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March 2012
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May 2012

Do You Believe You Will Be Healed?

I've really noticed a trend within the hearts and minds of Christians these days. If you ask them if they believe that God still heals the sick they will most likely say, "Yes!" If you ask them if they believe that God will heal them they may still answer, "Yes" but note there is no longer an explanation point! Then if you make available a meeting when a noted healing evangelist will be praying for the sick, they won't show up, no matter what types of sickness and disease they have.

The reason must be that many Christians today believe that God will heal everyone else but them! Why? I don't really know, maybe they have been prayed for before and nothing happened....who knows?

As a student of past revivals and moves of God, I've read, with mouth wide open, accounts of people hiring an ambulance for a one way trip to a William Branham or A.A. Allen tent meeting. They would tell the ambulance company that they wouldn't need a ride home because God was going to heal them that night! Guess what would happen that night at the meeting? Wowsers! Can you say, "Miracles?"

Where is that same faith today? Here's the deal.... Tonight (Monday night April 30) we at Vision of Hope Ministries will be hosting the miracle working ministry of Evangelist Roger Webb. Roger's history in our church has been awesome... like people walking into the meeting leaning on a cane, hardly able to walk, and leaving the meeting walking freely with the cane over their shoulder! That is exciting!

So tonight just could be, "Your night for a miracle!" Why not you? Don't you think it's worth a try? God loves you just as much as anyone else! My suggestion... come tonight at 7:00 p.m. and expect your miracle!

Here's the address: Vision of Hope Ministries 2577 N. Florida Hwy., Hernando, Florida

Can you say...."Glory!"


What About Sin? (in the New Covenant)

It's so wonderful to be forgiven!  King David had some future insight into the workings of the New Covnenat.  Prophetically he said, "Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight.  Yes what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin!" Ps. 12: 1,2 (NLT) (emphasis mine)

The facts are that God, thorough the works of Christ, has forgiven our past, present and future sins.  We appropiate this by our faith.  Paul says in Romans 4: 5, "But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners."  We no longer have a sin nature!  We who believe in the works of Jesus are forgiven people.  No wonder we have joy!

Yet, we who teach grace and New Covenant living are often criticized by some because it is felt that we, "Just let everything go!"  I've been told before that I, "just turn a blind eye to people's sin, etc., etc., etc."  Some think that I'm making Christianity too easy!  "After all, we must have control here....we can't make things too easy because people will abuse their freedom..." and yada, yada, yada!

Paul also says, "Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?  Of course not!" Romans 6: 1-2a (NLT) The neat thing about understanding grace is that we also understand that we now have the power within us to walk from any future sin.  "Christ in us is the hope of glory!" (Col. 1: 27)  We have the power of God himself working and living within us!  Wow!  Now I'm excited!

The problem comes when we do not wish to walk in God's grace.  When we continue to sin, to walk away from all that He has done for us, we then walk in rebellion and we fall into the world and live no longer in the Spirit.  When we do that we once again pick up portions of our past "sin nature."  Paul had to deal with this issue in I Corinthians chapter 5.  There a man fell into sexual sin with his father's wife, his step mother.  Paul tells the Corinthians that "a little yeast spreads to the whole loaf!" He also placed a responsiblity of Church Government upon them and us...."It isn't my responsiblity to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsiblity to judge those inside the church who are sinning.  God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, "You must remove the evil person from among you.""  I Corinthians 5: 12-13 (NLT) (emphasis mine)

However, Grace goes forward!  The above verses should be the exception not the rule of thumb in our churches!  There is government in the church, but if we are abusing it, we're just as bad as those who are yet sinning!  And that may be a story for another time!

Grace and Peace!


Why Do We Make Being A Christian So Dumb Hard?

Matthew 11:30

New Living Translation (NLT)

30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Jesus spoke these words even though He was still living under the Mosaic Law.  He was setting the stage for the glorious life that He was setting up for us under the soon coming New Covenant.  Yet so many Christians are struggling as they find being a Christian is not really so easy.  Religion has placed so many rules on people, rules that when researched from a Biblical view just do not really exist. Yet it seems just common sense to us that in order to "serve the Lord," there must be some difficulty to it.

Just that term, "Serve the Lord" is really a misnomer.  If people think that such service is from the standard of...."I MUST do this or that or God will be angry with me!"....then they are totally missing the mark.  I try to serve my wife.  She doesn't demand it of me, but I wish to do so because I love her.  She really does a great job of serving me too!  It's not because I am harsh and demanding.  She loves me and does things for me from that wonderful heart of love she has.  

Friends, living in the New Covenant is exciting!  The freedom that we have is so wonderful.  I'm telling the Lord all of the time how much I appreciate all that He's done for me!  I am so thankful for Jesus!  God's love for me goes way beyond anything that I comprehend.  Oh Yeah!

So, let me ask you a few questions here....

