In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.”

So what was hidden? What were they talking about? They were talking about authority over demonic spirits. So, in essence, He was saying, “Thank you, Father, that you’ve revealed this to baby Christians but You’ve hidden it from the people who think they know it all. But the ones that are just babes, who walk in humility, they understand this – that they have authority in My name.”

Faith

Matthew 8:5 – Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with HIm, (Verse 6) saying, “Lord my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” (Verse 7) And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” (Verse 8) The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.

(Verse 9) “For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” (Verse 10) When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 

The centurion understood authority because he had authority and that gave him great faith in Jesus. He recognized that Jesus was under the Father’s authority therefore He had authority!

The word faith in Scripture many, many times is the word belief. For instance: “Put your faith in Christ, belief in Christ. Faith is what you believe. Faith is what we “actually” believe!

If we don’t quite understand “warfare” we will belive the enemies lies that what is happening to us is just normal. What’s normal is for the enemy to war against God’s children, but it’s not normal for His children to “LOSE!” The bad things that happen against God’s children in the natural can be called normal, but it’s not a normal occurrence for God’s children to lose that battle. All through Scripture, yes there’s warfare, but we win! It is normal for the enemy to attack but it’s not normal for the attacks to get through!

A shield of faith, what we believe, quenches every flaming arrow of the enemy! Every firey dart is stopped!

Obedience

Matthew 21:23 – Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” (Verse 24) But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things:

(Verse 25) “The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men?” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ (Verse 26) “But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude for all count John as a prophet.” (Verse 27) So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.” And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

(Verse 28) “But what do you think? (Then Jesus tells them where He got this authority.) A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ (Verse 29) “He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. (Verse 30) “Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. (Verse 31) “Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to Him, “The first,” Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.”

Jesus made a couple of points: One is that one son said that he would obey the father, but he didn’t. Then the second point, the one that said no but regretted it and repented and went and he did it. Remember the prodigal son?

So Jesus is telling them, “You want to know where I go this authority? I got it by doing the will of the Father!” Even as a believer, we can have a “ring of authority” and walk in pride and have no authority at all! We can also belive a lie from the enemy and lose our authority and we can also walk in rebellion and disobedience and lose that authority.

So with humility, faith, and obedience we can walk in authority to cast out and cast down the enemy.

 

Sons Not Servants (Part 1)

In Luke 15, Jesus tells the story of a prodigal son. He had taken his inheritance, wandered off and wanted to come back home and just be a servant to his father. Yes, we serve the Lord, but we are not sons because we serve. We serve because we are sons. We as believers are sons and daughters of God because of birth-right, not because of behavior.

When the prodigal son returns, the father gives him three gifts. The first is the “Robe of Righteousness” and then he gives him a ring and shoes.

Luke 15:17 – “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger! (Verse 18) ‘I will arise and go to my father and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, (Verse 19) and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ‘ (The son had worked up his speech that he was going to tell his father that he was no longer worthy to be called his son.)

(Verse 20) “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. (Verse 21) “And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 

(Verse 22) “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. (Verse 23) ‘And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; (Verse 24) ‘for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.” (Every gift that the father gave him, was a gift you give a son, not a servant.)

John 8:35 – “And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.” Galatians 4:2 – Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son. (slave to sin and the law) John 15:15 – No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing. (So the robe was the robe of righteousness.)

Isaiah 61:10 – I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garment of salvation. He has covered me with the robe of righteousness. (Keep in mind that righteousness means right standing with God.)

Earned or a gift?

If you understand this, it will change everything in a believer’s life. Too many believers will say it’s a gift but then act like its earned. This will change everything about the way we see God; everything about the way we see ourselves; everything about the way we see our behavior and performance; and everything about the way we see others. This “Righteousness” is 100% a gift!

Had the prodigal son done anything to earn these three gifts that the father gave him? No, he had been living without restraint, wasteful living. Notice what the prodigal son says: Luke 15:19 – “I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” That tells me that at some point the son thought he was worthy. He said, “I’m no longer,” meaning he was at one time. When he stayed at home and was doing the right thing he thought he was worthy. However, when he left home and wasn’t doing right he felt as if he was no longer worthy to be called his son.

