Faith, Justification, The New Man

Do not give place to the devil

Neither give place to the devil.”

Ephesians 4:27

Are you giving place to the devil? Maybe we do not understand how this can happen, but the apostle Paul talks about how a believer as a new man in Christ is not to walk in the vanity of their own minds. Paul conveys that a believer is to walk in the grace of God with righteousness and true holiness. The question arises if we as believers are walking as God’s dear children. We were all bought with a great price to become God’s children. The fact that the apostle Paul addresses the Ephesians in the 1st verse of chapter five as dear children is an endearment of love. Chapter four and five should be read carefully because we are witnessing how the days are evil. There is such bitterness, wrath, anger, uproar, and evil speaking which has brought about civil unrest. Violent crimes are happening across the US and in certain locations around the world. Since Covid-19 Burglary and Theft has hit number one worldwide.

It seems now that the phrase “new man in Christ” may have lost its meaning, or it has become vague in its meaning. Throughout the New Testament there is a clear change in the character of a person who has become a believer. Paul goes out of his way in explaining and distinguishing the difference between the old man and the new man. Have we as Christians missed this change. The body of Christ should be edifying itself in love and not in hate. Unless the method of salvation has changed, and I pray that is not the case we should be walking in the love of Christ. Did not Christ make us alive when we were dead in our sins? Paul mentioned that in times past those who are unbelievers “walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience,” [Ephesians 2:2]. Those unbelievers were fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, [see Ephesians 2:3]. Salvation through faith begins on an individual basis and then it becomes the body in the church where Christ is the head.

The church is to be perfecting the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ, [see Ephesians4:12]. The church is to speak the truth in love until the unity of faith with the knowledge of the Son of God reaches the point of a perfect man in the measure and stature of the fullness of Christ, [see Ephesians 4:13]. Were we not blinded and ignorant before hearing about Christ as our savior? We were all past feeling of consciousness having given ourselves over to uncleanness and greediness.

Put off concerning the former manner of life the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.”

Ephesians 4:22

Are you still carrying the old man that is corrupt with you? We need to take stock of our actions. We are not to follow or get carried away by every wind of doctrine by the craftiness of those who would deceive us from the truth of Christ. It is through faith in Christ that has reconciled us to God. We are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, [see Ephesians 2:20]. When Christ ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men, [see Ephesians 4:8]. As a believer we died to the old nature of man and became a new creation in Christ Jesus. This is done through prayer and faith in the work of Christ who became the power of God in reconciling us unto God. We have been made near to God through the blood of Christ. Christ work on the cross has taken the penalty for our sins and Christ has given us access to the Father by giving us the Holy Spirit. If we are walking in the flesh, then we are not walking in the indwelt Spirit of Christ in which we were sealed by an inheritance.

That inheritance is why Paul exclaimed to “not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed unto the day of redemption,” [Ephesians 4:30]. We are to be renewed in the spirit of our mind to that of Christ. Christ position is our position. Christ identity becomes our identity. Paul told the Corinthians that though “our outward man perishes, yet the inward man is renewed day by day,” [see 2 Corinthians 4:16]. We put to death all things that is unclean or the unfruitful works of darkness and ask God for forgiveness and to cleanse us from all works of darkness. Our identity is in Christ and not in this present world. We do not belong to the devil; we belong to Christ.

Submit yourselves, therefore, to God Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded.”

James 4:7-8

We resist the devil and his evil works to the one who has given us the power to overcome him and that is Christ. We try every spirit to see if Jesus has come in the flesh, and we know what the spirit of truth is, and the spirit of error. Whatever is not of faith in Christ Jesus is sin. We do not grieve the Holy Spirit who is our comforter. We put away all lying, stealing, evil speaking, anger, malice, and covetousness and ask God to cleanse our heart and mind to that of Christ. We pray that the Holy Spirit would come and convict those who are not walking in the Spirit of Christ. We ask for the fruit of the Spirit to fill us with the love of Christ and change us from glory to glory into the person of Jesus Christ. We pray for the understanding what the will of the Lord is. We must speak truth and not lie. There are many forms of truth, but only one truth has given us the victory and that is through Jesus Christ.

Our doctrine is of Christ and not of any other. Beware of what doctrine you follow. I remember Smith Wigglesworth said to beware of any word that has “ist,” or “ism” at the end of a word. I though it funny at the time of hearing it, but there is some truth to what he said. There are those who follow a different teaching that is not of God. It may sound good, but their objective is not of the doctrine in Christ. The latest new word “Christian Nationalism,” is creating a divide all across America. This movement began in the late 50’s and has come to the forefront in recent years. Christian nationalists are defined as those seeking to preserve the status of a Christian state. Its focus is on national identity. As an American citizen the Bill of Rights gives people the right to the establishment of religion and free exercise thereof. It does not state that Congress should make a law of one Religion over another. History has proven that making a law upon religion has brought about expulsions such as what happen in Spain’s history. Any type of law for a religion has brought civil unrest upon a country or nation. Freedom of religion gives each individual a choice.

