Daily Post

Living and Active


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For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. – Hebrews 4:12–13.

We sometimes forget the power of the Word. The Word is alive and He is active. There is a wonderful missions organization named Reaching a Generation (RAG). Their focus is on children; raising the next generation of believers. One of the challenges they face in Western Zambia is mission creep (a gradual shift in objectives that results in commitments beyond the original mission scope). Each week they run children’s ministries in several villages. The children are brought to the meetings by their mothers. These mothers, hungry for the Word, remain and listen to the teaching. This may sound good, but they are receiving “milk” instead of the “solid food” they need. Simba (the RAG representative in Sioma, Western Zambia) expressed to us the issue concerning the mothers and asked if we could come and start a Bible study with them. We showed up, asked the mothers to come aside, introduced ourselves and then taught them how to conduct a simple Discovery Bible Study. We asked one of the women to volunteer to lead the group in further study over the following weeks. A woman named Susan stepped forward, we gave her an audio Bible in the Lozi language and prayed over her.

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(Susan in the orange)

This group of about five women faithfully met each week, and in three weeks time they numbered 50. The next week a pastor from a local church and his congregation of 30 decided to join them. Now it is a church, applying for a building partnership with Judea Harvest, and training in evangelism and church planting. This is the power of the Word of God.

Daily Post

Heal the sick in it…


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The Lord Jesus Christ went throughout Galilee, and throughout every town and village; He taught in their synagogues, He preached the gospel of the kingdom, He healed the sick, and He cast out demons. He gathered His twelve disciples, gave them authority over every sickness and all unclean spirits and sent them to preach the kingdom, heal the sick, and cat out demons. He then called seventy more disciples, sent them to every town and village He would visit, told them to heal the sick, an they cast out demons as well. After His resurrection He appeared to at least 120 disciples and commanded them to make more disciples, in every nation, to baptize them, and to teach them to observe all that He had commanded them. They did so, and the new believers repented, were baptized in water, and they received the Holy Spirit. They preached the kingdom, healed the sick, and cast out demons. This is the normal Christian life. When we speak the gospel of Peace with boldness, integrity and we do it with the authority given to us we can cast out demons in Jesus name and we can also heal the sick. The gifts of the Spirit are for building up the saints and for equipping them for service. The spiritual  gifts can be taught and are supposed to be taught the the other saints so that they are equipped to share the gospel. The only time anyone denies this is when the gifts get supernatural. Consider these gifts of the Spirit as drawn from 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; Romans 12; 1 Peter 4; and Isaiah 11:2.

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Has your pastor ever said, “Church, we ned to serve more,” or “Church, let’s be more generous.” Has anyone ever told you that you should encourage people more, or be more cheerful. What about help and administrative tasks? These are gifts of the Spirit. How can you improve or attain a gift if you only get one? How can Paul impart a gift to the Romans (Romans 1:11). Why should you pray for the “greater gifts” if you can only have one? The Church has been deceived. Not only can you attain all of the spiritual gifts, you are supposed to. How else will you “grow into the fullness of Christ?” We are each given a gift that we are supposed to use to equip the other saints for service. We have been teaching other saints to heal, to cast out demons, and to prophesy. This young boy healed a sick woman and cast out a demon while his friends laughed at him.

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When he was finished, they were not laughing anymore. They witnessed the power of God work through him because he decided, after hearing the Word, that he would be obedient. He decided to stand on the promises of God. We often create theology around our experiences instead of trusting the promises of God. Is our experience the truth or is the Word of God the truth?

This video is of a woman in Western Zambia that was blind from birth in her left eye. The eye had never been opened. When she pulled her eyelids apart there was nothing but a white ball inside. We preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people, taught them about the Holy Spirit and the authority found in the name of Jesus Christ and they prayed for her. Over a period of 45 minutes and about 15 separate prayers, commanding her eye to open, the eye grew inside the socket, the eyelids opened, and she received her site. One of the men praying for her was delivered from a demon, as was she. When we reviewed the video to upload  we discovered that you can audibly hear the demon leave. As we prayed for her and asked the Holy Spirit to come and fill her you can very clearly hear a voice (it sounds like three voices in one) say, “Ahhh, Jesus.” (at 9:46)

And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” – Mk 16:17–18.