Considering what true righteousness is, this is what most Christians think: When I do what is right then I’m righteous, but when I do wrong, I am no longer righteous. The actual truth is that none of us are or were ever worthy of righteousness. But because of what Christ has done, He gave us right standing with God when we believe, righteousness through Him. What the prodigal son thought as most Christians do is “Performance mentality.” So is righteousness earned or is it “imputed?” Imputed is an accounting term and it means “to balance your account.”

Romans 4:6 – Just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works; to whom God balances their account of righteousness apart from works.

Romans 4:23 – Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, (Verse 24) but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,… Our righteousness is a gift, imputed to us through Jesus Christ.

Romans 4:3 – For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” When Abraham believed God, put his faith in God, God put righteousness in Abraham’s account! And the reason that God can do this is that He put Abraham’s sin into His Son’s account!

We serve God with a son or daughter mentality. Yes, we serve the Lord, but we got adopted when we believed which makes us sons and daughters. Our “Dad” will meet with us any time we need to meet with Him!

Don’t listen to the accuser.

This next Scripture is talking about Joshua the High Priest: Zechariah 3:1 – Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. (Verse 2) And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this (referring to Joshua) not a branch plucked from the fire?” (Verse 3) Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and was standing before the Angel. (Verse 4) Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him, He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”

The filthy garments represent iniquities which are sins but it goes further than that. We think about iniquity only being evil but there were two trees in the garden. The tree of Life and the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Our choices should be between Life and death instead of good and evil.

Now when we put the passage in Zechariah and Isaiah together: Isaiah 64:6 – All our righteousness are like filthy rags (filthy garments) Meaning, even the good things we’ve done don’t compare to God’s goodness. Not equal! So God removes Joshua’s iniquity and He rebukes his accuser. Where is Satan? At the right hand of Joshua ready to accuse.

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. (Verse 10) Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.” (past-tense) However, some wonder, when did this happen?

Romans 8:34 – Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. We don’t have an accuser anymore standing beside the brethren! We have an Intercessor at the right hand of God for us!

Jesus removes the iniquity, rebukes the accuser, and then He robes us. Remember in Zechariah, He said, “Not only am I going to remove your filthy garments, but I’m going to clothe you with rich robes.”

Revelation 3:18 – “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed;” Christ not only robes us in righteousness but He also takes away our shame from our past!

Live like sons and daughters.

We’re not sons because we serve, but we serve because we’re sons and daughters. Yes, righteousness is a gift, but we still should live righteously. Don’t go live in a “pig-pen.” Stay close to the Father in the Father’s house! We now have the power of the Holy Spirit to live righteously. This doesn’t mean we’re going to be perfect because we are going to make mistakes, but it does mean we ought to try to live righteously.

Revelation 19:18 – And to her, it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

There is a robe of righteousness we get when we accept Jesus as our Savior, but when we go to heaven there is fine linen that we’re clothed in and that’s our “acts” we did under the power of the Holy Spirit.

We are righteous because of the blood of Jesus! It’s what He did that makes us righteous before God!

 

 

 

 

The Father is Jehovah Jireh

The Father is Jehovah Jireh, which means “The Lord will provide.” There are several names for God and each of these declares His character: Jehovah-Shammah, “The Lord is present”; Jehovah-Shalom, “The Lord is peace”; Jehovah-Rohi, “The Lord is my shepherd”; Jehovah-Raph, “The Lord is my healer.”

Genesis 22:1 – Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” and he said, “Here I am.” Is it possible to get a revelation of who God is during testing? That’s when Abraham got the revelation that “The Lord will provide” during the biggest test of his life.

(Verse 13) Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. (Verse 14) and Abraham called the name of the place, “The LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”  ( In Hebrew this is Jehovah-Jireh)

(Verse 15) Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, (Verse 16) and said: “By Myself, I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, (Verse 17) “in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. God told Abraham three things He would do for him, blessing, multiply and possessing.

