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CHARISMA JESUS’ JEWISH ROOTS

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FEBRUARY 2019

REAL TALK

KIM

KIMBERLY JONES‐POTHIER wants believers to have a fresh encounter with God’s love

WAR AGAINST CANCER

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FREEDOM IN CHRIST

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LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

RT KENDALL: 5 Signs a Leader Has Lost God’s Approval HEALING : Why God Wants to Heal Special Needs Children


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EXPERIENCE THE SAME SOURCE OF LIFE-GIVING POWER THAT JESUS DID! Everyone knows the Holy Spirit as the helper but may not realize He helped Jesus. Jesus resisted temptation, endured suffering, and overcame Satan, all by the power of the Holy Spirit. You can do the same. The Spirit that empowered Jesus also lives in you! Spirit-Filled Jesus explores the role of the Holy Spirit in and through the life of Jesus, revealing aspects of His life that have not been examined before and helping you see how this applies to you. In understanding how Jesus lived His life through the power of the Holy Spirit, you will learn how to:

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MAINTAIN EMOTIONAL HEALTH EVEN DURING HARDSHIP DEFEAT THE DEMONIC WITH FIVE GOD-GIVEN WEAPONS

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CONTENTS February 2019/Volume 44, Number 7

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DEPARTMENTS Dear Charisma 8 Charismata 20 A Spirit-filled missionary is martyred during his visit to a remote tribe Worship breaks out during a White House faith briefing

Hurting People Need Real Talk

Spirit-Led Resources 62

Kimberly Jones-Pothier, also known as “Real Talk Kim,” is reaching the next generation with a mix of tough love and encouragement

Andrew Wilson’s Spirit and Sacrament, Tim Hill’s The Speed of Favor and Bethel Music’s Victory

By Taylor Berglund

Reviews: Switchfoot’s Native Tongue and Wayne Grudem’s Christian Ethics

COLUMNS

FEATURES 34

Spoiled Fruit Why Christian leaders can still operate in the anointing, even when they are living a life of sin By R.T. Kendall

38

Growing the Vine What a move of God in Northern Ireland can teach today’s church about loving our communities By Joshua Olson

44

Are You Winning the War Against Sugar? The key to claiming victory in your fight against cancer may be simple Scripture-based nutrition By Jenny Hrbacek, RN

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They Are Not Unloved The Bible demonstrates that God’s heart is to heal children who have special needs By Chris Gore

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From Fleshly Desire to Freedom in Jesus How this former adult-film actress helps free people trapped in bondage to the sex industry By Jenny Rose Curtis

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Meet Yeshua HaMashiach It’s time for the church to recognize the significance of Jesus’ Jewish heritage By Kirt A. Schneider

10 G  reenelines

Precious promises produce precious faith By Dr. Steve Greene

12 F ire in My Bones

Our broken world needs the love of Jesus By J. Lee Grady

14 T hings to Come

How the church can impact society By Shawn Bolz

16 S traight Talk

Choose forgiveness over bitterness By Joyce Meyer

66 P erspective

Has racism changed in the last 50 years? By Stephen Strang

Charisma (ISSN #0895-156X) is published monthly by Charisma Media, 600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, FL 32746. Periodicals postage paid at Lake Mary, FL 32746 and at additional entry offices. Canada Post International Publications Mail Product (Canadian Distribution) Sales Agreement Number 40037127. Subscription rate is $24.97 for 12 issues, $39.97 for 24 issues. Canadian subscribers add $24 per year for postage, other countries add $36 per year, payable in advance in U.S. currency only. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to P.O. Box 6104, Harlan, IA 51593-1604. Send undeliverable Canadian mail to: 1415 Janette Avenue, Windsor, ON N8X 1Z1. © 2019 by Charisma Media. For advertising information call 407-333-0600. Nothing that appears in Charisma may be reprinted without permission. PRINTED IN THE USA

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Dear Charisma

CHARISMA ©

LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

“I have resolved to be more mindful of my dreams and visions and to be ready to intercede for my family and others.” —Karla Britt

After reading the December issue of Charisma and the article “The 3 Dreams of Christmas” by John E. Thomas, I thought you might be interested in our experience with dreams and visions. Job 4:13-14 is a disturbing verse: “Amid disquieting thoughts from night visions, when deep sleep falls on mortals, terror and trembling came to me, which made all my bones shake.” A couple years ago, our friend Maurice had a nightmare about my grandson, Jeremiah, dying in a car crash. The vision was so real and vivid that Maurice remembered to tell his wife, Gloria, about it at breakfast. Gloria is a prayer warrior and loves her friends and their families. She immediately went to battle. I will not forget her trembling voice and her chilling words when she phoned me that June morning. Maurice’s dream was right on: My sister and niece were visiting, and the five young men were spending the night. Our son and his family, our two daughters and their families as well as my sister’s three married children and their families were meeting at our home for a family reunion the

next day. The accident occurred at the rural T-intersection where the blacktop met gravel. I will always believe that Almighty God heard Gloria’s prayer cancelling the assignment of the enemy and He spared our grandson’s life. This encounter with the Holy Spirit’s gifts has shown me again the great love of my heavenly Father to provide the body of Christ with gifts or tools to minister to one another. I have resolved to be more mindful of my dreams and visions and to be ready to intercede for my family and others. Karla Britt, Clifton Hill, Missouri

CHURCH MUST FACE #METOO (Regarding “Let’s Be Honest: Women Have Been Hurt in the Church Too” by J. Lee Grady, Charisma, December 2018) As a dad, son and husband, it’s hard to read all the #MeToo comments that have been posted recently. It’s especially horrifying to see that many women are not taken seriously when they report abuse. We need to examine our own conscience and adjust our attitudes. Lemming Ferdinand, charismamag.com

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EDITORIAL AND ADVERTISING OFFICES: 600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, FL 32746 Phone: 407-333-0600 • Fax: 407-333-7100 Email: charisma@charismamedia.com Website: charismamag.com POSTMASTER: Send address changes to P.O. Box 6104, Harlan, IA 51593-1604. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: 12 issues $24.97; 24 issues $39.97. Canadian subscribers add $24 per year, other countries add $36 per year, payable in advance in U.S. currency only. If you have moved, received damaged or duplicate copies/missed issues, experienced billing problems, want to renew or need additional subscription information, call 1-800-829-3346. To subscribe, go online to charismamag.com. Contact customer service by email at cracustserv@cdsfulfillment.com or write to Charisma, P.O. Box 6104, Harlan, IA 51593-1604. European subscribers can call England at 0870 745 5793. All foreign subscribers can call 515-237-3640. ADVERTISING POLICY: Charisma Media fully supports journalistic integrity with the editorial provided in our print and online products. Charisma strives to maintain the highest journalistic principles. Advertising in Charisma does not imply or suggest support of editorial endorsement. MAILING LIST: We make a portion of our mailing list available to reputable firms. If you would prefer that we not include your name, call 1-800-829-3346, write to us at 600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, FL 32746, or email us at magcustsvc@charismamedia.com.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Greenelines

PODCAST H ​ ow do you develop leaders? Listen to Spirit-led leadership ​ principles and ​tips to t​ rain up​-and​-coming leaders. Download at CPNSHOWS.COM

BY DR. STEVE GREENE

Promises and Faith A word from Peter

“Precious promises produce precious faith.”

In Peter’s second letter, he couples “precious faith” with the promises of God: “And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires” (2 Pet. 1:4, NLT). I don’t think Peter’s use of the word “precious” is accidental here. He wants us to see that precious promises should enlarge our faith. Precious promises produce precious faith. Our human desires rarely produce anything we could call eternally precious. The promises of God enable us to “share his divine nature” and reduce our belief that the world has anything to offer. “For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you’” (Heb. 13:5b). God’s promises become precious when we understand His message is personal. It speaks to us today and applies to every problem or situation. “I will never fail you” is a promise only God can make. Man can say it with all his heart, but we know man will fail. The most powerful aspect of the word “precious” is that it is most special when shared. As we share the gospel, we share our precious faith. We tell stories of how God was there for us in our time of need. We speak about our personal memorial stones and victories in battle. Our Lord does not abandon us. His Word reminds us He fights for us: “The Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard” (Isa. 52:12b, MEV). Our faith is built on nothing less.

DR. STEVE GREENE i s the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. Find his book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, at amazon.com, christianbook.com or at your local bookstore. 10

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SEAN ROBERTS

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ow do we select an adjective to describe faith? New Testament writers chose words such as “great,”“common,”“genuine” and “most holy.” At least no one described faith as “awesome.” The apostle Peter used a word that is hard to surpass: “I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior” (2 Pet. 1:1b, NLT). I don’t think I’ve ever thought of my faith as “precious,” but when I see it in Scripture, I realize the word is well-chosen. I reserved the word “precious” for children. I remember holding my grandson, born two months early. I cradled him in my palm and thought about the miracle of birth. I also recall the honor of baptizing many children throughout my ministry. I talked with each child before the dunking, splashing and celebrating. The best word to describe baptizing children is “precious.” Jesus spoke to us often about children. “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children” (Matt. 19:14). “I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15). Childlike faith is precious. A child with a strong belief in God requires no “evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1b, MEV). I’ve seen common faith; it doesn’t seem precious. Instead, it seems conditional, blown about by rumors and feelings. Precious faith flows with a purity untouched by painful experiences and curveballs of doubt. The precious faith Peter writes about is a gift for all of us to receive. Too many of us toss this great gift aside. Faith builds confidence in our calling, not because we have self-confidence, but because we have confidence in God. People who are full of precious faith also tend to be full of joy and walk in victory. Consider the words of the writer of Hebrews: “And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in fighting, and turned the armies of foreign enemies to flight” (Heb. 11:32-34). We may not have needed the kind of faith necessary to stop the mouths of lions, but we all have challenges that demand strong faith. God wants us to live with the knowledge that we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens [us]” (Phil. 4:13, NKJV). Precious faith helps boost our courage and reminds us of our power and call to spread the gospel. We need to let go of our own thoughts and, through faith, seek the mind of Christ.


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This book is all about using FAITH to get results. It doesn’t do any good to know about FAITH unless you also know how to use it to get what you want or need from God, so that is emphasized in this book. After you read this book, you will know as much about FAITH as I do, maybe more. You will then be able to use your FAITH to do what I do, to have what I have and to be a BLESSING in the Kingdom of God. How simple is that? Your FAITH will be much stronger after you read this book, which is easy to read, easy to understand and very comprehensive. You will be amazed by how much you learn about FAITH in this BOOK. This book is amazing, tell everyone you know about it.

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To receive FREE COPY of the Book “FAITH” by mail or to receive Free E-Book immediately, text the word Faith to 99888. Pastor Jim is Pastor of Life Church in Indialantic, Florida. Watch his FREE 15 Minute Advanced Spirit Filled Videos every day, on Healing, Abundance and THE BLESSING, at increasenow.com.


Fire in My Bones BY J. LEE GRADY

Let’s Share Jesus With a Confused World

In our broken culture, people ‘identify’ as a different gender, age, race or species

“There are now 63 different official designations for gender on record.”

Bruce Jenner announced in 2015 that he was transitioning from male to female, the trans movement has exploded. There are now 63 different official designations for gender on record. One of those, “gender fluid,” refers to a person who believes they are a mix of both genders and their gender designation is not fixed. What do we make of all this? For centuries people have assumed that things like gender, age and race are set realities based on science. Yet today all absolutes are being questioned. More and more, in this age of the selfie, self has become the standard. The new mantra is: “I can choose who I am. I am what I ‘feel.’ If I ‘feel’ like I am 49, I am 49—no matter what my birth certificate says. If I ‘feel’ like I am a dog, I am a dog. I determine reality.” I’m not shocked when I see this trend in our culture. The Bible warned us this would happen. The apostle Paul predicted that in the last days “men will be lovers of themselves” (2 Tim. 3:2). When we reject God and focus on ourselves, we actually lose our true identity. We cannot know who we really are if we cut ourselves off from the Creator. Without a connection to the true God, we become hopelessly confused. The only hope for this growing confusion in our culture is the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is not a time to judge people. Don’t get angry at those who “identify” as something else. Love them anyway—and introduce them to the one who can restore their true identity. In the midst of today’s selfishness, sexual confusion and family breakdown, Jesus has given us a chance to show His love to people who don’t know who they are.

J. LEE GRADY w  as editor of Charisma for 11 years and now serves as contributing editor. He directs The Mordecai Project (themordecaiproject.org), an international ministry that protects women and girls from gender-based violence. His latest book is Set My Heart on Fire (Charisma House). 12

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ate in 2018, a Dutch man, Emile Ratelband, asked a court in the Netherlands to permit him to change his legal age from 69 to 49. He said he “feels 49,” and he said his doctor agrees that he looks young for his age. Ratelband complained that he has suffered from age discrimination—especially when looking for dates with women online. Comparing himself to transgender people who change their sexual identity, Ratelband claimed in his lawsuit that age is not a fixed reality. “Time is just a figure,” he said. “I say it is not fixed.” Unfortunately for Ratelband’s dating life, the Dutch court ruled against him. While recognizing that “some people today feel fit and healthy in their old age,” the judges did not regard this as a valid argument for amending a person’s age. They affirmed that Ratelband’s birthdate is still fixed at March 11, 1949. We can be thankful that these Dutch judges ruled on the side of sanity. But in today’s bizarre world of “selfidentification,” Mr. Ratelband’s attempt to alter reality will likely become more common. Consider these recent examples: »»We all remember Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who pretended to be black while leading the local NAACP chapter in Washington state. When her deception was exposed in 2015, she told reporters that she “identifies as black”—as if her personal feelings about her race can automatically overrule genetics. Dolezal later explained that she believes race is “a social construct” that has no basis in science. She said: “I really just prefer to be exactly who I am, and black is the closest race and cultural category that represents the essence of who I am.” »»In November 2018, Irish singer Sinead O’Connor went on a racist rant on Twitter, announcing that “white people are disgusting.” The former pop star said, “I never want to spend time with white people again,” even though she herself is white. Known for her shaved head, O’Connor said she has changed her name to Shuhada Davitt and has started wearing a head covering because she is now a Muslim. »»You may never have heard of “therians,” but it probably won’t be long before you meet one. Therians don’t believe they are humans and celebrate their animal identity on Instagram and YouTube. One Norwegian woman named Nano said she realized at age 16 that she has been a cat all her life. She walks on all fours and claims she can see in the dark and hear things humans can’t. Dennis Avner, a famous therian who committed suicide in 2012, was so convinced he was a cat that he had his ears reshaped, got whiskers implanted and had cat stripes tattooed all over his body. (Today there are also “polytherians” who identify as more than one animal.) »»Things are becoming even more confusing when it comes to gender. Ever since athlete


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Things to Come

A GUEST EDITORIAL BY SHAWN BOLZ

Invade the Secular With the Sacred

T

he church is in an identity crisis right now, but God is bringing a clear message to help bring His balance into the existing church. We have always been called to engage culture and see transformation in the world around us, but much of the church is dualistic in its approach. We see anything not directly impacting the focus of the church as nonspiritual. Because of this, we have become in some cases irrelevant to the world around us, building only organizational structures that affect other believers. It’s the difference between Noah building an ark of protection and God raising up Joseph to build kingdom culture within a worldly structure. I believe we are called to be architects of kingdom. When we see many of the influencers in the Bible, they worked in occupations that saved nations, influenced cities and mentored kingdoms. These are our end-times examples, and the Holy Spirit is leading us out of self-protection mode. Of course, statistics from Barna Group and others show a huge amount of believers don’t even attend a local church. Much of this is because the organized structure of the church has not been making itself into a harbor in the vast ocean of humanity. Rather, we have been building isolated, manmade lakes and fishing from our own streams. The Holy Spirit desires to coach us into the ability to influence humanity by showing the world God’s original intention. I love how the Holy Spirit is so consistent in His message to the world: He wants to connect our hearts to the everlasting love nature of God. We have a Father in heaven who has always had an original design for all things, especially humanity. He has this incredible vision of reigning and partnership, and it’s so unbelievable that when man failed, He sent His Son to restore us and make everything new. The Holy Spirit shares with us today how to access this restoration of all things and gives us vision to see the Father’s original design and desire. I love how 1 Corinthians 2:10-12 frames it: The Holy Spirit searches the deepest parts of God and connects us to those places in His heart. I believe the Holy Spirit is bringing incredible perspective through His eyes of love to see the value of people and industries we have not previously treasured. He is commissioning Christians to influence in places that before felt off-limits or fringy but now have become empowered by mainstream Christianity—industries like music, film and technology. Daniel, Joseph and Esther are examples of people positioned differently in culture to have a kingdom effect that just wouldn’t have happened if they had remained limited to the tribe of Israel alone. They were positioned for the good of God’s people and for the good of the people they served. Today, we are seeing huge numbers of pastors’ and ministers’ kids coming into careers in arts and entertainment, business, tech, science and even politics. They feel sent by God the same way their parents felt when they started their ministry. It is a clear sign when you can identify a

“The Holy Spirit is leading us out of selfprotection mode.”

generation of Western world leaders’ kids not taking the direct legacy of their parents but instead being infused with the same passion to see impact through an industry instead of ministry. On top of this, the Spirit is speaking and releasing prophetic perspective on how to partner with God in these industries, so that we can see a fuller expression of the truth that God created all things to work for the good of those who believe. As we allow engagement in these areas, people who have felt isolated by current church structure because of its inward focus will begin to find a home in our churches again. The Spirit has also been speaking that healthy self-love, marriage, family and community should be pillars of our faith again. He is helping us to identify the love language of this generation. I believe the previous generation’s love language was acts of service. Pastors knew their vision was believed in and loved by how people committed to work for it. The Spirit is revealing that the next generation’s love language is quality time. That means people want to be known and treasured. The next generation doesn’t feel love just by doing things; they desire connection through intentional time spent together. God is bridging these gaps between the older and younger generation, but we have to recognize that quality time might be more important than any project we accomplish. We must remember those we are serving so we don’t end up missing our mark. The Holy Spirit is called the Counselor, Coach, Friend and Comforter for a reason. He has so much wisdom for these issues. We just need to be a people reliant on His nature and love.

