But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. (Gen 6:8)
Greetings. In this lesson, I want to direct your attention to learning how to listen to God in prayer. In order to have God speak to you, Grace has to be a factor. The Hebrew word Grace means to have favor or be pleasing to God. Noah sought the Lord’s face constantly and loved the Lord. Because of this, he found grace before the Lord, and God spoke to him.
When God spoke to Noah, he showed him his calling. He was to warn the people of impending judgment. For years, his message was to repent. People mocked and laughed at him. The only ones who listened were his family. What does that tell us? In these last days, it is very important that we take time to listen to God. When we listen to God, he shows us our calling. His direction and guidance can even save our lives and our loved ones.
Sometimes, God uses tragedies to wake us up and fulfill our calling. I saw a docudrama on the life of Sis Helen (1). She was an alcoholic. Her wake-up call came when she lost her husband and son. Her son was, brutally, stabbed in the streets, and that incident brought her to God. She became a nun, got into a run-down tenement in the Bronx, New York, and helped the drug addicts and alcoholics.
She had people from the streets who looked mean, but this little Irish Nun was not intimidated. She would show tough love and get in their faces if they got out of line. It was amazing how they respected her. To many, she was like a mother. Granted, we can be critical and say that she lived in poverty in a rat-infested home. Her methods might have been unorthodox as far as the church was concerned, but she impacted those men’s lives.
She took a negative, which was losing a son in the streets to gain some spiritual sons from the street. God can give you grace with the meanest people in your neighborhood and open the doors to saving souls. Mean people need love. When they see the glory of God on you in a real way, they will start to open their hearts. I want to encourage you to seek God and ask the Holy Spirit to help you listen to his voice. It might save your life. God bless.
We had a great time together. Brother Danny shared the message of Salvation. We know that people watching us on Facebook live got exposed to the good news. My wife, Co-Pastor Terry, shared a word of encouragement. I shared about the importance of communion for the body. God is a covenant God, and there is power when you stand on his promises.
One good example was when the children of Israel were under Egyptian bondage for 400 years. During much suffering and turmoil, some remembered their covenant with the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. (Exodus 2:24) Scripture teaches us that God delivered them with supplied them with silver and gold. We also saw that there was no feeble among them. The word feeble in the Hebrew text means sick. (Ps 105:37)
God has delivered us from spiritual Egypt. On the one hand, Egypt symbolizes the world, flesh, and the devil. The other side is that God has given us a covenant with better and greater promises. Covenant is a powerful tool to have in prayer. Taking communion is beyond remembering the death of Jesus on the cross for us. It releases the promises of God for our lives.
So, as you take time to watch our teaching on communion, your eyes will be open to new revelations of God. You will notice how this special ceremony has been perverted in the past by man’s tradition and religion. Another nugget is discovering how its power can free you from your struggles. One last thing, have your bread and juice ready. As you take this in faith, watch and see how God’s power will move in your life. Please click on the enclosed link…https://bit.ly/3offO3i
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that thegoodnessof God leadeth thee to repentance? (Romans 2:4)
While studying Rev 9, The Holy Spirit brought an exciting thing to my attention. Even during the tribulation times, he gives men the opportunity to repent. The only time when he doesn’t bother with men is when they have taken the mark of the Beast. Scripture teaches us that they have forsaken God and his gift of salvation ( Rev 13:8). They made a choice and sealed their fate.
Upon reading Rev 9:4, we see a plague of locusts that has been sent forth to torment those who have not the seal of God in their foreheads. This agony lasts five months, is very painful and death even flees from them—a sad state of affairs. After five months, some will die a painful death. Pay attention to the number five. Five is the biblical number of grace.
Habakkuk 3:2 is a prayer in which is mentioned mercy in wrath. God is giving these people a chance to repent in Rev 9:20-21. Why? I believe these are secular people who have refused to take the mark of the Beast. They live a sinful lifestyle but still have a chance to repent. Sadly, their hearts have become hardened, and they reject Jesus.
Brethren, I want to encourage you to take advantage of the goodness and grace of God. When you stumble, don’t turn from him. Run to Him and confess your sins. God can give you a fresh start and a new beginning. Let us not harden our hearts by turning away from him. He loves us and wants us to taste and see that the Lord is good.
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrineofChrist, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God (Heb 6:1)
Is Doctrine important?