Jesus was not kidding around when He said this. Does your life leave a trail of deliverance and healing? If it does not then we are happy to disciple you and show you how. Jesus did not stand on a stage and say, “Here is a person called the Holy Spirit, now go out and heal people.” He called people, showed them how to heal, then asked them to heal people, then sent them to teach others. It is all so that we can share His truth and then He can confirm His truth. He bore our sin AND our sickness (Isaiah 53, Psalm 103:3). This is for everyone. Jesus does not want intellectual converts, He wants people to know who He is and to now Him in a very personal way. He wants everyone to receive healing, and He wants to do it through our hands. He wants you to experience His power when you are obedient to Him. This is how you love your neighbor; you set them free in Jesus name.

This is her eye before:

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Her eye after Jesus healed her:

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Think on this: The local church is not an evangelism tool. The local church, as found in the book of Acts, is the environment in which believers are built up, equipped for service, and launched into service. The lost are found and the lost are saved when we become obedient and we go to them and meet them in their need. Jesus did to say, “bring people to church, have the pastor baptize them, and then place them in a discipleship class.” What about during the rest of the week? Jesus said to go and make disciples (first step), then you baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is an illustration: Repentance – turning away from sin and toward the Father. Water Baptism – dying with Christ and rising with Christ – Baptism was done into Christ Jesus. Spiritual Baptism – This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Lay hands on the new believers and pray with them to receive the Holy Spirit. Lastly, Jesus said for us to teach them to observe all that He has commanded us; obedience (For another post). Now go to your Bible and find the sinners prayer. Found it yet? That’s right, it is not there. In every case Jesus and every disciple preached repentance and water baptism, then the reception of the Holy Spirit (the free gift from God). When did we move away from this? I promise you, that when you begin to follow what Jesus says instead of finding various ways to explain away your responsibility in the kingdom, you will see the glory of God. You will see the power of Christ move in your life. You will see miracles, freedom, and salvations. You will bear fruit.

Daily Post

The Power of the Gospel unto Salvation


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We visited believers in Western Zambia, and as we travelled we shared the gospel of Jesus Christ, taught other believers how to heal the sick and cast out demons, taught them to baptize, evangelize, and about their identity as children of God. In Mark 16:20, and Acts 14:3 the Word of God says that when we preach His Word of truth that He will bear witness to it.

And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs. – Mark 16:20

 

So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.- Acts 14:3

We experienced this, and not only in the “mission field.” The Lord bore witness every time that we were obedient to Him. This occurred in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, an the United States (through the phone). The real miracle is what you will see in the video below. We were teaching children to pray for each other and two women were listening in.

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They wanted prayer, but were afraid because they were certain they had demons. They asked us to come to their village and explain the gospel to the elders so that they could discuss it together and make a decision. We stood before them and boldly declared the gospel of Peace – Jesus Christ crucified. Every one of them received Christ and we went and baptized them in the local cattle pond (teaching them to baptize each other).

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They repented, renouncing witchcraft and ancestor worship, confessed Christ, were baptized, were prayed over for deliverance, and then had hands lay on them to receive the Holy Spirit.

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We then returned to their village and taught them how to pray for healing. They lay hands on each other and every sickness was healed.

Daily Post

Zambia


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I believe an update is dds. We are in Zambia and are on the road to Sioma after a week in Livingstone and the surrounding areas. A more extensive update will follow this one in a day or so.

