THE NEXT WAVE www.icof.net Living In The Balance Of Grace And Faith
By Andrew Wommack
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God has already provided for you. Therefore,faith is your part.
Living In The Balance Of Grace And Faith By Andrew Wommack
Grace and faith work together, and they must be in balance. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
At our Gospel Truth Seminars, I always take time before meetings to talk with friends and partners. One of the most common questions I’m asked is “What do I need to do to receive the blessings of God?”
Sometimes we read a passage from Scripture that is so familiar, we don’t stop to think about what it is really saying. In this verse, a profound truth is being declared. It says we are saved by grace through faith, not one or the other. Think of it this way—grace is what God does; faith is what we do. It takes both working together to receive salvation.
It is usually followed by this explanation: “I have been praying, reading my Bible, going to church, and paying my tithes, yet I don’t seem to be able to get my prayers answered.” In that question and explanation lies the root of the problem: They have fallen into the trap of linking God’s response to their performance. They have not properly understood the balance of grace and faith and their relationship to each other.
Salvation is not dependent on grace alone. If it were, everyone would be saved and going to heaven, for God’s grace is the same toward everyone (Titus 2:11). He has already given the gift of salvation to everyone through Jesus. It is by faith that a person receives what was done 2,000 years ago.
By definition, the word grace means unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor. Therefore, the good news is, grace has nothing to do with you. Grace existed before you ever came to be. Another way of saying it is, grace is God’s part. Faith is defined as being a positive response to what God has already provided by grace. In other words, faith is your positive response to God’s grace, or faith only appropriates what
Most of us believe that in order to be saved, we need to ask God to forgive us of our sins, but that isn’t what the Bible teaches. In 1 John 2:2, it states that Jesus was the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world. Jesus didn’t 3
just die for those He knew would accept Him; He died for every sinner who has ever lived on this earth. And He died before you or I ever committed a single sin.
your Savior. The only conviction is that of believing in Jesus Christ. People do not go to hell for committing adultery, stealing, or even murder. Those, like all sins, have already been paid for. This is what the Bible says in John 16:8-9—the only sin that is going to send people to hell is the sin of rejecting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. So, stop magnifying sin in your life!
Here is a radical truth that would get me kicked out of most churches: Sin is not an issue with God! The Lord isn’t waiting for us to ask Him to forgive us of our sins. The sins of the entire world— past, present, and future—have already been forgiven. Even a man like Adolf Hitler had grace extended to him! Jesus loved Hitler and paid for his sins just as He did for yours and mine. God is no respecter of persons (Rom. 2:11).
The message that much of the church is preaching causes us to become conscious of sin instead of conscious of righteousness (Rom. 3:19-22). It also causes us to link our performance to all the other blessings of God.
God has already done His part; it is now up to you to receive the truth by faith and make it a reality in your life. Amen!
God’s grace has provided not only for salvation but also for every need of your life. That provision is not based on whether you are reading the Bible enough, praying enough, going to church, or even paying your tithes. Before you ever had a financial need, God created the provision. Before you were sick, God, through grace, provided your healing (1 Pet. 2:24). Before you ever became discouraged, God blessed you with all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3). God anticipated every need you could ever have and has met those needs through Jesus before you existed. That’s grace.
John the Baptist said in John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” In John 16:8-9, Jesus said, “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me.” The church often misinterprets this scripture and preaches that the Holy Spirit is here to convict you of all your sins. That is not what the Holy Spirit is here to do. He is here to convict you of the single sin of not receiving Jesus as
Jesus hasn’t saved, healed, delivered, or prospered a single person in the last 2,000 years. What God provided by 4
grace 2,000 years ago now becomes a reality when mixed with faith. Faith appropriates what God has already provided. Faith doesn’t move God; He isn’t the one who is stuck. Faith doesn’t make God do anything. Grace and faith work together, and our part is to accept what God has already done. Grace must be balanced with faith.
of crimes against humanity. I think the idea that God either causes or allows evil so that we will somehow grow spiritually is the worst heresy in the body of Christ. It renders people passive and takes away their hope. If you really believe that God controls everything, what’s the use of doing anything? After all, it’s all up to God, right? If you believe that God is trying to teach you something through sickness or poverty, why see a doctor or look for a good job? Why not suffer as much as you can and really learn the lesson? I mean, how dumb can you be and still breathe?
Many Christians believe that God moves sovereignly as He wills, when He wills. That is because religion teaches that God controls everything and that nothing can happen without His permission. However, it’s not true— everything isn’t up to God. I have a teaching calledThe Believer’s Authority that explains this in more detail.
Brothers and sisters, that is terrible doctrine. The Bible says that in the last days, people will call evil good and good evil (Is. 5:20). Denominations today are teaching that when you get sick or experience financial problems, God is causing it so He can teach you something or humble you. That is an example of calling evil good.
For instance, when my father died, I was told God needed him in heaven more than I needed him here. Even at twelve years old, I knew better than that. Why would God need my dad in heaven? God didn’t kill my dad. That is not what the Word of God teaches. The Scripture makes it very clear that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (Heb. 2:14 and 1 John 3:8). Satan is the one who goes about seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8). Satan is the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).
God is not responsible for killing babies, for rape, violence, poverty, or sickness. Satan is the author of evil, and the Bible clearly states that we are to resist the Enemy (James 4:7).Resist means to actively fight against something. If we aren’t fighting against sickness, for example, then we are submitting to it. To casually say to Satan “Please leave us alone” is not resisting the devil. We need to get angry at the devil, and we won’t get angry if we believe that God is
God is being misrepresented. If He was guilty of all the things we blame Him for, there isn’t a civilized nation on the face of this earth that wouldn’t convict Him 5
the one causing or allowing the problem.
(John 8:32). And the truth is that you need to put your faith in what God has already done, not in what you do. God, by His grace, has already provided healing, prosperity, forgiveness for sin, and much more. However, it must be appropriated by faith.
God’s will doesn’t automatically come to pass. Jesus said that not everybody will be saved (Matt. 7:13), yet Scripture says it is the will of God that none should perish (2 Pet. 3:9). God has provided salvation, healing, financial provision, and everything else we need, but if we don’t respond in faith to what has been provided by grace, we won’t receive.
God has done His part by giving His Son, Jesus. His grace has provided everything through the sacrifice of Jesus. This is nearly too good to be true because there is absolutely nothing we can do to earn it and nothing we can do to lose it. Our part is simple: We respond to His grace by faith and appropriate what has already been accomplished.
God’s will is for everyone to be healed. Acts 10:38 says that Jesus went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, and it calls what He did “good.” And 1 Peter 2:24 tells us that we were healed by His stripes, yet most of us still do not receive His healing into our lives. It is not the truth that sets you free; it’s the truth you know that will set you free
ICOF members have united over 50,000 ministers representing more than 25 Million constituents, several hundred colleges, universities and other Christian schools, orphanages & feeding programs, humanitarian aid organizations, chaplains and other charities.
Transformation is a lateral exchange between two parties that has an ascension quality to it.
Times of Refreshing (Acts 3:19-21) are designed to transport us to Times for Reformation(Hebrews 9:10). Until you reform, you only revisit. It will take a conscience effort to change the norm or a past that continually takes us off God's path. That takes being biblically correct and spiritually accurate. We need to embrace the word of wisdom. That's apostolic. That's our destiny. Apostolic is not a status, it's a task.
COMMUNITY WITH ED DELPHs
The opportunity of 'Amplification' to the rest of the world. We cause the world to Re-Think Groupthink!
Encouraging Trends and Realistic Challenges for Apostolic Transformation
These trends, in my opinion, are real, tangible, lasting and trending upwards. You may have observed other trends. Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it's faced.
Right now there is a battle raging for control over culture and society in a way that we have never experienced before. There are two forces competing for world governance…the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man; Theism and Humanism; Jesus and Nimrod...The Tale of Two Kings.
Eight Encouraging Trends on the Path to Societal Reformation through Apostolic Transformation. (trends are not true in every instance but many/most instances...Rated by plus, neutral, minus)
The battle ground in today’s world is the ‘media ground.’ Mainline media is controlled by human reasoning and quest for control through governmental legislation and institutional education. In 'Nimrod-ian' groupthink , if you can't control everyone's thinking, you control the language. Control the language and you control the culture. Genesis 11:6.
1. Apostolic Leadership and Ministry is becoming more accepted and integrated into church culture. The process...pioneers, homesteaders, early adopters, midadopters, late adopters, non-adopters. Right now in many movements and places, we are influencing and converting early adopter/mid-adopters. 2. A Shift from Information to Incarnation. God is spiritual, God is natural, but God is especially and strategically 'incarnational.' Heaven wasn't coming to earth so earth came to heaven. Find a need and meet it. That includes engaging culture at all levels of society…the 7 gates are 7 opportunities for societal transformation.
As we consider Apostolic Transformation, let's consider the two questions that God asks every gathering in the universe where two or more are gathered. Will you come together? If so, who will get the glory? Right now we need to hear from God more the ever before. Hear God first and speak second. Apostolic days require apostolic ways. It takes governance to displace governance.
3. A Shift from Church to Kingdom, from Matt 16:18 to Matt. 16:19. How big is your church? My definition of kingdom in a geographical sense is anything that is outside of the church walls. More are embracing the
Embracing the Concept of Transaction and Transformation. The women at the well --information, revelation, incarnation, and transformation. Transaction is a lateral exchange between two parties. 11
kingdom. We are shifting from success to significance. Fit small into big not vice versa.
7. We are Discovering, Uncovering, and Recovering the Portals/Gates. There are only three verses in the whole bible that, when applied, connect the church to the community. We go through these portals:
4. A Shift from Theme/Emphasis/Doctrine Based Churches to Churches that Look Like all of Jesus. These new wineskin churches are more complete. They are upward, inward and outward all at the same time. They represent and present the whole council of God's word. When Jesus is lifted up, He draws the community. This is why God created apostles. Their assignment is filling the earth with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord who is Jesus. Glory is a Who, not a what. Apostles are sent ones with the grace to do what is necessary to conform people, churches and communities to the image of Christ in character, ministry and mission. If a church doesn't look like all of Jesus, it should alarm apostolic leaders. Apostolic alignment is to Christ alone. Apostolic ministry is a task, not a status. Deep and Wide.
*Good works in such a way: "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Matt. 5:16. All kinds of works that make the news. *Presenting and Representing Good Relationships: "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." Jn. 13:35. No wonder the devil wants love to grow cold. *Presenting and Representing Synergy...A Corporate Anointing. "That they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in us...SO THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE THAT YOU SENT ME." Humanism wants diversity with no unity. Theism wants unity with diversity...a celebration of differences. Glory produces unity, unity produces ministry to the community. What would happen if we did all three at one time?