The meaning of the word doctrine comes there the Greek word “Logos” which means sayings of Decree, mandate, or order. In the ’80s, there was a push to unify the church. We saw a strong showing of unity in the Washington for Jesus movement. Believers fasted and prayed unto the Lord. Things started to turn around for this country for a season.
After that season, we saw a couple of things happen. A few prominent ministers fell and false doctrines started to make their way into the movement. Ministers started saying that doctrine was not important and as a consequence of those incidents, the unity of the body took a back seat. My friend, doctrine is very important for the body of Christ if we are to stand and make an impact on society.
Doctrine of Balaam
As we study the church of Pergamos, we find two major doctrines that are the mentioned-the doctrine of Balaam and of the Nicolaitanes. We had discussed the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes some time ago, and now we will take a look at the doctrine of Balaam. What is the doctrine of Balaam? It is based on the love of money and compromise (2 Peter 2:15)
Have you heard the saying–Money talks? It does, especially within the church. Many Pastors who were once anointed, have compromised the word for the sake of money. There are others who talk about money, prosperity, and feeling good without repentance or holiness. I don’t mean to fault-find because by the grace of God stand I, but the doctrine of Christ has to be followed in order to have unity within the body.
The word commands us to be of one mind. ( Phil 1:27, Phil 2:2) One obstacle to this is that we are opinionated, so in the natural, this would be hard to follow. The good news is that God has given us the mind of Christ. If we put on Christ and his identity, being of one mind will not be hard. Revelation knowledge will come and it will cause us to walk in one mind and be unified.
So, in this day, make it a practice to put on Christ. Ask God to help you discern proper doctrine. Declare that you have the mind of Christ. Spend some time seeking his face, praying for the body and what is your part in this end-time movement. God bless.
Greetings. It has been a while since I last wrote a post on my blog. Frankly, it feels good to be back. Thank you for your past support. Now, having said that, we will continue with our study of the book of Revelation. We are going to look at the church of Smyrna. Let’s study Rev 2:8-11 (Good news Version)— “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: This is the message from the one who is the first and the last, who died and lived again. I know your troubles; I know that you are poor—but really you are rich! I know the evil things said against you by those who claim to be Jews but are not; they are a group that belongs to Satan!Don’t be afraid of anything you are about to suffer. Listen! The Devil will put you to the test by having some of you thrown into prison, and your troubles will last ten days. Be faithful to me, even if it means death, and I will give you life as your prize of victory. If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches! Those who win the victory will not be hurt by the second death.”
The church of Smyrna was facing intense persecution. One of the ways in which they got persecuted was by losing their material wealth. During that time, the Roman government demanded allegiance to Caesar as Lord. Christians stood firm and proclaimed Jesus as Lord. Some were put to death, while others suffered the loss of their wealth. They were dismissed from their jobs. Those who were looking for a job could not be hired. Others faced the loss of their business.
They were destitute and poor, yet Christ saw them as being rich. Two things to glean from this—
True riches come from serving God. There is no price for his presence and being guided by him.
God saw that they had the ability to get what they needed in the spirit. The word of God says to call those things that are not as though they were ( Rom 4:17) Our trust and provision come from God and not from man.
Another point to consider is that they were persecuted by the Jews. God called the Jews as belonging to the synagogue of Satan. (King James version) This type of persecution was religious in nature. The Lord saw their pain and gave them a word to comfort them. Notice, he says to listen (Rev 2:10) and gives them the details of their suffering. It was going to get worse.
He mentions 10 days. I believe it is not, literally, 10 days but it is symbolic for the 10 emperors that will put this church thru intense persecution. The Bishop of the church during that period was Polycarp. It was believed that he got captured and brought before the coliseum. He was told to renounce his faith, which he refused. His punishment was to be burned at the stake. As he was burning, it was noted that a nice fragrance was in the air and he was preserved. A soldier stabbed him, finally killing him. (1)
This should cause us to analyze our walk with him. Around the world, many Christians are dying for their faith and suffering great torture. May we be mindful to keep our brethren in our prayers. God, help us to count the cost and be faithful unto death.
Some final thoughts-the word Smyrna means Myrrh. It is symbolic of suffering and its fragrance is sweet. God sees the church of Smyrna’s suffering as a sweet smell to him. Brethren, here in America, we may not see this type of suffering, but believe me, you are going to go thru many testings and trials. It’s part of our package of Salvation. Personally, I see that when persecution comes to me thru a family member or incident, I rejoice. Doing this has brought great comfort and blessings in my life.