God has given each individual a choice to believe or not believe. If you take away that choice and make it legal, it becomes a manmade law based upon legalism which promotes ritualism. Let us remember that ritualism did not save the Jewish nation. If man can not conform to God’s laws, how can they conform to their own laws? The law concluded that all are under sin.

But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore, the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we may be justified by faith.”

Galatians 3:24-25

Paul warns about legalism and how the two systems cannot co-exist, that of law and grace. We cannot work the good works through the law to receive salvation. If we are justified by the law, then Christ has become ineffective [see Galatians 5:4]. Paul goes on to say that those who are justified by the law have fallen from grace. “We through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith,” [Galatians 5:5]. Therefore, we should walk carefully and not as fools but as the wise redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Make sure you are standing in the faith through Christ and no other doctrine. Do not allow or give place to the devil in not walking in the Spirit of Christ. Remember that God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son to reconcile the world from sin.

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Confession, Faith, Reconciled

The Son of man cometh, Shall He find faith on the earth?

When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Luke 18:8

What will the Son of man find when he comes upon the earth? Will he find obedience in the faith of Jesus Christ? Will he find anyone standing fast in the faith and doing all things in love? Will he find you settled and grounded in faith to where you are not removed away from the hope of the gospel? The truth of the gospel is found in the power of God’s Son Jesus Christ who brought us with a price. The redemptive work in Christ is our saving grace towards forgiveness and eternal life. We must not devalue what Christ has done on the cross for each of us. He is our peace and has reconciled all things unto himself [see Colossians 1:20]. We are complete in him.

And ye are complete in him, who is the head of all principalities and power.

Colossians 2:10

I pray that your faith is not a shallow faith. I pray that you become strengthened in the might of His Spirit, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith and that you be grounded and rooted in love [see Ephesians 3:16-17]. To know the love of Christ which passes all knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fulness of God [see Ephesians 3:19]. We all must be able to comprehend the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of our precious Lord. The apostle Paul warns us of a perilous time that is coming, and it seems fitting to say that we may be entering a perilous time and our faith will be tested. The apostle Paul warns us that professing Christians will reject the truth that is in the Deity of Jesus Christ. The snare of Satan is to deny our Lord’s provision in the power of his resurrection. Our faith in Christ alone guarantee’s our inheritance of eternal life. Do not let anyone take that away from you. Paul tells us that in the last days of perilous times men will be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, and disobedient [ 2 Timothy 3:2].

Those who boast the loudest have lost something in life. We should question why they are boasting. What are they trying to gain except their own recognition. Our recognition is in Christ Jesus, and we can only boast what he has given us which is mercy, love, forgiveness, and a new life. There will be men who are high-minded, heady, false accusers, despisers of those that are good, and traitors because they deny the power of our LORD in vain believing in their own form of godliness. We are to turn away from those who are like this for they are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth [see 2 Timothy 3:7]. We are to continue in the love of our Lord and stand firm in the faith that is through our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe in the death and resurrection of our Lord, for He alone is able to save us from death and hell. Keep the word of God nigh thee even in thy mouth speak the word.

Preach the word; be diligent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.”

2 Timothy 4:2

Yes, we are to preach the word, and fight the good fight of faith. We all should have a good profession [see 1 Timothy 6:12]. Is your profession a good profession before many witnesses? Check thy mouth for it will speak what is in your heart. You may have to pray and ask the Lord to deliver you from evil speaking and from every evil work. I pray that He will preserve you unto His heavenly kingdom, and not your own kingdom. Those who have departed from the faith within their heart but still confess they are Christian will be awaiting judgement. The scripture tells us that their folly shall be manifested unto all men [2Timothy 3:9]. There is reconciliation through Jesus Christ for our sins if we confess them before our Lord. We should all continue to grow as the scripture helps us towards correction and it is the instruction into righteousness. It reveals the truth of the folly of humanity. Paul tells us to examine ourselves whether or not we are standing in faith [see 2 Corinthians 13:5]. Our faith is our confession, for whatever is not of faith is dead. Faith in Christ Jesus is alive and carries the power to save and heal us.

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised.”

Hebrews 10:23

That is why it is so important that we hold fast our profession of our faith without wavering. We declare the Lord Jesus who is the final sacrifice for our sins. He died and arose from the cross to give us eternal life. Profession is our declaration, a public announcement of what we believe in. If we lack faith, we can ask in prayer for help of our unbelief like the father of the child who had a dumb and deaf spirit [see Mark 9:24]. He is faithful to help us in our weaknesses. It is interesting to note that the disciples could not cast out the spirit of dumbness and deaf out of the child and they asked Jesus why? Jesus answered, “this kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” [Mark 9:29]. Prayer and fasting are needed at times to gain understanding of the revelation about a situation that God can only reveal through prayer and fasting. The believer is complete in Christ.