#1.  Do you think being a Christian is a hard thing?  

#2.  Do you feel that you have a lot to do to measure up to God's standards and if you fail to do so, He'll be angry with you, withholding His love and blessings from you?

#3.  Does your church teach that you have to live by a lot of "laws" in order to please the Lord?

#4.  Have you lost the initial joy you had when you first came to Christ?

#5.  Do you dread and endure going to church?

#6.  Are you trying to live by a certain law or laws that if kept will make the Lord happy with you?

#7.  Do you understand that the Old Levitical Law, including the Ten Commandments have been fulfilled and ended by Jesus?

#8.  Do you know that the New Law is simply love?

#9.  Do you really know that all of your sins, past, present and future are totally forgiven?

#10.  Are you living in the easy yoke, light burden life that Jesus promised?

How do you measure up?  It's very possible that you may have to get free from Religion.  Yes, that may even mean leave the church you are attending!  ouch!!!

Here's a great book that I recommend for you (available at Amazon), "God's Brilliant Plan: Living the Easy and Light Life Jesus Promised," by my friend Mark Drake.  This book is being used all over the world, bringing people into the wonderful life of the New Covenant.

Let me know how you are doing!  I would love to be of help to you in these areas.

 

Grace and Peace!

 


New Covenant Praying

In I Thessalonians 5:17 Paul tells the Church to, "Pray without ceasing."  OK....how in the world do you do that?  You go to work tomorrow and Mr. Brown, your boss says, "I want you to have a certain project done by noon."  Your response to Mr. Brown could be, "I'd love to do that Mr. Brown, but I'm praying right now, I'm supposed to pray all of the time!"  Mr. Brown might get a tad upset!

It amazes me just how complicated the Church has made Christianity!  People labor so hard so that they might become good Christians.  And prayer seems to be one of "those issues!"

What really is prayer?  It is communication with God.  Communication is two way.  In this case true prayer is not only spending a lot of time talking with God but listening also.  Actually prayer isn't really what we do, rather, it's who we are!  We cannot pray all of the time at work.  When we are at work, we're supposed work...give the boss a good days work!  Sure we can pray silent prayers, but we better concentrate on doing the things we're getting paid to do!

True New Covenant prayer is grace driven!  Prayer is no longer performance in order to get noticed by God.  Some just huff and puff, walk up and down, and if that doesn't work, wear their "prayer bones" (knees) out trying to get their prayers answered.

New Covenant prayer is based upon relationship.  I talk to Him all of the time, but I also try to listen... His voice is awesome! I'm always in communication with Him.  Why?  Because God lives in me!  (Col. 1:27)  Years ago I recall seeing a travelogue on a Far East country, I'm thinking Japan.  The program visited a Shinto temple.  There the monks were busy, sitting in a circle, all clapping their hands, trying to get the attention of one of the many gods they worship. Sounds like some Christians I know, trying to get God's attention so that their prayers will be answered!

As a young Believer I was told that I needed to go to church, read my Bible every day, and spend quality time with God in prayer, this was so that I could eventually become a good Christian.  Sometimes I like to question the status quo.  Like, how did the First Century Christians make it?  They were tortured for their faith.  Can you see one of those guys trying to read his Bible every day?  How could he, the Bible didn't exist.  Yet the Word did!  Yep, it was in that guy's heart, placed there by the indwelling Holy Spirit.  Remember we said earlier, "God lives in me?" 

My fiend, Mark Drake, wrote a great book, I highly recommend it to all, "God's Brilliant Plan: Finding the Easy and Light Life Jesus Promised."  Wow!  What a title!  The wonder of the New Covenant is that God does it all, our only job is to believe it!  Our goal is faith!  His is works!  It is very possible that you spend more time in prayer than you even suspect.

Let me close with a story, true one, it happened to me.  Years ago, a friend of mine told me that he was having glorious times with God.  He would go into his bed room every night at 10:00 p.m. and spend an hour in prayer.  He'd kneel at his bed praying.  I thought that this was super, so I told my wife that from now on I was doing the same thing, even though we liked to go to bed after the 11:00 p.m. news!  Hummm....   So, that night I did go to my room, kneel at the side of my bed and had a wonderful time in prayer with the Lord.  I prayed, and prayed and prayed...in both English and in my prayer language, I prayed, and prayed and prayed!  Remember "Pray without ceasing!"  Well, I filled up an hour and I'm sure God was pretty impressed!  Hummm again!  I went to sleep that night thinking that I was a spiritual giant! 

Night #2 arrived.  I went to the room at 10:00 p.m., assumed the position, and began to pour out my guts to God.  I again prayed, but this time something happened that I wasn't very proud of.  About 15 minutes into my earth shaking prayer session, I fell asleep!  Right there on my "prayer bones" I failed God because I couldn't stay awake for one little hour!  That night I fell asleep not as a spiritual giant, rather as a condemned failure!  There was no third night!  I didn't want to face failure again and make God feel even more disappointed in me.