5. The Church is Becoming More Relevant and therefore More Influential. In writing Church@Community, I had to invent a new term...redemptive relevancy. Relevancy whose end is redemption...becoming all things to all men so that some might be saved. It's not compromise. We are connecting the message to the audience better. That's wise in creating favor with man and God. You can't turn people on if they want to turn you off. Relevancy brings credibility. It opens minds, hearts and doors. "The Queens of the South will come from afar to hear the wisdom of Solomon." Attractional.
8. The Austral-Asian-African Spring. Mainline groupthink broadcasts an 'Arab Spring.' The spring is in the 3-A's and it is picking up momentum, moving all of us toward critical mass. We are not alone...more reinforcements are on the way. And especially I say, watch out world, here comes Chinese descent Christianity. Our destiny is to go to heaven. Our responsibility is to bring heaven.
6. Our Thinking is Moving from Single Looped to Double Looped. It takes a new 'mindskin' to create a new wineskin. We are moving from the dualism of either/or, us/them, win/lose to the reality of both/and. Lion and the Lamb. Church and Kingdom. We are moving from knowledge to wisdom...from output to outcome...awareness and focus...small picture to the big picture...from the story to the story behind the story. In other words, we are starting to tap into the mind of Christ. Many today in the church are believing right but thinking wrong.
Ed Delph www.nationstrategy.com January 2014
Ed Delph has been responding to God's call to the community and to the nations since 1979. He has ministered or been in over 100 countries as well as serving as a pastor in the United States. 12
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There are some people who have theorized that what he meant when he asked, ”what must I do to be saved” was really “what must I do to save my life?” Because I’m supposed to guard you and your escaping, your chains are falling off, and therefore, that must be what he meant. I don’t believe that at all. Here are a couple reasons why: One is, he “brought them out;” he didn’t chain them back up, but took them out of the prison. And secondly when he asked, “what must I do to be saved?”
The Gift of Grace By Apostle Robert Straube
Now I want to share with you again that grace is a gift, and I want you to catch it as you’ve never caught it before. Remember, grace cannot be earned, it can only be received. So, I want to show you this great story in Acts 16. Many people have heard this story about Paul and Silas being thrown in jail. And while they are in jail they have no idea about their fate,
Paul said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus,” the jailer didn’t say to them, “Well, that wasn’t what I meant.” He believed on the Lord Jesus and his household believed and they were all baptized. I think he was under conviction because he had heard these guys, who had
and they’ve actually been beaten while they’re in jail, and then they’re put in chains. And they really don’t know if they’re going to be stoned the next day and killed. But around mid-night, the Bible says, they began singing and praising God, and an earthquake happened and their chains fell off.
just been beaten and who were about to be put on trial, singing and praising God, and then he saw the glory of God. You can have earthquakes and still not have chains fall off. But he saw the absolute power of God. Then he asked the question, “What must I do to be saved?” And Paul says the perfect answer, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you’ll be
Now, I heard one older pastor say that because heaven is God’s throne and the earth is His footstool, that when they started praising Him and singing, God started tapping His big toe and that caused the earthquake. Anyway, the jailer runs in because of this earthquake, and because their chains are falling off. This is where we’ll pick up the story.
saved…” I’m wondering if when Paul said that, if Silas (now I’m just playing and making this up) said to him, “Tell him the other stuff, too.” And Paul said, “Well, I’m going to tell him later, I’m just trying to get him signed up right now.” And the jailer said, “What other stuff?” “Well, there’s a lot of do’s and don’ts. But there’s a book on it and you can read it through in a year on a study schedule.” “Is there anything else?”
Acts 16:29, “...then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. (Now watch this next phrase as a lot of people miss this) And he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’” 14
“Well, you need to go to church, too; and you need to pray…” Silas, “tell him about the other..” Paul, “What other?” “Tell him about his wife’s hair…” Jailer, “What about my wife’s hair?” “Well, she needs to… have you ever had a Cinnabun? It kind of looks like that.” “You mean we have to do all that to be saved?” “Yeah, it’s all part of it. You’ll find out. Once you start going to church they’ll make sure to start telling you. There are a lot of rules and regulations.” Then Silas says, “Tell him the other part.” “Well, for you there’s a little minor surgery we might need to do. It would be better if you didn’t watch.”
2 because I don’t want any of you to think in any way that I don’t believe in walking righteously and holy just because I believe that we are saved by a gift of grace. Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
Here’s my point. This isn’t a bunch of men’s rules and regulations. This is the Bible. Either it’s true, or it’s not. Did Paul lie to this guy or
You see, because I believe in God’s word, I do believe in living righteously and holy. I believe
deceive this guy? Or did he tell him the truth? You want to be saved? Then believe on the Lord Jesus Christ! I want you to understand, it’s a gift from God that we receive. In other words, salvation is a gift that we received; it is not a goal that we achieve. God is not waiting to see if you’re good enough, so that at the end of your life He’ll add up all the good and bad
that, but I believe that it’s God’s grace that enables us to live a righteous life, and it’s God’s grace that covers us when we as believers miss the mark. But it’s still God’s grace. Remember these four things: God’s grace teaches us (1) to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, (2) to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age, (3) to look for the
and determine if you’ll have more good than bad to qualify to get into the kingdom. If you have believed in Jesus you have received the gift of grace.
glorious appearing of Jesus, and (4) to be zealous for good works. That’s what we just read, right? And remember, it is a gift. I have three gifts that grace and salvation does for us. I had seven, and I knew I didn’t have time to do seven. As a bonus, though, one of the seven was the gift of forgiveness, in that God has forgiven us for all of our sins. Actually, the Bible says that He has removed our sins from us as far as the East is from the West. In
Now, understand this, too. Grace is not cheap, but it’s free. It is not cheap because it cost the blood of Jesus, but it is a free gift. And there are things that accompany salvation. There are things that happen in our hearts, or souls and in our minds when we get saved. Look at Titus 15
might shock you: you’re not a sinner anymore, you’re a believer, and you’re a saint. Your sins have been forgiven. It doesn’t mean that you don’t sin or that you don’t fall, but in God’s eyes he has forgiven that and He has removed your sins from you. So, if you can believe that before you got saved you were sentenced to hell, I want you to believe this now. By His grace you now have been sentenced to heaven. This is the message of the gospel, like it or not, your just going to have to go to heaven. Because you believed by receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He forgives you of all of your sin and He justifies you in His sight.
other words, if God is going to judge me for my sins He’s going to go all the way as far as East is, which is infinity; and all the way as far as West is, to get my sins back that He has already removed. Another thing about forgiveness is that He has chosen to remember my sins no more. Well, He’s going to have to lie to me and choose to remember them again, but He won’t because it is completely by grace, which is our righteousness, which is right standing with God. Now I have a very simple question for you, how can I go to hell if I am in right standing with God? And my right standing with God is not based on my works but is based on His grace. There are a lot of things we can understand about this wonderful gift of grace. I’m just going to go over three of them for now.
Isaiah 40 has a passage that I don’t think we understand because we don’t understand the Israeli culture.
Salvation is the gift of justification Romans 3:24, “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ..” So, we are justified freely by grace. What does it mean to be justified? It comes from a Greek
Isaiah 40:1, “’Comfort, yes, comfort My people says your God. ‘Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.’”
word, which we don’t use a lot, tsedeq, which means “just,” and is where we get justice. This is why I want you to know what it means that God has justified you. God’s justice has set you free. The reason that God is just in setting you free is because he condemned His Son in your place. (Example: Barabbus vs. Jesus) A lot of people don’t have a problem with this statement: We were sentenced to hell. As sinners our sentence was death. Our sentence was hell. Now, I want to tell you something that
Our western mindset would think that means she got punished twice as much for her sins. But in the Jewish culture of those days, if a man owed a debt that he couldn’t pay, he was literally going to have to sell himself and his household into slavery. There was a period of time when they would write all of his debt on his doorposts on a piece of paper to where people could walk by and read it. I don’t know if we would like to reimplement that rule where 16
money from my wallet to buy it…” I don’t mean that. Did you pay for it, yes or no? No? I’m shocked and disappointed. You mean you received a gift and you didn’t pay for it? Here’s what your probably thinking… “Doc, it was a gift! (I hope you are following me) You don’t pay for gifts, otherwise, they’re not gifts.” Can you imagine if someone came over to your house at Christmas or your birthday, and they gave you a bathrobe and slippers (bunny slippers), and when they got ready to leave and while you’re at the door they stop and say, “Oh, by the way, here’s the receipt for the slippers and the bathrobe.
we put all of your debt on a doorpost and let everybody read it who walks by, but that’s what they did in those days. But here was the amazing thing. If a person who was walking by decided to set that family free, he could take that piece of paper, fold it, double it, and write his name on it, taking responsibility for the debt. That’s what Isaiah is saying; tell her that her iniquity has been pardoned; her debt has been paid because the Lord doubled it. Jesus took your debt, folded it, and wrote His name on it. It’s been paid in full, and that’s justification. Salvation is the gift of eternal life.
No hurry, just pay me whenever you have it. I know you’re going through a tough time right now, you know, so whenever you’re able just
Again, I want to tell you I’m sorry, you’re going to live forever! If you’ve received Jesus, you’ve
pay me back.” We laugh, but that’s what many believers think about God’s grace. Oh no, I wasn’t able to pay for it when I got saved because I was bad and a sinner. But years later I’m a group leader, a volunteer and a greeter, and I’m a prayer warrior, and God wants me, when I’m able, to pay Him back. NO! Never! It was a gift. For the wages of sin is
received the gift of eternal life. 1 John 2:25, “And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life.” Remember, God can’t lie. He gifted to me and you, eternal life. 1 John 5:13, “these things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages (remember this word – wages) of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Now, I want to ask you a question and I want you to raise your hands. How many of you, at any time in your life, have ever received a gift? I want to ask you another very simple question. Did you pay for it? Yes or no? I don’t mean some of you men thinking, “well, she took the
death, and the gift of God is a gift. It is either works or grace. It cannot be both. Let me read one of my favorite scriptures in the whole Bible. Romans 11:6, “And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.” Another way to say that is, “If it’s a gift it’s not earned, otherwise a gift is not a gift; if it’s earned, it’s not a gift.” So, here’s what I’m 17
telling you, you’ve got to choose one or the other. Do you believe that you got saved because you earned it, or do you believe that you’re staying saved because you’re still earning it, or do you believe that it’s a gift from God? It is a gift of justification; it is the gift of eternal life…
people say, “Man, I really never had that happen to me.” Then you need to get saved, because when you give your life to Jesus, He becomes the Lord. It doesn’t mean we can’t rebel, but when we do rebel, according to Hebrews, He’ll discipline us, and if you’re without discipline, Hebrews says you’re not legitimate sons. God bought me.
