The River of God comes from God's throne, moves rapidly through the world, bringing revival, transformation and changed lives. God's River is best seen in His free gift of Grace given to all of mankind! We have dedicated our lives and ministry to be used of Him, to help bring forth the fullness of His River. We believe that the "River is Here!"
Theology! Doctrine! All Christians seem to have them! When you get three Christians together you will get three different versions of theology and doctrine. Often you get some nasty fights! However, that can be expected as we are all Brothers and Sisters and siblings often fight! Just yesterday on Facebook I was accused of not being loving and kind with one guy telling me to, "Get over it, Larry!" Of course when I post stuff on Facebook or even in my preaching and teaching I am opening myself to criticism. Just recently a couple, older in age and former pastors (the worst kind of critics!) left our church because they didn't agree with my teaching on Eternal Security. I've told our people that they don't have to agree with my teaching in order to be a part of our church, just don't be disagreeable! But people often vote with their feet and leave the congregation or hit the Unfriend Button. You know the drill! You see, I've unfriended people I don't agree with too! However, that's the old me, the more intolerant me and I'm not that guy anymore so I'm not so quick to hit the Unfriend Button!
So, even in the "Grace Camp" (for lack of a better term) there are those I have strong disagreements with and they with me! However, I've been noticing something lately and that is those I disagree with have based their theology/doctrine on God's love! Now I may not agree with their outcome of their understanding of God's love, but I sure do agree with their basic premise! Therefore, anyone who has a theology/doctrine based upon God's love, even if I don't agree with them, are pretty awesome people! I can go with them, arm and arm, strongly holding onto the God who is the basis of their thinking!
On the other hand there are those who teach a theology/doctrine of mixing works with Grace. They are promoting another Gospel, one of works and religion. I have a real hard time with those these days! But that is another story for another time!
By the way, It's never those who promote God's love that hit their Unfriend Button on me or walk out of my church, it's always the other group. Isn't that interesting?
Yesterday afternoon Corinne and I saw "The Shack" at our local theater. This movie seems to have brought a lot of controversy into the Church. Some, like me, loved it while others claim it is heresy. I'm not going to wade into the weeds on this, other than to say the movie profoundly touched my life!
Yesterday I happened to be 6 months and 2 days away from the most traumatic event of my life, radical "salvage surgery" on my jaw, right leg and my neck, done in order to rid my body of stage 4 cancer. I was in the operating room for 12 hours and had a team of 3 surgeons working on me at the same time. The results have been miraculous, to say the least! (Stay tuned for my new book, "When God Doesn't Heal: Avoiding Fear, Shame and Condemnation" which will be released sometime around September of 2017, it will highlight my journey) However, the one huge result that came as a result of my 3 week post surgery hospital stay, a time of great prayer and meditation, was that I JUST DON'T KNOW IT ALL ANYMORE! For instance, I used to have my theology pretty much buttoned up in many areas, including God healing the sick. Since surgery I would have to say that in many, many areas I just don't know any more! I've decided that I no longer have it all together and do you know what???? That is just OK with God because He does have it all together!
So along comes yesterday's viewing of "The Shack" and my not knowing a lot of things was greatly reinforced! The movie was well done in every aspect. And....no matter what anyone critic could say, it portrayed God, especially His love, in a very dramatic, life changing way, a way that created in me an even greater state of embracing the mysteries of God.
I came away from this flick not knowing a whole lot more about Him! I think that is funny in that in my not knowing, I am finally embracing Him in all of His fullness. I know that sounds like a lot of double talk and possibly doesn't make sense to you, but that's where I am today. I don't know more about God today than ever before and I'm totally OK with that! Guess what? I'm not even seeking Him for a lot of answers as I just don't care anymore. Some might say that I'm mellowing out with old age, but I might suggest that I've finally, after all of these years, come to the place of really understanding the Great I Am! I'm totally satisfied with where I'm at and I've never been more satisfied in my entire Christian life. If I only knew back in 1973 what I know (or don't know) now, I sure would have spared myself a lot of chasing my own tail. But that is OK as even then God was leading on this wonderful journey. One day soon this journey of mine will end, but I can honestly say, "Wow! What a ride!"
Grace and peace!
P.S. If you haven't seen "The Shack" yet, try to do so soon. Make sure you bring something to wipe away the tears!