Buried with him in baptism, in which also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

Colossians 2:12

Through the faith of the operation of God, yes, the operation of God and not of man. Christ was raised from the dead, and so shall we if we continue in the faith. We have a part in the ministry of reconciliation as ambassadors for Christ bearing the word of God and declaring the truth of the gospel of Christ. Christ is our redemption and reconciliation to God. The operation of God is through faith in Christ.

The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

Luke 18:27

Whatever is impossible with men are possible with God. How exciting is this. Our God of mercy makes it possible if only we would believe in his provision through his son Jesus Christ. Our faith in Christ can move mountains. Remember what Jesus said to the disciples, “whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith,” [Mark 11:23]. Jesus also told the disciples to have faith in God. Have faith in God.

When He the Son of men comes, may you be found in him standing in faith.

In Christ the solid rock I stand

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Believe, Covenant, Faith

Let us Hold Fast our Faith

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (for he is faithful that promised).

Hebrews 10:23

Let us hold fast our faith in the one who offered himself by which we are all sanctified. Our confession is in a person [the body of Christ]. In the book of Hebrews, we find the explanation for the new Covenant as being superior to the many sacrifices of the Old Testament. The sacrifices of the blood of bulls and of goats in reality could not take away humanities sins [see Hebrews 10:4]. It could not clear the conscience of man. Furthermore, the burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin, God did not take any pleasure in it {see Hebrews 10:6-8]. If we can understand that the Old Testament sacrifices was a shadow to what was yet to come. That in Christ all things are fulfilled, and this includes sin and healing for our bodies. How can man deal with their own personal sins? How can man alleviate the guilt and pain associated with sin? Only through Christ are we given relieve from the burden of sin. Today, no one has faith in the burnt offerings of a bull or goat. It simply is not done anymore.

We have the body of Jesus Christ who offered up one sacrifice for sins forever, and then sat down on the right hand of God [Hebrews 10:12]. One sacrifice for sins forever means for all eternity. Because of this one sacrifice everything hinges on being perfected through the body of Christ to sanctify those who believe and have faith in this sacrifice. It was the apostle Paul who stated, “we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish,” [see 2nd Corinthians 2:15]. God accepted Christ who is His son as the perfect sacrifice for all humanities sins.

 Ye shall offer a burnt offering, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour  unto the LORD: one bullock, one ram, seven lambs of the first year without blemish:

Numbers 29:36

Christ was that sweet savor unto the Father and the Holy Spirit was a witness to all who are in Christ in that it projected the power of God to witness and confirm the New Covenant. We have the partial promise of what is written in Ezekiel 11:19 and Jeremiah 31:33 about man having the law of the Lord written in their hearts and minds [see Hebrews 10:16]. And we also have God’s promise not to remember the sins of man. There is to be no more offering for sin since Christ is the fulfillment of the perfect lamb that was sacrificed. The purpose of Christ was to reconcile man unto God, but Christ sacrifice also destroyed the works of the devil. Thus in 1st John 3:8 it is written, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” In the next verse it goes on to say that whoever is born of God, does not commit sin. There is a clear separation from the works of sin in those who believe. A person who is born of God is separated unto God and this is sanctification.

The believer becomes aware of the work of devil who is also known as Satan. The root of sin is selfishness. The issue with Satan is following his own will and not the will of God. We know from John chapter 10 verse 8, Jesus exclaims that only “thieves and robbers” came before him. Then he stated what the thief’s purpose is and that was to steal, kill, and destroy. This is the opposite of what Jesus’ purpose is, and that is to give abundant life. We should think twice when it comes to being deceived by Satan. We should not be ignorant of his devices. We can learn from examples given in the Bible how Satan works in the following scriptures.

  1. Luke 22:31 – “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:”
  2. Luke 13:16 – “And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?”
  3. Acts 5:3 – “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?”
  4. Mark 4:15 – And these are they by the wayside, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.”
  5. 2 Corinthians 11:14 – “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

The conflict with Satan is in doing something wrong. Satan’s desire is to have us and put us under bondage. This is done through slandering another person’s character, lying to keep or get something from someone, taking away God’s word from someone and denying it, and deceiving someone by becoming an angel of light. These are the works of Satan. In Job 1:7, the Lord God asked Satan, “From where do you come from?” Satan replied, “from going to and from in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” Simon Peter understood later after his own experience with his own self-confidence in denying the Lord the importance of being steadfast in faith in the person of Jesus in times of suffering no matter what happens.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