This is a great one that we don’t talk about much. The word redemption (Hebrew: gaal) means to buy back, to purchase again. 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (Another version says that
It’s like Hosea. God told Hosea to buy a prostitute slave. Now, I’m sure she was beautiful and I think it’s an incredible story. I have a little bit of a problem though because her name’s Gomer. I just can’t imagine a woman going, “gawllly!” But anyway, it’s an incredible love story. Hosea buys this prostitute slave, brings her home and after a few years, she leaves. She goes back into prostitution,
you do not belong to you). For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Did you know you belong to God? If you’re saved, if you’re a believer, you belong to God. God owns you. Here’s the reason I’m bringing this up, and this is what I’ve had people say before, “What I do after hours is my business.
she sells herself, and God tells Hosea, “Go buy her again.” It’s the same word that we look at for redemption… buy her again. And so he goes to the slave market, and everyone’s bidding these low amounts for this woman who had been used up and abused. But he bids this incredible, unbelievable amount. And God says, “You tell my people that’s what I did for
What I do on my own time is my business.” Here’s a flash bulletin for you… you don’t have your own time, not if you’re saved. God bought you and He owns you. I can remember times very specifically in my life when I rebelled as a believer and I thought, “I’m going to do what I want to do.” And then this long arm reaches out and grabs me by my neck and says, “No, you’re not son. You don’t belong to you anymore, you belong to Me. Remember the deal we made? You’re mine now.” And I’ve had
them. Even though they left me again, I bought them back.”
Salvation is the gift of redemption
Jesus Christ purchased us again. Jesus shed His blood to pay for all of our sins, and all we have to do is receive it. It’s absolutely amazing to me that it’s a gift. Maybe you need to receive this gift for the first time, or maybe you have to receive it for the one-hundredth time, because you’re going through something right now that you’re in need of God’s grace. So, I want to 18
encourage you to receive the gift of grace from God, and receive it freely! In His Love and Grace, Your Servant, Doc
Dr. Robert Straube serves as President of ICOF CSU (International Circle of Faith Colleges, Seminaries and Universities) & as Asst. Presiding Bishop of ICOF Global â€“ http://www.icof.net
Debatable as it may be (because different Church cultures produce different results), a Church having a Facebook page doesn’t produce much. It may produce a little (such as community in a forum discussion, or other such uses), but in the end, most announcements that are posted by Churches on their pages are something along the lines of, “Gonna be a rockin’ service tomorrow. Come and join us for fellowship!”
How to Use Social Media Effectively in the Church Dr. Ralph Day
How many people on Facebook are going to respond to this invitation? Chances are, the only ones seeing this status update are those who are fans of the Church, and most of those fans are members.
Over the past few years, I have seen an explosion in social media being utilized by the Church. What Is the Point?
So is social media effective for a Church? It can be, but in most cases it probably isn’t. The shocking reality is that I bet most Churches know that their Facebook page isn’t producing anything; that is, except an image.
For the most part, Churches use the social media phenomenon to increase their exposure, and to broaden their reach when they post announcements and updates. This is only effective because people like you and me spend a ridiculous amount of time on Facebook, Twitter, and networks that are similar. The same goes for blogs as well. The main reason that it is ‘recommended’ for Churches to have blogs is because of the same reason Churches have Facebook and Twitter–everyone has them.
What happens when you see that a Church creates a Facebook page? Immediately, you think that Church is trendy, up-to-date, and something that you can relate to. So in most cases, a Church’s Facebook page will boost their image in the minds of the members. The problem with this is that now we are sounding more like a business than a community.
However, our addiction to these social sites is a topic for another time. The question I am addressing here is why Churches need to be in on the frenzy. The answer is a lot more complex than this one argument that I am going to make, but I think it would be safe to say that one of the main reasons Churches use social media is in order to be relevant to a disconnected generation.
Could it be that we are more concerned about our image to members and the secular world more than our fellowship with the members on a face-to-face basis? Why Should a Church Use Social Media? So what would be a viable reason for a Church using Facebook?
When a generation spends untold amounts of hours in front of Facebook, the main way to get their attention is to be in Facebook; thus, the creating of a Facebook page happens.
My suggestion is that Churches use social media as their official representation in the network.
Is It Really Effective? 21
However, this isn’t for all Churches. Many Churches are closely knit together, and anything needing to be said to the community can be said on Sunday from the pulpit. But some Churches, like those whose reach extends far outside of their boundaries (like IHOP, Bethel, and others) are likely more in need of social media than smaller Churches.
So, for instance, if a church doesn’t have goals, if a church doesn’t know what the finish line is that they are running toward—social media is not going to be helpful; in fact, it is going to be a detriment to that church. So really the first step in social is understanding who you are as an organization, what you want to accomplish and what your values are. And from there building a social media strategy on top of that.
These Churches, who have a network in the hundreds of thousands, need an official representation of themselves in these spheres. This is only because, like I said at the beginning, the majority of the people that they reach have a Facebook or Twitter.
I know that sounds a bit abstract but it’s really the best way to get started. Social media will just make a poor vision fail faster. Social media has a fantastic way of exploiting weaknesses and exploiting organizations without a vision, without an overarching purpose for their work. So the first step in getting started is to know who you are as an organization, what your big idea is, what you want to accomplish and what your goals are. And then build a social media strategy that helps support those goals.
But an even greater reason is that in reaching this large amount of people, they also reach plenty of people who would wish to spread lies about them. Thus, a standard of their beliefs and teachings is vital for clarification and for people to find out for themselves if the lie is true or not.
Number one, a big idea or an overarching guiding purpose, can and probably will change throughout the years for churches. Once you pick a big idea doesn’t mean that you have to stick with that one for all of eternity. Staff members come and go. Congregation members come and go. And, therefore, you have to build a big idea for the people who are helping build the church; both on staff and in the pews. And so while I do advocate for a single, focused big idea, it doesn’t mean that once you pick a big idea it has to stay that way forever. You know, businesses like Pepsi, and fast food chains, and banks, change their big ideas, so to speak—their slogan, their tagline, their mission statement—all the time.
What does a social church look like? A social church speaks the language of the culture. Simply put, our society is moving more and more online. A social church heeds the words of Jesus when he says “Go, and make disciples of all nations.” Social church takes into account the communication preferences of others before their own comfort level. A social church has the mindset that says “we are in a dialogue now.” The monologue status the church has enjoyed for decades is gone. How can churches get started in social media? What’s a good first step?
And the other part of this too is that a big idea can have many different applications. So a big idea is going to have a different application in youth ministry as opposed to adult ministry. A big idea is going to look different for the hospital visitation team than it will for a women’s ministry. So the application of the big idea can change and that’s really where ministry leaders come into play; where they work with leadership to discern what the application is for their specific ministry area.
The best way to get started with social is to understand what you want to accomplish with social media. And this really goes beyond “we want to have more Facebook likes” or “we want to have more followers on Twitter.” It’s knowing who you are as an organization, what you want to accomplish and then building a strategy for how social media can help you get there.
First and foremost, I would say at least they are moving in the right direction. I come across many different churches who don’t even take the time to put in that six months to come up with a vague idea, let alone a focused idea. And so I would rather people get started and go through a process and come out of the other end with a vague mission statement than no mission statement at all. And if they were to move further down the road, that’s where I can help.
really the big idea is nothing new. We see it all over scripture. It’s really partnering with the Holy Spirit to discern what your congregation has been called to do. What gets you revved up on Sunday morning and who you feel called to serve. Being successful online is not easy, says Biola University's director of innovation, Dave Bourgeois. When it comes to churches, having at least a minimal digital strategy has become crucial in expanding Christian outreach even locally within their own communities.
But seriously, basically a big idea boils down to: What are you passionate about? In other words, what gets you out of bed in the morning? And who do you feel called to serve? That’s really the basic elements of a big idea: what are you passionate about and who do you feel called to serve? And typically the senior pastor, executive pastor or the leadership team will need to have input on those questions, but ultimately that’s what a big idea comes down to: What are you passionate about? Whether that’s a cause or a specific geographic location or a denomination, and who do you feel called to serve? That’s really what it comes down to.
Social Media Church podcast The rise of social media has provided for churches both challenges and opportunities. Long-lost connections have been restored giving way to extra-marital affairs. Marriages have suffered as one spouse or the other has been lost in a world of faux-farms, patience challenged fowl, or tales of crushed candies. "Fasting" from social media has become as common as nuns staying away from romance or Tweedledum avoiding the gym.
Those are based off of spiritual giftings, right? We see this all over the place in scripture where certain individuals are tasked or given a skill for a specific purpose or throughout their lives. And I believe that local churches operate in the same way as individuals in scripture, where we can look in the book of Revelation, and we can see how Jesus speaks to each, all of those individual churches and basically says, “Hey, you guys were created for this and you’ve ignored it,” or “I’ve gifted you guys to do this, or I’ve given you this task and you’ve completely ignored it.” Even look at what Paul wrote in the New Testament. He’s speaking to churches all the time and in all different regions of the world. And you get a sense after studying these Epistles that Paul is writing to a very specific group of people with a very specific purpose in mind. So
On the other side are those who have pondered how social media might be used as a means to spread the gospel. As Clark Campbell said on this blog in January: Social media is a tool for interaction and connection, not merely a megaphone to announce the next church program and party. Social media opens doors and opportunities to engage with people who rarely, if ever, step foot in a church building.
How can your church use social media? 1. Facebook searches are influenced by friends "likes" on Facebook. Says Danny Sullivan on Search Engine Land:
With Facebook Graph Search, the objects we search for aren't Web pages but instead virtual representations of real world objects: people, places and things. The connections are primarily Facebook Likes. Did such-andsuch a person like a particular photo? A particular doctor? A particular restaurant? Those likes are the ties that bind the information in Facebook together.
use Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search engine. If your church does not have a website, or if it looks like it was assembled with wheat straw and baling wire, you may lose guests before they ever step foot on your campus. Often when searchers find your Facebook page, the next thing they do is click the link to your website. If the site is out of date they will assume the same thing about your church. (The will assume the same thing if you do not have a Facebook page or if that page is a digital wasteland.)
One reviewer calls it the "friend powered engine." One way to take advantage of Facebook search is to get every person in your church to like your church's page, then encourage them to suggest liking your church page to their friends.
If your website looks like it was assembled with wheat straw and baling wire, you may lose guests before they ever step foot on your campus.
Think of it like this: When a person moves to your town, they may use Google or Bing to find a church. But after they have been in the community for a while, have made friends and have connections on Facebook, they may use Facebook search instead. The number of people who have liked your church's Facebook page can influence the search results.
Your website must be visually appealing and easy to navigate. The landing page should be oriented toward non-members rather than members. Do not load the landing page with announcements, activity lists, a Twitter feed and the like. Create a member area for sign-ups, announcements and calendars. Make the landing page (home page) attractive, clean, and, above all, easy to navigate. Directions to your campus, service times and contact information should be in plain view. (Also, the site should be mobile friendly since people increasingly access the Internet on mobile devices even from home.)
2. Your church need not be on Twitter, but your pastoral staff needs to be. Men and students populate the Twitterverse making it a great place to interact and inform. Tweeting about big time events (Superbowl, World Series, the Olympics) allow much cross-communication with those who may not know Christ. Using hashtags for a sermon series (#GenerousLiving) allows members to find what others are saying. Non-members can see it, too.