What rubbish!  The writer of Hebrews says, "So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.  For all who have entered into God's rest have ceased from their labors, just as God did after creating the world."  Hebrews 4: 9-10 (NLT)

If you do not pray from the standpoint of rest, then you are most likely not enjoying the blessings of the New Covenant!  Ouch!  But true!  But then again, that is the way it is with our entire relationship with God, not just prayer. If we are not living a life of rest with God, most likely we're trying to live by some law.  The only thing that can follow law is condemnation!

I trust that this encourages you some!  Learn that our works cease when we understand that Jesus did it all!  This is the life in the New Covenant... it's the place of rest.  I trust you understand!


Everyone is Saying, "Judgment"

In last night's prayer meeting, one of our Sisters came to me with a 3 page letter that she felt that Jesus gave her as a prophetic word.  The basic content was that God's pretty much through with America, that we're going to have disasters and war.  To be honest, "Jesus" painted a pretty bleak picture for our country.  I guess then that it will be a pretty bleak picture for me too, as I live in America!

Everyone is shouting, "Judgment, Judgment, the sky is falling!"  We're being told to store food, water and make sure we have a good supply of bullets so we can, "Fight em off!"  Exactly who the "Em's" are waits to be seen, but I'm guessing that they are Christian hating, devil loving, baby murdering, evil sons of President Obama himself! 

The Sister read the "prophecy" and asked for my opinion.  She kept reading, "I Jesus am telling you to write this, to tell others about it, etc."  My response to her was, "I just don't know!"  And...wow!  Is that the truth...I JUST DON'T KNOW!  Here's where I stand on this....God's NOT telling my wife and I to store anything other than enough supplies to get us through a Florida hurricane!  To us that makes sense!

As to all of this judgment talk, I still have to be one who holds out and say that I'm seeing revival not judgment!  I see the Church coming into revival!  I'm seeing millions of Americans coming to know Jesus as their Savior!  I keep hearing in my spirit, "It's time to advance the Kingdom of God!"  I keep seeing signs, wonders and miracles and keep hearing in my spirit that we are coming into the time, the age of "The Church's Finest Hour!"  It's time that the Mighty Army rises to the occasion and advances God's Kingdom in spades!

Well, there you have it.... everyone is saying, "Judgment."  I'm saying, "Revival!"


The Glory of the New Covenant

This morning, Sunday April 1, I'm preaching/teaching from II Corinthians chapter 3, the entire chapter.  I'm going through it verse by glorious verse.  My church is really beginning to understand the difference between the Old and the New Covenant.  I'm watching lives being transformed as the Holy Spirit is bringing the total truth of who they really are into the fullness of revelation and reality.

So many Christians are still living under some sort of law, either the Law of the Old Testament or some other type of law that they rely on to make them "right with God."  A larger, local Full Gospel type church in our area has on its church sign, "Fear God!"  Wow!  What kind of a message is that?  I'm sure that the unsaved are flocking to their services!  What's more, those "Believers" who are attending their services are hearing every Sunday about the ways (laws) that they can follow on how to be in right standing with God...."fear Him!" 

Several ministers are in discussions with me about the difference between the Old and New.  The latest dialog involves the difference between "Biblical Judaism" and "Rabbinical Judaism."  Another preacher said it was "Biblical Law" and "Ceremonial Law."  Oh my!  They just don't get it!  Paul makes no distinction between the two....LAW IS LAW!  But it just seems that we have to devise some means of hanging on to something that is spiritually old, because it just seems so right in understanding our relationship with such a Holy God!  Yet in II Corinthians chapter 3 Paul states that the "Glory of the Law began fading almost as soon as it was given to Moses."  As Moses walked down the mountain with the Law "etched on stone, that leads to death, the Glory that was shining on his face was already beginning to fade!"  Paul also states that "when Moses is read a veil is placed the hearts of the people." 

Paul says in Chapter 3 verse 6 that God has enabled us to be "ministers of the New Covenant."  That's who I am!  I'm a "Minister of the New Covenant!  Boy am I!!!!!  My duty this morning is to help all see more truth so that the "religious veil" is removed completely from my people, from the hearts of all I minister to.  My job is to bring all who have a heart to hear, into the Glory of the New Covenant.

Let me close with this....."So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord.  And the Lord - who is the Spirit - makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image."  II Corinthians 3: 18 (NLT)

Oh my, I'm about ready to shout and I've still got a few hours to go before I preach this message!  This morning I'm praying for any remaining veils to be removed from the hearts of my people.  How about you?  Are you ready to lay down religion and become who God has intended you to become?  It is no longer you doing the work, rather, now you rely fully on what God, through Christ, has already done for you!

Oh I can't wait to preach this message!!!!

Grace and Peace!