Daily Post

Departure Day


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Pastor Kola, the CEO of Judea Harvest, sees us off for our trip through the northern parts of South Africa, across Botswana, a sliver of Namibia, and jnto the southwestern corner of Zambia. We are going to encourage pastors, train new ones, and to assist them in evangelism and church planting efforts in that area. It is an honor to be sent, and I am humbled by the task before us. We trust yge Lord to be our strength, for He has gone before us, He hedges us in on the left and right, and He follows behind us securing our six. Judea Harvest has been exceptionally kind to us, offering guidance, a support network, prayer, encouragement (and a place to stay for three months). We are Thankful for Dr. Louis (President of Judea Harvest), Pastor Kola (CEO of Judea Harvest), Dr. Danie (CEO if Judea Training), Wynand, Cornelius, Thea, both of the Cecelias, Shelley, and Pretty and Aman. Lord, bless each of them and keep them in Your peace. If you would like to know more about Judea Harvest, check their website at http://www.judeaharvest.co.za.

Daily Post

The Power of the Holy Spirit and Baptism


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Many of you know me. I am a regular guy. I want you to see the power of the Holy Spirt at work through us when we are simply obedient. This is Christ bearing witness to the truth of His Word.

Celine, CJ, Stefan and I met PD over in Johannesburg for preaching prayer and baptism. Those who accept Christ are immediately baptized. They die with Christ and arise with Christ. Immediately we pray for their freedom and deliverance from anything binding them. Some people begin to manifest demons as soon as they get in the water, others once we would pray for their deliverance. We pray until there is peace within them, and then we continue to pray for the to receive the Holy Spirit. This is all done right away. There is no waiting. This is the freedom found in Christ Jesus. There is only one name by which a man can be saved – Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Daily Post

Obedience


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By “desiring a heart for God” first, the stage is set for spiritual growth in all areas. I think we often limit what Jesus said in Luke 12:30-34. We often view God’s provision as things from the physical realm. He also provides spiritual provision. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6, ESV).[1] He begins and completes the work in us. “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). We can do nothing outside of Him. I believe that all the other marks of faith flow from a right relationship with God. If we are in a right relationship with Him, and we believe in the One He sent, then we will be obedient. Jesus always simplifies the Gospel for us. When asked what should be done to do the work of God He replied, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:29). This is our work, believe in Jesus. It may sound easy, but if we believe in Him, and we believe what He says then there are other actions we will take out of obedience. For example, He said for us to go and to heal the sick and cast out demons. In Luke 10 He sends His church to the places that He will go. He goes there in us until the end of the age. He says to stay with the man of peace and to heal the sick in that town. The 72 return later and talk about how the demons listen to them. Christ tells them to rejoice that their names are written in the book of Life. The point is we are all tasked with sharing the Gospel and we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.

This may start an argument, but we all have the ability to heal the sick, cast out demons, prophecy, teach, preach and all the other gifts of the Spirit. If you look at what is said about the “gifts” it says they are given to equip the Saints. It means that the gift is intended as a teaching tool. If I have the gift of healing, that means that I can teach the other Saints how to heal. In Acts 9:10-19 we see Ananias, a regular, every day Christian, receive a dream, and then go and heal Paul, Baptize him, lay his hands on him so he receives the Holy Spirit, and prophecy to him his calling in the kingdom. This happens in a single day and this, by all accounts, appears to be the normal Christian life. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 3:8). If this is true, then it means that the Holy Spirit is also the same yesterday, today, and forever. This means that the normal Christian life is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The problem today is not that the Holy Spirit is not active, but that we are not obedient to the commands of Christ to “Go”, and to seek and to save the lost as He did. We save them by bringing Christ to them.

This is what the Lord showed me. A wire is useless in and of itself. When you connect the wire to a battery it has potential, but no power flows yet. The wire is “hot” and ready, but unless it is connected to a load, no power flows through it. If you want the power of God, which is in you, to flow, then you must touch other people; specifically the lost. We have been deceived by Satan into believing that we are powerless and just holding on until the end. No! All power and authority in heaven and earth has been given unto Jesus, therefore, because of this, Go! And make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and I will be with you unto the end of the age. Do you want to have humility? Do you want to heal people? Do you want to prophecy? Do you want to desire spiritual things more? Then begin to obey the Lord Jesus Christ. Go and become friends with the lost and share your faith with them. Lay your hands on them and command sickness and pain to depart. Keep praying until it goes. Jesus says that if we will speak His Word to people that He will bear witness to the truth of His Word. Paul was not gifted, he was obedient. Speaking of Paul and Barnabus in Iconium the Word says, “So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands” (Acts 14:3). The Lord is faithful. IF we will step out in faith He meets us there, and He shows a Gospel power!