Social media, like TV, radio and other technologies, are tools to be used for good or bad. The intent of the user says much about the effect of the tool. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs and other social media, may be used by churches and believers to impact a dying world with the gospel. Says author Andy Crouch:
3. A pastoral blog Many, many pastors I know blog. Blogs are a way to add to or prepare members for a sermon, address an issue not in an upcoming sermon, share a devotional thought, and point members to other web content. I think blogging can make pastors better preachers as it helps one refine thoughts and have a focus on clarity.
Churches should find ways to use social media to do what you most care about doing well. They just have to be who they are...It can be done beautifully; it can be done well. It's an opportunity to bear witness to things we care about anyway.
4. Even with social media, do not overlook your website.
Do you worry about reaching the people inside your church as much as those outside?
Long gone are the days of using the Yellow Pages or the Church Directory from the newspaper. Today people 24
You can use social media to reach people inside your church, too.
social media). But not going any further won’t let you use the internet to its full potential.
Social media isn’t just for church outreach
Reaching “out” inside
Most discussions about social media and the church focus on the ability of tools such as Facebook and Twitter to help a church either better reach people (i.e., outreach) or explain how to “market” a church.
Effective social media-based communication within a church involves both passing along critical information and reaching out to members of a church (to engage them in 2-way dialog). I recommend looking for ways to do both.
But using social media in churches can be much more useful than that.
4 getting started tips
Let’s take a look instead at how social media tools can be used to reach people inside a church (don’t forget that people inside the church often need to be reached just as desperately as those outside).
Here are a few tips for getting started (regardless of the tools you’ll use): 1. Before starting any new communication channel (such as launching a Facebook Page), find out whether your church’s members are already interacting online. There may be no organized effort, but there may be groups of interconnected people on Facebook.
Using social media for internal communication like this is distinct from use for outreach, though similar in many ways. Using social media for churches: On the inside
Get involved in these conversations already taking place.
The similarities with using social media internally are that you will be social, interactive and conversational here too, just as you would need to be for outreach.
2. Listen at first. I don’t mean eavesdropping (which is a foreign concept in social media anyway). I mean really listening to what’s going on, what’s being talked about, what issues people are facing, and so on.
In other words, you won’t simply be broadcasting information.
This will be incredibly more valuable to you than simply jumping in, saying “I’m here, listen to what I have to say!”
Focusing on what your audience needs to hear is just as critical as when you’re doing outreach, as is the importance of engaging them, capturing their attention and getting them to respond or take action.
3. Don’t awkwardly interject yourself into every possible interaction online. Let’s face it, your aim isn’t to remind your people that “pastor is watching” so that they’ll watch what they say.
Just because it’s communication inside your church, don’t think you’re limited to the “church newsletter”-style of information or presentation.
4. To save time (this tip will be extremely valuable to you): don’t feel you need to read every word written. It’s not the way social media works.
Church newsletter-type information is fine to pass along (though not everything is well-suited for 25
There’s no expectation that everything written must be read by every person connected to the author. (Bonus points for you if you’re able to remember this point when you start posting your own material.) How to use social media for church “inreach”
I also want to give you a bunch of ideas to get you thinking and to show you what all I mean by”inreach” and “internal communication”.
It’s not intended to be all-inclusive, just a list to get you thinking. And I’d love it if you expanded it by leaving a comment! It’s also not intended that every item is something that you, as pastor (or whatever role you may be in), need to be personally involved in. Some things you should be or may want to be involved in. Other things can be managed by others.
Reaching out…and in
Remember when implementing any of these, just about every one ought to be presented in a way that encourages interaction.
physically. This can include shut-ins, the elderly (an ever-increasing number are on Facebook!), students away at school, members serving in the military, and members who have fallen away (or are in the process of falling away) Get a “buzz” going (and build enthusiasm) about an upcoming event or worship service Follow-up with new members (can be combined with teaching) Broaden the definition of “church” we’ve used here to include groups of churches (denominational, local, or whatever), and then use social media to communicate between churches for growth, reinforcement, support, etc. A great example of this is the Church Social Media blog and Twitter discussion topic (#chsocm) Teach something Bring attention to some issue or social need Share your passion for a topic
Social media’s opportunities for churches go beyond reaching out into the world. You’ll also get opportunities to reach inward, building a sense of community and family.
Post your sermon audio Post other recorded audio or video messages Express your viewpoint (especially when done in a teaching way) about issues (especially complex ones) Post an idea and look for feedback Conduct an online Bible study Conduct other online discussions Spread church newsletter-style material Discuss progress of one of the church’s ministries Discuss progress of some church-wide project or activity Share interesting, insightful, or provocative (in the sense of challenging you) things you’ve read Keep church members up to date on things they want to hear about Help build relationships, encouraging members to get to know one another better Communicate with those difficult to reach or those unable to be with the church family
Rev. Dr. Ralph E. Day, Jr. is the Vice-President for Social Media Coordinator with ICOF. He resides in Bridgeville, Delaware. He is married to Mary Beth (Tarnow) Day and has four children.
Jesus: KINGDOM AND GRACE
For it was in Him that all things were
THE CORNERSTONE OF CHRISTIAN
created, in heaven and on earth, things
seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things
By: Bishop Derrick Day
were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him. And He Himself existed before all things,
It seems many religious folks are bent upon
and in Him all things consist (cohere, are
discrediting Christian teachers who teach
held together). He also is the Head of [His]
the Kingdom of God and the Grace of God.
body, the church; seeing He is the
Many blog posts are written to minimize the
Beginning, the Firstborn from among the
revelation emanating from these teaching.
dead, so that He alone” in everything and in
Now, I hate to be a party to an “us-versus-
every respect might occupy the chief place
them” debate but, sadly, this is what it’s
[stand first and be preeminent]. For it has
pleased [the Father] that all the divine fullness (the sum total of the divine
Here is an essential truth expressed as a
perfection, powers, and attributes) should
fact: the central figure in Scripture is Jesus
dwell in Him permanently. (Colossians 1:16-
Christ. He was present in the past, He is
present in the present, and He will be present in the future. In the beginning was the Word, and the
Since Jesus is the centrality of all Scripture,
Word was with God, and the Word was
it behooves us to study and to teach what
God. He was in the beginning with God. All
He taught. The Kingdom of God is what
things were made through him, and without
Jesus taught. Thanks to modern
him was not any thing made that was
technology, it is easy to do a word-count of
made. In him was life, and the life was the
text. Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God
light of men (John 1:1-4, ESV)
more than anything else. Indeed, the first thing Jesus said upon the commencement of His earthly ministry was “repent, for the
All things were created by Jesus and for
Kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). 28
“Repent,” meaning, “change your mind”
elements (Galatians 4:9) but to flat-out
and “at hand,” meaning, “here and now.”
teaching of the law as a means of discipling the saints? For some, it is an error of
Simply put, we have to adjust our mindset
omission – that is, they do this because
for the present reality of the Kingdom. It is
they, themselves, were not taught better.
not simply “pie-in-the-sky-in-the-sweet-by-
Sadly, for others, it is an error of
commission – they know better but
The Bible tells us that Jesus was full of
legalistic flagellation is a means of exerting
Grace and Truth - the Law was given by
control over others.
Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Jesus
In both cases, though, it is time for a
Christ, (John 1:14-17). Grace, simply
defined, is God’s unmerited favor. God so loved the world that he gave the
It is important that we study the Old
personification of His Grace, Jesus Christ!
Testament carefully to understand what we have been delivered from. It is also
The Apostle Paul wrote the majority of the
important to study the Old Testament to
canonized New Testament. The Grace of
understand what prophecy has been
God is what Jesus revealed to Paul. He
fulfilled and what is yet to come. Moreover,
wrote that it is by grace (God’s unmerited
it is important to study the Old Testament
favor) through faith (absolute confidence in
to understand God’s mission statement
God and His Word) that we are saved
(Genesis), His wisdom (Proverbs), and the
(Ephesians 2:8). Jesus was the embodiment
paradigm of praise (Psalms). It is not to be
of grace and the fulfillment of the law. Paul
used, as some would say, as a “guide for
laid this out with bold simplicity in his
holy living” because, if it is, it is holiness
epistle to the Galatians – particularly
attained by works – which is as filthy rags
chapters 3 and 4, which drilled the point
before God (Isaiah 64:6).
home with laser-like accuracy.
So what does true Kingdom and Grace
Indeed, Paul laid this bare by telling us that
teaching look like? That God’s government
we are no longer under Law but under
trumps all governments, that right standing
Grace (Romans 6:14).
with Him through Jesus is essential, that
So why, then, does mainstream Christianity
His love abounds toward you, and that His
insist upon returning not only to beggarly
unmerited favor not only saves you and 29
keeps you, but empowers you to be His loving child. It is not legalistic, traditional
Bishop Derrick Day is Presides over the
religion with the right buzzwords. True
International Circle of Faith (ICOF) for
Kingdom and Grace teaching liberates all
North America. He and his wife Angela
who hear it, just like it did in Jesus’ day
pastor Agape Dominion Fellowship in
Suprize, AZ (a suburb of Phoenix).
It is this “buzzword crowd” that strives to discredit those who are teaching the truth.
Because Kingdom and Grace teaching is
liberating (2 Corinthians 3:17), and it takes away power from institutions and puts it in the hands of whom God intended – his children. The “buzzword crowd” is not only content to persist in mere religion but is determined to drag as many along with them as they can. Kingdom and Grace teaching is light to a dark world, and additional illumination upon the sphere of religion. The teaching of those operating in the revelation of the Grace of God and the Kingdom of God is maligned by those who insist upon adhering to mere religion. Kingdom and Grace teaching not only has enemies in the world but in the traditional church as well. While it would be easy to fold up the tent against such daunting circumstances, let me give you a word of encouragement: Hang in there, Grace teacher, be strong Kingdom teacher: truth is winning! 30
GIVE US A KING uses the backdrop of the 2012 US Presidential elections to look seriously at the way Christians and the Church relate politics to the word of God. This book takes a hard look at what we do â€œin the name of God.â€? 32
eyes and said, “Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You've got to work hard to get to them.” He looked at me with serious eyes. “Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.”
An incident transpired when Muhammad Ali’s daughters arrived at his home wearing clothes that were quite revealing.
From the book: More Than A Hero: Muhammad Ali's Life Lessons Through His Daughter's Eyes.
Here is the story as told by one of his daughters: “When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister, Laila, and me up to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day. My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that I will never forget. He looked me straight in the 33
presence and power of God."
His success at setting the captives free was uncanny, especially when one considers those who he strived to reach. His battle cry was "Go for souls and go for the worst." The worst of sinners were saved, saloons were closed and entire cities were shaken. However, his success attracted not only supporters but also enemies. Those who served with him were pelted with hot coals, sprayed with tar and burning sulphur, beaten, stoned and even kicked to death in the streets. But he continually resisted his enemies with a cheerful "God bless you", and a prayer. Often, he himself was in the thick of it. When spit on during one meeting, he encouraged those with him saying, "Don't rub it off - it's a medal!"