Almost daily I am reminded of the fact that so many good "Church Peeps," with good intentions just don't get it! I constantly hear and read, "Pray more and God will come! Be holy more and God will come! Be righteous more and God will come! Fast more and God will come! Do this and that and even more of it and God will come!" That is pretty much the mantra of the Church these days! Work, work and more work and if we do enough, then God will come and heal us, heal our family, heal our city, heal our state, our nation and yes the world! Yes, it is all dependent on what we do or don't do! Whew! I get tired of thinking about all of this!
The other day I wrote the following on Facebook, "For years, actually many years, we participated in spiritual warfare events. Then one day we realized that we were fighting a defeated foe!" Corinne and I have a past that is loaded, just packed full of spiritual warfare type stuff. I can't tell you how many Popsicle sticks loaded with scripture verses that we have planted all over the country. We attended many unity prayer vigils, often headed them up, all with the intention of trying to get God to favor our community with His presence. Now I see "Church Peeps" doing the same thing that we did 20 years ago. I'm sorry to break the bad news to you, but those things didn't work 20 years ago and they won't work today either! Why? Because they are just more of our "good works" and "church programs!"
Often people will quote verses of scripture, mostly taken from the Old Testament, from the Law, where God desired and required His people to do things in order to be holy and righteous, thus insuring His presence to manifest. So many do not understand the difference between the old and new covenants! We live in the new, after the cross and the cross makes the difference!
Friends....we don't have to do a thing to insure God's presence. Why? Because we already have it! "Christ in us is the hope of Glory!" "He will NEVER leave us or forsake us!" And the list goes on and on!!!
Allow me to close with just two simple, but very important verses. They say all that's in my heart, "So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God's rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world!" (Hebrews 4: 9-10)
That's pretty much it. Please rest in God and the result will be our world changed for His glory and our good!
Years ago, while first coming into revelations of New Covenant Grace, I sensed the Holy Spirit firmly directing me to, "Preach the message that Paul preached!" Paul has always been one of my "faith heroes" but I guess I didn't exactly realize just how important Paul was to the move of Christianity back in the day. Without Paul's ministry it is very possible that today the Church would still be mixing and living a message of law and grace. Of course, grace is so important to God's plan for mankind that I'm certain He would have raised someone else up to carry out His plan for the Early Church, but thankfully He didn't have to as Paul was willing to step up to the plate!
We must understand that in the early days of the Church the direction was to continue with Jewish traditions and just add Jesus to them. At first Christianity was headed to be just another "Jewish thing!" However, God had other plans in mind when He knocked Paul (Saul) off his horse on the Damascus Road! Shortly after Paul's conversion he did some early ministry to the Church and was not trusted due to his early days of persecuting the Church prior to the Damascus Road encounter. Later he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness of Arabia and there spent 3 years meeting with Jesus where he was instructed on the wonderful ingredients of the New Covenant. Paul speaks of all of this in Galatians chapter 1. He also states that his message did not come from any man, rather it came as direct revelation from Jesus Himself! Paul later calls his message/teaching, "The Word of God!"
Now can you even begin to imagine the faith and tenacity Paul must have had to go back to Jerusalem and tell the Brothers there about the New Covenant. For example, that the Law (yes, even the Big 10) were no longer in force, that Christ ended (fulfilled) the Law at the cross. What a big thing that must have been! Here Peter, James and the Brethren, Jews at heart, were told that the Ten Commandments were now instruments of condemnation and death and were no longer in force! Wow! Paul had guts, that's for sure! I can imagine the Leaders saying to Paul, "Are you nuts?" "Where did you come up with this stuff?" might have been asked! Then Paul said, "Jesus taught this to me for 3 years in Arabia!" The response could have been, "Sure He did! (wink, wink!)"
Paul totally upset the spiritual apple cart of the day. And....you know what's funny (not really funny, but sad) is that he still is stirring up trouble in the Church as so many in Today's Church do not have the slightest idea of what Paul is talking about in his letters as a mixture message of law and grace is still the prevalent message of the Church!
Yep, as far as I'm concerned, Paul deserves a medal! He remains my hero and I'm doing my best to preach and teach the message that he preached and taught!
Due to my recent bout with cancer that resulted in major surgery last September, I have developed problems with speaking, therefore I've not preached very often over the past few months. However, healing continues to take place, so I have been challenged to continue on sharing my heart full of grace with our awesome Florida church. So, this Sunday I'm on to minister again.
Like I said, I'm full of more revelation on God's wonderful gift of grace to His people. Actually, grace is Christ Himself! But that's a different message!