I want to encourage you concerning fasting. It increases our faith in and dependence upon God. When combined with prayer and done properly, it also prepares us for everything that comes our way. I think we are meant to pray and fast regularly. Consider the story of the boy possessed with the demon that the disciples could not cast out. In Matthew it says,

And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

When the story is relayed here, Jesus says that it is because of their lack of faith. Where will the disciples get faith like Jesus? He seemed ready, and the entire episode seemed easy for Him, because it was. Jesus was always prepared. How, though? “And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:28, KJV).[2] Jesus says that we need to prepare ourselves with prayer, and in some version fasting is also included. The point is that we must spend time continuously praying and being in close relationship with the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. This is not striving for certain gifts and t be prepared, but striving to rest in Him. We can do all things through Him, and nothing without Him. We cannot manipulate Him, and can only trust Him. By resting in Him we receive all of the boldness and understanding we need. Let us strive to rest in Him, and in response to His love, go out and extend the kingdom territory with boldness and power. Preach the Gospel without dilution or compromise. Do not water it down. Speak it with boldness and integrity and the Lord will bear witness to the truth of His Word. Amen.

[1] Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture comes from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

[2] The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009).

Daily Post

Overcoming the Pride of Life


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That I could say there were no pride in my life! It is a continuous battle to rebuke the poisonous arrogance that rises within me each and every time the Lord works through me, or gives me revelation; as if I were God and could accomplish these things in my own strength. Pride manifests itself in so many insidious ways and is impossible to overcome without humbling ourselves before God and surrendering to the teaching hand of the Holy Spirit. When I lead someone to the Lord, when I receive wisdom for a strategy to overcome a particular obstacle, when I pray for another persons healing, when I give generously I immediately feel pride rising from within my flesh, and I hear its words declaring my own glory. Each and every time I must rebuke it and command its departure in the mighty name of Jesus. If I allow it to linger, even for a moment, I have given in to its suggestion that I glorify myself over the the only One who deserves glory. Pride seeks the glory of men, but a life surrendered to Christ seeks His glory alone. “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is tested by his praise” (Proverbs 27:21, ESV).[1] When testimonies are given, there is always a temptation to declare what we have done. Rather, a testimony is a declaration of what the Lord has done for us. My early journals are brimming with “I statements.” I need to pray more, I need to be patient, I need to learn this or that. One day the Lord opened my eyes to it. I can do nothing myself, but the Lord will do all thing in me. “[H]e who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). I went back and marked all of those “I statements” in red and then corrected them in a paragraph below. Most all of them were a prayer, thanking God for His revelation of each issue He is working out in my life and then asking Him to repair each area, then thanking Him for the answered prayer. His revelation showed me that when we become aware of a certain sin in our life, it is not so that we can do something about it. It is actually God touching it with His finger and saying, “This is what I am going to free you from next.” Pride says “I can,” and humility knows that “I can’t,” but God will.

Jesus Christ said that we can do nothing apart from Him in John 15:5. μένων and ἐμοῦ (ἐγώ) are in emphatic positions in this verse. It makes it clear that it is not possible to live a righteous life by our own strength. “The utter incapacity for Christian efficiency without the maintenance of the living connection with Christ is here decidedly and emphatically expressed.”[2] Ben Forrest explained that we must be aware of our position before God. Our position should be one of humility, bended knee and bowed head; this is the proper position and approach to spiritual formation.