The year was 1865. The Civil War had just ended. It was the end of four long years of death and devastation. In the same year a 36 year old Englishman set out to blaze a trail for the cause of Jesus Christ that few men before him and even fewer after have been able to equal. The most powerful weapon in his arsenal was fervent prayer. It was not unusual for him to hold all night prayer meetings when he came to preach the Word of God. People would flood the altars everywhere he went. "The power of God was wonderfully manifest in the meetings...people were frequently, struck down, overwhelmed by the
Many nights he would come home bleeding and bruised after being attacked for preaching in the slums. Some nights after being beaten and ridiculed he would come home and take his wife's hand and say, "Kate, let 34
me pray with you." After praying with her he would rise from his knees armed with fresh courage and hope. He needed all the hope his wife Catherine could inspire in him. She encouraged him, "if we get tired we had better go and be done with, anything is better than a dead church." Despite the intense pressures of the ministry they had a happy united family. They were blessed with nine wonderful children.
opposition. Frustrated and tired they appealed to William to close the work. He sent back a telegram with two words on it, "TRY TEARS." They followed his advice and witnessed a mighty revival. During the course of his ministry William traveled 5,000,000 miles and preached 60,000 sermons. On many occasions his midweek service would attract as many as 17,000. This was done without technology, modern facilities, elaborate programs, and a host of other substitutions that has robbed us of the power of God and left us with nothing more than a form of godliness. How many of us have traveled this many miles without an airplane or air conditioning?
Once while traveling, the car was detained. William took advantage of the opportunity and exhorted some idle factory workers. He said, "Some of you men never pray, you gave up praying long ago. But I'm going to say to you; won't you pray for your children that they may be different?" Within minutes 700 men knelt in prayer. At another time, two fellow Christians set out to found a new work, only to meet with failure and
And yet, General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army accomplished this feat during some 65 35
years of ministry. Nearly all of William and Catherine Booth's original passion and love for the lost and dying have been lost in the grind of corporate churches and 'the better way' we seem to have replaced the old ways and ideas with. Perhaps in this day of plenty when education and technology have removed us from the prayer closets and the all night prayer meetings we should reflect upon the words of this great pioneer. "Work as if everything depended upon your work, and pray as if everything depended upon your prayer.
LIFE CHURCH OF KENTUCKY MAKING DISCIPLES
the only profession who is expected to suffer silently. And because religion has sold this false notion that suffering for Christ somehow equates to piety, suffer they do.
Suffering Silently The Death of a Messenger of Hope By Bishop Derrick Day
Apparently, this young man had no one he felt he could reach out to. He couldn’t see as far as the hills. I make it a point, as part of my personal ministry, to reach out to pastors and leaders. I will pick up the phone and check on them. I will make myself available as a sounding board or a listening ear. Why? I do it because I believe someone needs to! I don’t do this for accolades and I don’t take a dime for it. I do it because I, myself, have friends. Good friends. My friends tell me when they think I’m spot-on about something or if I’ve gotten completely sideways. I thank God for their camaraderie and counsel.
A young man committed suicide on Sunday. This could be any Sunday in any place in America – I mean, this stuff happens, right – but there was a sad twist to the story. The young man was a Pastor. His name was Teddy Parker, Jr.
I don’t care who you are, how anointed you think you are, or how powerful people perceive you to be, you need friends!
As a pastor, myself, my heart goes out to his wife and children, his parents, his friends, and his church family. I am praying fervently for them all.
I’ve also heard pastors say, today – in the aftermath of this tragedy – that pastors suffer unduly from mistreatment by congregants. This is true but it is only one lane of the proverbial two-way street – there is a lot of browbeating emanating from the pulpit, today, as well.
Here’s the thing that hurts so badly here – the preacher of the Gospel is supposed to be a messenger of hope. I ask the question, where was his hope? I mean, we can respond with the Scripture that has become a religious cliché, “I look to the hills from where my hope comes from.”
Here’s the problem: For centuries, religion has taught that God will depart from you – that the Holy Spirit would leave you as David feared. But the truth is, God will never leave nor forsake you. Jesus gave us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for this express purpose.
According to a Barna survey, 70% of senior pastors say they have no close friends. A pastor friend of mine said that the Pastor is 40
There’s an old religious cliché that says “You can trust God even when you cannot trace him.”
we may be equipped, encouraged, and edified. Time to send this notion that God will leave or forsake you, and all other similar religious lies, down hell’s toilet – before they cost another precious life.
UTTER RUBBISH If you are born-again, you don’t have to trace or track the Holy Spirit any more than you have to track or trace your own liver. He’s in there and He will never leave nor forsake you.
© 2013 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)
Derrick Day is the founder and Pastor of Agape Dominion Outreach Ministries based in Surprise, AZ. He is married to the lovely Pastor Angela Day and they are the proud parents of a houseful of sons.
When I read the following quote, I realize this young man bought into a horrific religious lie and it cost him his life. “You know a lot of times, we feel like when we are going through stuff and it’s a lot that there’s nobody there with us. And guess what? God intends for you to feel that way. I know y’all been saved a long time. I know you super spiritual and you know you real holy but there are times in your life, not y’all but me. There are times in my life when I’m going through some stuff where I can’t feel God there,” he confessed.
Derrick also serves as Founder and Bishop of Kingdom Covenant International, a ministry governance organization dedicated to planting churches and grooming leaders to make disciples, mature believers, and multiply ministries. He also serves as the North American presider for the International Circle of Faith (ICOF).
“I try to pray but I don’t feel like God is hearing me. I try to serve but I don’t feel like God is using me. And there are times in your life when God purposely withdraws from you, he doesn’t withdraw for the sake of leaving you but he withdraws so you can grow and mature,” he added, in a show of encouragement.
In addition to his labor in the Kingdom, Derrick is also a software engineer, a former newspaper columnist with the New Journal and Guide and a former radio talk-show host with WNIS-AM in Norfolk, Virginia. He and his wife have coauthored the book, “Satan, Let Me Refresh Your Memory,” (available at amazon.com, smashwords.com, barnesandnoble.com and Apple iBooks). They are currently working on several other faith-based fiction and non-fiction books.
When I read this, I had to fight to keep my breakfast down. If you’re inclined, you can read the article I got this from, here. It is not the will of God for anyone to be alone, much less suffer that way. The Kingdom of God is in us to connect us that
horizon. In this spiritual whiteout, the reference points—the ancient landmarks—have been covered. Erroneous teachings have merged together with truth, causing innocent believers to become disoriented—and blinded.
The 7 Great Lies in the Church Today STEVE HILL
Editor’s Note: Most Charisma readers remember Steve Hill as the fiery evangelist from the Brownsville Revival who has since continued to win countless souls for around the world. But what many readers don’t realize is that Hill only recently came out of a three-year battle with melanoma. During that time, he received a prophetic vision warning the church of an impending “spiritual avalanche” that could kill millions. The following article on deception in the church is part of this timely message, now delivered in his latest book, Spiritual Avalanche.
The Lord recently imparted to me a vision concerning the state of the church and what we must do about it. Those familiar with our ministry know we’ve never played games and have a deep, reverential fear for the work of God. Given this, I urge you to take heed to the following words. If you think I’m just letting off some steam, understand that I’ve just passed through three years of cancer treatments. I had been given only days to live. And as Leonard Ravenhill often reminded me, we must speak with the unction and urgency of God. We are all nothing more than dying men preaching to dying men.
Years ago my wife, Jeri, and I were driving on the interstate when we were overcome by a white cloud of windblown snow. “I can’t see a thing!” I shouted. We were experiencing a complete whiteout. I lost all sense of direction. I couldn’t see the road or other cars. Everything had vanished, replaced by this strange, mystical blizzard of white. The only thing I knew to do was to slow down and pray that I was still on the road.
In the vision I saw the church, depicted as a beautiful ski resort, with an enormous avalanche hovering overhead. The Lord immediately revealed the interpretation. This impending spiritual avalanche carried a threat that could destroy everyone. I’ve spent countless hours in the past attempting to rescue those who had fallen prey to false teaching. Now, in this visitation from God, I saw layers upon layers of snow steadily covering the solid, traditional truth of Christ. As with a whiteout, the truth had been lost in the flurry. No one who loves God willingly preaches deception, yet a spiritual whiteout of unhealthy, unbalanced, and in some cases, unbiblical teaching is blinding the body of Christ in America, and it is quickly spreading around the world.
By the providence of God I came to a stop in the median, where we waited out the storm. When it lifted, I was shocked at what we’d gone through. Miles in front of me and miles behind were wrecks—too many to number. Massive trucks had slid off the road and turned over. Cars were everywhere. It was purely by the hand of the Lord that we survived. A whiteout is a weather condition in which visibility is severely reduced by snow. The horizon disappears completely; there are no reference points at all, leaving the individual with a distorted orientation.
How Has This Happened? Unhealthy and destructive teaching can enter the church in various ways. Sometimes a biblical truth is taught to the exclusion of other biblical truths, producing a dangerous imbalance. At other times a biblical truth is taught in an exaggerated way, often going beyond what Scripture actually says, and in the
This is what’s happening today in the church. Many are oblivious to the dangers on the 43
end this does more harm than good. Many times clear, biblical warnings are ignored or reinterpreted so radically that they lose all impact or effect, leaving people vulnerable and exposed.
Are you with me? I am not against you having money. But I am adamantly against money having you. The problem is, there’s more to the story that the carnal prosperity preachers fail to mention:
Paul warned that the “time will come when [believers] will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Today’s church in America, as a whole, is dangerously close to turning aside to such fables. Millions have already succumbed to these false teachings. Before we lose any more souls, it’s crucial that we identify what I believe are the seven greatest lies that have infiltrated the church and have led to a whiteout of error. 1) Overemphasis of Prosperity Undoubtedly, some adherents of the carnal prosperity message are motivated by greed. For them, preaching Jesus is a means of financial gain, something Paul rebuked in the strongest possible terms, speaking of men “of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain” (1 Tim. 6:5).
Jesus warned against storing up treasures on earth (Matt. 6:19-24) and covetousness (Luke 12:15).
Jesus emphasized caring for the poor (Matt. 25:31-46).
Paul and John both taught that we should not live according to this present age (1 Cor. 7:29-31; 1 John 2:15-17).
Jesus did not die to make us financially wealthy but to save us from our sins (Matt. 1:21).
God chose the poor to be rich in faith and kingdom heirs (James 2:5).
More importantly, the carnal prosperity preachers have ignored other biblical warnings, like Paul’s powerful words to Timothy: “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness” (1 Tim. 6:9-11).
Yet many sincere believers embrace this message too—and back their case with Scripture. They point to the covenant blessings the Lord promised to Israel for their obedience, including financial prosperity (Deut. 28:1-13). They highlight verses in Proverbs and Psalms that link financial prosperity to generosity, hard work, godly living and faith (e.g., Ps. 112). They remind us of wonderful promises, such as those found in Proverbs 3:9-10—and how Jesus reiterated these in the New Testament with teachings such as, “Give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38). And they quote Paul, who wrote about the financial principles of sowing and reaping (1 Cor. 9; 2 Cor. 8-9; Phil. 4:11-19).