Blessing

What did Abraham have to do to receive this blessing? He had to believe! Romans 4:2 – For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something of which to boast, but not before God. (Verse 3) For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Verse 4) Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

Here is how Abraham received what God said: By grace, not works! Ephesians 2, verse 9 confirms this: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. (Verse 9) not of works, lest anyone should boast.

But now look at these verses: James 2:21 – Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? (Verse 22) Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? (Verse 23) And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.

(Verse 26) For as the body without spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

This is where so many Christians get confused. Is it grace or is it grace plus works; is it works, or is it grace plus faith? Which is it? Its either grace or its works. However, faith is “working faith.” Faith without works is dead. Grace is a gift, works is earned. But James says, “It was working faith that responded to God’s grace.

Grace will bring us to the door of God’s house. I did nothing to deserve salvation. In faith, we believed what God said and we walk through the door of which I was invited in God’s house. Our working faith is the response to God’s grace.

So then now we are in God’s house and we’re a believer, but we want to be blessed. So how can we be blessed? Well, we now put our faith into action. Take your finances for example: Now that you’re a believer, we put our first 10% into God’s house. That’s putting faith into action. We can’t say that we want the benefits of God’s blessings without responsibility.

This is not just in our finances, it’s any area of our lives. God brings blessings to our “door-step”, but it depends on whether we’re going to walk in “working-faith” or not whether we’re going to be blessed.

Multiplying

Genesis 22:17 – “in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore;

Genesis 17:1 – When Abraham was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. (Verse 2) “And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”

God is a God of multiplication! So the key to blessing is “faith” and “obedience.” Just as Abraham did, he believed and obeyed God. God had told Abraham to go and sacrifice his son and he rose early in the morning to go do it. That’s obedience.

Remember the story of the two fish and five loaves in Matthew? Matthew 14:17 – and they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” (Verse 18) He said, “Bring them here to Me.”

Now would you like to see your finances multiply? Bring them to Him! It’s that simple. We lay it in His hands. When we give to God, He multiplies what we bring!

Matthew 6:26 – “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

Possessing

Genesis 22:17 – …and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.” 

Genesis 14:18 – Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. (Verse 19) And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; (Verse 20) and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all. 

This was about five hundred years before Moses and the law. There was no law as of yet that said to give God 10%. Why did he do it then? Because Abram recognized that God was the provider!

What does it mean “to possess the gates of our enemies?” The gate of a city was the most vulnerable place of attack going into a city. The gate was also the most fortified. Here is what the enemy does: He looks for the most vulnerable place in our lives and he tries to build a strong-hold there. He will attack our weaknesses.

But here is the good news: We have a promise from God that we can possess the “gates of my enemies.” The place where the enemy builds a stronghold, we can tear it down and rebuild it. How? Believe and obey, but sometimes we don’t have the strength so what do we do?

Who was the strongest man in the Bible? Samson! Why? Because the Bible says that “The Spirit of the LORD was on him,” and as long as he believed and obeyed, the Spirit of God was on him. However, when Samson stopped believing and obeying he lost his strength. But look what happened before he lost his strength:

Judges 16:2 – When the Gazites were told, “Samson has come here!” They surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. They were quiet all night, saying, “In the morning, when it is daylight, we will kill him.” (Verse 3) And Samson lay low till midnight; then he arose at midnight, took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two gateposts, pulled them up, bar and all, put them on his shoulders, and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.

Samson was walking in obedience at that point and the Spirit of God had warned him what the enemy’s plan was. The enemy didn’t have a chance against him! Samson took the “gates” of his enemy to a hill and set them where all could see that his strength came from the LORD!

Walking in the Spirit of God, believing God, trusting God, is when the revelation that the Father will provide will come!

The Father Is Love

The Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and the Book of Revelation were all written by the same John, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

1 John 4:7 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (Verse 8) He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (Verse 9) In this, the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

(Verse 10) In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (Verse 11) Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (Verse 12) No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.

(Verse 16) And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. (Verse 17) Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. (Verse 18) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (Verse 19) We love Him because He first loved us.