1 Peter 5:8

Peter is telling believers to cast all their cares upon the Lord before he makes the above statement about be vigilant. Peter then tells believers to resist the devil steadfast in the faith. In Hebrews, being steadfast in our faith is to hold onto our profession of our faith without wavering. Wavering between belief and unbelief is like having two minds that is being tossed back and forth. It is as James stated in 1:6, “let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavered is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” Are you being tossed back and forth on the wave of the sea? We should remember that being tossed upon the wave means we have no faith. There is no assurance of faith because one has indecision. The just shall live by faith, but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him, [see Hebrews 10:38]. I am always reminded of what Hebrews chapter 12 states in the latter part of verse 1 and in verse 2.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;

Hebrews 12:1-2

So, if Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, then we have a living faith, and our faith is not in vain or dead. He is faithful in the promise he has given us. Our walk is in faith because we believe in who He is. When we know the will of God, we can stand with assurance that what we ask for we will receive. There is no indecision because it becomes a fact afterwards. Now faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen. It is not evident now, but it will bring the substance and it will become a fact. This is especially true when praying for healing of any kind of sickness. Like the crippled woman who was bound for 18 years with a spirit of infirmity. Should she not be loosed from the infirmity that Satan had bound her with? Oh, yes Lord! Help our unbelief and cause us not to waver in our faith when it comes to healing. Let us hold fast our faith and confession in you. Let us keep our efficacy always in Christ the one and only sacrifice. Let us see the works of God in our own life so that we may rejoice in the glory of God’s promises. Let us give thanks that as believers we are now unto God a sweet savor of Christ. Hold fast your faith in Christ and don’t let go of it for any reason. He is our life for all eternity.

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Believe, Faith, Holy Spirit, Regeneration

The Washing of Regeneration

according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

Titus 3:5

What is the washing of Regeneration? The Washing of Regeneration is associated with the “New Birth.” It is like a sunny Spring morning after the shower of rain. When new growth appears as flowers emerge from the ground and leaves spring forth on the trees. Everything becomes new and one can see the beauty of it. It is a divine act that is imparted to all repentant sinners to a higher plane. Regeneration is a divine act of a repentant sinner to a new life in Christ. It is what I see in God’s creation. Thus, the nature of regeneration takes on certain aspects within a believer. These aspects are a new birth, a cleansing, a quickening, a new creation, and a resurrection. This to me is the essence of regeneration and it is as Myer Pearlman wrote in his book titled, “Knowing the Doctrines of the Bible” that was published in 1937. This is the Christian who is begotten of God, who has gone through a thorough washing in order to be regenerated.

Are you not begotten of the Father God through the love of Christ? Are you not born again as Jesus stated in the Gospel of John chapter three in verse 7? Being born again is God’s creative work through the Holy Spirit. It is like the birth of Spring within our gardens. It is the grace of God at work in our lives. Along with the birth comes a cleansing from your burdens and stress of life. The word “washing” is having a bath to wash away the dirt and grime we have picked up on our bodies. Think about how the trees are dusted with dirt from the wind, or from birds cleaning themselves on the trees leaving grime and waste on the tree. When the rain comes it washes away the dust and the grime on the trees. Christians experience the same when they work out in the world touching unclean things or associating with those who are against them because of who they are in Christ. Anything that defiles one’s life is to be washed away in order that new life may be experienced. This could be considered as a time of reckoning for you personally when the Holy Spirit brings conviction upon your heart about something.

Remember that “Regeneration” is a divine act of a repentant sinner to a new life in Christ. The new life is experienced by the quickening of the Holy Spirit. Notice the scripture at the beginning of this devotional in Titus 3:5? At the end of this verse it states, “and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit that Jesus promised each believer in John chapter 14:16 and verse 26. The Holy Spirit is the comforter whom the Father sends in the name of Jesus. It is the Holy Spirit who will teach us all things and will help us to remember what is important in our life. All that we do should be guided by the Holy Spirt leading and guidance. This is tested by the word that is written in the Bible. We may not know everything that we need to know. This takes time and a period of growth in walking out your Christian walk-through faith. It is understanding who the bread of life is. Is he more than just a place to come and get your personal needs met? Is this not what Jesus was referring to in John 6:26-27.

Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

John 6:26-27

What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? So, many try to do the works of God in their own flesh. What was Jesus’ answer to this question?

 This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

John 6:29

Wow! What an answer. It is not doing great works but believing on him whom God sent. If we labor at all it should be to know him, for He is the Bread that brings us life. This in itself is a revelation even when we ask for something in our prayers. You may not be in the right mind to receive what God wants to reveal to you because you may be in unbelief. Like King David we must ask that our sins are blotted out and that God would create in us a clean heart and to renew a right spirit within us [see Psalms 51:10-12]. There is no arrogance in David’s attitude, it is a total surrender to the will of God. The Holy Spirit will impart the new life within us to where we can have our fellowship restored with God. This will bring the new creation within your heart and soul. There will be no doubt that you are not sealed with the Holy Spirit, for where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [see 2 Corinthians 3:17]. This is the glorious change each believer goes through, and this is continued throughout a believer’s life.