Carnal prosperity preachers encourage God’s people to seek after riches—or to seek after God for the purpose of riches—often even judging your spirituality by the kind of car you drive. What does that have to do with the gospel of Jesus? 2) Exaggerated View of Grace This hyper-grace teaching has become an epidemic (see “What’s Wrong With Grace?” on p. 28). It has slipped in almost unnoticed and taken root like an unwanted weed—easy to get in but hard to get out of the Christian. I have 44
personally dealt with many young people who were once on fire but fell under this “kickedback” view of God. Now, instead of pursuing Him, they are partying. This “unmerited freedom,” if not tackled and taken out, will spread to future generations, leaving us with millions of lukewarm Christians who have traded their passion for poison.
For example, they rightly teach that Jesus died for all our sins—past, present and future—but wrongly conclude that as believers we no longer have to deal with sin (meaning we never have to confess sin or repent of sin, and the Holy Spirit no longer convicts us of sin). Aren’t you tired of hearing of another backslidden brother? Trace his steps and you’ll often find he was given permission to slip away from the wonderful freedom of holiness into the bondage of humanism.
Sadly, some hyper-grace preachers live in sin and ease their consciences by preaching about a God who is all love and who never condemns, a God who doesn’t judge us by our conduct. Like the false teachers Jude confronted, they “turn the grace of our God into lewdness” (Jude 4). The New International Version describes such lewdness as “a license for immorality.”
3) Antinomianism Antinomianism—long word, simple meaning. The word literally means “against law.” It’s a short jump from an overemphasis on the grace message to complete antinomianism. In practice, it means that “anything goes,” since Jesus has set us free. The problem is, Jesus didn’t set us free to sin; He set us free from sin.
But not every hyper-grace preacher is looking for a way to justify sin. Some truly love Jesus but are simply preaching truth mixed with error. They’ve taken an undeniable, glorious truth about God and presented it in such an exaggerated form that they nullify all divine warnings and even claim that the words of Jesus don’t apply to New Covenant believers. If this seems judgmental, then it’s time to honestly line everyone’s teachings—including mine—alongside the Word. Don’t just go through the Word; let the Word go through you. Why are we so afraid in this godless generation to confront fallacies?
Jesus died for us and broke sin’s power on our lives so that now, by the Spirit, we can live out the righteous requirements of the law (Rom. 8:1-4). Yet purveyors of this poisonous teaching fail to realize that Jesus calls us beyond the requirements of the law in His teaching, stating, for example, that adultery refers to adultery of the heart and not just the physical act (Matt. 5:27-28). God’s perfect, holy, glorious law is not the problem. Sinful flesh is the problem. Sin will take you farther than you ever wanted to go. Sin will cost you more than you ever wanted to pay. And sin will keep you longer than you ever intended to stay. Sin will promise you everything but leave you with nothing. Sin will love you for a season and curse you for eternity.
These hyper-grace teachers rightly emphasize that we are saved by grace and not by works (Eph. 2:8-9), that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Rom. 5:6-8), that we are no longer sinners but saints in God’s sight (1 Cor. 1:2), that God’s love for us is not based on our performance (Rom. 5:9-10), that having begun in the Spirit we can’t become perfect by human effort (Gal. 3:3), that we are now sons and daughters of God, joint heirs with Jesus (Rom. 8:15-17), and more!
For all the antinomians out there who believe “anything goes,” the question is, where do you end up? 4) Deification of Man Many false teachings today start with man rather than with God. In contrast, when Paul
But they ignore mountains of other scriptural truths and draw wrong theological conclusions. 45
laid out the gospel message in Romans, he started with God and then went to man: God is holy and we are not; He is righteous and we are not; we are under His judgment and in need of mercy, and that mercy comes through the cross.
nothing about the real, historical Jesus. Other authors tell us that the Bible is no more than a collection of religious traditions and that God Himself is nothing more than a religious myth. For the most part, though, the challenge to the authority of the Scriptures is subtler, and some of it flows out of the deification of man, which says, “The Bible must live up to my standards. I will judge the God of the Bible based on my morality rather than the God of the Bible judging me based on His morality.” In short, when the Scriptures contradict our feelings and preferences rather than crucify our feelings and preferences and bow down before God and His Word, we question God’s Word.
Today’s gospel, especially in America, has a very different ring to it; rather than being all about God, it’s all about me. Just as the American way is to make everything bigger and better, the American gospel says that Jesus came to make you into a bigger and better you. That is not the gospel! Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:24-25).
6) Rejecting Hell Nowhere is this questioning of God’s Word seen any more clearly than when it comes to the subject of hell and future punishment. And because we preach an imbalanced gospel— emphasizing God’s love and ignoring His wrath, emphasizing His mercy and ignoring His justice—we no longer have room for hell and future punishment in our theology.
We are in grave danger worldwide as millions upon millions gaze upon man rather than God. Just take a look at our political system. Words like messiah, lord, savior and anointed one are tossed around like candy. I cringe at heaven’s response. This is a setup for the Antichrist; as we become so accustomed to worshipping man, it will be a simple maneuver for the Antichrist to move into position.
Why did Jesus use such strong language in talking about the fire of hell and about people weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth (see Matt. 8:12)? And why did He teach that “it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell” (Matt. 5:29)? And why do other New Testament writers warn us repeatedly about the wrath to come (see Eph. 5:1-6)?
5) Challenging the Authority of the Word The challenging of God’s authority goes back to the Garden of Eden, starting with the serpent’s challenge to Eve: “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1). This satanic challenge was twofold: First, did God really say that? And second, God didn’t really mean what He said. After all, you won’t die if you eat from the tree (vv. 1-5).
It’s one thing to debate the exact nature of the future punishment that awaits those who reject the gospel. It’s another thing to downplay or eliminate it. Whatever legitimate debate we may have on the precise nature of the coming judgment, this much is clear from the Word: it will be irreversible, dreadful and of eternal consequence.
That twofold challenge continues to assault us today. Best-selling authors tell us the biblical text isn’t reliable, that the biblical manuscripts we have in our possession are hopelessly contradictory, and that we can know little or 46
Revelation 20:11-15 clearly warns about the coming Great White Throne Judgment. Yet modern-day heresy teachers have taken it upon themselves to erase the judgment. The result, if believed and followed, will be too devastating to mention.
whiteout. Amid this whiteout, stay committed to His teachings. Don’t permit any false teaching to subtly weave its way into your life, bringing down an avalanche that could destroy everything you hold so dearly. I won’t let it happen. Not in my lifetime and not in yours.
7) Universal Reconciliation Universal reconciliation promotes a get-out-ofjail-free mentality—that in the end, everyone will make it into heaven because of Jesus’ death on the cross. (In contrast, universalism teaches that all paths lead to God.) There may be future suffering, but it will be purging rather than punishment, and ultimately everyone will be saved.
Steve Hill is founder of Heartland World Ministries Church in Dallas. He is widely known for preaching the uncompromising message of Christ throughout the world.
Proponents of universal reconciliation point to verses that teach that God reconciled “all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:20). And they point out that just as in Adam all die, in Jesus all will live (Rom. 5:12-21). What would you say if someone attempted to persuade you that Adolf Hitler was in heaven? “Abomination!” you would scream. “You’re deranged!” Yet that’s a sample of the fundamental false teaching of this layer of “avalanche snow.” Added to other layers mentioned previously, we will find the believer’s foundation deteriorated, and when the storms come, the house will come crumbling to the ground.
During this season when we celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, let’s determine to glorify Him by staying pure. A gentle breeze of false teaching has become a strong wind of serious error, some of it downright heretical, and a storm of doctrinal deviation has become a massive deadly
2. Communicate theology effectively: Clergy have to speak to many people with widely diverging needs. Some don’t have a faith background and never attended church. Some are well versed in the popular distillations of recent theological trends. And some are in interfaith marriages and have gained a deep appreciation for other traditions. Speaking to all of these groups requires developing a rich vocabulary, while at the same time communicating core shared values. “The theological framework will have to be deeper and broader,” says Cynthia Woolever, a sociologist and research director of the U.S. Congregational Life Survey.
Ten Essential Skills The Next Generation Of Religious Leaders Will Need
3. Have the courage of your convictions: New pastors are often afraid of speaking up for fear they may lose standing within their congregation or denomination, says Martha Simmons, president and publisher of The African American Pulpit Journal and the creator of The African American Lectionary. Simmons often sees clergy shirk controversial issues, whether it’s the treatment of women clergy or homosexuality. Her advice? “Say what you believe.” Equally important are strong core convictions rooted in beliefs. Convictions inspire, adds the Rev. Kathy Smith, associate director of theCalvin Institute of Christian Worship.
Some skills are time-tested, such as listening and collaborating, but tomorrow’s religious leaders will also need to be entrepreneurial and communicate in new ways. The U.S. religious landscape is changing and so too the old ways of doing church. Today’s seminary students will likely need to be far more creative and imaginative than older generations in connecting with members and creating community. Four experts weigh in on the 10 most essential skills the next generation of religious leaders will need. (Surprise: technological skills didn’t make the list!)
4. Collaborate: Effective clergy know how to engage their congregants if they want to move forward toward a common vision. Peers, of the Pastoral Excellence Network, quotes a colleague who says, “Clergy need the ability to play jazz, while their seminary teaches them to play from sheet music.”
The 10 most essential skills: 1. Be entrepreneurial: In the old days, visitors were invited to attend worship services with the hope they would join. Today, clergy have to deploy a whole host of methods — from finding people through onlinegroups to giving talks at local libraries or coffee shops. Being entrepreneurial means taking risks. Some pastors try one new approach and when it doesn’t work they label it a failure and go back to business as usual, says Lawrence Peers, director of learning for the Pastoral Excellence Network. What if they defined the new approach as an experiment and tried to learn from it?