SHAWN BOLZis an author, minister and pioneer in the prophetic movement. He is the host of the podcast Exploring the Prophetic, available at cpnshows.com. 14

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D AV I D PA R K S

How the church can become kingdom architects positioned to impact culture


Simply Christ

Sharing the simplicity that is in Christ PAUL’S DARK CHAPTER Before he came to Christ, the apostle Paul was not an unclean man. To the contrary, all evidence suggests that he was indeed a good and devoted man. He was very diligent, studious, and committed to his walk with God. Then known as Saul of Tarsus, he was brought up in Jerusalem “at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God…” Acts 22:3 Paul assures us that before coming to Christ, he was, “touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” Philippians 3:6 Even his part in Stephen’s death and the persecution of the church was a testimony of his zeal for God under the Law. Yet somewhere, somehow, a few words from a passage of scripture he had known from his youth got his attention … and destroyed him. The words that brought Saul of Tarsus into darkness and despair were very simple. They were the words of the tenth commandment, “Thou shalt not covet…” I do not know what awoke Saul to these words. It is likely he heard someone in the early church declaring the work of the gospel, but however it was that he was awakened to their true meaning, these words began to trouble his heart and mind. The other commandments dealt with his

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“FREE What is theBOOK!” Cross all about?

actions, but this commandment dealt with the content of his heart. He could say that he had never committed adultery or fornication, but this commandment said, “You shall not desire it in your heart.” Jesus revealed the meaning of this commandment when he said, “…whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matthew 5:28 The Proverbs also agreed, saying “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 When Saul saw what this tenth commandment was saying, he began to comprehend that “sin in your heart is SIN!” This new understanding had to be disconcerting for someone like Saul who believed he kept the Law so perfectly, but now he knew what had to be addressed. Saul set himself on a course to eliminate the sin out of his own heart. The result of this pursuit, however, would soon shake him to his very foundations. In Romans the 7th chapter, Paul the apostle describes the events that led up to his “Damascus Road” experience with Christ. He starts this chapter addressing “them that know the law,” Romans 7:1 and then continues addressing them, saying, “For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” Romans 7:5 This was a reference to their condition before they came to Christ when they served God under the Law. Saul had once viewed himself as a spiritual person who had put all sin in his life to death, Romans 7:8 that is until he came “face to face” with the tenth commandment. He said, “for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Romans 7:7 This commandment was not the source of his lusts. It was what revealed to him that sin in the heart was equal to committing the act of sin. Upon understanding this, Saul was attempting to “stamp out” these lusts from his heart when he discovered that these hidden sins permeated his entire being. He was like a man who found a small sore, but through further examination he discovered this sore was a part of a greater cancer underneath. When he sought to remove the sore, the cancer began to fester and spread. Saul’s efforts to eliminate the sin of his heart only brought it out of its subdued state and it began to rage in his every thought and desire. He says, “when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” Romans 7:9 It wasn’t until Saul understood that sin in the heart is sin, that the tenth commandment was able to accomplish in him what had always been its purpose. It stripped Saul of his self-righteousness so that in his own eyes the sins of his heart were now “exceeding sinful.” Romans 7:13 No longer were these hidden sins “little things” that did not matter. Saul began to see himself in a way that horrified him as a Pharisee. In despair he confessed to himself, “…but I am carnal, sold under sin!” Romans 7:14 The revelation that he was “carnal, sold under sin” was actually a truth Saul was forced to face about himself when he considered what was taking place in his heart and life. What was it that caused this man, who in his own eyes had been so alive spiritually, to admit to himself that he was not spiritual at all, but was a slave under sin? Saul began to see that he was living the life of a slave. You see, a slave may want to live his life one way, but because he is a slave, he lives his life as someone else wants him to live it. Saul considered his own walk. He said, “that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” Romans 7:15. This proved to Saul that he was not a freeman, but a slave. Saul also concluded that his “slave master” lived within himself. He said “Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” Romans 7:20 It was the presence of sin in his heart that Saul ultimately found no way to overcome. He acknowledged its unending presence saying, “when I would do good, evil is present with me.” Romans 7:21 Sin’s power is in its presence. As long as it is present in you, it has power over you. At this realization, hopelessness began to set in. From the depths of his soul, Saul began to cry “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Romans 7:24 He found this deliverance from the presence of sin and its power on the road to Damascus where he met the great deliverer, “Jesus Christ our Lord.” Paul’s conclusion was that as long as a person attempts to serve God through human ability (the carnal mind), they will also be bound to serve sin with their flesh. Romans 7:25 The struggle with sin that Paul describes in the 7th chapter of Romans is the struggle of a person who either has not yet found Christ or they have been led back into captivity by carnal religion. In either case, they are carnal and sold under the slavery of sin. If they never realize this as Saul did, they will never find the great deliverance from sin that he found in Jesus Christ. Remember, Jesus never promised you a struggle. He promised that if you came to him you would find “rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29.

Simply Christ is sent weekly via email to believers around the world. To request your free book or subscription, visit cochurch.org or write to: Behold the Lamb Publications, P.O. Box 750 Porter, TX 77365


Straight Talk BY JOYCE MEYER

Let Your Pain Become Your Gain

Choose forgiveness over bitterness and reap eternal rewards

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ave you ever been hurt by someone? Have you been used, lied about, abused, cheated or deceived? Have you ever done a lot for someone and then, when you needed them, they didn’t have any time for you? Everyone experiences mistreatment of some kind, and forgiveness is not easy. But I’ve learned through personal experience that if you refuse to forgive, you are in for a miserable life! For many years, I hated my dad because he sexually abused me throughout my childhood. But all that did was make me bitter and hard to get along with. It didn’t change him, and it certainly didn’t do me any good. When my parents were in their old age, God spoke to my heart and told me He wanted me to move them close to where my husband, Dave, and I lived and take care of them until they died. At first, I resisted this idea because there was nothing in me that wanted to see them, much less spend money on them and meet their needs. I told Dave what I was thinking, and he said if God was telling me to do this, we should do it. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but he was right, so we moved them into a house near us and took care of them until they died. It wasn’t easy, but I can honestly say now that it is one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. God honored my obedience and gave me the grace to do the right thing, and before he passed away, my dad asked me to forgive him and accepted Christ as his Savior. The reward of forgiveness far outweighed the pain I had lived with for so many years. The story of Joseph in Genesis chapters 37-50 is also an amazing example of what God can do in our lives when we choose to forgive. When Joseph was 17 years old, his 11 brothers sold him to slave traders because they were jealous of him and hated him. Joseph was taken to Egypt and bought by Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard. God gave him favor, and Potiphar made Joseph overseer of his whole household (Gen. 39:5). But when Potiphar’s wife became angry because Joseph wouldn’t go to bed with her, she lied and claimed he had tried to rape her, and Joseph was thrown in prison. Genesis 39:21 (ESV) says, “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” Joseph was put in charge of all the prisoners because the Lord was with him and gave him success in whatever he did. Eventually, God gave Joseph favor with Pharaoh, and he was promoted to a position

“The reward of forgiveness far outweighed the pain I had lived with for so many years.”

second in command to Pharaoh only, ruling over the land of Egypt. Several years later, his brothers came to Egypt for food because of a terrible famine, and this was his chance to get revenge. But Joseph wasn’t at all interested in vengeance. When he revealed his identity to his brothers and saw that they were afraid he would harm them, Joseph told them, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Gen. 50:20). Joseph is a powerful example of how we can mature in our faith and character when we go through hard times. He chose to maintain his integrity with God no matter what it cost him personally, and the reward was far greater than the pain he had endured. As a result, he was able to fulfill God’s plan for his life and help many people who would have died from famine. God has a plan and a purpose for your life, too! No matter how badly you’ve been hurt, I want to encourage you to trust God’s love for you and His ability to bring healing to your soul. Refuse to live an angry, bitter life because of the way someone has mistreated you, and instead, pray for them and love them, doing good to them as you have an opportunity to do so (Matt. 5:43-45). Let God use your pain to develop the fruit of the Spirit in your soul (Gal. 5:22-23) and make you everything He has created you to be. As you do, others will see the love and goodness of God through your life and be drawn to Him.

JOYCE MEYERis a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. She has authored more than 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Living a Life You Love (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org. 16

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c h a r i s ma m ag. com


HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR

Peace?

Worry. Fear. Anxiety. Anger. Guilt. Depression. Addictions. Emotional stress drains. Do you feel like peace and strength eludes you? Hidden Treasure provides the biblical answers to receiving God’s peace and strength in your life. You can defeat emotional stress, addictions, and unforgiveness in your life and be FREE! This book is a product of my personal testimony and how God taught me to surrender to Him. 1 Peter 5:7 taught me how to cast my cares on Him, because He cares for me. Hidden Treasure shares my testimony over the years and the insight I learned from Scripture on how to depend on God and cast all my cares on Him.

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:6-9 KJV Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:10 KJV

Visit HiddenTreasure.website for a FREE download of Hidden Treasure


C H A R I S M ATA Spirit-Led Names and News

For more Spirit-Led news, go to charismanews.com.

Compiled by Taylor Berglund

North Sentinel Island, where missionary John Allen Chau was martyred for his faith in Christ

Missionary Martyred While Visiting Remote Tribe ‘I think it’s worth it to declare Jesus to these people.’

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“You guys might think I’m crazy in all this. But I think it’s worth it to declare Jesus to these people.” After news broke, many Christian leaders praised Chau’s evangelistic spirit and offered condolences to his family. Andrea Hyre, department head of ORU’s missions and outreach program, said, “He was passionate about sharing Christ’s love with all people groups. We consider it an honor to know John Chau, his heart and the passion he had to see God’s kingdom advanced through his life and obedience.” WIKIMAPIA

ohn Allen Chau, an American missionary who attended Oral Roberts University (ORU), was killed by a group of remote tribesmen in North Sentinel, Andaman Islands, India. The 50 to 100 tribesmen on North Sentinel are known to be violent toward outsiders. Local fishermen say they saw members of the Sentinelese shoot Chau with arrows on the beach and then drag and bury his body in the sand. Chau had trained to reach this tribe for most of his adult life. In a letter to his parents published by The New York Times, Chau wrote,

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c h a r i s ma m ag. com


Megachurch Pastor Makes Radical Display of Generosity

He decried greed-driven ‘pulpit pimps’ in his sermon

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S M I T H / M W S G R O U P | G R AY / H AC H E T T E B O O K G R U O P

ohn Gray, pastor of Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, recently gave away offering money to single parents, widows and poor people in his church community. At the end of a sermon, Gray invited them to come to the altar and take money for food and gas expenses out of the just-collected offering baskets. “We’ve got widows,” Gray said. “We’ve got orphans. We’ve got single moms in here. We might not be able to do everything, but we can do something. I wish we could do more, but this is the best we can do right now. Just know as the Lord keeps blessing us, we’re going to do it more and more. We’re going to buy cars for women who are catching the bus. We’re going to buy houses for people who’ve been renting. And we’re going to have more than what we need.” His comments came during a sermon in which he decried “pulpit pimps” who seek only to make money off their congregations without helping the poor and needy. He then went on to prophetically declare “a season of all-you-can-eat,” eliciting a standing ovation from churchgoers. Gray inherited Relentless Church (previously known as Redemption Church) from Ron Carpenter last May.

John Gray

ch ar is ma ma g.com

Michael W. Smith

Michael W. Smith Sings ‘Friends’ at Bush Funeral It was the former president’s favorite song by Smith

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ichael W. Smith sang his hit song “Friends” at the state funeral of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush. Smith and Bush became good friends after Smith performed for him in 1989. “Friends” was reportedly Bush’s favorite song by Smith. Bush’s funeral ceremony was held Dec. 5, 2018, just five days after Bush’s death. When Smith performed “Friends” at the funeral, he was accompanied by the Armed Forces Chorus, Cathedral Choir and U.S. Marine Orchestra. On Facebook, Smith’s social media team posted, “The last words that President Bush said to Michael were ‘Friends are friends forever’—a fitting statement for all of us. We are all grateful for the life of George Herbert Walker Bush. We are blessed to have known him. We are blessed to be inspired by him. We are blessed to know that we will see him again.” F e br u a r y 2 01 9 | C H A RI S MA

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For more Spirit-Led news, go to charismanews.com.

C H A R I S M ATA

Doctor Experiences Holy Spirit Awakening After Near-Death Collision

Photo caption

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Dr. Jeff Huxford, his wife, Jacqui, and children Jenna and Jayse

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How a Todd White Video Stopped Suicide in its Tracks

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odd White says he is seeing the body of Christ wake from its slumber—and as a result, incredible things are taking place. During an interview with Charisma, White said his ministry frequently receives emails that say: “‘I was getting ready to pull the trigger and all, then the YouTube video that you have came on. And it saved my life.’ And the whole family testifies. ‘I got my daddy back. Thank you.’ It’s so crazy. We’re getting emails even from prisons that say, ‘Our inmates have been overwhelmed by the gospel.’” White says his goal is to grow people in the Word so they can destroy the kingdom of darkness. “Honestly, God’s waking up the sleeping giant,” White says. “When God gets a hold of their hearts, they don’t want another history lesson. They want to do it. They want to actively engage, and they want to actually step on the devil’s neck that maneuvered and manipulated them in years that they’ve been astray.” c h a r i s ma m ag. com

COURTESY OF DR. JEFF HUXFORD

eff Huxford was in small group, complaining about not having a “crazy God story” to share. He was jealous that others had amazing testimonies that spoke of the goodness of the Lord. “One week later, God is like, ‘OK, here’s a story that you said you wanted,’” Huxford says. “Eventually, I felt like, ‘God’s given me this story [so I can share it with others]. I shouldn’t have the ability to tell it. I shouldn’t be able to talk or stand, so I better tell my story.’” In May 2012, a truck collided into Jeff Huxford’s vehicle. When emergency personnel arrived at the scene, Huxford’s vehicle was wrapped around a utility pole, and he had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. He remembers nothing of the days that followed, but doctors tell him his survival is a miracle. Six years later, Huxford has exceeded all their expectations. “I survived this accident when I should have died,” Huxford says. “The fact that I’m doing as well as I am now is a miracle. Based on what my MRI shows, when doctors look at it, they don’t know how I’m functioning.” Now Huxford says the real miracle is how the Holy Spirit revealed Himself in intimate ways after the accident: “I grew up knowing about the Holy Spirit, but I didn’t recognize Holy Spirit as a ‘someone’ who lives inside us who gives us power. Then I realized that I can use my own life I’ve been given [to share about the Holy Spirit] because He’s empowered me to do this. I can depend on Him.”