Always, remember that we will, always, have trials and tribulations. The good news is with the Lord on our side, he is able to give you the victory. You are destined to win because we are more than conquerors thru him that loved us. (Rom 8:37) God bless and be encouraged.
Greetings. We are going to take a break in our studies of the book of Revelation. The Lord led me to post from my other blog a subject that will make you hunger for God’s word.
Amazing facts from the Bible.
Have you tried to read the Bible, only to be frustrated at not understanding it? Are you a skeptic, thinking that it is filled with fairy tales? I have news for you, friend, God’s word is real and it is alive. Let us look at this amazing fact-
” Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?” (Job 38:35)
Think about this verse and the time in which it was written. The book of Job was the oldest book of the Bible. Can you fathom what was in the mind of the reader who was alive during that time? Lightning talking to you? It, also, gives the glory to God alone who could perform that miracle.
Now, let’s go to the present. We all know that electricity carries our voices and images throughout different ways of media and communication. Yes, from the time to Benjamin Franklin, who was thought to be the pioneer of electricity, man has come a long way in it’s development. Man discovered electricity and the laws that make them work, but God had that knowledge way back in the days of Job.
Here is another Bible nugget. Let’s read the verse below—
“It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: ” (Isa 40:22)
This is another prophetic wonder of God and how he foresaw the future. Since the time before Christopher Columbus circled the Earth, man held to the belief that the Earth was flat. We, all, know what happened-Columbus proved that theory wrong and discovered the new world, but it doesn’t stop there—there is more in Isaiah 40:22.
Notice the words- “…Stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain… ” Science has discovered that the universe is being stretched out by an unseen force. If our leaders and governments would have taken God at his word, imagine all that money that our government could have saved. All it would have took is a couple of dollars to buy a bible and turn to Isaiah 40:22 and the answer could have been right under their nose instead of doing all that expensive research at taxpayer’s expense.
It is my prayer that this will stir up any hunger to read God’s word. If God’s word foretold these thing centuries ago, then you can rest assured that God will reveal your plan for your life. He will show you the end from the beginning and make you more than a conqueror!
Let me end my thoughts by sharing the following-” For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jer 29:11) You have a future with Jesus and it is a glorious one. God bless.
So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. (Rev 2:15)
Defining the word doctrine
Greetings. In this Bible study, we will look into the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. As you study Rev 2, you will find that God mentions the Nicolaitanes two times. When you see a word repeated in the Bible, pay attention. Doing so will help you find out what God is trying to tell you.
First, let’s define the word doctrine. Webster’s dictionary defines it as something that is taught. Teachings or instruction. The word of God places great importance on the doctrine of Christ. (Heb 6:1) What is God trying to tell us concerning doctrine? Correct doctrine is important and failure to adhere to it can have grave consequences
Let dig in further. The word Nicolaitanes comes from two Greek words. Nikos and Laos. Combine together it means the conqueror of the people or laity. The Lord has placed Pastors as the authority of the local church. The Holy Spirit speaks to the Pastors first, and then to the church. Pastors are supposed to be hearing and guiding the church thru the Holy Spirit.
The root of false doctrine
When the people override the Pastor’s authority, there is division. Respecting God’s spiritual authority in the church will bring you into a safe place. Everyone needs to know their place in the church so it can operate in peace and harmony. Miriam and Aaron got into trouble because they tried to override Moses authority. (Numbers 12:1-9)
Most theologians believe that the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes came from Nicolas, one of the first deacons of the church. (Acts 6:1-5). The Apostle Paul had warned that out of the congregation would come division and strange doctrines. (Acts 20:30-31) This message would not be received in today’s modern user-friendly church. The church needs to receive correction and warnings so that they could be watchful and not allow the enemy place.
Let’s look at the life of Nicolas and how this false doctrine came into being–
First, Nicolas might have been a charismatic person, finding fault with everything and everyone. Maybe, he wanted to go on his own (without being ordained) and have his own church.
Another possibility is mixture. Mixture could have played a role because some people in the church of Ephesus had books of curious arts (Witchcraft and sorcery–Acts 19:19).
Finally, it stands to reason since they were in a sexually liberal city, they had lowered their standards.