5. Find mentors: No clergyperson should lead alone. Simmons says pastors often tell her they can’t find the right mentors. Her response? “Take it where you can get it.” Everyone needs a mentor, even older, experienced clergy. She adds: “We’re all going to make mistakes. But there are some mistakes we can’t afford to make. Mentors can help you not fall into ditches and lose time you can’t get back.” The Pastoral Excellence Network exists
to support clergy mentoring communities across many denominations. 6. Learn to listen: It may seem obvious, but clergy spend a lot of time learning to speak. They also need to listen. Listening is even more important at a time when society has lost the art of civil conversation, says Smith. Listening well will help clergy avoid pitfalls that come when clergy don’t know the culture of the congregation and fail to honor local traditions, adds Peers. 7. Try humility: Society once accorded clergy a high social standing. That’s not necessarily the case anymore. “Authority is earned over time,” says Peers, referring to clergy. “It takes patience and diligence. Leading is a dance —sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow the leading of others in the congregation.” 8. Develop a spiritual discipline: Simmons says she often gets silent stares when she asks clergy about their spiritual discipline. Everyone says they pray, she says, but Simmons encourages clergy to develop a structured discipline that’s built into their daily lives, whether its meditation, Bible-reading or quiet time. 9. Speak to doubt as well as to faith: Ironically, talking about doubt will help faith seem more relevant, says Peers, who advises clergy to honor honest questioning. “Clergy can create an atmosphere of searching so that people don’t have to leave a congregation necessarily when they experience doubt,” he says. 10. Love the people you serve: Some clergy are so enamored by the vision they have for the congregation, they lose sight of the people. “We sometimes love the dream more than the people,” says Smith, who advises: “Spend the time to get to know and appreciate the people you’re attempting to lead.”
suggested, that evil has prevailed while good men sat idly by and did nothing—and the little that was done was like trying to put out a forest fire with a glass of water. With human trafficking, abortion, divorce, homelessness, poverty, fatherlessness, drug and alcohol abuse, and age, sex, and racial discriminations among the many social ills running rampant all over this nation and the world, one may reasonably ask—Where is God in all of this? Or better yet, where are God’s people, the ones that he has chosen in the world, in all of this?
The Silent Church and Political Correctness By Providence Crowder
The people of God? We are here. Some of us you may not recognize, but if you look closely, you will see us on Sunday mornings climbing into our cars and heading to church. And, if you visit our church, you will see us singing praises to God from wooden pews, and waving our hands in the air, and you may even see tears streaming from our eyes. You will see us at the church picnic, the church concert, the church “revival,” the church car wash, the church bake sale, the church fashion show, Bible study, the pastor’s anniversary service, or any number of other church functions.
I admit I am no fan of the current U.S. President or his administration. Personally I feel that the path that the Democrat Party and modern liberals are taking this nation on is a disastrous one. But, putting my personal political preferences aside, I recognize that as a Christian, our political systems and governments are severely flawed and dominated by sinful people with selfish motives. Christians are waged in spiritual warfare with the powers of darkness—and the sources of our national woes go beyond what any Democrat, Republican, Constitutionalist, or Libertarian can remedy.
Don’t look for us in the streets, don’t look for us in the hospitals, or the prisons, or anywhere people are broken. We are busy tending to our church services. BUT, if you come to our church, you will be blessed! Don’t look for us to help the poor—that’s why some of us pay taxes, so that the government can do it. They will be fair, I trust my politicians.
We live in a world filled with crime and violence wrought by men and women consumed with hate and motivated by selfish pride. With brother wronging brother, neighbor offending neighbor, and nation pitted against nation, it seems, as philosopher Edmund Burke has 51
Many of us stand with President Obama, and even praise his homosexual agenda in the public sphere and in our pulpits as being inclusive and just, but don’t look for us to stand up to our government bureaucrats and demand justice for unborn children who are being legally slaughtered by the thousands daily— abortion is a political issue that’s divisive. Most of us—aside from the extremists—are politically correct.
our church pews and we would have no one to pay tithes and offering! Who would pay to keep the lights on in our impressive edifices? Ok, I hope you get my point. “If the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the godless and wicked?” (I Peter 4:18). We as people of God have many shortcomings. We are imperfect beings commissioned to deliver a perfect message to the world—Jesus saves! But we fail in our mission when we are consumed with our own needs, wants, and sinful lusts. We fail when we are unconcerned with the needs of our fellow man.
Sure, we will evangelize to the lost—the drug dealers, thieves, murderers, and prostitutes . . . IF they come to our church and hear our pastors preach. His words will surely prick their hearts. Don’t fret if you are unable to make it to our church service, we will add you to our prayer list and ask God to heal and deliver you.
With all the misery and human suffering, our indifference—our apathy—is literally killing people! The Word of God commands us: “Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:9). Yet, we have been silent when we should have been vocal, and have spoken when we should have remained silent. Many of us have believed the hype from the secular world that we should be silent on social and even political issues because faith, the world says, is a personal matter and those in the Church should keep their opinions and beliefs to themselves. The enemies of the gospel would have Christians hide their light under a bushel, but the Bible teaches no such thing. The Bible teaches, “Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven,” (Matthew 5:16).
Don’t expect us to openly condemn fornication, adultery, or homosexuality. We may casually mention it in a sermon or two, but the truth of the matter is, we are living in the 21st century and have realized our error in taking the Scriptures literally. We now understand that God accepts us all just as we are and we should not judge such matters—at least that’s what we say in the public sphere. But in reality, many of us know and believe what God says, but we struggle with the same sins secretly. We don’t want to live right—it’s too hard. Nor do we want to condemn such things too loud or too often because everybody is doing it! People don’t like to be judged. They don’t want to be told they are sinners. People may be offended and call us judgmental. If the government finds out, we are sure lose our tax exempt status.
We as Christians do great damage to our witness when we are indifferent concerning human suffering, or silent in the face of evil. German theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer boldly proclaimed, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is
So we can’t, God understands. If we were to condemn the actions of fornicators, adulterers, and homosexuals, people will tune out and stop coming to church. We won’t be able to fill 52
to act.” Even philosophers such as John Stuart Mill recognized the mandate for action in the face of evil. He is quoted as saying, “A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.”
Just as Dr. King used politics as a tool to rebuke the unjust laws of his time, we can also, as long as we do not err by confining God to a political ideology. We all have personal preferences concerning politics, but we cannot confuse our personal political preferences with godly directives. For example, if our preferences lead us to vote for one political party over another, that is fine and well. As citizens of this nation, we are afforded a voice in governing. But as Christians, our political ideology or inclinations should be aligned with God where God Law and man’s laws are in conflict.
Finally, pastor and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during the reigns of racial segregation and legalized discrimination in America, was forced to contend with spirited enemies on one front and an apathetic and sleeping Church on another. He used political pressure as one means to bring an end to unjust laws that denied human dignity to his fellow man.
Where human laws and institutions infringe upon God’s supreme Law, Christians must decide who their allegiance is to—man or God?
Dr. King defined just and unjust laws as follows: “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law … Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”
As a Christian, I also understand that worldly governments are godless entities without souls and without consciences. They were established by God to promote good and punish evil (Romans 13:1-7)—but how can sinful men promote good if they do not know what good is? How can our governments be just if the love for God and fellow man is not in the hearts of those who govern? The Bible teaches that “Out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness” (Mark 7:21-22). These things are in the heart of every sinful man, rich and poor alike. That is why it is imperative for Christians to be vocal in promoting what is good and shunning what is evil. Dr. King argues that “the Church is not the master or servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.”
Dr. King had much to say concerning the Church and its moral failures. In 1965 during a speech, Dr. King is quoted as telling his Georgian audience: “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the vitriolic words and other violent actions of the bad people but the appalling silence and indifference of the good people. Our generation will have to repent not only the words and acts of the children of darkness but also for the fears and apathy of the children of light.” King was moved to remind us all that, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Although laws do not change a man’s heart, laws are necessary to establish order and promote justice. As Dr. King has pointed out, “the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s important.” This is why a prudent involvement in public affairs has been essential to Christians past and present. Government sanctioned lynching of innocent men, women, and children was a pretty strong motive for the people of God to stand up in the face of evil and declare to the Pharaohs of recent times to leave the people be and do them no further harm!
People cannot see God in us, nor will they receive our message of hope, healing, and salvation through Jesus Christ, if we are indifferent to their suffering. God is concerned with justice.
Mrs. Providence Crowder loves to serve God through serving people. She is married with two children.. She has earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from Roberts Wesleyan Wesleyan colleges.
When man’s laws are oppressive or unjust, it essential that men of good conscience do all they can to promote justice here and now—and declare what is good and denounce what is evil. As Dr. King has emphasized, when laws fail in this purpose, “they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.”
Visit her website:
International Circle of Faith Social Media Coordinator Volunteer
Position Overview Social Media Coordinators help engage the target audience via various social media channels
Functions, Duties, & Responsibilities
Bookmarking sites, Flickr, Forums, Wikis, blogs, etc Ability to identify threats and opportunities in user-generated content Basic SEO knowledge Ability to produce quality editorial and technical output
Degree in marketing, journalism, new media, advertising, entertainment or social media experience. Will train in lieu of experience. Digital or communications experience
Computer Skills Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite
Utilizes posts, tweets, podcasts, articles, videos, or screencasts to interact Moderate and promote communications that encourage the exchange of user-generated content Create strategies and tactics to increase participation and ensure the clarity of the message across social media channels Coordinates campaign calendars with online activity Contact:
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities Demonstrated, participatory expertise in various social media channels, including LinkedIn, YouTube, Foursquare, Twitter,
Dr. Ralph Day ICOF VP of Social Media
502.410.4263 (ICOF) email@example.com 56
ARE THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN REALLY OPEN?
rend (tear, rip to pieces) the heavens! That You would come down!" (Isaiah 64:1). You may have prayed this hundreds of times, but here are some questions to ask: Is the veil rent in the tabernacle? Of course. What does that mean? Everyone can now enter beyond the veil – into what was before the mystery.
By Dr. Kluane Spake
Why do we have soooo many Church Conferences and articles about “How to Open the Windows of Heaven?” The church of Jesus Christ has far more inheritances than it realizes. Salvation means you don’t have to blast open the Gates to penetrate heaven and with your prayers in order to see the power of God released.
Did Jesus already “come down?” Yes, of course!! Any questions? Did Jesus finish His work? That’s what He said! I hear questions like, “If the blessings of God are in the heavenly realms, how we bring them down?” My friend, that’s what Jesus already did! Believe it! --Yes, Malachi is conditional promises based on your obedience. But, be careful to not live in the Old Testament so much that you miss the power of the New! Don’t just believe out of your own experiences! Change your mind – refine your belief systems – discover greater Truth… and you will see more happening in your life! All the promises of God are Yes and Amen! What you believe in your heart, so it shall be! (***).
Really? Do your prayers open heaven? Can you plead, shout, holler, yell, sing, dance, or petition enough to get God to answer you? Do you have to tear them open? Why? Is God unwilling to answer you? And anyway, just how good do you have to be? We end up with a faith that is based on what I do (works) rather than what Jesus already did. Why do you pray for what you already have? Why do you pray for what God has already done?
Jesus, the Pattern son, was baptized and the heaven’s opened (Mat. 3:16) and …. The Bible never says that the heavens closed again! God the Father tore open the heavens because He issued in a whole new era of dispensation.
That same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead does already dwell in you. He positioned Himself IN YOU, and that means YOU carry that same Spirit in your mortal body – you can sit where He sits. He knows what you will face and He ever intercedes. The Holy Spirit intercedes for you, and Jesus stands in the GAP for you. Some tell how Isaiah prayed, "Oh, that You would
Open = open wide, loosen, start, plow, to be loose, to be free! You have the promise of walking and living in an open heaven – NOW, if you choose to believe. If you live under closed heavens, 58
they are closed for you. Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is within -- and that means most warfare is between your ears. You have to believe!
when he saw a ladder set up on the earth, that reached up to hea ven, and Angels ascended and descended on it. God promised to give him the land (Gen 28:1214).