IF JESUS IS A JEW, WHY IS THERE A WEDGE BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND JUDAISM? Messianic Rabbi Kirt A. Schneider builds on his ministry to spread the miracle message of a Jewish carpenter turned Savior. Host of Discovering the Jewish Jesus, Rabbi teaches with exceptional clarity on how Jesus fulfills Judaism and completes the unfolding plan of God. Rabbi Schneider writes from having seen the truths of God’s Word confirmed by the Holy Spirit performing miraculous healings and deliverance.

Ava i la b le No w

Online and Where Books Are Sold • CharismaHouse.com 16 2 12


PODCAST Be inspired as you listen to interviews from people who are living out God’s plan for their lives. Download at CPNSHOWS.COM

C H A R I S M ATA

Imprisoned Charismatic Pastor Says God Has Never Forsaken Him

He smuggled drugs from Mexico to the US 20 times

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ormer pastor John Lee Bishop was sentenced in November to five years in prison after being found guilty of drug smuggling. Bishop, the charismatic former pastor of Living Hope Church in Vancouver, Washington, lost his ministry after he had an affair with an assistant, abused drugs and alcohol and eventually moved to Mexico. Police arrested him after he was caught smuggling 105 packages of marijuana in secret compartments in his car. It was the 20th time he had smuggled drugs into the U.S. Bishop says his prison sentence is well-deserved, but God hasn’t left his side. “One hundred percent, your judgment is what God wants,” Bishop told the judge in court. “I fell off the way. But my God has never forsaken me.” The San Diego Union Tribune reports that Bishop now leads a Bible study for fellow inmates.

Study Finds Most Pentecostals Refuse to Drink Alcohol

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new study by LifeWay Research found that only 23 percent of Pentecostal or Assemblies of Godaffiliated Christians ever drink. The study, which looked at drinking habits across denominations, discovered that Pentecostals are the least likely of any denomination to drink—coming in a full 10 percent lower than Baptists, the second-most likely to abstain. (By contrast, Lutherans are the most likely denomination to enjoy a drink, at 76 percent.) LifeWay Research Executive Director Scott McConnell said, “While alcohol consumption continues be seen as mainstream in the United States, churchgoers’ attitudes about drinking haven’t changed much in the past decade.”

A scene from the movie ‘Breakthrough’

Christian Movie Trailer Goes Viral, Hits 30 Million Views in 48 Hours

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he upcoming Christian movie Breakthrough released its trailer in December to incredible hype. The trailer garnered over 30 million views across Facebook, YouTube and other platforms within the first 48 hours of going live. The movie tells the true story of John Smith, who fell beneath an icy Missouri lake and was pronounced dead, and his mother, Joyce, who prayed for him in the emergency room and saw him come back to life. Chrissy Metz, 24

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star of the NBC series This Is Us, plays Joyce Smith in Breakthrough. Executive Producer Samuel Rodriguez celebrated the video’s virality, tweeting, “When a movie trailer receives over 30 million views in 48 hours, breaking the record for a film in its genre, three words best capture our collective sentiment: Glory to God! Prayer, hope, grace, truth and love coming together make the impossible possible, resulting in Breakthrough.” c h a r i s ma m ag. com

PIXELS.COM

Samuel Rodriguez says it’s a record for the genre


The Record God Gave I was in a desperate search for the answer for the sin problem that there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from is in the heart and nature of everyone who is born into this world. ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall After three years of prayerful study of the Scriptures, I found the stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Isaiah 46:9-10 answer in these words of Paul to the Hebrews. God does not wait until after the fact to tell us what has happened; “If the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer instead, He tells the entire world what He will do, and He does it in sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How due time. For example, “the record of His Son” began the first day sin much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit entered into the world through the disobedience of Adam, when God offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead spoke of “the seed of the Woman,” who would “bruise the head of works to serve the living God?” Hebrews 9:13-14. the serpent” Genesis 3:15. About thirty-three hundred years later, God If the blood of animals could ceremonially purify the outward revealed a little more about this “seed of the woman,” saying, “Behold, flesh of a person, so much more would the blood of Christ purify the a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel heart of everyone who would believe and trust in Him! My research of (God with us)” Isaiah 7:14. The “seed of the woman” would also be “the the Scripture revealed the definition of “conscience” in this verse to Son of God” Luke 1:35, and would be “born of a virgin” Matthew 1:23. be “the innermost thoughts and imaginations of a person.” I almost “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the shouted, “That’s my problem; not what I am doing, but what is in my government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called thoughts and imaginations.” The light of why Christ shed His precious Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince blood on the cross burst through the darkness of my mind into my of Peace…” Isaiah 9:6. heart, and the filthiness of my imaginations turned off like a faucet. Isaiah speaks of the birth of Immanuel. He later speaks of His death; My heart was purified in a moment of time that day over twenty-five “His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than years ago. the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle many nations…” Isaiah 52:14-15. I made a lot of people angry with my testimony; “God doesn’t do “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: that,” was a common response. “No one can be ‘free’ from sin.” The first the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are time I said to a good friend and man of God, “Jesus didn’t take the healed” Isaiah 53:5. penalty for our sins,” I thought he would pass out. It’s true, Jesus did The angel Gabriel told Joseph, “thou shalt call his name JESUS: for not take our penalty, punishment, or pay our debt. Instead, He died on he shall save his people from their sins” Matthew 1:21. To the shepherds the cross “to take away our sin” John 1:29, and thus “purify our heart” in the field, Gabriel said, “For unto you is born this day in the city of Acts 15:9. Yet in spite of all the scriptural evidence, I found myself in a David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” Luke 2:11. “Immanuel,” which continual argument against over five hundred years means “God with us,” is more commonly known as of traditional teaching in the church. Finally one day “Christ, the Lord.” Over five hundred years before I understood the Scripture where the apostle John the birth of Christ, God sent the angel Gabriel to spoke of “the record God gave:” foretell His coming into the world. The wonderful “He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; good news to Daniel was, Christ would “… make because he believeth not the record that God gave an end of sins, make reconciliation for iniquity, and of his Son.” I John 3:10 bring in everlasting righteousness …” Daniel 9:24-25. It’s one thing to argue with another person We know Christ died on the cross to make reconciliabout why Christ died for us. Most people have no ation for lost humanity. It was through His death problem even disputing the record of Paul, who on the cross that He also “bruised the head of the spoke of “crucified with Christ” and “freed from sin” serpent” Genesis 3:15, “destroyed the devil” Hebrews Romans 6:6-7, 18, 22, or the apostle John, who gave 2:15, “destroyed the works of the devil” I John 3:8, his record of Christ, “… He was manifested to take “took away the sin of the world” John 1:29, I John away our sins … whosoever abideth in Him sinneth 3:5, and “made an end of sins” Daniel 9:24. All the not…” I John 3:5-6. Jesus told the Jews in His day, things Christ did through His death on the cross “Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: could never be contained in books written by man for he wrote of me” John 5:46. I understand very John 21:25, but Jesus rose again the third day and well that if the people do not believe the apostles sits at the right hand of His Father in heaven to Paul and John, they will never believe me. Today I freely give these things to those who “believe the THE MESSIAH THE PRINCE understand that my job is to preach “the record that truth” and “trust in Him.” The “truth” we must by Leroy Surface God gave of His Son,” and let God deal with those believe is “the record that God gave of His Son.” who hear. It makes those who believe it “free from sin,” and “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and “free indeed” John 8:32-36.

FREE BOOK!

To order, visit cochurch.org or write to: Behold the Lamb n PO Box 750 n Porter, TX 77365


C H A R I S M ATA

BIBLE READING GUIDE

Follow our daily reading plan in each issue of Charisma to read through the Modern English Version Bible in one year. The plan is also available online at charismamag.com/brg.

Sanctus Real’s Chris Rohman, left, and Dustin Lolli at the White House

Worship Breaks Out During White House Faith Briefing

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hristian artists were invited to the White House for a “faith briefing” and ended up erupting in praise. The video of Christian musicians worshipping together at the White House soon went viral. The artists gathered included Kari Jobe, Colton Dixon, Danny Gokey, Tauren Wells and Newsboys’ Michael Tait. In an interview on the “Charisma Connection” podcast, Sanctus Real’s Chris Rohman said the White House extended invitations to influential Christian artists to brief them on how the Trump administration is

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working with the faith community behind the scenes. But Rohman said he had no clue what would happen next. “A few of our peers just got up and started leading some hymns, and before you knew it, we were just deep into worship there,” Rohman says. “I can’t describe the feeling of joy even being in that room.” Wells wrote on Instagram, “What a privilege to declare the name of Jesus in worship and in prayer today at the White House. I was challenged, informed, convicted and inspired.”

Feb. 1

Ex. 30-32; Acts 8

Feb. 2

Ex. 33-34; Ps. 16; Acts 9

Feb. 3

Ex. 35-36; Acts 10

Feb. 4

Ex. 37-38; Ps. 19; Acts 11

Feb. 5

Ex. 39-40; Ps. 15; Acts 12

Feb. 6

Lev. 1-3; Acts 13

Feb. 7

Lev. 4-6; Acts 14

Feb. 8

Lev. 7-9; Acts 15

Feb. 9

Lev. 10-12; Acts 16

Feb. 10

Lev. 13-14; Acts 17

Feb. 11

Lev. 15-17; Acts 18

Feb. 12

Lev. 18-19; Ps. 13; Acts 19

Feb. 13

Lev. 20-22; Acts 20

Feb. 14

Lev. 23-24; Ps. 24; Acts 21

Feb. 15

Lev. 25; Ps. 25-26; Acts 22

Feb. 16

Lev. 26-27; Acts 23

Feb. 17

Num. 1-2; Acts 24

Feb. 18

Num. 3-4; Acts 25

Feb. 19

Num. 5-6; Ps. 22; Acts 26

Feb. 20

Num. 7; Ps. 23; Acts 27

Feb. 21

Num. 8-9; Acts 28

Feb. 22

Num. 10-11; Ps. 27; Mark 1

Feb. 23

Num. 12-13; Ps. 90; Mark 2

Feb. 24

Num. 14-16; Mark 3

Feb. 25

Num. 17-18; Ps. 29; Mark 4

Feb. 26

Num. 19-20; Ps. 28; Mark 5

Feb. 27

Num. 21-23; Mark 6

Feb. 28

Num. 24-27; 1 Cor. 13

c h a r i s ma m ag. com

COURTESY CHRIS ROHMAN | GETTY IMAGES/LUPICO-E+

“AND WHATEVER YOU DO in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” —Colossians 3:17


ARE YOU FAITHFUL TO HIS CALL? The book, BREAKING THE SILENCE by Fred Saleh, discusses how the body of Christ has entered into a time of compromise in Biblical foundations. The message of the cross has been skewed and replaced with entertainment and hyper grace to attract visitors and enlarge membership. The cost to the body of Christ is NOT living a concentrated life. It is time for the body of Christ to be set apart and rise up as the remnant God has ordained in Scripture. Breaking the Silence teaches the principals of the altar and the remnant in relation to God’s Kingdom. You are destined to serve God in all areas of your life. How will you contribute to God’s final plan and purpose for the body of Christ?

Fred Saleh is pastor of The Church on the Rock, Toronto, Ontario “From page one in the Bible, we see two groups of people: One group consists of those who have rejected God’s altar and found for themselves a substitute for God and His rule. The second group, though much fewer in number, approaches God Himself through His true altar. Generally speaking, this second group represents a remnant principle. Consequently, in God’s dealing with man and in man’s approach to God, these two principles are always working together—the principle of the altar and the principle of the remnant.”

“The mark of the Remnant is NOT perfection, but NON-CONFORMITY.”

Purchase your copy of BREAKING THE SILENCE

thechurchontherock.ca/breakingthesilence 1-416-498-7000

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| COVER STORY

Hurting People Need

Real

talk

Brutal honesty has given this unlikely preacher two congregations-—one in-person and the other online

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BY TAYLOR BERGLUND

imberly Jones-Pothier wants to see ordinary people healed from past hurts and having a fresh encounter with the love of God. Jones-Pothier co-pastors the Church of the Harvest Fayetteville in Fayetteville, Georgia, with her husband, Mark Pothier. She was even featured as one of the stars of Oxygen’s reality television series Preachers of Atlanta. But if you catch her on the phone between meetings, she’s not playing games or sneaking a quick break from the busyness. She’s pastoring her second church—a digital community of hundreds of thousands of people cultivated across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Those followers know her as “Real Talk Kim,” the feisty preacher whose alternately encouraging and challenging bite-size Bible teachings may be the only exposure to Christianity they ever receive. These people might never darken the door of a church—but they’ll watch a Facebook Live stream. Maybe it’s her disarming appearance. Between her platinum-blond pixie-cut updo, thick cat-eye glasses and sleek fashion, Jones-Pothier doesn’t look like the average pastor. For that, she’s used to facing judgment, most of all by fellow church members. But she says those experiences have only made her stronger. “There’s something about going to hell,” she says. “You come out on fire.”

Chasing Answers

Jones-Pothier was a prodigal long before she was a preacher. Though raised in the United Pentecostal Church, she bristled from an early age against her church’s religious spirit. By the time she was 20, she had married, divorced and married again—something frowned upon at her church, where Jones-Pothier says “they believed that divorce would send you straight to hell.” Jones-Pothier admits she did not have a relationship with God like she has now, instead chasing temporary answers to her deepest insecurities. She jumped from relationship to relationship—even marriage to marriage—because she felt she needed a man to make her life complete. Shortly before 28

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c h a r i s ma m ag. com


“God loves people with the worst past to create the best futures.”

SHYNE PHOTOGRAPHY

— Kimberly Jones-Pothier


her second marriage, Pastor Rod Parsley warned her to change her ways. Jones-Pothier remembers Parsley telling her, “Kim, I’ve see you and that boy having eyes for each other, and I am not going to bless that relationship. You need to cut it off. You need to stop playing. You’re jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. You already got married, [and] it lasted six months. I’m not going to bless this relationship.” She responded to his rebuke by packing her car in the middle of the night and running away. She married her second husband and had a family. They became praise and worship pastors for the first seven years of their marriage. But the final 10 years of their marriage became “toxic”

doing the work,” Jones-Pothier says. “I told Him I’d give Him a year to heal me. He took five. I was so bad off. Now I look around and I’m just so thankful— thankful that I didn’t abort the mission, that all those times I thought God was not around, He definitely was around. He was using my pain as a purpose. ... He said, ‘I’m just going to take you out to rock bottom and make you find out who the rock is at the bottom, which is Jesus.’” She had to learn to stop holding onto her own pain and release it to God. “I would lay in bed at night and just cry in my mom and dad’s house,” Jones-Pothier says. “I finally got to that place where it was just me and God, and I was desperate. I was like, ‘God, take this

“Pastor Kim is without a doubt one of the most anointed and gifted voices on the planet today.” —Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez

and spiraled out of control. Her husband was an alcoholic who would frequently leave the family for days to binge-drink. He became abusive. “Sin will take you further than you want to go, cost you more than you want to pay and keep you longer than you want to stay,” Jones-Pothier says. “That’s what happened to me. Abuse had set into my marriage and, in 2006, I found myself in a bush one night, running for my life, realizing that if I didn’t get out of the house I was going to die that night. I’ve never been so scared in my life. After that, I called my parents, and they came and got me, and that’s when my healing process started.” Jones-Pothier says she lost everything when that happened. She lost her $500,000 house, her Mercedes and all of her friends. She had to swallow her pride, take her two sons and move into a 10-by-10-foot bedroom—“the size of my old walk-in closet”—at her parents’ place. She got a job at Bloomingdale’s. Faced with the futility and failure of all her efforts, she surrendered. And slowly, God began to heal her from the inside out. “I surrendered, and God just started 30

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pain away from me. If you’re not going to heal my marriage, take this pain away.’ The first time I ever heard God really was when He said, ‘I ain’t gonna take it away. You’ve got to walk away from it. You’ve got to stop nursing it. You’ve got to stop going back. I can’t make you do anything, Kim. You’ve got to surrender.’ That’s when I really found God.” During that time, Jones-Pothier got a job in cosmetics—an unlikely fit, she notes, because she hated people. But her bitterness and contempt melted away “one face at a time,” as she heard people share their stories of trials and adversities. She learned many people had even worse stories than hers, and that shook her out of her self-pity and awakened her love for others. Her turning point came on her 39th birthday. She was stuck on the side of the road after her car broke down. Rather than turning back to past bitterness or negativity, she decided to take the moment to make an encouraging video and post it to social media. “I just encouraged people not to give up, and even if they created their

own storm, God is going to use those storms to elevate you to your purpose,” Jones-Pothier says. “‘Don’t give up. Don’t get weary of well doing.’ That video ended up going viral, and I ended up going from 600 friends to like 200,000, and then it just kept growing and growing.” Jones-Pothier says she doesn’t know how or why it went viral and gives God all the credit. She believes even her hastily chosen username, @realtalkkim, was God-ordained. “God gave me my name, Real Talk Kim, on Twitter,” she says. “He knew that I was going to have a ministry where I could really get real with people. That name just sets it up. Twitter gave it to me because my name was already used, so Twitter said, ‘Here, this is a good night for you.’ And I took it. Who in a million years [thought] just five years later Real Talk Kim would be a brand? It fits my ministry.” Now Jones-Pothier is the co-pastor of Church of the Harvest Fayetteville and, thanks to her online following, a traveling evangelist and preacher. She’s also in a healthy marriage and recently released a c h a r i s ma m ag. com


C H R I S T I A N FA I T H C E N T E R C H U R C H

Real Talk Kim is a feisty preacher with a huge following.

book, When Your Bad Meets His Good. She even managed to repair her relationship with Parsley, to whom she didn’t speak for years after immediately ditching him because of his rebuke. In 2016, Parsley—who pastors World Harvest Church Columbus in Columbus, Ohio—reached out to Jones-Pothier and asked her to preach at one of his church’s biggest camp meetings. She was flabbergasted. “The very man I left in the middle of the night to go disobey his words, he asked me to come back and preach one of the biggest camp meetings at World Harvest Church,” Jones-Pothier says. “Man, that was like vindication, like redemption. God, you are the coolest—that I’m preaching now on the platform of the very man who basically prophesied, ‘Your marriage is going to stink.’ My whole life is like a bunch of redemption. Now [Parsley is] my spiritual dad. ... He’s one of my spiritual people I really honor and look up to now.” Parsley likewise considers Jones-Pothier to be a spiritual daughter and says she’s come a long way. ch ar is ma ma g.com

“As her pastor during a tumultuous season in her life, I have seen the transformation from an insecure young woman to a powerfully anointed woman of God,” Parsley says. “With keen insight and endearing humor, Kim speaks with authority and the redemptive love of God. ... As her spiritual father, I’m so proud of her and this dynamic message that’s touching the hearts of an entire generation.”