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 3:18

We are changed into the image of Christ from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord. Can you imagine that? Maybe it is too high a concept for us to reach or even think about it. Have we witnessed this in others? Have we witnessed this in our own life? This is the question of the hour, when we are struggling to find answers. Our Lord is in the business of reconciliation and in building up the temple of God. Is this not what the Apostle Paul questioned the Christians at Corinth by saying, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? [see 1st Corinthians 3:17]. Let the wise man beware, for God will take them in their own craftiness, [see 1st Corinthians 3:19]. What Christians need is constant renewal of the mind, soul, and spirit to that of Christ. Therefore, we need to feed upon the word on a daily basis. For most Christians this was done once a week attending a service. The question is, is this enough? All services help to build up and edify Christians in their walk in living out the will of God through Christ, however; a Christian must learn to stand on their own two feet and be able to walk in their own faith and not the faith of others. A Christian must grow and have a deep personal relationship with the Lord in knowing who they are in Christ so when unusual circumstances happen like Covid-19, they are able to stand on a firm foundation in Christ knowing that they have a heavenly Father who will hear their prayers.

We must see a radical change in our nature, character, desires, and purposes in the way we are living every day. There must be something new for us to see in living as a Christian. There must be a progression in our growth in that we become excited, are joyous, and have a love for God as well as for others. Regeneration is the change that God through the Spirit brings to us. The revelation of what is new or learning something about our Lord in regard to our personal needs. We need to experience this on a personal basis. This is more than just a religion, which is the act of doing some kind of ritual in a specific order. Rituals can become a law to which man can be bound to. Christianity is not meant to be a ritual. Christianity is through the person of Jesus Christ. A Christian who has believed in who Christ is and is now living a life under grace for the glory of God. This is where liberty is. It is always through the love of Jesus Christ, for He gave His life for us.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

Galatians 5:1

Christians must stand fast in the liberty they have received from Christ and not go back to what they were before they came to Christ. There should be no shallowness in our walk as a Christian. We are born of the Spirit to receive spiritual food that will bring us to the Kingdom of God. We partake of the new divine nature of Christ to walk in newness of life. The practical side is resting in that love, having remorse against sin, and having victory that overcomes the world, which is done through faith in who He is. We continue on this path until the resurrection of our body after death, or until Christ gathers us at His coming.

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so, shall we ever be with the Lord. “

1 Thessalonians 4:17

This is the resurrection of life eternal to be with the Lord forever. The washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit is very important in our walk as a Christian. We should maintain that walk on a daily basis. The very nature and virtue of Christ is now within us through the Holy Spirit, and this will take us onto sanctification which is the separation from the things of this world unto the holiness of God. This is dedication and consecration of our lives to God for His service. The Christian walk is never stagnant it is always moving. If you find yourself stagnant and parched, get on your knees and pray for revelation of what caused it. Ask God to reveal the truth to you and be ready to receive the answer. He is always ready to receive you when you surrender your all to him. May you continue your walk with a cleansing, a quickening in the Spirit, a growth in the image of Him as a new creation, and in the final resurrection of Christ our Saviour.

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Faith, Health

Who is the Health of your Countenance?

Why art thou cast down, O My soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? HOPE IN GOD; for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Psalms 43:5

Are you cast down and distressed? Do you have someone to lift you up from your oppression? Does your current situation have you tied up in knots? We are living in uneasy times since Covid arrived around the world. The way we function has changed due to Covid and robberies are now a common thing within our boundaries. It is unnerving to see vandalism, stealing, and destruction of property. We are witnessing this and hearing about it on a weekly basis. Carjackings is on the rise across the Nation. It’s not just the car they are after, but any items one could sell to make quick cash. Cars were broken into in our own neighborhood including ours. The one thing they took was the multifunctional Cup organizer in the middle of the car. Why? Because it held coins. A couple of weeks ago there was a string of vandalisms on one corner strip where they broke in and took the cash registers of businesses down the row. We are living in uncertain times, and this has brought out the negative side of humanity.