Several years ago, when Corinne and I first came into understanding (revelation) of what we call, for lack of a better term, "The Grace Message," we thought that we were loosing our minds. It was like our Bibles became entirely new books! Soon things became more clear and I soon discovered that many of the things that I taught in the past were incorrect. Actually I taught what other people had taught me and I find that the case for most pastors today. Our doctrines come from others no matter if they are correct or incorrect. However, when the Holy Spirit begins to bright new light on the old words of the Bible something very dramatic happens! Our eyes become opened to things that were there all of the time, but we really never saw them before!
I used to share this with people and the common response would be something like this, "Larry, calm down! You will be all over this 'grace thing' soon and go on to something new!" Well, that has never happened! I'm not all over this "grace thing," not at all! Matter of fact I'm getting more turned on to the concepts of new covenant grace, more than ever before!
That is what has happened this week as I have been preparing to share my message for Sunday morning! Wow! Talk about excitement! No the revelation hasn't ended, actually new revelations continue to come my way, and I'm pumped!
In closing please allow me to share just a simple verse that I'm going to use Sunday morning: 2 Thessalonians 2:13 (NLT), "As for us, we can't help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that GOD CHOSE you to be among the first to experience salvation - a salvation that came through the Spirit WHO MAKES YOU HOLY and through your belief in the truth." (emphasis mine)
Now this verse may not mean much to you, but to me it is full of revelation! I'm so pumped by it that I can't hardly stand it! It just may hit you that way too. But if it doesn't that's OK! Maybe it is not supposed to hit you the same way it hits me right now. Just stay in tuned with the Holy Spirit and watch what happens! Revelations of God's grace are being released to the Church today. I call it the "Grace Revolution!" Hang onto your hat, it's getting real exciting! Glory~!
Before I begin please allow me to give you a little of my family history! Please think of my last name! Silverman: Jewish? Yeppers! For years church people think that I am special because of my Jewish back ground. I love to burst their bubble when I tell them that God loves them just as much as me! lol
In regards to some background: My paternal Grandfather, son of an Orthodox Jewish immigrant from Eastern Europe, was booted out of his family by his father because he married a Gentile woman. My dad and his brother and sister were raised in Christian churches by their mother. In those days, they would visit a church and be asked to leave because of their Jewish background. My how times have changed! I share this info with you because I want you to know that I am no anti-Semitic in the slightest bit! However, I do understand, at least to a degree, what Christ has done for me and live in a new covenant lifestyle, free from the bondage of law!
Because of my stand on the old covenant Law of Moses, including the "Big Ten" I am often accused of being lawless. I am not lawless, I just know the truth of the New Covenant Gospel of Jesus Christ that was brought into the Early Church through direct revelation from Christ Himself to Paul. (See Galatians chapter 1) In other words I believe in and preach the Gospel that Paul preached! To some that makes me lawless. But let's check out what Paul had to say about some of this........
Verse 7: "The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death..."
Verses 8-9: "Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life?9 If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God!"
Verse 11: "So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!"
Verses 12-15: "12 Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold.13 We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away.14 But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ.15 Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand."
You see, I fully believe in the above verses of Scripture. Note my highlights and in so doing, please note that Christ instituted the "New Way" and it was free from the Law which lead to condemnation and death!
Nope...I'm not Anti-Semitic nor Lawless. I'm just a follower of Jesus Christ and am so thankful for his finished works that give me life in the New Covenant that God established through Him!
I'm certain some pastors will not agree with my answer, but Biblical speaking I can find no New Testament (Epistles) admonition that clearly states that it is mandatory for a New Covenant Believer to attend a church service every Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m.
However, the New Covenant instills the thought that those of us who are followers of Christ are the Church. We do not attend church, we are the Church! See the difference?
Yet, I find great joy in attending church every Sunday morning and ever Wednesday night. I have to admit that attending our church, New Covenant Fellowship in Inverness, FL is not a difficult thing to do. I feel that it is a value added to my week and I look forward to gathering with like minded Believers. I actually gain strength from attending our church Sunday mornings!
Back in the day, I recall us praying every morning before school classes would begin. Granted they were generic prayers, yet we prayed. We did this in conjunction with the Pledge of Allegiance. I can recall my dad making certain his car was filled with gas every Saturday morning because you couldn't find a gas station open on Sundays. The same thing goes with food, no store were open on Sundays. Some eventually opened at noon, but prior to that good luck on buying a loaf of bread! The local pastor's associations would meet with school administrators on planning the school schedules. Never would a school schedule an event for a Wednesday night as it was prayer meeting night for churches all over town! I also remember my parents NEVER locking their car doors. Matter of fact we never locked our house doors. None of our family carried house keys because we didn't need them! So, here is something to think about....Not only do we lock our homes today but we all have alarm systems! You can say what you want, but life was much simpler 60 years ago and safer too! Maybe all of the praying we did in school and attending church like we did had a positive effect on society, something that we are lacking today!