(Verse 20) If someone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (Verse 21) And this commandment we have from Him; that he who loves God must love his brother also.

If we have a misconception about love, then we actually have a misconception about God because God is love. If we don’t understand that God is love then we won’t understand God. The more we learn about love the more we will learn about God.

Love Is A Choice

Love is not a feeling, it’s a choice. Much of our world view and much of our philosophy has come from Hollywood. We are told we can fall in love and we’ve been told that we can fall out of love. If that’s true, then we have a problem with God’s commandment “Love one another.” People say that they don’t have any control over who they love and who they don’t love. We usually love those who treat us right and despise those who mistreat us.

Have you ever heard this expression, “I love you but I’m not in love with you!?” People think that to love one another is all God is talking about in this commandment, not that we have any control of whom we are “in” love with. God says we can control both.

We have a mind, will, and emotions; we make our mind up to love and the feelings follow. However, I will say this: How someone treats another will cause them to either love them or not want to be around them anymore. I’m sorry but some people, because of how they treat others are just intolerable! However, loving someone is still a choice.

When people say, “I just don’t love them anymore,” it’s because they stopped investing and that’s why they don’t have the feelings anymore. One or the other started treating the other wrong and eventually, they stopped caring for the other.

Love Is Unselfish

1 Corinthians 13:1 – Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. (Verse 2) And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (Verse 3) And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

These next verses explain love and because God is love, we can put God everywhere it says the word love: (Verse 4) Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; (Verse 5) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

(Verse 6) does not rejoice iniquity; but rejoices in the truth; (Verse 7) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (Verse 8) Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Love lays down its life for someone else. Anyone that wants to be successful in love, dies to self! Die to your own way.

Love Is Unconditional

Romans 8:35 – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8:38 – For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, (Verse 39) nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God cannot “not” love! God is love and loves us with perfect love. He can’t love us any more or less. His love is completely unconditional.

1 Peter 4:8 – And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins. How can love cover a multitude of sins? Because God’s love is unconditional. Did God show us how much He loved us when He sent His Son to die for our multitude of sins? It didn’t matter what or how many sins there were. When we accept Him, the sins are all covered under the blood that He shed for us!

The greatest thing that we can tell someone is “God loves you!” I’m telling all my readers, “God loves you!” John said, “We have known and believe,” we have known in our minds and believed in our hearts that God loves us!

The Father Is Just & Merciful

When we talk about the attributes of God, we’re not talking about things He does, we are talking about who He is. God is not just merciful, He is Mercy! Just as God is justice, He is Just! Justice is giving someone what they deserve. Mercy is not giving someone what they deserve. Grace is giving what someone doesn’t deserve also. So, how can God be just and merciful at the same time?

Psalm 89:14 – Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.

Psalm 101:1 – I will sing of mercy and justice; to You, O Lord, I will sing praises.

Isaiah 30:18 – Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him.

The Father Is Completely Just

God is not “part” just and part mercy. Whatever God is, as in just, He is complete, fully just. Keep in mind that justice is giving what’s deserved. God is not like us because we have parts. We can be partially just, but then sometimes partially merciful. That’s not God. God is fully just and fully merciful. Don’t we all hope God’s mercy is a little stronger or bigger when it comes to dealing with us? God’s mercy is abundant already, but at the same time so is His justice.

Ezekiel 18:25 – “Yet you say, ‘The way of the LORD is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? (not just) (Verse 26) “When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies.

(Verse 27) “Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. (Verse 28) “Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. (Verse 29) “Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the LORD is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?”

The word “fair” in Hebrew means “morally equal.” When the Bible talks about the justice of God, it’s talking about the moral quality of God. However, none of us are morally equal with God. As a matter of fact, we are born “unequal.”

So how do we understand God’s justice? We believe in a court system that the prosecutor puts all the evidence in their case on one side of the scale and then the defense puts their case on the other side of the scales. And whichever one has the better case of evidence, that tips the scales. That is not justice and that is not what the word justice means.