Learning Lessons

Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, says the message and testimony of Real Talk Kim is transforming lives. “Pastor Kim is without a doubt one of the most anointed and gifted voices on the planet today,” Rodriguez says. But as Jones-Pothier will repeatedly point out, to her own amazement, all this success has only happened within the last five years. Yet she says she doesn’t feel any different or have any problem acclimating to her newfound fame.

“I get asked a lot, just even when I do regular interviews, ‘How you do you feel with this ... new level?’” Jones-Pothier says. “Man, I don’t feel no different. I’m just honored and thankful that God’s given me this and that He trusts me with this. I don’t feel any different. I really don’t. It’s just people. I don’t even pay attention to it. I just get up every day and [stay] intentional.” Jones-Pothier handles every single social media interaction by herself across her many platforms. She doesn’t have a team to manage her thousands of followers, mostly because she believes God has given them to her, so they are her responsibility. She says her only goals are to make God proud and prevent people from making the same mistakes she made. “When God was healing me, my one prayer request was, ‘God, I want to get to such a place that I can be there for people,’” she says. “Because if I would have had a Real Talk Kim in my life, I would not have made half the mistakes that I made.” She feels called to reach the downand-out because “the harder you fall, the higher you bounce. God loves people with the worst past to create the best futures, because people are sleeping on you. They don’t see you coming back. All of a sudden? Ta-da! There you are. And they weren’t even ready for it. They weren’t even thinking you were going to make it.” Because of her audience, she tries to focus on the practical more than the theological. “I’m trying to let people get back to the basics,” Jones-Pothier says. “[I’m there] at 3:00 in the morning, when they’re having panic attacks and fear’s gripping their life, [to remind them] that they’ve got God on the inside of them, that they can lay hands on themselves, because the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives on the inside of them when they stay focused on God and they keep God the center.” Though her messages are largely motivational, she says it’s important to instill people with a proper fear of the Lord. But that’s very different, she argues, than making someone afraid of religion or of disobeying the rules. True fear of the Lord comes from selflessness, from F e br u a r y 2 01 9 | C H A RI S MA

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Kimberly Jones-Pothier poses for a photo with some of her fans.

remembering that you live your life for God and that you are divinely called to be “Jesus with skin on” to a world that desperately needs Him. It’s a message she says she keeps close to her heart: that her ministry is successful, not because of her, but because of the Spirit inside her. “I’m proof that God can qualify you and put you places you never thought you would go,” she says. “So keep your heart right. Don’t give up. All you people out there that are reading this, I don’t care if you’re 58, 48, 38 or 78—it is never too late for God to open the window to heaven for your life. And He’s going to give you back everything the devil stole. He’s about to give you back seven times restitution. What would normally take 12 years is going to take two. That’s how God rolls. So just surrender. Just let Him blow your mind.”

Discipling Next Gen

Christian leaders across the country have written hundreds of articles dissecting Millennials and Generation Z, trying to find the magic cure to reverse years of declining religious affiliation. Jones-Pothier—whose online church community includes many Millennials—recommends not overthinking the problem. Contrary to stereotypes that Millennials are stubborn and rebellious, Jones-Pothier believes, “They really aren’t. 32

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They’re just not going to fall for fake.” Instead, what she sees the next generation crave is authenticity and responsibility. Jones-Pothier says Millennials can read through fake from a mile away, and they’ll turn the other way. So she takes the opposite approach: brutal honesty. “I have such a huge Millennial following, and I think it’s because [they say], ‘Tell us—don’t go easy on us,’” she says. “It’s really tough love, you know. In church, we’ve got so many seekerfriendly churches now. I ain’t got no problem with them, but that’s not what God’s called me to do. God’s called me to get in your face and say, ‘You know what? It ain’t your dad’s fault. It ain’t your mama’s fault. They might have done everything that you say they did to you, but you, at some point, have got to get up and leave that pain. Get up. Quit being angry about it and just punch the devil in the teeth, man, with your story of healing and restoration.’” Her other secret weapon is giving these young churchgoers both lots of responsibility and the autonomy to handle that responsibility as they see fit. “I just believe the key is getting these kids and getting them involved,” she says. “You cannot smother them. You can’t micromanage them. You’ve just got to let them fly. So that’s what we do at our church. ... We let them fly, and it’s amazing watching them. And that’s the

way you’re going to have to do it. I believe they’re hungry. They want to see change.” It’s an approach that works for more than just Millennials. Thanks to her unique style and her appearance on Preachers of Atlanta, Jones-Pothier says she’s attracted a whole new audience of people who would never otherwise listen to God. She’s seen her inspirational videos go viral and get passed around corners of the internet better known for vulgarity than holiness. For some people, it’s the only Christian content they may see all day, week or even year. She couldn’t be prouder—or feel the weight more profoundly. “I have altar calls on my Facebook lines, and I’ll have 1,200 people give their heart to the Lord,” Jones-Pothier says. “And then at that point, I’ve got to start discipling them.” That discipling results in followers who may never walk into a church, but they’ll watch her sermon every week after it’s uploaded on YouTube. They’ll watch her on Facebook Live as she explains how to experience the power of the Holy Spirit or how to study the Bible. “I even get to watch as people that have been following me for two years—I’m talking strung-out addicts or [people struggling with] anorexia—I get to watch them now all of a sudden getting completely healed and restored, getting married, their kids are coming back to them because they were taken away from the addiction,” Jones-Pothier says. “I just get to watch as these people really get delivered. And that keeps me going.” So what’s next for Real Talk Kim? “People tell me all the time, ‘I bet you knew this would happen,’” she says. “Lord, no! It wasn’t even on my vision board. I never dreamed, ever, that I would be where I am now. So if God’s just going to keep doing this, I’m just riding this ride. I’m thankful. I’m humbled. I’m honored. And I don’t even know where I’ll be in five more years.” TAYLOR BERGLUNDis the associate editor of Charisma Magazine and host of several podcasts on the Charisma Podcast Network. c h a r i s ma m ag. com

SHARKISHA MCCLAIN

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Kimberly JonesPothier’s no-holds-barred approach shines in a powerful message, “Surrendered to Win,” at realtalk.charismamag.com.


“I HAD NO IDEA THAT I WAS MAKING MONEY FROM ABORTIONS!” Charlotte, NC – I am a PRO-LIFE father of 3 beautiful children, husband of a remarkable wife (who is a daughter of a pastor), deacon in my church, home group leader and Sunday school teacher. I have stood for the life of the unborn child at the local abortion clinic on numerous Saturday mornings and have supported life through our finances at crisis pregnancy centers, but my heart was crushed when I received some startling news. It all started after having a conversation with a friend who told me about his unfortunate revelation, and so began the journey of doing my own in-depth research. Unfortunately, after reviewing my findings, I was totally overwhelmed with dismay and unbelief. I had no idea that I was making money from abortions! I had no idea I was making money on the sale of pornography! The revelation that every time someone used an abortion drug or bought an X-rated movie, I was making a cut of that profit with God’s money. It had never occurred to me that the companies that I owned in my 401(k), IRAs, mutual funds, ETFs and stock and bond portfolios were the very same companies that were manufacturing, selling and promoting the vilest products of immorality and unholiness that the depraved human mind can conjure. It was then I realized I was just like hundreds of millions of other PRO-LIFE Christians in this world who were having the wool pulled over their eyes by Wall Street. As I dug deeper, I realized it’s not just pornography and abortion. There was a whole host of other issues I was supporting with the dollars God had trusted me with as a steward, such as human trafficking, slavery, anti-family activism, anti-family entertainment, and the list went on. In 1 Corinthians 10:31, it says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or WHATEVER you do, do all to the glory of God.” I realized at that moment that my investments should be made for God’s glory, so I made the necessary changes. Proverbs 16:8 states, “Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without justice.” And in Ephesians 5:11, it says, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” This issue could not be clearer to me, I could not stand before God on judgment day as a steward of His resources and try to justify that I knowingly invested His money in “works of darkness.” Shortly after my “road to Emmaus revelation,” I received the call from the Lord to take a stand and to defund the “enemy” by educating likeminded believers, to save the lives of the unborn and make a difference for the kingdom. That is why Quartermaster Stewardship Ministries was birthed in the summer of 2017 to educate about stewardship of God’s resources, specifically through providing a Pro-Life Impact Report. What is a Pro-Life Impact Report? It is a free report that will educate you on what’s inside your investments so that you too can be educated and take a stand against darkness. The truth of the matter is there are some great Christian organizations that challenge us to boycott certain companies who support Planned Parenthood. There are actually 38 companies that directly support Planned Parenthood and hundreds more that do so indirectly, but the reality of the protesting impact is negligible. That is why as a ministry, our goal is to rally the body of Christ to have a unified voice by stopping our support of these companies through our investments. As a 501(c)3, there is nothing being sold; it truly is a FREE report for you to do with as you wish. To request your FREE Pro-life Impact Report, text PLR to 555888 or go to www.qmstewardship.org. Sincerely, Don


GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK-WILDPIXEL; E+-PROXYMINDER; ISTOCK-HSYNCOBAN

| SCANDAL


Spoiled Fruit How leaders with hidden sin can fake it until revealed

C

BY R.T. KENDALL

aution: Being spiritually gifted can be hazardous to your spiritual health. Why? Because your success might lead you to conclude you have God’s approval. The last thing you or I want is to become yesterday’s man or woman. No one wants to be a hasbeen. No one needs to be that. There are two kinds of yesterday’s man or woman. The first is when the leader is openly put to one side and made to forfeit a ministry; this is when they have been found out and live with disgrace and embarrassment. The second is when the leader is disapproved of by God but nevertheless continues in ministry. Often, the leader’s followers do not have a clue the leader has lost the conscious approval of God, so they continue on as if nothing happened. If the Holy Spirit were completely withdrawn from the church today, speaking generally, 90 percent of cha r isma ma g.co m

the work of the church would continue as if nothing happened. This can apply to an individual as well.

Yesterday’s Man

King Saul was rejected by God but remained king of Israel for another 20 years. Only the prophet Samuel knew Saul lost God’s approval. “The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him from ruling over Israel?’” (1 Sam. 16:1a). The anointing in this case may be defined as experiencing the conscious approval of God. That is what Saul once had but lost. And yet Saul remained king and in that sense was always regarded as God’s “anointed” (1 Sam. 24:6). As I show in my book The Anointing, “anointing” is a tricky term and can be used in different ways. Being yesterday’s man or woman has nothing to do with age, being made redundant or retirement. You F e br u a r y 2 01 9 | C H A RI S MA

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can be young and be yesterday’s man; Saul was only 40. You can be old and be tomorrow’s man; God did not use Moses until he was 80. The scary thing about being spiritually gifted is that the gifts and calling of God are “without repentance” (Rom.11:29b, KJV)—that is, “irrevocable” (ESV). Strange as this may seem, it means that godliness will not earn God’s gifting, nor lack of godliness forfeit it. The gifts are bestowed by God’s

on our congregation when he preached. It was extraordinary. I learned later that the whole time he was at our church he lived a double life—namely, of adultery. A woman who was not his wife followed him wherever he went and was staying in the same hotel while he preached with such success. He was later found out and lost his credentials. The other shock came when I had a vision of Jesus looking at my district superintendent who came to

“If the Holy Spirit were completely withdrawn

from the church today, speaking generally, 90 percent of the work of the church would continue as if nothing happened.

will; indeed by the Holy Spirit “to each one individually as he wills” (1 Cor. 12:11). And yet because one’s giftedness or success may flourish, such a person might assume he or she still has God’s approval. One might easily conclude, “God must be pleased with me or He would not bless me as He has.” You may have heard this expression: “You can always tell a successful man, but you can’t tell him much.” I once cautioned a spiritual leader about something that worried me. He replied, “Why should I listen to you, when you only reach hundreds in Westminster Chapel, but I reach thousands?” That is why some people misunderstand God’s ways. They assume success to be proof of God’s blessing and approval. I had two major shocks when I was young in ministry; both pertained to spiritual heroes that I almost worshipped. The first was a very powerful evangelist who came to my old church in Ashland, Kentucky, every year. I was enthralled by him. I never witnessed such anointing, persuasiveness and sense of the fear of God as would fall 36

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preach for me at my first pastorate in Palmer, Tennessee. Months before, my baptism of the Holy Spirit was accompanied by a vision of Jesus. For several months afterward, a vision of the Lord’s face looking at someone would appear, and I could tell the spiritual state of that person by the way the Lord looked at them. To my utter astonishment, the Lord looked at my district superintendent with intense anger and disapproval. I was puzzled. How could this be? I regarded this man as one of the godliest men alive. I told no one about this. But 12 years later, I learned that this man was having an affair at that very time. He was later found out, lost his credentials and died in shame. Here is what sometimes happens with those who fall but continue on in ministry. First, they give into temptation—usually regarding sex, money or truthfulness. With men, it is often connected to pornography. They initially fear they will lose their power. But they notice that their anointing to preach, make money, heal or prophesy remains. They then say to themselves, “God must be pleased

with me—making me an exception— or He would not continue to bless my gifting.” They take success as a sign that character is not what matters; it is the gift that matters. They therefore feel no conviction of sin or guilt for their double life. A compromising lifestyle becomes the norm. Some get caught, some don’t—that is, for a while. Numbers 32:23b (MEV) says, “Be sure your sin will find you out.” It is only a matter of time until this haunting warning comes to pass. Jesus goes a step further in Luke 12:2-3: “For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light. And what you have whispered in the ear in private rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.” After being rejected by God, Saul found out that he still had the gift of prophesying. This probably convinced him he could disregard Samuel’s pronouncement. Samuel told him that God rejected him (1 Sam. 13:13-14). But Saul was unteachable and unreachable. And yet the extraordinary gift to prophesy continued to flourish (1 Sam. 10:9-12). Lo and behold, on his way to kill young David, Saul prophesied. And lest you think this was something he worked up on his own, it is written that the Spirit of God actually lay behind his prophesying. “The Spirit of God came upon him also. And he went on and he also prophesied ... Therefore they say, ‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’” (1 Sam. 19:23b-24). How does one explain this? I answer: First, the gifts are irrevocable, and second, God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isa. 55:9). There are things about God and His ways I have not been able to figure out. I have to accept what is written in His Word. Gifting may come to us at two levels: common grace and the Holy Spirit. First, our gifting may come by God’s common grace—His special grace in nature. It is called “common” not because it is ordinary but because it is given commonly to all. It is a creation c h a r i s ma m ag. com


gift. It explains one’s natural talent, charisma, I.Q.—the way God made us. Keep in mind, this is apart from conversion or spirituality. Unsaved people have this. If such people are converted and later fall into sin, the Holy Spirit could be withdrawn from them and they would continue as though nothing happened. How is that possible? Because they are so gifted. The second gifting is what God imparts by the Holy Spirit: one’s supernatural anointing or gifts of the Spirit. They are irrevocable. But God puts us on our honor to honor Him by obedience, gratitude and holy living. Sadly some abuse this privilege and become yesterday’s man or woman. Some get caught sooner than later. Others—like Saul—are found out openly later than sooner.