So, do we have to attend church to be a Christian? No! But....If we do, we will be far better off by it! One caveat here would be...Do not attend a legalistic, religious church as the harm that will cause you far out weighs any good! I would suggest that you find a church that totally understand and teaches New Covenant life! And....If you live within an hours drive of Inverness, FL I could give you a suggestion on which church to attend! lol
Last night, November 8, 2016, we Americans elected a new President of the United States. The results of this morning are: 50% of us are thrilled and 50% of us are angry! The question that might be asked is, "Is "it" over or has "it" just begun?" The "it" I'm speaking of is the huge divide that is strangling our nation. To the winning side goes elation, however that elation most likely will be short lived because choosing a new POTUS does not put an end to the division that remains in the hearts of our citizens!
Several years ago I felt that I heard directly from the Lord to no longer speak of politics. That may sound like a simple request to some, but it was very difficult for me to do because I love politics. I would have loved to run for Congress; I think I would have made a great Congressman or Senator! I loved Political Science in school and I still follow politics very closely. I certainly have my opinions and this year was no exception! However, I choose to keep those opinions pretty much to myself, especially on social media and in my church. I'm sure most of our church members know who I voted for but they never heard me say anything from the pulpit! Why? The Lord told me to not do that! My goal throughout this difficult election process has been to lift up the King of kings and the Lord of lords, period!
So now we are faced with a new President that half of our country hates. Some commentators said last night that with a Congress and Senate and the President of the same party that gridlock will vanish. I say it won't because that gridlock is still rock solid in the hearts of our citizens!
Therefore I am encouraging the Church to minister grace like never before during these next four years! This very well could be the Church's "Finest Hour!" It will be so if we don't become hard, judgmental and legalistic! But if we, the Church, share God's true grace with our neighbors, slowly but surely the gridlock will end! The bottom line Church is to share Christ's love with those who do not see eye to eye with us, or we with them! Love, God's true love, is the only hope for America!
Here is what Paul says about all of this:
2 Corinthians 5:19-21 (NLT)
19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Do you see that? The message of the Church is one of "reconciliation!" There can be no gridlock in a message like that! Therefore my message to all Democrats and Republicans and even Independents is simple. Based upon God's unending love for all mankind and the finished works of His Son I say to all, "Come back to God!" Forget the politics! Telling people this is a whole lot more fun and I no longer need to swallow anti-acid nightly before bed!
First, allow me to say that I DO believe in miracles and the healing power of God! I have witnessed just too many of them over the years, both in those I have ministered to and myself, to deny them or to say that God no longer heals the sick! I hope you understand this!
However, as a former charismatic I have witnessed much false teaching over the years that has brought those seeking a miracle for their body into a state of condemnation. Recently someone told a member of our church that the reason people are sick in our church is because there is not enough teaching on healing! Of course I totally reject this as the message of our church, New Covenant Grace Fellowship in Inverness, FL is totally centered on Christ and His ministry to us; body, soul and spirit! Talk about a harvest field for miracles! In our church just about anything can and does happen! However, the one thing that we do reject is any teaching that can lead people into condemnation! Please remember, anytime we try to apply a law to our lives, whether it is the Old Covenant Law of Moses or a law that we make up our selves that might make us think that we are pleasing God more by following it, the only thing that will eventually follow is condemnation!
Here is one of the most important verses found in the Bible, Romans 8: 1 (NLT): "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus." Here is how this verse applies to what I'm writing....If you are presently going through some physical, health issues and you are seeking God for your healing, that is a good thing! However, if you are trying to fit some type of law into this healing venture then that is a bad thing! Give up on that Bunkie as it will only lead you into condemnation!
So you may not be quoting enough healing Bible verses, or you may not be praying enough, you may not have a totally positive confession and the list goes on and on and you still are not healed then ole Mr. Condemnation will soon knock on your door! If only you were a better Christian then God would heal you! This thinking and teaching is just pure trash and you must reject it!
You may or may not know of my recent bout of cancer and major surgery to correct it. That's right, I didn't receive an instant miracle, I had to go the route of medicine. However, there is not enough room to write of the miracles that I have received in this process. Here is one: After 12 hours of major surgery I have experienced no pain! I mean ZERO! But here is the bottom line, I have not suffered even one minute with that old devil of condemnation!