Humility is simply the disposition which prepares the soul for living on trust. And every, even the most secret breathing of pride, in self-seeking, self-will, self-confidence, or self-exaltation, is just the strengthening of that self which cannot enter the kingdom, or possess the things of the kingdom, because it refuses to allow God to be what He is and must be there—the All in All.[3]

Pride is overcome on our knees before Christ. As we pursue God’s glory through the service of others, pride erodes. In my own personal life, the apparent struggle with PTSD, the Lord has shown me that healing comes through service of others. This is because “[t]wo of the deadliest of our sins—sloth and pride—loathe serving.”[4] So, we must serve others to destroy the service of self. How can we serve when our flesh despises it? We must seek authentic spiritual formation by surrendering ourselves to Christ and relying on His Holy Spirit to shape us. The Beatitudes found in Matthew 5:1-12 describe a way of living that is opposite to the Pride of Life. Victory and greatness are found in denial of self and service of others through Christ Jesus. Christ sent “[t]he Spirit of love, to come and banish selfishness and envy and pride, and bring the love of God into the hearts of men.”[5] Surrender to Christ every hour and see pride destroyed.


 

[1] Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture comes from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

[2] Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer, Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Gospel of John, ed. Frederick Crombie, vol. 2, Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1875), 242.

[3] Andrew Murray, Humility: The Beauty of Holiness (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1800), 68–69.

[4] Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1991), 117.

[5] Andrew Murray, Absolute Surrender (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1897), 23.

 

Daily Post

Response to the Holy God: Absolute Surrender


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The Lord our God is faithful and has revealed all truth through His Word and His Holy Spirit, and He calls for us to submit every aspect of our being to Him. The only response to the Holy God is absolute surrender, which is only possible through the power of His Holy Spirit.

There was a time when this author would have said our response should be different; we should love the Lord, we should respond with obedience, we should love others, but these actions are impossible for us and can only be accomplished through His power. All men need Christ wrought in them if they are to be able to obey the commands of Christ. Humans are incapable of overcoming sin and of loving perfectly; these tasks can only be accomplished when hearts are humbled before the Lord and men seek the face of Christ. Speaking of Luke 18:27, Andrew Murray says, “The text contains two thoughts—that in religion, in the question of salvation and of following Christ by a holy life, it is impossible for man to do it. And then alongside that is the thought—What is impossible with man is possible with God.”[1] Man can do all things through Christ who strengthens him (Philippians 4:13), but it is not man at all, but Christ in him. All men whom submit to Christ are but branches, and He is the vine. It is the vine Whom is attached to the roots and Whom feeds the branches so that they may bear fruit. The only thing the branch must do is abide in the vine. “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5, ESV).[2]

The apostles, never seeking their own glory, but in all things proclaiming the glory of God, delighted in surrender to Christ. In Acts 4, Peter and John upon approaching the temple see a lame beggar. Peter heals the man and then preaches in Solomon’s Portico. The temple guards arrest them and take them before the High Priest and his family. When questioned by what power and authority they have healed this man, Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, declares, “that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well” (Acts 4:10).

The apostles themselves had been nothing but instruments in the hands of the exalted Redeemer, whose existence and power were certified by the miracle they had wrought and none could deny. The utter absence of self glorification on the part of Peter and John is remarkable, only surpassed by their splendid confidence in and absolute surrender to Jesus.[3]

Christ saves all by delivering them from the power of the flesh. This body of sin has been crucified with Him, and is resurrected in Him. It is a spiritual rebirth, and the believer must walk now in faith in the Spirit and not in the flesh. “This faith—that is trust in Christ to the point of absolute surrender to and mystical union with him—becomes the ground of our justification with God.”[4]

All other things flow from absolute surrender to Christ; humility, love, patience, and obedience. It is this authors opinion that Matthew 6:33 is applicable to all areas of life and not just provision in the physical realm, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Christian, do you want to overcome sin? Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Christian, do you lack patience, consistent and abiding love, compassion, mercy, generosity, or humility? Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. This means that the only response to a Holy God, and the only way to overcome the flesh and live in righteousness is absolute surrender to Jesus Christ. Amen.

 


[1] Andrew Murray, Absolute Surrender (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1897), 58.

[2] Unless otherwise noted, all scripture comes from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

[3] Thomas Whitelaw, Acts, The Preacher’s Complete Homiletic Commentary (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892), 100. 

[4] John W. Bradshaw, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ in the First Century,” Bibliotheca Sacra 59, no. 236 (1902): 753.