Warning Signs

How do we become yesterday’s man or woman? Here are five ways: 1) By not being accountable. King Saul was supposedly accountable to Samuel. He owed everything to Samuel. But he foolishly thought he didn’t need Samuel any longer, as if he had outgrown Samuel. Here are the famous words of yesterday’s man: “I’m accountable only to God.” I reply: No one is that spiritual. We all need to be accountable to those who know us well and are not afraid to warn us, ask us pointed questions, know where we are at any moment and lovingly but impartially warn us when we need it. I warned a man who was supposed to be accountable to me. He stopped returning my phone calls and answering my letters. Once I eventually caught up with him, I told him, “You are going to become yesterday’s man.” Like Saul, he was unteachable and unreachable. His gift flourished. That was several years ago. I’m sorry, but he clearly became yesterday’s man. 2) By taking ourselves too seriously. People who take themselves very seriously are hard to reach. They are almost always self-centered, narcissistic, closed to criticism and convinced they are special to God: that God will let them ch ar is ma ma g.com

off the hook should they err. This was King Saul. In 1 Samuel 13:9b, he ordered, “Bring here to me the burnt offering.” This was something only the priest should do (Num. 18), but Saul obviously reasoned, “I’m king, aren’t I?” He elevated himself to a level to which he was not called. People who take themselves too seriously reckon they can do anything and everything. Saul was king but not qualified to be a priest as well. 3) By finding an excuse to cover our wrongdoing. When caught offering the burnt offering, Samuel asked Saul: “What have you done?” (1 Sam. 13:11). The king justified his mistake: “I saw that the people were scattered from me … ‘The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not yet appeased the face of the Lord” (1 Sam. 13:11-12a). Saul sounded pious! Some use a theological excuse to cover a moral failure. Some even develop a pious air and convince

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Watch as R.T. Kendall preaches an insightful message on 1 Samuel 16 at firstsamuel.charismamag.com.

to hear from God. The Holy Spirit— who wrote the Bible (2 Tim. 3:15, 2 Pet. 1:21)—will never lead anyone to go against what He has written. 5) By going against Holy Scripture. Here is how to get on the fast track to become yesterday’s man or woman: underestimate God’s Word and go against it. What Saul did was to break the ceremonial Law. The Law is threefold: moral (the Ten Commandments), civil (the way the people of Israel should govern themselves) and ceremonial (how God wants to be worshipped). That bit of the ceremonial Law may seem insignificant. But Jesus said, “Until heaven and earth pass away, not one dot or one mark will pass from the law until all be fulfilled” (Matt. 5:18). Lest you think Saul’s sin was a

“Some [leaders] get caught, some don’t-that is, for a while. Numbers 32:23b (MEV) says, ‘Be sure your sin will find you out.’ It is only a matter of time until this haunting warning comes to pass.

people of their sincerity. 4) By blaming others for our own folly. Saul blamed Samuel: “You did not come to the appointed assembly days, and the Philistines are gathering themselves together at Mikmash” (1 Sam. 13:11b). King Saul used this to excuse himself and blame Samuel. Not only that, but Saul claimed he didn’t really want to do what he did: “So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering” (1 Sam. 13:12). The NIV translates his excuse as “I felt compelled.” Imagine this—being compelled to go against Scripture. Beware of anyone who justifies their departure from Scripture by claiming

one-off incident that should be overlooked, King Uzziah committed the same sin and was afflicted with leprosy (2 Chron. 26:18-21). Psalm 138:2b says, “You have exalted your word above all your name.” This shows how important God’s word is to Himself! No one likes the taste or smell of spoiled fruit. But that is what we are if we justify an unholy walk with God. He will find us out. R.T. KENDALLwas the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London for 25 years. He is the author of several books, including his most recent book, Whatever Happened to the Gospel? (Charisma House). F e br u a r y 2 01 9 | C H A RI S MA

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| TESTIMONY

Growing the Vine

A move of God in Northern Ireland provides the blueprint for reclaiming cities for Christ

astor Alan Scott says the key to seeing revival break out in a city is for ordinary believers to partner with God in both the supernatural and the supernarrative—to operate in the gifts of the Spirit and to understand how their everyday life fits into God’s grand story. He saw both these things happen at his former church— Causeway Coast Vineyard in Coleraine, Northern Ireland—and as a result witnessed a move of God break out in a historically divided and secular city. When that happens, even a Starbucks can become a site for the supernatural. During that move of God, one of Scott’s friends was at a coffee shop when he met a young man whose partner had just come to faith. He told the young man, “Hey, here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to pray in a moment. A wind is going to come into this coffee shop. It’s going to swirl around you. Then you’re going to know that God is real, and you’re going to give your life to him.” The young man, skeptical, shrugged and said, “OK.” The two bowed their heads to pray together, and the moment Scott’s friend began to pray, a mighty wind came into the coffee shop and swirled around the young skeptic. Immediately, he gave his life to Christ. “It’s kind of easy bringing people to Jesus when that kind of stuff is breaking out,” Scott says. “But that kind of stuff is a product not of a sudden movement of God but of a gradual movement of His people going after the city, changing the atmosphere of the city. When that kind of climate takes root, it makes everything a little bit easier.” Scott knows from personal experience. He first came to Christ through an awakening in his community, helped usher in a move of God at his first church and is now eagerly contending for the Spirit to work through his new church in Anaheim, California. It’s not going unnoticed. Pete Greig, the founder of the 24-7 Prayer Movement, says: “When Alan Scott speaks, I try to listen. Where he leads, I try to follow.” For Scott, community-shifting transformation won’t be accomplished by scheduled revivals or frenzied church meetings but rather by years of diligently sowing seed into a city.

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BY JOSHUA OLSON


JOHN DOUKAS PHOTOGRAPHY

The Anaheim Vineyard thrives under the leadership of Pastors Alan and Kathryn Scott.

“Every church thinks their city At the same time, one of is hard to reach, and every city is Scott’s friends began attending hard to reach—when we stay in a Christian youth organizathe building,” Scott says. “But tion and invited him to join. it’s amazing how open people are Scott began attending, until when we actually move beyond one night he got saved during the services into our communia screening of the 1977 ties. People are desperately open. miniseries Jesus of Nazareth. They’re desperately looking for He says he was “absolutely life change. [Christians] can start arrested” by what he saw there. They can start with the on screen and—despite not people around them whom God knowing any of the sinner’s is moving in.” prayer etiquette—decided to Pastors Kathryn and Alan Scott Scott spoke to Charisma about follow God because “what I his experience with moves of God, saw on the screen is real and I his journey from Northern Ireland need that in my life.” to Southern California and how believers can be the catalysts for By the time he was 27, Scott and his wife, Kathryn, were spiritual renewal in their cities. co-founding and pastoring the Causeway Coast Vineyard in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. They learned a lot during those Moves of God early years of ministry. Scott wasn’t raised a Christian. In fact, he says, he was a teen“I think it’s the same for any pastor,” Scott says. “We always ager before he ever met a Christian. But that all changed after think it’s about building the church, and then you realize, his brother became a follower of Jesus. And his brother wasn’t Actually, Jesus was forming me. I am the project, and all these the only one coming to Christ in his city. things that are happening around me are designed to create some“Suddenly, there was—a ‘move of God’ would be too strong, thing within me.” but definitely something stirring in our community—where Coleraine, a coastal town of approximately 25,000, enjoys some skinheads and some punks became believers,” Scott says. influence belying its small size thanks to 3 million tourists who “One of them happened to be my brother, so I watched the annually visit the famous Causeway Coast. When the church transformation of his life, slightly intrigued and slightly afraid.” was founded, Scott says the town’s Protestant and Catholic ch ar is ma ma g.com

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Alan Scott and his wife, Kathryn, became pastors at the Anaheim Vineyard in February 2018.

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wherever God gave them favor— eventually ministering everywhere from hospitals to public schools to branches of government. One key initiative that paved the way for revival was the church’s healing ministry. “We really invented a simple model in the community,” Scott says. “We erected a banner that says, ‘Healing.’ We got out four or six chairs, and we literally waited for people to take a seat, [even] in the rain or in the freezing cold. As we did that, God had this beautiful way of showing up and transforming lives.” People began getting healed. In a small town like Coleraine, news travels quickly—and thanks to its tourist traffic, news travels far. Healed people brought their friends to be healed too. Scott recalls that once a busload of soccer players pulled up to the healing banner, ready to see the team injuries healed. “I had people from all over Ireland and even beyond Ireland come,” Scott says. “I saw every conceivable cancer healed—sometimes really dramatically, most of the time really slowly over a period of time. But it never gets old. It’s just an amazing thing to watch God do what no one else can do.” The supernatural started but didn’t stop with healing. In October 2013, a prophetic voice told Causeway Coast,

“This month you have seen on average three people a day come to faith. It has astounded you, but I tell you that from this day you are going to see between five and 10 people a day coming to faith.” The following week, 35 people came to faith. By 2014, Scott says “a significant move of God” took hold in Coleraine, and thousands of people came to faith. Scott says for a time, 56 to 70 people started a relationship with Christ each day. During that time, Scott says the Holy Spirit gave ordinary people prophetic words, words of knowledge and dream interpretation. He believes this move of God is at least somewhat duplicable and the result of reaping a long-sown harvest. “When you sow a seed in the community over a period of time—the long haul, spending every week on the streets ... it actually begins to alter the calling of the city,” Scott says. “It begins to change and blooms this beautiful receptivity to the community, where it’s just easier for people to come to faith.”

Called to California

Alan and Kathryn Scott never imagined they’d leave the Causeway Coast Vineyard. After all, their years of work were finally shifting the atmosphere of the entire community, and they loved their brothers and sisters in the church there. But the Lord had other plans c h a r i s ma m ag. com

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communities were sharply divided, a situation which was only growing more tense with time. Though Scott’s initial focus was on growing and developing his small church community, his entire paradigm shifted during a church leadership retreat. During that time, Scott felt God impress upon his heart, “If you’ll go after the lost, I will look after the church.” “As church planters, we’d been trying to build the church, and it really isn’t our job to do that,” Scott says. “Jesus said, ‘I will build my church.’ ... That was the seminal moment for our church, because we began cultivating an outward focus: to go out and engage the lost, to get churchgoers to think beyond the building and develop ministries—[from] healings on the street to compassion ministries. To desire to pursue the Father as He was pursuing the lost.” Causeway Coast’s first step was to bring peace to its polarized community. Scott says parades were an area of significant tension in Northern Ireland, stoking division and escalating violence within a region. That year, before a key parade, police asked Scott if his church would come attend the event. When Scott asked why, the police officers told him, “We can see that when you show up, there happens to be a change in the atmosphere.” From there, the church began serving


The economy “of the kingdom

of God is quite simple: Each new step in the kingdom costs us everything we have gained to date. — John Wimber

for the Scott family. “For a long time, Kathryn had sensed God speaking about us living in the U.S. at some point,” Scott says. “I thought it’d be maybe after our kids had gone to college and all that. But then we were in the gathering, and very clearly the Holy Spirit began to speak and say, ‘I want you to build an altar again. It’s time to pioneer again.’ Honestly, you tend to tuck those kinds of things away, but from then on, it was like prophecy central. Everywhere I went, people prophesied over us. Initially, I didn’t want to hear it—we were loving the community there and loving what God was doing. Who would want to leave something like that? It’s what we dreamed of and desired for years. But the Lord kept speaking into it.” In June 2017, the Scotts moved to the U.S.—without any clear plan of where to go next or what God was calling them to. Their young daughters weren’t in school. Neither parent had a job. They grieved the loss of their Coleraine community. Scott calls it the “usual Jesus story”: “He says, ‘Come, follow Me,’ and He doesn’t tell you where or what or who. So we just followed Him.” In December, the Anaheim Vineyard—the original Vineyard Church founded and pastored by John Wimber— announced its then-lead pastor, Lance Pittluck, was retiring. The Scotts were invited ch ar is ma ma g.com

to seek the pastorship and by February 2018 were installed as the new lead pastors of the Anaheim Vineyard. “John Wimber has this beautiful statement where he says, ‘The economy of the kingdom of God is quite simple: Each new step in the kingdom costs us everything we have gained to date,’” Scott says. “That’s been the reality for us. As we take another step in the story, it’s going to cost us. Everything we’ve gained, every breakthrough, all the territory and all that the Lord has done, we have to surrender at His feet again as we take our next step into His story.” Scott admits he was initially nervous taking over such a historic and well-established church, but he says the Anaheim Vineyard welcomed his family with open arms. In a way, he says, both pastors and community alike needed this change. “The church had been in decline for

overnight.” He openly wondered whether it was simply a honeymoon period, but Bill Johnson—pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California—prophesied to Scott that the transition would be free of difficulty and opposition. So far, Scott confirms, he’s been right. And as he’s gotten acclimated to Southern California, he’s noticed something stirring among the charismatic churches of the West Coast. “Kathryn and I felt a sovereign push to step into a story He is specifically writing in Southern California,” Scott says. “He didn’t tell us what that story was; He just invited us to move to be part of it.” Recently, Jeremy and Katie Riddle announced they would be joining the Scotts as co-pastors at the Anaheim Vineyard, taking oversight of worship, prayer and creativity. Scott lists the Riddles, Bethel Church and Bridgetown Church in Portland, Oregon, as examples

Within the first six weeks of Pastor Alan Scott’s leadership, attendance at Anaheim Vineyard doubled.

quite a long time, and so people were really desperate for hope,” Scott says. “We’re now living in California, where it’s brown most of the year, but if it rains for a few days, the ground and the mountains around us turn green almost immediately. It’s been a little bit like that in the transition. People were just desperate for a little bit of hope, and as we engaged in that and brought what Jesus has given us to the table, you can see the hope bloom around us.” Within the first six weeks of leading Anaheim Vineyard, Scott says the church’s attendance doubled “pretty much

of God writing a story on the West Coast that goes beyond the church building. “I think the Spirit of God is doing something,” Scott says. “I think it’ll look quite different and will have ingredients of the supernatural, empowered ministry and community formation, and it’s so beautiful. ... There’s definitely something on the West Coast that is flourishing. I think often the media presents California, as it did with Ireland, as, ‘Here’s a community that’s hard to reach.’ But I think those are the ones where God stores the treasures. It’s often in the places F e br u a r y 2 01 9 | C H A RI S MA

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The Anaheim Vineyard, founded by John Wimber, has a rich, Spirit-filled heritage.

of darkness He stores great treasure.” Even before Scott moved to town, he was influencing his West Coast neighbors. In the book Scattered Servants, Bridgetown Pastor John Mark Comer says Scott’s work in Coleraine influenced Comer’s own work in Portland. “Very few leaders think like Alan Scott,” Comer says. “Even less live like Alan Scott. His wide, expansive vision of transformation, not just for churches, but for entire cities, hits a deep nerve in my soul. ... Seeing Alan’s community in Northern Ireland cast a vision in my mind of what could be here in America. But being with Alan is what’s sparked a desire to open up every moment of every day to the Spirit’s work in my own city. This is a voice we need to hear.” But for now, Scott says he and his family are thrilled to simply be part of the Anaheim Vineyard and its rich Spirit-filled heritage. He describes it as “living the stories.” And he thinks God has a powerful destiny still in store for it.