You may not be the perfect Christian! You may not be doing everything right in order to receive your healing, but the bottom line is that God does love you, 100% and it's not based on what you do or don't do! He loves you because he is Love and He cannot do anything else! So if you are sick and have not been healed yet, give up on the religious laws that some teachers would like to put you under and just embrace the love of God. Watch and see what will happen! Condemnation kills, Love heals and brings life. That my friend is the Gospel of healing within the New Covenant! It works every time!
One last point....so if you are never physically healed and you die as a result; wow! Talk about the perfect healing! More on this subject later!
As I've stated before, I was told that I had cancer in my mouth the first week of January, 2016. As a result I have gone through full rounds of both chemo therapy and radiation. As of today, August 25 the tumor is still present, actually growing larger and I have severe mouth sores as a side effect of the treatment plus there is a strong possibility that the cancer has spread to a lymph node on the other side of my neck. So here I am..... a preacher that can no longer preach! (At least with my mouth!) I now await an appointment with a surgeon.
My wife and I both felt led and very comfortable to seek medical treatment for this affliction, all of the time believing for a miracle of deliverance from God. I can't tell you how much prayer I have had during these days! People all over the world are praying for me. Last Sunday a young man, the son of one of our members, was visiting our church service. As he was leaving he came up to me, gave me a huge hug, and said, "Pastor Larry, I want you to know that I pray for you every day." He had tears in his eyes as he said that! I was blown away! I find, often through the grape vine, that I'm on prayer lists all over the country. I have been anointed with oil, had people with miracle ministries pray for me, had so much laying on of hands that I've had more hair rubbed off and yet the miracle I'm believing for has eluded me.
So, what have I been doing wrong? How have I failed God? Why is God angry with me? Or, what lessons is He teaching me through all of this? These are the traditional questions that old covenant religion has taught us to ask. The fact is that none of these, or any others, really apply to me. If you are going through a battle of health they don't apply to you either!
I guess I've never asked God, "Lord, why me?" I have never doubted His love for me and I've never doubted His healing virtue! Over the years of ministry I have experienced and seen just way too much of God healing people, yes, even cancer, to ever doubt that He no longer heals the sick. Yet, I'm still awaiting "my miracle!"
Therefore, the religious answer must be, "I don't have enough faith to be healed!" I must then read more "healing scriptures," quote and confess that I am healed more, command and demand that the devil takes his hands off of me, etc., etc., etc! All of which adds up to just some more charismatic works! Instead, even in spite of my days of pain and tears and seeming faith failures, I've been pretty much able to enjoy the rest of God! That has been wonderful!
Here is a bold statement....GOD DOES NOT HEAL THE SICK BASED ONLY ON THEIR FAITH! The TV Evangelists have taught us that, but friends that is not the truth!
Please go back with me to ancient Egypt. There we meet two Jewish slaves, Moe and Curly. They are neighbors and both were present in Goshen when God told Moses that the last of the plagues was about to hit, that being the death angel who was to smite to death the first born of the entire land. God told Moses, "They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the sides and top of the door frames of the houses where they eat the animal." The animal was the first Passover lamb that each family must slay and eat entirely that night. God told His people by doing this that they would be safe from the death angel.
Our two neighbors have gone to their families, prepared the meal and applied the blood to their doors. And they now wait! During this waiting time Moe is a pillar of faith to his family. He leads them in prayer and worship knowing that nothing bad will come to his family. On the other hand, Curly, is falling apart! He is fretting, pacing back and forth hoping that Moses was telling the truth! If you were to see Curly he sure wouldn't be displaying any faith at all! What a contrast!
Now the big question....Of these two slaves which one would be experiencing the greater favor with God and be more assured that the Death Angel would miss his house? Would it be the man of great faith or the man seeming to lack any faith at all? The answer is simple, both are equally safe and secure because God said, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt." Wow! Do you see it? This great deliverance was not dependent on the faith of Moe or Curly, it was only dependent upon the blood that was shed!
My Friend, likewise your healing, your miracle is not dependent on what you do or don't do, it is only dependent on the blood that was shed for you 2000 years ago! Therefore you and I only need to rest! We rest in the plan of God for our lives! Here is the deal, even if I am never healed in this life of cancer, I cannot loose because I will forever spend eternity cancer and sickness free. I am the winner!
So kick religion out of your health situation and enter into the wonderful rest of God, through the finished works of Jesus Christ! You will never be sorry!