If you find people to be more withdrawn it is because of fear.  Fear causes us to think irrationally. Long term exposer to fear can cause one to be anxious most of the time. We are anxious about what will happen next. If you are in this state, turn off the nightly news cast on your devices. If you feel on edge, refocus your mind on God’s word of peace. Remember that there is another spirit at work in the world that does not belong to God. Hear the words of Jesus;

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

Oppression, affliction, and distress are a part of this world’s tribulations. Humanity outward appearance reveals its nature of inward struggles of the heart. Therefore, we should question who the health of our countenance is. We question it because it will reveal where our hope is. King David was a man who lived in distress. He was hemmed in from all sides including from those to whom he thought he could trust. In Psalms 42 and 43, three times David asked himself why his soul was cast down, that He should hope in God, and praise Him, “who is the health of his countenance, and his God.” Our God being the health of our countenance. Can you imagine that? Look at the beginning of Psalms 43. David asked God to judge him and plead his case against an ungodly nation. He then asked God to deliver him from deceitful and unjust men. This should be our prayer as well. Do you think that David knew who his enemy was? Yes, my friend, David knew full well who the enemy was. He questions himself why he was mourning because of the oppression of the enemy [see verse 2 of Psalms 43].

We can learn to wait upon the Lord God who is our hope and our confidence. Just look at Psalms 62 and read it and know where your confidence comes from. We are not to trust in oppression. . .

Trust not in oppression and become not vain in robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart upon them. God hath spoken once, twice have I heard this, that power belongeth unto God.

Psalms 62:10-11

David is having a conversation with God, and he heard God tell him twice that “power belongs to God.” Wow! Power belongs to God and not man. Think twice about those who are ruling countries today and pray for them. God will judge every man’s work. Not only that, but in Psalms 62, David also exclaims that God is his strength, defense, and refuge. We are to always trust in God and pour our heart out to him. Have you poured out your heart to God? This is refocusing your mind towards God and crying out to him how you feel. Let us be honest about our own fears and anxiety and talk to God about them. Let us sing praises unto Him to whom all power belongs. Let God be always the health of your countenance because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world [see 1 John 4:4]. If you are God’s children, He will hear you loud and clear. There is no doubt when you place your trust in God. David had full trust in God. David did not trust in his bow or his sword to save him. He trusted in God to keep him alive. Can we trust God to keep us alive during these times of uncertainty?

I pray that your answer is yes, amen. Like David we are not to trust in any form of oppression but to take it to God in prayer. Ask God to bring the truth and light upon whatever circumstances you may find yourself in. Remember what Peter said in chapter 5: 7-9. To cast all our cares upon him. To be sober and vigilant because your adversary, the devil, like a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour. Resist steadfast in the faith. Resist fear, anxiety, and oppression in the name of Jesus. Allow his peace to rule your heart and have a clear mind. You are under His care for He cares for you. Always hope in God for He is the health of our countenance, and our God.

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Faith, Temptation

The Trial of your faith

In this ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold trials. . .

1 Peter 1:6

Are you going through many temptations and feeling discouraged or hopeless? You are not alone and if anyone tells you to pull up your pants and bear up to your circumstances does not know the full reality that you are personally facing. We do not walk in each other’s shoes simply because the shoe does not always fit. Everyone has a different experience in life because they are created with different genes. It would be boring if we were all exactly alike in our DNA. I have learned and seen that in general people are gifted with different aptitude and human characteristics. I thank God for them because it gives the opportunity of helping each other out in our weaknesses. It is what a family is all about. Those within the family are the foundation that is built upon growth by the elder helping and teaching the younger within the group to become the best they can be. The family unit usually defines maturing into adulthood.

In America, we may have lost the cohesiveness of the family so many individuals must rely on other adults to help them in the process of maturing. This was true for me especially when I entered my teen years, my mother decided to leave my father. Any breakup within the family is an adjustment. Any sickness within the family is an adjustment. Any soldier that comes home from a war is an adjustment. Why? Because the adjustment means we must face change in our environment and in our emotional response. This can be the trial we face depending upon how we respond to the change. Our character is under attack, and it is not an easy thing to go through when you are right in the middle of going through it. Some call it a part of life and may just brush it off, but it is much more than that because it can define our character in who we are as a person. Any kind of suffering involves an emotional response and therefore should not be taken lightly. As Christians we are to bear one another burdens in order to fulfill the law of Christ [see Galatians 6:2]. In verse 3 of Galatians the apostle Paul said that “if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”

Let us pray that we are not deceiving ourselves by thinking we are better than the next person. It is better to humble yourself as a little child before our Lord. The apostle Peter addressed this in 1 Peter 5:5.

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”

1 Peter 5:5

Being subject to one another means to work out your disagreements. Disagreements can be a temptation and it can cause a sorrow of heaviness within our heart. Don’t allow the disagreement to annul your relationship with an individual unless it deals with doing evil or harming someone. Temptations deal with doing the right thing and not being proud of whatever you are doing. Our example is Christ Jesus who “also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth,” [see 1 Peter 2:22]. Temptations can deal with devious ploys and schemes to which you should not get involved and become a part of. There should be no deception between you and the other person. There should be no deception between a husband and wife either. As a child of God, we are to live a holy life in everything we do. In fact, Peter states that “he who has called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of life,” [see 1 Peter 1:15]. We must surrender to the Lord our weaknesses and ask him to intervene and guide us through our emotions and the trails we are facing.