Church and City

Scott says the most important step to changing the atmosphere of the city is 42

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cultivating both an outward focus and a servant’s heart. The former requires leaders to critically examine which church systems or structures push focus inward rather than stretching the body out. Scott says it’s one of the first things he had to change after becoming pastor of the Anaheim Vineyard. “The natural drift of life is inward,” he says. “Particularly when something’s in decline, we begin to look at what’s going wrong and we try to preserve it. We try to maintain it. We have this posture that looks towards the past and tries to reclaim that. So we grow increasingly insular. But our hope is always this outward journey. It’s always building towards what the Father is doing beyond this. That’s what stretches us, allows us to grow and then really creates spiritual formation.” Living outwardly means abandoning the scarcity mentality, feeling liberated in Christ to give everything away—even your life—if that’s what He demands. After all, as Wimber said, every new step requires the loss of every previous gain. It means following Christ in both the supernatural and the supernarrative. Many charismatics are already quite good at living out the supernatural.

Dream interpretation, prophecy and healing all serve both the body and the community. But Scott acknowledges some believers aren’t ready to do healings under a banner in the middle of the street. Other times, it’s simply not appropriate. For those times and people, Scott suggests living in the supernarrative—finding how your story fits into God’s story. “Start where you are,” Scott suggests to readers. “Most of you will be in your workplace, and that’s a place of kingdom expansion. God is at work in our work and you should recognize how to partner with Him. ... The supernarrative is the recognition that work itself is holy and honorable to the Lord—learning with Him in that area to say, ‘OK. I’m a barista today in Starbucks. What is the kingdom narrative that is unfolding here? What is God doing through this workplace?’” Once that’s done, the other main step to community change is cultivating a servant’s heart. Scott cautions against becoming the city’s Pharisees, policing the city into a state of faux holiness and shaming people into forgiveness. Rather, he recommends adopting a father’s heart: speaking hope, life and compassion into the city’s residents and praying for its ultimate restoration. “We come as partners to the city,” Scott says. “We come with a servant’s towel around our arm. We look at the needs and the dreams of the city, and we learn how to unlock that together. I don’t think it’s a conquest thing.” When ordinary believers stop trying to do their own thing and lean into God, Scott believes they may be surprised at how much He’s already doing in their city. “The truth is, He’s been working in our community all along,” he says. “Instead of trying to get Him to do what we want Him to do, how about we just go join Him in what He’s already doing?” JOSHUA OLSON i s a freelance writer for Charisma. c h a r i s ma m ag. com

JOHN DOUKAS PHOTOGRAPHY

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Find yourself challenged by Pastor Alan Scott’s powerful word on “loving our city to life” at scott.charismamag.com.


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Are You Winning the War Against Sugar? How cleaning up your diet can help you win your fight with cancer

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he future is bright, and we can defeat cancer. Unfortunately, our current system is not designed to take into account the impact of nutrition and lifestyle—important epigenetic influences. Instead, we wait for people to get really sick, and then we go down the path of a surgical and drug approach. No wonder we’ve been struggling with the war on cancer—we never addressed it very fully. We studied it as a disease caused by bad genes rather than as a metabolic and lifestyle-driven disease. Our pursuit of “the cure” over the last 60 years has left many promising roads for research, treatment and prevention relatively untraveled. Steve Steeves, Critical Care Nurse; Certified Nurse Technian; author of The Trinity Diet, said, “We must stop long enough to consider if our behavior is constructive for the kingdom of God, and if what we are doing as active agents for the Lord is beneficial to our bodies, our families and our communities that depend on us. Eating mindfully and worshipfully is a discipline worth striving for.” Oh, how my heart rejoiced to read his words, so eloquently and perfectly written. I’ve struggled for years to put the pieces together. I’ve watched so many precious people die while I struggled to relate to them the importance of healing the heart and the physical body, not just cutting out or poisoning the cancer. We live in a stressful world loaded with toxins. Our food supply is highly processed and lacking the nutrients the body needs for optimal health. I believe if you implement a healthy lifestyle, you will have a much better chance of avoiding or beating cancer. Today, Americans have not been taught how to eat well. I find most people actually don’t know they are eating poorly. They make decisions with their taste buds, not with nutritional intelligence. And the food is addictive. Nutrition advice from the government and some associations is grossly colored by corporate lobbyists. Most doctors have precious little education in nutrition. It is up to you to educate yourself. Lifestyle choices are an overwhelming factor in cancer development. If we removed artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, added sugars, inflammatory vegetable oils, excess refined salt, genetically modified foods, antibiotics, hormones, 44

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pesticides, and so on, from the standard American diet, I predict cancer rates would drop substantially. Unfortunately, eating in today’s world has become more about convenience and pleasure than nourishment. Given the bounty of easily accessible processed foods with their attractive packaging, it’s challenging to give your body what it needs in terms of quality fats, proteins and carbohydrates every day. It can seem like a treasure hunt to find nourishing foods while avoiding toxic, empty-calorie foods. I saw an invitation from a major hospital in the Houston area to attend “A Survivor’s Celebration of Life.” The program included culinary creations from local bakeries and a cakedecorating contest. Cancer cells use sugar for their metabolism. Since we know many of these survivors will have a recurrence, it is simply wrong for people entrusted with the care of these survivors to feed them something that fuels their disease. I was speechless. I attended another event for survivors, a luncheon. As each woman left, she was handed a beautifully wrapped iced cake pop—pink, of course. I have photos of a large basket of candy in the surgical waiting area of one of Houston’s well-known cancer treatment centers as well as the sugary items offered in the hospital cafeteria, such as the pastry and beverage counters. To be fair, I did find a small basket of red and green apples near the cafeteria register. How can the medical establishment say it is waging a war on cancer while passing out candy? Simply, it can’t. The establishment has not taken what is arguably the first step in fighting cancer, which is to wage war on sugar. Sugar is a major enemy of your body’s immune system, and cancer is the ultimate immune system disorder. We’ve known this for decades. A 1973 study showed simple sugars (including fructose, glucose, sucrose, honey and even orange juice) can decrease the white blood cells’ ability to fight infection for up to five hours after ingestion. This study used high dosages of sugar, but the evidence strongly suggests chronic consumption of sugar suppresses immunity. We all need a robust immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells. In 1800, the average American consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year. Today it’s 75–170 pounds a year, depending c h a r i s ma m ag. com

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BY JENNY HRBACEK, RN


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upon who produces the statistic. Sugar needs to be removed from the pantries and diets of anyone who wants to be cancer-free. I cannot emphasize enough how important diet is, whether you are in treatment, recovering or trying to prevent cancer. Starchy carbohydrates and processed sugar have become toxic, addictive staples of our diets. I understand these foods are comforting to the patients. I understand doctors don’t take time to address diet because they are busy with test results, chemo, surgery and more. But this practice of turning a blind eye must end if we’re going to reduce the incidence of cancer. So it is up to you. You must take charge of all aspects of your health, even those not addressed by your doctor or covered by insurance. Don’t forget that starchy carbs are a sugar. A seemingly harmless slice of whole-wheat toast will raise your blood sugar at least as much as eating a small candy bar. Many people incorrectly believe processed grains are good for us, but the body rapidly breaks down refined grains into sugar. Let’s listen to what the Bible’s TO LEARN MORE, READ THIS... been telling us for millennia: “Why In this best-seller, registered nurse, author and cancer spend money on survivor Jenny Hrbacek what is not bread, teaches you how to be an and your labor advocate for your own health. on what does not ch ar is ma ma g.com

satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare” (Isa. 55:2, NIV). In addition, if you’ve already gone the route of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and have been pronounced “cancer-free,” I encourage you to use one or more of the tests in my book Cancer-Free to validate it. Connect with an integrative or functional medicine physician; he or she can help you prevent cancer. Take great care of yourself. Live purposefully, and consider your choices wisely. See cancer coming early. Don’t let it hang around for five or 10 years before it’s discovered. Find it early, when it is treatable and beatable. You may find making a positive impact on your health is hard work. I don’t disagree, but you are worth the effort, and life is worth living—and boy, is it a lot more fun when you’re in good health! I’ve learned a great deal through my personal cancer journey. As Gregg Matte of Houston’s First Baptist Church said, “Make your misery your ministry and your test your testimony.” JENNY HRBACEK, RN,was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and has since made it her mission to help people detect cancer early, effectively treat it if diagnosed and avoid cancer recurrence. She is the founder of Cancer Free University and an advisory board member of the Best Answer for Cancer Foundation, Wellness Outreach Worldwide and BeatCancer.org. F e br u a r y 2 01 9 | C H A RI S MA

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| HEALING

They Are Not Unloved L I G H T S T O C K - E L E N I | E + - I T S S K I N

Why God’s heart is to heal children with special needs


BY CHRIS GORE

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y heart is to bring encouragement, hope and faith to children with special needs and to anyone who cares for them. As the director of healing ministries at Bethel Church in Redding, California, I want people to experience God’s heart for healing. Yet so many parents of children with special needs have lost not only faith but hope. There is unbelievable torment in their homes and lives because of what they are going through. Believe me, my family has been there. My wife, Liz, and I have three beautiful daughters: Charlotte, Emma and Sophie. Our oldest daughter, Charlotte, born in 1995, has spastic quadriplegia with cerebral palsy. We’ve been on a journey her entire life to understand the heart of God toward healing and the heart of God toward her. Charlotte has taught my family about patience, kindness, love, peace, perseverance, joy and faith. Our journey with her is really what thrust me into healing ministry. In the process, my family has discovered that to know God’s heart toward healing and His heart toward Charlotte, we need only look at the character of God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK-TOEYTOEY2530 | E+-ITSSKIN

Shalom for Storms

I believe God has been and will always be the healer. He first called Himself the “Lord who heals” in Exodus 15:26, and that hasn’t changed, no matter what the circumstances may be. His name is His nature, and He forever covenanted to be our healer through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1:3a says Jesus is “the brightness of [the Father’s] glory and the express image of Himself” In John 14:9b, Jesus says, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” When we look at the person of Jesus, we recognize He never inflicted a medical condition or a sickness on someone in order to teach them a lesson. He never caused a storm. Instead, what we see is that every sick and crippled person who ever came to Jesus was healed, without exception. Every storm Jesus came ch ar is ma ma g.com

in contact with, He calmed. Every funeral Jesus attended, He messed up—including His own! If Jesus is the exact representation of the Father—and He is—then we can also know with certainty that the Father’s heart is for healing. Last year, there was a time when our daughter was having a really rough week. She was upset and would scream as soon as we set her in her wheelchair, and she needed to see the doctor multiple times. We thought one of the titanium rods in her back was broken, which would lead to another surgery. I was in a tailspin and could feel it affecting my peace. I talked to one of the spiritual fathers in my life, and he gave me this life-changing word: “Chris, the storm may be around you, but it doesn’t have to be in you.” The revelation of Jesus in that simple sentence was all it took to help me find my peace again. The person of peace, Jesus, is always accessible in every believer. There is not a moment, no matter how difficult, when we lose access to that peace. That reality is available to every believer. When Jesus was on this earth, He said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). This verse has been one of the most incredible revelatory verses for seeing healing and peace flow into the lives of special needs children and families. In ancient Hebrew, the word “peace” translates as shalom. Shalom means a variety of things, including wholeness and completeness, but it also means “the Spirit who destroys chaos” or “the Spirit who destroys false authority.” Jesus uses that same word in Mark 4:39 when He speaks to the chaos of the storm. Jesus is fast asleep during the storm, but the disciples have totally lost their peace. I would like to suggest that we will only have authority when we are able to sleep through our storms. co ntinued » F e br u a r y 2 01 9 | C H A RI S MA

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Hope for Healing

Each person, disabled or not, is an absolute perfect gift from God. Because God is perfect, He can only make perfect things. But He also restores things back to their original design, which I have seen happen time and time again with children with special needs. When God formed us in our mothers’ wombs, we were made in His image and likeness (Gen. 1:26), and He is perfect. But too often, I have seen that the identity of the child and the child’s

God, and that gives us some type of closure. While this thinking does supply a measure of peace, it’s not the peace God would give us; it’s the peace of the world. We often make the identity of the child and the condition of the child one, because we have not seen breakthrough in this area. But I believe God does not want our children to remain sick or have a disability. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying God does not love our children. He absolutely does. But like any

Furthermore, in praying for children with special needs, I have experienced how passionate people can be about their differing perspectives and feelings. People who disagree that healing can happen for children with disabilities often come from a place of pain and disappointment, or they simply haven’t understood our heart. However, as someone who knows the heart of the Father and has talked to families who have seen their children healed, the naysayers’ arguments go silent for me. To hear a child who had

condition have become viewed as one and the same, when in fact, they are two separate things. Again, the child is the absolute, perfect gift from God. However, the condition the child has is not. God cannot give us something He Himself does not possess, and God does not have a sickness or disability. I believe that, as a society and as parents, many of us are looking for peace and reconciliation as to why our children have a condition or sickness. We come to the conclusion that it comes from 48

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good Father, He wants the best for His children. He wants to see them thrive. Don’t we all? In today’s culture, I know not everyone believes Jesus still heals. To be honest, I have never faced more resistance on any topic than my desire to see special needs children set free and healed. This article’s intent is not to discuss the theology of healing, as there are a lot of great resources on that topic, including simply studying the life of Jesus in the Bible.

never talked before say “Mama” for the first time will forever change how you see things. There is hope! I have been confronted with the question, “Can’t you just love and accept them as they are?” I have also been quoted as saying I hate children with autism. I do hate autism, but I don’t hate the child who has it. I think it is important that the child’s condition not become his identity. I love and accept the child, but I hate the condition, as I believe it’s not from God, and c h a r i s ma m ag. com

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“God is not punishing you by afflicting your child with a disability.”


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it’s not His design. When Jesus died on the cross, He took what we deserved so we could receive what He deserved. Jesus tells us, “The thief does not come except to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Read this closely: God is not punishing you by afflicting your child with a disability. A good Father does not do that, and His Son already took the only punishment required. There is absolutely nothing you did wrong to cause this to happen. For those who might have experienced a more difficult past, and your child was born with side effects caused by drug abuse or other factors, the blood of Jesus is still enough to change your future. I’m still praying to experience God’s healing power firsthand in my own family. While I am still standing and believing for my own daughter’s healing, I also stand on the conviction that the absence of the miracle does not define

the heart of the Father. My family would rather die standing in faith than live a life of unbelief. Let’s believe Jesus for that abundant life. Abundant life for our children is one where they are free of seizures, spastic muscles, autism, social isolation and language barriers. Abundant life is where they can reach their fullest potential in God like anyone else and are free to run and dream. As of today, we’ve heard over 60 reports of full or significant breakthrough in children who were on the autism spectrum. I highlighted stories of children and adults who have been fully healed, as well as some who are still in the process, in my book The Perfect Gift. Not all of these people have been prayed for by me or even by Bethel Church—after all, the healing power of Jesus is available for every believer. Every breakthrough is significant, and Jesus deserves all the glory for every one of them. Our heart’s desire at Bethel is to see parents have permission to believe again, believing that

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Watch at gore .charismamag.com as Chris Gore preaches a faith-filled message on peace at Bethel Church.

healing is God’s best for His children. We pray that each home of special needs children would be filled with joy and encouragement. For any parents of special needs children, we pray that chaos would not be the ruler of your house, but peace would be your portion and that your household would become a fortress of fresh hope. We pray that you would be encouraged and thanksgiving would flow from your lives as we all focus on what Jesus has paid for. May the Holy Spirit ignite your faith and hope to see the kingdom of God come in the life of your family, in Jesus’ mighty name. CHRIS GOREis the director of healing ministries at Bethel Church in Redding, California. He is the author of Walking in Supernatural Healing Power and The Perfect Gift.

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Top Brain Doctor Warns: Those ‘Senior Moments’ Are No Laughing Matter

By S.A. Nickerson, Health Correspondent

M

any people over 40 tend to shrug off forgetful “senior moments” and foggy-brain feelings as funny or harmless. But according to renowned former neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock, MD, over 60% of people middle-aged and older already suffer some degree of memory impairment. And memory problems are one of the first warning signs of cognitive loss, which involves mental slowing and declining intellect.

Brain Shrinkage, Memory Concerns

Fat makes up about 60% of your brain mass. The brain requires sufficient fat for energy as well as the creation of vital nerve cell structures and neurotransmitters. Unfortunately, research shows that brains shrink by about 5% per decade after age 40, particularly in areas important to memory, learning, and other complex mental activities. With aging, the brain also undergoes a reduction in blood flow. Plus, cell-damaging free radicals in the brain accumulate at a faster rate, along with an imbalanced process of inflammation. Because of these challenges to the aging brain, Dr. Blaylock took matters into his own hands and developed the comprehensive formula KERALEX®.