Here is actually what happens on the scale of justice with God: The prosecutor, the enemy, Satan, puts all of their evidence on one side of the scale, then the defense, you and me, put all of our evidence on the same side of the scale. Now all the evidence, together, is weighed against “justice” which is on the other side of the scale. If the person is innocent, then the scale is equal. Justice will say they are either guilty or innocent.

How does all this relate to us? It’s not only God’s mercy that believers get to go to heaven, but its’ also God’s justice that believers get to go to heaven! So many misunderstand when they think that God is going to put all of our “good” on one side of the scale and all of our “bad” on the other side of the scale. And then hopefully a believer will have more good that outweighs the bad. That is not the right way of thinking.

God puts all of my good and bad on one side of the scale and the Father steps on the other side of the scale. Do we honestly think all of our good can tip that scale when the Father is standing on the other side? No! Our goodness can never outweigh the Father’s love or mercy or justice! There is nothing any of us could ever do to meet God’s moral standards. So if we are born again, blood-bought by the blood of Jesus, Jesus steps on the scales on our side and the scales become “Equal.” That’s how and why believers get to go to heaven!

The justice of God sentences us to “Heaven!” Jesus took our place and when we ask Him in, He is in all believers on that side of the scale with us and justice is done. We are forgiven and declared innocent! Justice was done, Jesus died in yours and my place and because He died, we get to live and go to heaven.

God Is Completely Merciful

God is mercy. That tells me that mercy had no beginning. And mercy will have no end. And because God is infinite, no limits, no boundaries, mercy has no limits and no boundaries. That tells me that any person no matter how evil or wicked can receive the mercy of God! Think about this: God’s mercy will never increase and will never decrease. It’s perfect because God is perfect!

Psalm 136:1 – Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. (Verse 2) Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. (Verse 3) Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever. 

The entire Psalm, after each saying ends with “His mercy endures forever! It has no limits and has no boundaries! God’s mercy does not start and stop. It’s fully in effect always. In many places, the definition of mercy is “to have compassion.” That definition in no way compares the full extent of God’s mercy. God’s mercy didn’t change from the Old Testament to the New Testament.

Jesus knew that if He would die, we would live! This was the only way that the justice and mercy of God could operate together! Jesus took our hand, put our hand in the Father’s hand, left heaven and said, “I’ll arrange it!” 

The Father Is Sovereign

The Father is Sovereign, King of All

When we talk about God’s sovereignty, we mean that God has all authority, all power, and there is no one like Him! He is sovereign Ruler and King of the universe.

Deuteronomy 4:34 – “Or did God ever try to go and take for Himself a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? (Verse 35) “To you, it was shown, that you might know that the LORD Himself is God; there is none other besides Him.

(Verse 39) “Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.

Isaiah 45:5 – “I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me. (Verse 6) That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; (Verse 7) I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.”

(Verse 12) I have made the earth and created man on it. It was I – My hands that stretched out the heavens,m and all their host I have commanded. 

(Verse 18) For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD, and there is no other.

(Verse 22) “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

God answers to no one, but some forget the other attributes about God when they think about His sovereignty, God is all good! Some supreme authorities in other countries think that they answer to no one, however, this is what the Bible says about that: Romans 13:1 – Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. (Verse 2) Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

God is the One that gives authorities and places people in their positions, so be very careful when coming against whom God has placed in that authority. That includes people in government. Yes, in this country we have the right to vote, but remember, God is still in charge and when we resist whom He has placed in that position, we are resisting God’s ordinance.

To Bible readers of the Old Testament, do you remember how Nebuchadnezzar’s arrogance and pride got him put out into the wilderness, eating grass, and not knowing what had happened for seven years? But then something happened after that time period:

Daniel 4:34 – And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever. For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation.

God can even bring down kings that resist His authority. For the Bible says for those who resist, judgment will come. Boasting against God is evil (James 4:16).

All authority and all power belongs to God and God is a good God all the time. He is totally in charge and that’s why we pray to the One that fully loves us and only wants the best for us – He’s sovereign in all things!