While we go through trials and the testing of our faith in Christ Jesus, the Apostle Peter urges us to consider our salvation, the glory of our Lord’s return, and the effect of purifying our character into the image of Christ will bring the result of patience and joy. We may not be able to see the result when going through a trial, but that trial is more precious than gold stated the Apostle Peter [see 1 Peter 1:7]. It is with prayer that the trial you are experiencing may be found in praise, honor, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. We can confess and bring all our trials and troubles to God, and this is what Job did for he assured, “I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withheld from thee,” [see Job 42:2]. Job repented from not praying for his friends and the Lord blessed him by giving back twice of what Job lost during his trial [see Job 42:10]. Remember that it is your soul and spirit that the enemy is after who is Satan. We must “abstain from all appearance of evil,” [see 1 Thessalonians 5:22]. That means to hold back, renounce, and avoid all forms of evil. Our victory is in Christ Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. This is our joy that is unspeakable and full of glory.

Let us remember part of the lyrics to “What a friend we have in Jesus.”

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer

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Ask and Receive, Believe, Faith

The Power of Faith – Believe, Speak, and Receive

Whatever things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Mark 11:24

Did you know that faith has power? Whatever you believe is what you will speak. What you speak produces the results you are living out every day of your life. Many people do not take stock on what they say every day. In James 3:6, it is stated that the tongue defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of nature, or our path in life. With such a warning, maybe we should reconsider the words that flow out of our mouth. Jesus spoke to his disciples about the power of faith by believing in prayer that what you speak, you will receive. Just think about the fig tree that Jesus cursed because it had no fruit [see Mark 11:12-14 and 20-24]. Peter the disciple of Jesus, pointed it out to Jesus that the fig tree had withered away, and Jesus said, “Have faith in God.” Jesus explains to his disciples that they too can have this kind of power if they would “believe what they say”.

The power of words is amazing, and we just do not think about it when we speak every day to those who we are in contact with. Just think about the words spoken on social networks. The slandering is out of control, and many are hurt at what is being said. Today we have employers dismissing people by email, rather than facing the individual in person. Add to the list cyberbullying which is posting rumors and treats. Words are powerful and we need to check take stock of our speech and behavior to that of a more positive tone rather than a negative tone. What we speak can be in the power of God and not in the power of man. Knowing that Jesus is the author of our faith [Hebrews 12:2] helps us to understand that our minds can be renewed to having the power of faith in what we speak.

The apostle Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 4:13, “having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak” [KJV]. We speak what we believe and this of itself is powerful. Paul has complete confidence in God, whom he believes that what is spoken will reveal the nature of God. We must choose blessing or cursing, life, or death, in the words we speak. Are the words we speak based upon faith? In 2 Corinthians 4:18 it states that we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” When we pray, we look at what is not seen instead of what is right before us.  I remember Smith Wigglesworth commenting how when he prayed for the sick in bed, they look to Jesus rather than the condition of the person in bed.

Can we “Have Faith in God?” Yes, we can, when we put our trust in God through His son Jesus. However, there is a condition listed in Mark chapter 11 that is overlooked.

When you stand praying, forgive, if ye have anything[ought] against any, that your Father also, who is in heaven, may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father, who is in heaven, forgive your trespasses.

Mark 11:25-26 [KJV]

Many forget that to receive anything from God one must have a pure heart and motive. So, if you have anger, or unforgiveness against anyone, you must forgive them. This is one reason why we have unanswered prayers. We only look at what we want, but when it comes to forgiving it can be very painful to let go of the hurt that an individual has done to us. This includes not only actions but the many unkind words that has been spoken. Do not let those behaviors or words pull you down to becoming burdened and angry. Let it go and place it in God’s hand. Remember that you cannot change another person, but you can be the reason why somebody changes. When your heart is in the right place you can ask and it shall come to pass, but forgiveness is the key to the prayer of faith. We can believe, speak, and receive just like Jesus did.  May we grow in having more faith in God and by taking stock in what we speak.

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Faith, Healing

I Will Heal Thee . . .

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

Are you in need of a healing? Do you need spiritual, or physical? No manner what type of healing you need, our Lord is ready to heal you. “I am the LORD that healeth thee,” exclaimed in Exodus 15:26, the people of God had a covenant promise of healing. Do we believe that God is willing to heal today? I can remember people praying and saying, “Lord if it is thy will, heal me.” That expression was used a lot and did not get results because those praying did not know the will of God regarding healing. When Jesus died on the cross the stripes, he received was for our benefit to receive healing. Do you know the benefits of the Lord? Read Psalms 103.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