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| TRANSFORMATION

From Fleshly Desire to Freedom in Jesus How one woman is helping former sex workers find abundant life through Christ

COURTESY OF BRITTNI DE LA MORA

Former porn star Brittni De La Mora works with XXX Church to help people defeat their sex addictions.


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BY JENNY ROSE CURTIS

COURTESY OF BRITTNI DE LA MORA

rittni De La Mora remembers the day the Holy Spirit rescued her out of the sex industry. The pornographic-film star—one of the most prominent in her field—was about to travel to her next big project. But before she boarded the plane, the Holy Spirit told her, “Bring your Bible.” De La Mora obeyed the Spirit’s prompting. While reading her Bible during the flight, she came across Jesus’ words to the church in Thyatira. “I get to Revelation 2:20-24,” De La Mora says. “It says—and I’m paraphrasing—‘I have this sin against you: You tolerate that woman named Jezebel. She leads My people into sexual immorality. I’ve given her time to repent, and if she doesn’t repent, I will cast her and her children into a sickbed.’” De La Mora says the moment she read that Scripture, the Spirit of God not only convicted her of sin but also gave her a promise: “Brittni, I have a better life in store for you, and if you just give Me a step of faith today, if you would just quit the industry, I promise you I’m going to turn things around for you. I’m going to give you a great life.” De La Mora quit the sex industry that day. She flushed her drugs down the toilet and, for the first time in seven years, didn’t get sick without them.

ch ar is ma ma g.com

That was six years ago. Now, De La Mora ministers to women and men who want to leave the industry. She works with XXX Church, a ministry that helps people break sex addiction, and recently started her own ministry, Always Loved, which helps people escape the industry that once held her captive. De La Mora also preaches the gospel with her husband, Richard, at Cornerstone Church in San Diego. The couple met there six years ago and have been married for almost three years. Their new book on marriage, Fresh Fire, offers a 14-day challenge with principles from the Bible to keep marriages strong. “I just got to see so many incredible things because I took that step of faith, and I gave a little bit of obedience to God that day,” De La Mora says. “And Deuteronomy teaches us that there are blessings behind our obedience.”

From Hungry to Healed

But De La Mora’s heartwarming transformation story doesn’t come without pain. She says she first entered the sex industry because of her incessant hunger for a sense of love and belonging. “When I was little, I faced a lot of rejection and heartbreak, and that started at home,” she says. She recalls the toxic messages she heard at home: “You’re a loser,” “You’re never going to F e br u a r y 2 01 9 | C H A RI S MA

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Richard and Brittni De La Mora

I took that step of faith, and I gave a little bit of obedience to God that day.

amount to anything in life,” “I hate you.” “So I remember getting invited to a night out in Mexico, and that night, I got drunk. I was probably 16 years old, and I ended up in a strip club. And that night when I was at the strip club, I was getting something I wasn’t getting at home.” There, people told the vulnerable teen, “You’re beautiful! We love you!” So in college a couple years later, when producers approached her with an offer to star in “romance movies,” De La Mora couldn’t resist. “You’re destined to be a star!” De La Mora says they told her. “If you’re ever interested, we’ll be in Los Angeles. Give us a call.” One day and one phone call later, De La Mora found herself in a chair getting her hair and makeup done for an interview with one of the top adult-film agencies. To her excitement, the agency took her on as a client and gave her the stage name Jenna Presley. De La Mora quickly became one of the nation’s most popular porn stars. She received numerous awards and accolades from high-end publications, and 54

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the men’s magazine Maxim named her one of the top 12 hottest porn stars. She had everything she thought she wanted, including fame, admiration from men and hefty paychecks. She enjoyed her career—for the first month or so. But one day, during production of an adult movie, the director told De La Mora she was fat and needed to lose weight. “I was around 105 pounds,” she says. “I was not fat, but that really triggered an insecurity in me, and so that started a drug addiction, because I started to do cocaine to lose weight.” Throughout her seven years in the industry, De La Mora struggled with anorexia, drug addiction and even suicidal tendencies. Three years in, she tried to leave the industry and escape her new heroin addiction. She started visiting church with her grandfather, received her first Bible and even began hearing the Holy Spirit speak to her. Six months later, though, her need for money and men’s affirmation drove her back to porn. It took over three more years for the Spirit to lead her away from her pimp and convict her to leave the

Helping Others Escape Porn

Leaving the industry also required a jarring mindset change for De La Mora. When her porn career ended, so did her lavish lifestyle. She had to settle for a new job at a limo-booking service making $11 an hour. Eventually, she earned a real estate license. co nti nued » c h a r i s ma m ag. com

COURTESY OF BRITTINI DELAMORA

“I just got to see so many incredible things because

industry once and for all. But the Holy Spirit didn’t stop at rescuing De La Mora. After her final exit from the porn industry, she relied on Him to heal her from years of trauma. She says this healing came through three daily habits: worship, prayer and time reading God’s Word. “I’ve been walking with the Lord six years now, and every single day, I worship, I pray and then I read the Bible,” she says. “During my healing process, this was crucial, because even in the Bible, we learn that it’s in the presence of Jesus that people are made whole again. It’s in His presence that people get healed.” The Holy Spirit also acted as her primary counselor, often leading her to stand in front of the mirror and speak words of life over seasons of brokenness during her childhood. “It brought so much healing to me,” she says. “The Bible teaches us that Jesus says the Holy Spirit will be your Counselor, and that’s exactly what He was for me. I didn’t go through any type of counseling or therapy with anyone other than the Holy Spirit.”


“It’s not an easy transition whatsoever,” she says. “A lot of times, you just need that voice of encouragement, because you have to go through this process where you have to humble yourself. You can’t have a $3,000 apartment anymore.” De La Mora says this is the reason many who leave the industry end up going back. That’s why she founded Always Loved in 2017. The ministry offers sex workers the encouragement and support they need to leave the industry if and when they’re ready. That support includes mentorship, financial support and even help creating resumes. “The Holy Spirit is huge in this ministry,” Richard De La Mora says. “On one specific occasion, I saw my wife in tears over a woman who left the industry and then decided to go back. The Holy Spirit counselled her and showed her how to handle the situation with grace. … Unexpectedly, the woman quit for good six months later. It’s important to allow God’s ministry to be His ministry and the only way to do that is to let Him lead.” Because of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, De La Mora has already seen success with Always Loved. She tells Charisma that one woman who quit the industry six months ago is still walking in freedom and even got her old job back as a preschool teacher. “She is just so on fire for God,” De La Mora says. “God has restored every ounce of her. … She’s going to church, and she’s serving in ministry at her church and doing incredible things for Jesus.” In addition to working with Always Loved, De La Mora ministers with XXX Church. Throughout De La Mora’s time in the industry, the ministry reached out to her at porn shows with their booth labeled “Jesus Loves Porn Stars.” One pastor in particular, Rachel Collins, formed a friendship with De La Mora, speaking truth and demonstrating genuine love. XXX Church founder Craig Gross says within six months of leaving the industry, De La Mora wanted to go with the ministry to porn shows in Los Angeles to minister, just as XXX Church had ministered to her. When De La Mora goes to these shows, Gross says, she shows former friends and co-workers what it looks like to leave the industry for good and follow Jesus. ch ar is ma ma g.com

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Brittni De La Mora and her pastor husband, Richard, share their powerful testimony at delamora .charismamag.com.

“We can vouch really heavily for her transformation, her character, her marriage,” Gross says. “And it’s great telling a [success] story of the work that we’ve done. But you don’t get many Brittni stories. They come few and far between.” Gross says ministering to porn stars is often like working in the trenches. And because of the low success rate and scandalous mission field, many Christians are quick to pass judgment. But although it’s more satisfying to hear about radical testimonies and dramatic rescue missions, Gross says real ministry is often much messier and takes a lot more time. “Christians love sitting on the sidelines and critiquing what other people do before they would just go do it,” he says. “But a story like Brittni’s didn’t happen overnight. She and Rachel exchanged emails and texts and hugs and conversation. ... Jesus never demanded anybody to make a decision [to follow] Him before He could spend His time with them.” Because of that, Gross says it’s crucial to be patient when ministering to porn stars—or anyone who is emotionally broken. De La Mora agrees and says true healing comes with time. She points out that people who experience radical transformations that stand the test of time all have one thing in common: a close relationship with Jesus. “Although it’s a blessing to be at church on Sundays, take it one step further and bring God into your home Monday through Sunday,” she says. “Allow God to not just be in your life, but let Him become your life. “If you allow God to ordain your steps, and you really follow Him, He’s going to lead you into healing. He’s going to lead you out of shame ... and He’s going to bring you that true freedom you’ve been searching for.” JENNY ROSE CURTIS is assistant online editor at Charisma Media and co-host of the Charisma News Podcast.

GOD IS NOT JUST GOOD. HE IS GOODNESS ITSELF.

For as long as he can remember, Blake K. Healy has seen angels and demons. He sees them as clearly as he would see you if you were standing right in front of him. And over the years, one thing has been the most painful for him to see. Often he sees the goodness of God go unclaimed by His people. Using his experience of seeing in the spirit, Blake takes you on a journey of rediscovering the profound goodness of God. Profound Good also features keys to activating this spiritual gift in your life.

Available February 5, 2019 where books are sold. www.Charismahouse.com


| ISRAEL

Meet Yeshua HaMashiach A Messianic rabbi breaks down the spiritual significance of Jesus’ Jewish roots

BY KIRT A. SCHNEIDER

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c h a r i s ma m ag. com

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esus was a Jew. That should not come as a shock, and yet it is astounding how many believers disregard this fundamental fact and trade it in for a “Christianized” version of Jesus. In its purest form, the term Christian describes a person who follows the Christ. The word Christ is the Greek translation of the original Hebrew word Mashiach, which means “anointed one.” So a Christian is simply one who follows the anointed one. And who is the anointed one? Jesus, HaMashiach—the Messiah, the Anointed One sent to save and redeem the Jewish people, just as the prophets foretold. In Matthew 15:24 Jesus declared, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” This did not mean that Jesus’ plan was not to save all but simply that His mission had to begin—as previous prophets’ missions had begun—with Israel. Similarly, Paul, upon entering a city where Jews lived, would always begin his ministry in that city by going first to the synagogue. He told the Romans that the power of God for salvation was “first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16, NIV). Although He was the Son of God, existing far above any religious boxes or labels, He came to a specific, chosen people as one of their kind. Jesus is called “Son of David” at least 15 times in the Gospels, and this reiterates His completely Jewish roots. What is fascinating to consider is that Jesus chose to be Jewish. He is the only naturally born Jew in history who chose His Jewishness. He made this decision in heaven with full intentionality, laying aside His deity in humility to become a man—a Jewish man—so that He would fulfill God’s plan for salvation to come from the Jews first (John 4:22). If Jesus chose this way, then how can we disregard His choice by neutering His Jewishness to make Him fit a more religious “Christian” mold? Sadly, this is what the Christian church has done throughout history. To understand why Jesus chose to do everything through the Jewish context, let’s take a closer look at the extent of His Jewishness. Jesus was born into Jewish royalty. Matthew 1:1 (MEV) establishes this in the very first verse of his Gospel by calling Christ “the Son of David, the son of Abraham.” Not only is Jesus genetically linked to the original Jewish covenant through Abraham, but He is also linked by blood to the house


GETTY IMAGES/E+-LORDRUNAR


of Israel’s kings, from which the Messiah had to come. Being born into the tribe of Judah in the house of David was genetic gold, and yet isn’t it interesting how fervently the priests and religious leaders of Jesus’ day opposed Him for power once He began to talk of another kingdom? Jesus was born King of the Jews. This was not just declared over Him with a sign upon the cross. Jesus was correctly recognized as the King of the Jews even as a baby (Matt. 2:1-2). Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day. Luke 2:21 records the normal procedure for any Jewish boy, physically marking

Jesus read and studied a Hebrew Bible. All Jewish children grew up learning from the Tanakh, as Deuteronomy 6:7 commanded parents to teach the Lord’s ways “diligently” to their children and “talk of them” throughout everyday life. Given Joseph’s and Mary’s faithfulness to follow the rest of the Law, Jesus likely spent significant time as a young boy under Joseph’s tutelage, hearing and discussing the Hebrew Bible. But Jesus probably did this outside His home as well. At age 5, most Jewish boys began attending school at the local synagogue, where six days a week their

“Although He was the Son of God, existing far above any religious boxes or labels, He came to a specific, chosen people as one of their kind.

Him as part of God’s covenant people. Jesus was dedicated in the temple. After Joseph and Mary had Jesus circumcised, they took their firstborn to the temple in Jerusalem to have Him presented, or dedicated, to the Lord, according to the Mosaic Law that every firstborn child is to be set aside to God (Luke 2:22-23). Jesus was raised by practicing Jewish parents. Luke 2 gives us even more insight into just how law-abiding Joseph and Mary were. As observant Jews, they made a trip to the temple 40 days after Jesus’ birth to make sacrifices as part of Mary’s purification rituals after giving birth (verses 22-24). They then offered a pair of doves or pigeons in obedience to the Torah’s instructions. Jesus celebrated Passover every year. Jesus’ parents established a standard during His childhood by making an annual pilgrimage to the holy city for Passover (Luke 2:41). Based on the other indications we have of Joseph and Mary’s adherence to the Jewish Law, it is likely they made many other trips to Jerusalem, as Passover was one of three feasts that had to be observed in Jerusalem. This means Jesus probably grew up accustomed to visiting His Father’s house, the temple. 58

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studies—reading, writing, arithmetic and other subjects—all centered on the Torah. Here, Jesus would have memorized entire chapters from Moses’ writings under the guidance of a rabbi. As He grew older, Jesus would have moved on to study and memorize the Nevi’im and Ketuvim, the typical educational progression for Jewish adolescents. By the time He was a young man, He knew entire books of the Hebrew Bible by heart and could discuss interpretations of the Tanakh with rabbis and adults alike. Finally, at the start of His ministry, we see that Jesus related to the Tanakh not only as a teaching document but also as a weapon against the enemy (Matt. 4:1-11). Jesus was recognized as a Jewish rabbi. We know Jesus followed in the footsteps of Joseph, His earthly father, by training and working as a carpenter (Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3). But Jesus was obviously so remarkable in His understanding of the Hebrew Bible that He earned the respectful title of rabbi—teacher, master, great one—by people in all social spheres (Matt. 19:16, 22:35-36; Luke 12:13). Jesus chose 12 Jews to be His disciples. The dozen men Jesus chose to invest in may have been from completely different

walks of life, but those walks were all within Jewish society. The fact that He chose only Jews already tells us just how targeted His ministry was to the descendants of Abraham. Jesus ministered mostly to Jews. It is easy for us today to see how Jesus’ main mission and ministry on earth extended far past the Jewish people. If you are a Gentile, you are a product of that extension, having been “grafted” into the Jewish covenant with God (Rom. 11:17-24). But we also must not forget that saving Gentiles was not Jesus’ initial focus, which is why He spent the overwhelming majority of His time ministering to Jews. Granted, the Gospels record instances where Jesus broke with Jewish tradition and did the unthinkable by touching, healing and teaching “unclean” Gentiles. And yes, some of Jesus’ teachings blatantly foretold that Gentiles would benefit from the salvation He offered. But if you listed the amount of time Jesus spent among Jewish people compared with Gentiles, His target audience would quickly become evident. Jesus was crucified on Passover as “the King of the Jews.” I doubt Pontius Pilate knew the true significance of his words when he insisted on posting a sign that heralded Jesus as “The King of the Jews” (John 19:19-22). The entire ordeal surrounding Jesus’ arrest, trial, sentencing and crucifixion was, at its core, a Jewish matter taking place on Passover. Even with Roman government involved, the question still was whether Jesus was indeed who He claimed to be: the King of the Jews. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit on the Jewish feast Shavuot. It is no coincidence that the Lord fulfilled His promise of sending the Holy Spirit on a deeply significant Jewish holiday. Most Christians think of the Holy Spirit’s outpouring in Acts 2 as a “Christian” event that birthed the church in fire and power. Yet hundreds of years before this, the Jewish people celebrated Shavuot (“Pentecost” is the Greek term) to mark a different yet equally significant arrival—that of the Torah. Shavuot falls on the 50th day after Passover and was set aside as a day of rest to remember God giving the Torah. We do not know exactly how long the early believers gathered together to wait c h a r i s ma m ag. com


“If you listed the

amount of time Jesus spent among Jewish people compared with Gentiles, His target audience would quickly become evident.