Watch and pray
It is not clear what happened, but false doctrine rose up to try to destroy the Ephesian church. God complimented them for their stand against those false teachings. What is the central message for us in this day and age? Watch! Brethren, now more than ever, we need to watch for false doctrine.
Some churches are lowering their standards. Holiness is a foreign word in some churches and grace is being perverted. It’s time to pray, stand firm in the Lord, and be vigilant. Let’s learn from this example and reject any false teachings in our lives. Pray and support your Pastor. Allow God to use him to bring about correction and order. Doing so will keep you on the right path and in a place of safety. God bless.
Since we have so many opportunities to be offended every day, and we have to forgive often to make sure we are not in a state of torment, it’s imperative that we get good at forgiveness. Not only do we need to forgive, but we need to forgive quickly. We need to refuse to give the enemy any room to shut down the anointing on our lives and steal our peace and joy. Amen?
That being said, I’d like to point out that I often see God as presenting concepts to me with three elements on which to focus. Forgiveness is another one of those concepts that I view as analogous to a three-legged stool. The three legs that keep the stool stable and balanced are three quality decisions we must make based on truths in the Word of God:
We trust God to pay back the perpetrator for the wrong done to us in His way and in His time. God said in Romans 12:19, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” He also says in Isaiah 61:8, “For, I the Lord, love justice.” Exodus 34:7 says, “He will not leave the guilty unpunished.” Therefore, you can trust God to repay the wrong that was done to you. You have His Word on it.
We trust God to pay us back double for what we have lost. Isaiah 61:7 says, “For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.” God is saying that I will pay you back more than what you lost if you will trust Me.
We take the prescribed actions that have been commanded in the Word toward our enemies. Jesus said in Matthew 5:44, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. When you take these actions toward your enemies, THAT is the true sign of forgiveness.
In summary, when you make these decisions and act accordingly, the power to heal flows from God. Your soul flourishes and prospers. It’s not about feelings. The bad feelings you may be experiencing are the by-product of an unhealed soul wound. Making the right DECISIONS to believe and take corresponding actions is when the healing will break forth. As a result, anger and bitterness will subside.
Forgiveness is the antibiotic that will cleanse that soul wound and allow it to heal. Therefore, forgiveness is not simply the absence of emotions, It’s the presence of faith in God. Trusting Him at his word and executing specific behaviors that can be clearly observed. So if you are harboring any unforgiveness in your heart, why not give yourself the gift of forgiveness? Decide to let the healing begin today! When you decide and act in the manner God requires, your three-legged stool of forgiveness will remain stable and so will your life.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy firstlove. (Rev 2:4)
In our past studies, we took a hard look at the church of Ephesus. This was a church that was founded by the Apostle Paul. It was a church that had tremendous growth. They won so many souls that they, practically, emptied the temple of Diana. The idol Diana brought great gain to the silversmiths, and this massive conversion to Christ affected their business. They, in return, stirred the mob against Paul and the church.
In spite of all this opposition, God protected Paul. The church overcame this obstacle and increased in size. God gave them uncommon favor with those in high places and they influenced that city for the Lord. We could conclude a happy ending to this story, right? Not quite, the Lord had a final say—They left their first love! How did they get so distracted and how does this apply to us?
Defining first love
First, let us address the topic of first love. There have been many interpretations about defining first love, but let’s look at Matt 22:37-38 — Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
So, based on this verse above, we find that loving God is the first thing we should do. We could conclude by this that the Lord Jesus is our first love. He is before your wife/husband, family, job, etc. When you love someone, you do the things that please them. They have top priority,
Perhaps, the church was doing things in a routine way. When you get to see many miracles, signs, and wonders, it can get to be a routine. Another thought to this is their work in the ministry. Working for the Lord in ministry is good, but it can have its drawbacks.
Church Pastors can get caught up in helping the poor and other community ministry outreaches that it robs their time with God. After a while, they spend less time in prayer and Bible study. The results? Their sermons are improvised and not anointed. Finally, maybe many rich and influential members were pressuring its leaders to adopt worldly ways of doing things that were not right with God. A spirit of compromise could have been a major factor causing them to lose their first love.
It is an unknown issue what happened in that church. The main issue is that there was a falling away from God. They had grown cold towards God and lost their first love, but not all is lost. God had some answers to this problem.