Psalms 103:2-3

Have we forgotten the Lord’s benefit of healing for all our diseases? What about the leper in Matthew 8:3 who asked the Lord, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean?” What did Jesus tell him? Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. Jesus said, I Will. Jesus went about healing all manner of sickness and diseases [see Matthew 4:23]. It is His will to heal, and it is for us today. Do you have the faith to believe for healing? What did Jesus’ brother say about healing? In James chapter 5 verses 14 and 15, James asked the question “is any sick among you?” If there was, they were to call the elders of the church to come and pray over the sick and anoint them with oil. In verse 15 of chapter 5 of James is the key to healing. The prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord will raise him up. The prayer of faith will save the sick, so an individual does not necessarily have to have faith to be healed.  Their faith needs to be built up by the preaching of the Gospel.   If a person does not have the faith than the elders are called upon. They have faith and know who they have placed their faith in. It is in Jesus who is the author and the finisher of our faith [see Hebrews 12:2]. The elders look to Jesus and not the condition of the person for healing of all sickness.

Jesus gave the 12 disciples power to heal the sick, and to cast out unclean spirits [see Matthew 10:1]. It is Jesus who gives the power for healing. This power is known to be the Greek word “dunamis,” which in English means explosive power. Healing is a part of the Gospel of Jesus that was to be preached to all people. Jesus told Philip, one of the disciples that those who believe on him, shall do greater works than what Jesus did at that time, because Jesus himself will be with the Father [see John 14:12]. Remember that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. Healing did not end after Jesus’ death; it was a part of the Gospel to free people from the bondage of sickness because of the fall of man. We do not always know why someone is sick or why some are healed, and others are not. Only God knows the reason. One thing is clear in the Bible, it is a lack of faith that many are not healed. In James 5:15, it states that the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he has committed any sins, they shall be forgiven. Put your faith in Jesus and call for the elders of the church. It is Jesus will that you be healed.

Want to read more? Download this pdf flyer titled, “The Hem of His Garment.”

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Cross, Faith

Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith

Looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2 KJV

Jesus and the cross are common symbols today for the meaning of Christianity. The Encyclopedia Britannica defines the Cross as ” a sign both of Christ himself and of the faith of Christians.” As we are nearing the time of Easter, many Evangelicals celebrate Christ’s resurrection with a special ceremony. I always find it interesting how pagan themes attached themselves to basic Christian themes and Easter is one of them that has taken root in the theme of the Cross. In truth, Easter comes from the Germanic goddess of dawn. Did you know that Easter is based on a solar calendar? It is celebrated after the first full moon occurring after the Spring Equinox. I only mention this because to some people who view American Christianity have commented how America has become Polytheistic, which means worshiping more than one God. Maybe we should take a closer look at where or what we have placed our faith in.

Thus, the title of Jesus being the author and finisher of our faith should help us on where our faith should be placed. The scriptures tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith, for one must believe in who He is, [see Hebrews 11:6]. In Hebrews chapter 11 we have this long list of examples of the way of faith up to the chapter of 12 of Hebrews and verse 2 where Jesus is mentioned who endured the cross and now is seated at the right hand of God. Jesus who atoned for our sins. Jesus who covered our sin from God’s sight. Jesus who put away sin by the sacrifice of himself [see Hebrews 9:26]. The final sacrifice once and for all Jesus is the only one who can save humanity.

To many it is foolishness, but the Apostle Paul commented that “the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God,” [ see 1 Corinthians 1:18]. This pleased God that the foolishness of the cross became the power of God to save humanity. The power of God for those who are saved is seen through the prayer of faith. The prayer of faith is seen through Christ who covered our sins. Christ who became the author and the finisher of our faith because of His sacrifice on the cross. Christ who is the resurrection and the life [see John 11:25]. Christ who destroys the work of the devil [see 1 John 3:8]. The power of God is seen through Christ death and resurrection.

This is our confidence, Jesus Christ who loved us so much to become our sacrifice for our sins. Jesus Christ who became the way to God, so that we may become God’s children. Jesus Christ who overcame the world and the power of the evil one who is Satan [see Hebrews 2:14]. We need to remind ourselves that we serve a living God and not a dead God. Christ is the resurrection, and the life means we have a destiny. We have an everlasting life because of the resurrection of Christ. That is why the Apostle John declared that “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world [1 John 4:4]. We have a sure foundation in Christ Jesus. Our confession in Christ Jesus is not in vain, instead it is the power of God to break the power of sin and the control of the evil one, who is Satan. The apostle Paul tells us “if Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain,” [see 1 Corinthians 15:17]. Let us remember on Easter where, or who we place our faith in, so that our faith is not in vain. Let our heart not waver in unbelief in departing from a living God [see Hebrews 3:12]. Let us always look to Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith, for it is the power of God.

The following worship song has been sung with exchanging the word blood with the word [Cross]. It’s the Cross that Cleanses me, It’s the Cross that gives me life. My Jesus, God’s precious sacrifice.

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