Do you want more OF GOD? Or more FROM GOD?

for the Holy Spirit’s arrival; we know only that He came 50 days after Passover— which means they would have been celebrating Shavuot. It is possible they were gathered at a home eating the traditional holiday dairy meal, giving thanks to God for giving the Torah hundreds of years earlier and praying for His timing on giving the gift of the Holy Spirit. But undoubtedly Jesus knew the significance of that day and the power that would mark it in both the Word and now the Spirit as well. Jewish tradition teaches that it was on this day of Shavuot, or Pentecost, when God appeared to His people on top of Mount Sinai and spoke to them so that they heard His voice. It is amazing to me that on this same day 1,500 years later God once again appeared in fire as He had on Mount Sinai and that He again spoke to His people by His Spirit, whom they no longer saw on top of a mountain but instead experienced within them. Jesus sits in heaven as the Lion of Judah. Although it is difficult to ignore Scripture’s clear depiction of Jesus as a Jew while He lived on earth, some might argue that this was just a temporary circumstance for God’s Son and that His Jewishness therefore matters little in the long run. Yet the Bible itself proves how much Jesus’ Jewishness still matters, and one of the most convincing evidences of this is found in Revelation 5. During John’s incredible vision of the worship surrounding God’s throne, the apostle weeps when he discovers no one can open the scroll held in God’s right hand, which will usher in a new glorious era for the world. But before John’s grief escalates, ch ar is ma ma g.com

In More of God, renowned theologian R. T. Kendall challenges you to seek the Benefactor, not just the benefits. Desire more of God, not for personal gain, but for an enriched relationship with Him. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (Matt. 5:6, esv).

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TO LEARN MORE, READ THIS...

This Could Be The Beginning of Your

But isn’t Jesus Jewish? Rabbi Kirt Schneider unpacks the reason for the wedge between Christianity and Judaism in his latest release.

GREATEST BLESSING. God will exceed all you expect. God will increase all you invest. God will accelerate time to accomplish His kingdom purpose in your life.

Today’s post-Christian world shouldn’t mean doom and gloom for believers. Rather than living in fear of what is to come, move to a new level of trust in God and position yourself to claim His blessings and provision. The Speed of Favor shows how the Amos 9:13 promise is not solely about prosperity. Neither is it a word for just one season. It is a way of life. Break free from a status quo Christian life, and discover how God’s blessings can change your life and enable you to make a difference in the lives of others.

an elder sitting around the throne tells him, “Do not weep. Look! The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals” (v. 5). Isn’t it interesting that even in heaven, countless generations after He physically walked upon earth, Jesus is still referred to in connection with one of Israel’s tribes? This is because Jesus has no plans of shedding His Hebrew identity. He is just as Jewish in heaven as He was on earth! This is significant, as it proves Jesus will always be the living fulfillment of every Scripture related to Him. In the very first book of the Bible, Genesis, we find a prophetic reference to Jesus as the Lion of Judah. Genesis 49:9-10 says, “Judah is a lion’s cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He crouches and lies down like a lion; and as a lion, who dares rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to him will be the obedience of the people.” And in the very last book of the Bible, Revelation, we find the same reference to Jesus as the Lion of Judah. Out of all the titles given to Jesus in Scripture’s Messianic prophecies, I find it fascinating that this one continues in heaven, as recorded by John. Jesus was Jewish, and He will forever be Jewish. Jesus is coming back as the Root and Offspring of David. Jesus is called the Lion of Judah in heaven, yet there is also one title He gives Himself that again shows His continuing Jewishness. In fact, this self-description is found in His last words recorded in the Bible. Jesus says in Revelation 22:16b, “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” The same person who created the Jewish line lives today as its ultimate fulfillment. KIRT A. SCHNEIDER is an evangelist and author who serves as rabbi of Lion of Judah World Outreach Center. He is the host of Discovering the Jewish Jesus.

Available now where books are sold. CharismaHouse.com

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S P I R I T- L E D

For more reviews, teachings and resources, go to charismamag.com.

Compiled by Taylor Berglund

Resources

The Speed of Favor

The Miracle Lady

Amy Collier Artman Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. By the time Kathryn Kuhlman appeared on The Tonight Show, she was one of the best-known preachers in the country. Amy Collier Artman traces the parallel rises of both Kuhlman and charismatic Christianity into the American mainstream. This biography gives insight into not only one of the 20th century’s most important religious figures but the entire charismatic movement. 62

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Spirit and Sacrament

Andrew Wilson Zondervan Spirit and Sacrament argues that the next generation of churches should combine the best of both the liturgical and Spirit-filled movements to truly capture the early church spirit. What would it look like for a service to feature both confession and miracles, or hymns and tongues? Pastor Andrew Wilson paints an intriguing vision for the future of charismatic Christianity.

Tim Hill

Beyond Blessed

Robert Morris FaithWords After surviving a health scare in 2018, Robert Morris knows what it means to be truly blessed to be alive. Morris, who wrote the bestselling The Blessed Life, has reflected on his earlier teachings and has more to add on the subject of blessing and favor. In this follow-up book, Morris breaks down the biblical principles of wise stewardship, for both money and blessings. c h a r i s ma m ag. com

ASHLEY GARLAND/IMAGES PHOTOGRAPHY

Tim Hill Charisma House Tim Hill, general overseer of the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), received a word from the Lord early one morning in 2014. Through that word, he rediscovered the prophetic promise of Amos 9:13 (MSG): “‘Yes indeed, it won’t be long now. ... Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills.’” Hill says he’s since experienced a “faith resurrection” and has seen “unprecedented miracles.” He says you too can experience this season of increase and abundance.


PODCAST Be inspired as you listen to interviews from people who are living out God’s plan for their lives. Download at CPNSHOWS.COM

Little Women

Pure Flix Entertainment More than 150 years after Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women was first published, the literary classic has been reinvented into a family film for the modern age. Sarah Davenport, Allie Jennings, Melanie Stone and Taylor Murphy star as homeschooled sisters in this faith-based adaptation, which hit theaters over a year before the buzzy Hollywood adaptation. Little Women is rated PG-13 and comes Doveapproved for ages 12 and up.

Tortured for Christ

Vision Video Pastor Richard Wurmbrand’s international best-seller comes to life in this powerful true story of Christian persecution in Soviet-occupied Romania. The 50th anniversary film was produced and directed with a focus on staying authentic to Wurmbrand’s real experience. That means the entire movie was filmed on location in Romania, and all dialogue is presented in English, Romanian and Russian (with subtitles). The result is an experience viewers won’t soon forget.

Indivisible

Provident Films Fresh out of seminary and basic training, U.S. Army Chaplain Darren Turner is deployed to Iraq—leaving his wife, Heather, and their three young children alone. Upon returning from the war, Turner works hard to help his men transition successfully back from the war. But can he heal and save his own fractured marriage? This inspirational movie about God, family and country comes from the same studio that produced Fireproof and War Room.

Victory

Bethel Music In 2 Chronicles 20:22, King Jehoshaphat confronted his enemies in an unusual way. He sent worshippers rather than soldiers to the front lines of war, and God ultimately gave the Israelites victory against their opponents. Inspired by both that classic Bible story and recent hardships, including the fires that devastated Redding, California, Bethel Music recorded 14 live, new worship anthems that will help you win your spiritual warfare battles through the power of praise. Claim Victory today.

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S P I R I T- L E D R E S O U R C E S

For more reviews, teachings and resources, go to charismamag.com.

Native Tongue

Christian Ethics Wayne Grudem Crossway

Biblical scholar, editor and professor Wayne Grudem shares decades of insight in the epic Christian Ethics. Designed as a counterpart to Grudem’s best-selling Systematic Theology, Christian Ethics serves as a guide to biblical moral reasoning and practical implementation of the Christian lifestyle. At over 1,200 pages long, Christian Ethics is both exhaustive and exhausting, covering almost any imaginable ethics questions over 42 chapters divided into seven parts. In an interview on The Strang Report podcast, Grudem told Charisma founder Stephen Strang, “I wrote this book to try to summarize what the whole Bible says about dozens and dozens of these ethical questions. I think it meets a need because it’s a challenge to people to live lives of obedience to God but also to realize that when we walk in obedience to Him, we’re really delighting in His good moral character.” Though likely written primarily for seminarians, Grudem’s prose is relatively approachable and accessible for the average reader. Like a skilled debater, he is consistently clear and thorough while making his points. He’s also remarkably fair. In one memorable section, Grudem summarizes and then challenges author Garry Friesen’s assertion that 64

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is not an excuse—“Joy Invincible,” the album standout, finds a way to sing “Hallelujah, nevertheless” from a hospital room. Not every song works, like the dreamy-but-dull pair of “Wonderful Feeling” and “Oxygen.” But the work’s sheer thematic unity means that, by the time Foreman insists “We’re Gonna Be Alright” in an ebullient campfire sing-along, his words have a certain persuasive charm. The trials and tribulations of this moment are real, but they are merely temporary. In the end, God’s love will win. And we as believers can help ordinary people experience that love today. For that reminder alone, Switchfoot’s Native Tongue makes a worthy listen.—Taylor Berglund

the Bible and wisdom alone (rather than direct counsel by the Holy Spirit) is sufficient for all decision-making. After Grudem makes his case against Friesen, he pulls back the curtain to reveal he has sent this chapter to Friesen for review—and includes Friesen’s respectful rebuttal via email. Grudem says he hopes this book will have a big impact on the body of Christ. “I’m hoping that the Lord might be pleased to use this book to move us toward a genuine revival in our country, as Christians begin to live lives of greater holiness and as non-Christians see that they are not living up to God’s moral standards and need to repent and come to Jesus for forgiveness of sin,” Grudem says. “I don’t think we’re going to have revival unless there’s widespread repentance. But how can people know what to repent of if they don’t know what the Bible teaches about moral standards?”—Taylor Berglund c h a r i s ma m ag. com

CAPITOL CMG

Switchfoot Concord Music/Capitol CMG Maybe every problem in the world could be solved if we all just loved one another. That’s the rosy, Jesus-inspired thesis at the core of Switchfoot’s latest album. Native Tongue, the rock band’s 11th studio album and first since taking an extended break in 2017, is a hopeful, bouncy antidote to an often negative world. And though the album’s central pro-love thesis won’t alienate anybody, Switchfoot never loses sight that the ultimate source of love is God. Native Tongues repeats, restates and rephrases its central message, the greatest commandments—to love God and love one another—relentlessly, from the title track (which reminds that, as children of God, “love is your language ... your native tongue”) to “The Hardest Art” to “All I Need.” On the eclectic “Dig New Streams,” lead singer Jon Foreman paraphrases Jesus: “Come all you worn out, burned out, sick and tired/ ... Come back to Me, find rest, My burden’s light.” For Switchfoot, no excuse is sufficient for failing to love. Busyness is not an excuse—opener “Let It Happen” reminds listeners to stay present because no one can know the future. Fear is not an excuse—“The Strength to Let Go” finds Foreman facing and releasing to God his own demons and frailties. Even tragedy


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ARE YOU BELIEVING GOD FOR A HEALING? Cancer is Not a Death Sentence will encourage and strengthen your faith, whether you have cancer or not. All of us will encounter challenges in our lives where we will need to put ourselves confidently in the hands of God to make it through. This book will help you do just that. Endorsed by Pastor Bob Yandian Michael & Bobbie Baker Phone: 918-899-2478 Available at Amazon.com

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STAND FIRM IN YOUR IDENTITY IN GOD Be confident in who you are as God’s child. Put your confidence in Christ. I Am A Child of God will help you understand your worth to God. Faith to Move Mountains will bolster your faith and encourage you in your walk with God. Learn to hold on to God and be strong in the Lord. Buy one set for a friend and get a set for you. Shop.charismamag.com F e br u a r y 2 01 9 | C H A RI S MA

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Perspective

PODCAST Stay current by listening to interviews with today’s headliners conducted by Charisma’s founder, Stephen Strang. Download at CPNSHOWS.COM

BY STEPHEN STRANG

Racism Over the Past 50 Years—Has Anything Changed? An editorial on racism I wrote in high school is sadly still relevant in our culture

“Racism is racism no matter what color or who is prejudiced toward whom.”

With that disclaimer, here’s some of my article (you can read the full editorial at charismamag.com/racismeditorial). If what I wrote still applies, then we who follow Jesus—both blacks and whites—must lead in making this change or face 50 more years of the same, or worse, tensions. I wrote: “Since integration has been forced upon us the past several years, most blacks and whites have quietly accepted integration as inevitable and mix congenially with each other. ... Most are more liberal now in their attitudes toward the other race than they were five or 10 years ago. It would appear prejudice and bigotry are slowly disappearing. Overt actions of racism are less frequent now than they were at one time. “But what about attitudes regarding racism? Are they changing too? Are blacks and whites willing to accept each other on a personal level? ... Are whites willing to accept blacks? ... Are whites willing to look on their black classmates like they look upon other whites? Are they willing to put away all prejudice and racism? Are blacks, too, willing to disregard racism toward whites? Are they willing to put aside their resentment toward the evils suffered by their people in the past caused by whites? Are they willing to realize the whites living today are not the ones responsible for the slavery of their ancestors? Are blacks willing to quit trying to prove their equality and understand whites are usually ready to accept them if they just prove themselves? Are blacks willing to accept whites too? “Racism is racism no matter what color or who is prejudiced toward whom. Only when members of both races are willing to accept each other as equals will real racism truly be absolved.”

STEPHEN STRANG i s the founder of Charisma and CEO of Charisma Media. He is author of the best-selling book God and Donald Trump (FrontLine/Charisma House). Follow him on Twitter (@sstrang) or Facebook (stephenestrang). 66

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T I M K E L LY

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y family moved to the segregated South from the Midwest in 1962. As a child, I was shocked by the racism I saw. My pediatrician had separate waiting rooms for blacks and whites. Gas stations had bathrooms labeled “men,” “women” and “colored.” Two years later, the Civil Rights Act was passed, and schools were integrated in stages. In my case, black students began attending my high school in Lakeland, Florida, when I was in 10th grade. Florida had horrible racism in that era. My friend Harry Jackson’s father, who lived in Tallahassee, saw a man who had been lynched hanging from a tree. Our state was a dangerous place for outspoken black men. In my senior year, I wrote editorials for the school newspaper to help with the integration process. I wanted the students to accept each other and went out of my way to make friends with black students. I remember one editorial on racism I wrote on Feb. 13, 1969—50 years ago this month. I recently pulled it out and was struck with how much has changed and how much hasn’t. That was only five years after the Civil Rights bill, and the South was not yet fully integrated. Race relations were improving, and yet now, while we’ve seen many more improvements, racial tension is as high as ever. As a teen, I’m not sure I understood how many atrocities were committed against blacks. Of course, less than a year before, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and, a year later, so was his brother A.D. King, father of my good friend Alveda King. I believe had Dr. King lived, racial relations would be better today, and he perhaps would have become president. In the segregated South with its Jim Crow laws, white people clearly promoted racism. Until we understand this, we will fail to understand both the progress that has been made and the depth of forgiveness and love needed to heal our nation. As a teenager, I saw that when it came to attitudes, both sides harbored racism. Today, that’s still true, especially when so much in politics and the news seems to be racially motivated. Even though blacks have all the same rights and a higher standard of living than in the past, they complain about white privilege. And there are some, especially on the left, who call anyone they don’t agree with “racist.” A few leftists have called me racist merely because I voted for the white candidates who ran against Barack Obama. Though I would have liked to have voted for a black president, I couldn’t support one who affirmed abortion on demand. Since 1969, I’ve embraced what my mentor Pastor Jack Hayford taught: There’s only one race—the human race. As Alveda King teaches in her new book, We’re Not Color Blind, we’re one blood created by God. Still, though, the reality of one human race has yet to sink in. When we reconcile the issue of race with God’s Word, repentance, forgiveness and transformation will prevail.


THIS BOOK WILL CHALLENGE YOU to look at everything you experience as a means of advancement in your life. After all, what we label “loss” God labels “opportunity.” AVAILABLE NOW WHERE BOOKS ARE SOLD.

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Revitalize your prayer life through a 100-DAY journey inspired by Mike Bickle’s best-selling book Growing in Prayer.

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Charisma Magazine - February 2019  

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Life in the Spirit - February 2019