Consequences and benefits
To further enhance this study, we will use the Amplified version. The Amplified version of the Bible gives us clarity on God’s ultimatum (Consequences and benefits). Let’s look at the following verses below–
So remember the heights from which you have fallen, and repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, your sinful behavior—seek God’s will] and do the works you did at first [when you first knew Me]; otherwise, I will visit you and remove your lampstand (the church, its impact) from its place—unless you repent. Yet you have this [to your credit], that you hate the works and corrupt teachings of the [a]Nicolaitans [that mislead and delude the people], which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear and heed what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who [b]overcomes [the world through believing that Jesus is the Son of God], I will grant [the privilege] to eat [the fruit] from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.’(Rev 2:5-7)
God is threatening to remove their candle. What does this mean? This means that they will lose their influence with those in high places. They will not longer be making an impact on society. On the bright side, God has an answer to their problem. The answer is that if they get this matter corrected, they will eat the fruit of the tree of life. God is opening up heaven on earth again if they repent. Proverbs 15:4 says that a wholesome tongue is a tree of life. This talks of dominion and authority. Your tongue can bring life and death. God has given us authority to tread on serpents, scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. (Luke 10:19)
As we study this subject further, God is addressing their authority. Their authority was at stake in this matter. They were at risk of forfeiting their authority because of their sin. The good news was that God was willing to take them to even deeper dimensions and blessings. The only thing that was required was repentance and correcting the problem of falling away.
They had a choice to make. The first one was to continue in their sin and forfeit their authority. The other alternative was to repent and correct the problem. God, always, gives us a choice. There is a saying that with great power comes great responsibility.
As we ponder on this example, we need to ask ourselves–Have I lost my first love with Jesus? Here are some points to consider..
Have I had so many answers to prayers that I become complacent and robotic in my service to the Lord?
Have I allowed distractions to take away my time from the Lord?
Have I been so involved in ministries and good works that I placed the Lord in second place?
Let us not cut the flow of blessings from God in our lives. God is a jealous God and he demands our time with him. Doing so will allow us to continue to eat from the tree of life and be an overcomer.
It is my pleasure to have as our guest blogger Brother Carlos Garcia. I have known Carlos for more than 10 years. He has the heart of a poet and writer. Here are some thoughts he wants to share about the Corona virus pandemic. Whether or not you agree with his thoughts, it will make make you think about the people who have lost their loved ones to this terrible disease.
Healing the Pandemic’s effect.
Have you ever survived a crash or a traumatic event in your life? Yet, when the event is over, the experience you went through continues to linger. At times, the trauma visits you in the form of a dream, or better said, a nightmare. The pain keeps coming back and making your breathing heavy and labored. You keep trying to find relief, but you can’t seem to find freedom from it.
The pandemic turned many worlds upside down. Let’s look at some key points…
Many lost loved ones.
Others lost businesses.
Finally, many lost themselves in the mist of the chaos.
Identifying with pain
We all need healing, a voice and hope. This year is halfway over. Though many have moved on, It’s hard to look forward because your heart is with those who have passed away. You wish you could move on. You can’t let go and you’re in a stasis as life moves on past you.
Many are trapped and stuck. They are surrounded by what some never acknowledged to be true, but you know the other side of the story. You wish you could move on. No one has seen the pain and the loss like those on the front lines. This select group has seen death up close in a way that has not been reported in the news.
Death and the pain of loss is real. Few will ever see what nurses and doctors have endured during this past year of loss. Walk with me and let’s find healing together. Here is a small excerpt from my book-—-
12, 16, 24-hour shifts,
Fighting for the lives of others. Exhausted, you still stand. To labor another day. Another day to save the ones dying. Fighting against the madness. Bold, strong, feeling so weak. Vulnerable, shaken and feeble, Yet, I declare you are strong. Bold, joyful and courageous.
Finding comfort in the book of Psalms.
The book of Psalms is a timeless book in the Bible where many go to find solace and comfort. To identify with the feelings of pain, guilt, anger, and regret. This book runs the gamut of emotions that humans need to express to God while revealing what is taking place in their hearts. We need the book of Psalms.
The book of Psalms is essential for our sanity, humanity and soul. Poetry portrays the raw inner strength and inner struggles. I pray that the reliability of these poems reaches deep into your heart and helps you find healing. God bless you.
I hope you have been motivated by the heart of Brother Carlos thoughts. He will be our guest on our Sunday online church service sometime in July. He has written various books and his latest is titled Healing in the time of Corona virus which is available through Amazon.