Over you is an Open Heaven. No demonic power can close what God has opened. If God opens, who can close it? God opens doors for us. And when He opens a door, no man can shut it (Rev. 3:8). Acts 7:55-56, “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I SEE HEAVEN OPEN and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Like Stephen, can you say this out loud with me? “I see Heaven OPEN!”
In Psalm 78, the manna that the Israelites ate in the wilderness was associated with the doors of heaven being opened (Ps. 78:22-25). Then I SAW the doors of the Temple, the Tent of Witness in Heaven, open wide (Rev. 15:5). I looked up and saw that heaven had opened. Suddenly, a white horse appeared (Rev. 19:11). I just read a well know preacher who said, “We can stimulate the heart of God to open the windows of heaven for blessing in our lives.” Listen… it is not by personal effort! What a relief to know that a loving God choses to keep Himself near. You and I are not responsible to open heaven! It is not by your might or your power, but by His Spirit that we can come boldly to the throne. Why not use this Scripture (also in Isaiah) instead? “This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus … TO OPEN DOORS BEFORE HIM SO THAT GATES WILL NOT BE SHUT: I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. " (Isa, 54:1-2).
This Open heaven releases treasures! The already open windows of heaven mean that spiritual communication is ongoing, just as it was before the Fall. Jesus restored us into right positioning. The ALREADY open heaven provides the entrance to all that is new. The open heaven means you can do nothing to open it! It already is!! Today, take what is yours… Align your thoughts to this truth! Be conscious and begin to delight in the fact that the Spirit of God dwells in you and become alert to the FACT that an Open Heaven surrounds you at all time. Discover the intense passion of God’s love for you.
Dr. Kluane Spake is an internationally recognized and Commissioned Ambassadorial Apostle and Prophetic Keynote Speaker, Author, Ministry Mentor to Christian Leaders, and Friend. firstname.lastname@example.org http://kluane.com 218-248-7247 - call to Schedule
RELATED SCRIPTURES: When Jesus met Nathanael, he said, "Hereafter YE SHALL SEE HEAVEN OPEN, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man."(Jn. 1:51). It is possible to see it. Jesus referred to Jacob's dream at Bethel, 59
be the ones to help with the restoration process. Here are a few guidelines to follow:
Restore Such an One Apostle Bobby Sutton
Love must be the foundation of the process. (The person we are trying to help must know that we love them as Jesus loves the church)
Galatians 6:1 "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."
No condemnation. (Jesus has forgiven their sin) No atttitude of superiority. (This could be self righteousness and then you become the fallen one)
In previous articles concerning this scripture, I first discussed the aspect of "ye which are spiritual". It seems like the Apostle Paul is giving a guideline to the church members, those involved in restoring a brother or sister that have fallen into sin. The phrase "ye which are spiritual" lends to the idea that the church should know if they are spiritual or carnal. Carnality is devestating to a fallen brother or sister. The act of restoration has got to be done by people that are governed by the Spirit of the Lord.
No discussing the sin. (Gossip) Availability. (If a brother or sister need someone to talk to, they can get spiritual answers to their issue or situtation) Accountability. (The restoration team is there for the person to be accountable to, if or when they are feeling tempted)
The second article dealt with the restoration process and discussed if there is or should be a restoration team in a church to handle these situations. In most groups the fallen are handled by the pastor. If the Five Fold Ministry is working in a church then they or the appointees should 61
Gender specific. (Brothers should restore brothers and sisters should restore sisters. There is too much room for emotional transference and vulnerability if this step is not followed.)
articles that I read were against any preacher returning to the pulpit after moral failure. The position papers, of several organizations, state that a minister that has committed a moral sin can be restored to a church fellowship but never to the pulpit. Many ask the question, "Can trust be restored"? Citing my own experience, as a fallen minister, I would answer "not in the church that was previously pastored." There is also a separation from organizational position and a pastor's personal position. I spoke with men that were in organizations that did not believe in a pulpit restoration, but they personally helped ministers that had affairs put their marriges back together and the incident was not revealed.
These are suggestions to help with the process of restoration. I want to open the proverbial can of worms, on the topic of restoration of a minister that has fallen into sin. To be precise, the sin of adultery. This subject is controversial to say the least, and I do not have the time or space to exhaust this topic. My research was done by reading internet articles and speaking with several church leaders in my immediate area. Most pastors that I contacted did not return my calls. I spoke to their secretaries of churches ranging from small to mega. The pastor of a 3500 member church, Gardendale's First Baptist Church of Gardendale AL, returned my call within about 15 minutes and gave me his views. Dr. Hamm has been instrumental in the restoration of many ministers and helped put their families back together. He said that several of the ministers had been placed in churches throughout the country. This was refreshing to me. When I first started this exploration into ministerial restoration, most
The fact is that according to statistics 19,000 ministers leave the ministry each year. Many of these are because of moral failure, others leave because of pressure of the ministry, maritial problems and the list goes on. Due to some high-profile situations in recent decades, most denominations have carefully established guidelines for ministers who commit adultery and desire to return to a pastoral position. Each of these denominations, Evangelical Free Church of America, Christian 62
Missionary Alliance, Assemblies of God and The Southern Baptist Convention to name a few have established such guidelines. Randall Bach of Open Bible Churches summed it up: "In short, yes, restoration is possible. As a practical matter, it is not common because such significant submission is necessary, and fractured trust in relationships at all levels is difficult to regenerate". I would like to add to that statement, in most cases the minister and the family are not aware of any help that may be available. In the midst of the chaos they do not seek help. I can say from my experience, as stated in my book "I Slept With Potiphar"s Wife", most of us are in shell shock. The only way for a person in that kind of a situation to know that help is available is for it to be included on church websites and facebook pages. Startling statement isn't it? What would happen if you included on your web page or facebook, "If you are a minister that has committed adultery and you need help you can find it here". Offer contact information. We talk about it but we don't want to talk about it.
an interview about my book. The lady was nice and held the position that everyone can be forgiven no matter what they have done. I asked her what church she attended. She responded that she was a member of the Baptist church in her town. I pressed in with this question, "If you had a pastoral vacancy and someone with my background applied would they be considered?". "Would you want me to be your pastor?" It was almost as if you hear her change shoes, the tap dance began. I let her dance for a few minutes before I relieved her of her uncomfortable position. I said "I understand." I have applied for several church positions, some of which did not hold any of my doctrinal beliefs, simply to find out their position on restoration. I send my resume with my degrees and pastoral experience, then if there is any interest I explain my past. In some cases I get a response of, "We respect your inquiry but we will be considering other candidates". In most cases I get no response at all. I understand the situation is a hard one to accept, but I would think if a church group does believe in forgiveness they would ask about character references, what group are you affiliated with, what is your statement of faith, things of that
Just recently, I spoke with a lady in northern Alabama that has a radio station who was seeking to conduct 63
nature. In most cases the door is slammed shut and locked tight. This gives me the impression that denominations may have restoration policies and congregations may help fallen brothers or sisters, but when it comes to a minister they really do not know what to do if it involves pulpit restoration. Most ministers that I know of that are seeking pulpit restoration and have been restored to the pulpit have gone through their previous organization. The only reason I know of the restoration groups is because I have been researching this topic.
pastoral restoration, unless God changes their hearts. Organizations that do believe in pastoral restoration have to make effort to get the word out, so hurting ministerial families can find a place of refuge and help. If you are reading this article and you are a minister that has fallen, I know what you are going through. The lost feeling, the feeling of being adrift and not able to find shore. Please contact me at email@example.com and I will help as much as possible with one on one private counseling and coaching. If you know of someone that is in this situation you can give them the e-mail address above or a copy of my book "I Slept with Potiphar's Wife" available through Tate publishing, Amazon.com and other bookstore sites. This book will help them through the stages of restoration and to a restored place to work in the kingdom of the Lord.
The organization I was formally affiliated with has a no pulpit restoration policy and really does not offer any help that I know of, for a minister that has had an affair. I contacted some of my ministerial peers recently by e-mail and spoke of my restoration and I did not get but one response. Ichabod has been written and Ichabod will remain. I thank the ICOF and it's position on restoration. I do feel welcome and accepted in this fellowship. I am sure the debate will go on whether a minister that has committed moral sin should be restored to pastoring a church. There is nothing that can be done, about fellowships or ministers that hold to the position of no
This is a list of restoration ministries: High Country Ministries Gardendale Alabama- offers counseling and coaching for fallen ministers and their families. Woodstock First Baptist Churchoffers City of Refuge for fallen ministers and their families. City of 64
Refuge offers counseling and support while restoration is taking place.
Jeremiah 30:17- For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast.
Winning Edge-offers restoration handbooks for ministers and their wives, counseling and help. Fallenpastor.com-Offers a manuel and support group.
I am sure there are other groups out there that I am not familiar with or not come acrossed. If you need help please reach out and do not hibernate in the cave you have found. There is a way back and a place of restoration.
ASIA Our declaration: I will resist the lies of the enemy that seek to blind my eyes to the goodness and greatness of God working in my life. My God is for me and is able to strengthen my heart at all times so I refuse to lose heart.
CHINA In Sichuan Province alone, more than 200,000 people have come to Christ in a four-month period. More than 90,000 became Christians in one month. More than 10,000 were water baptized in a two-month period. Something is going on in China - an awakening to the gospel.
Isaiah 41:10 Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Message Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you. YOU WON'T LOSE HEART IF YOU BELIEVE YOU WILL SEE THE GOODNESS OF GOD. YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE 1. Believe in the Scriptures. Believe in God's character. Believe God will do for you what He has promised. Believe means to stand firm; to trust.
INDIA The person living an unshakable life is one who builds on the unshakable word of God. His life is anchored, immovable, and indestructible. To live this life, it is important to make faith declarations. A faith declaration unites the heart and mouth to declare by faith the word of God and unshakable life declarations. Today's declaration comes from the last two verses in Psalm 27 and is "I will not lose heart."
2. Scriptures on believe. a. Abraham believed God's word that He would be the father of many nations when he had no children. He believed, then he saw. Genesis 15:6 And he believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness. b. Jehoshaphat believed God would rescue them from the enemy. He believed and worshiped, then he saw.
Psalm 27:13-14 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!
c. II Chronicles 20:20 Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; believe in the Lord your God, so shall you be established; believe his prophets, so shall you prosper. 66
d. Psalm 31:23 Love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful (the believing). e. Isaiah 43:10 "You are My witnesses," says the Lord, "And My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me." f. Mark 11:24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Photos are of the women,s crusade which started on 25th- 31st Dec 2013. hundreds of people got save, many were delivered, healed, and the last day we had an over night entering a new over 2000 people attended it. more photos are the food distribution day when Iwas inivited as the main speaker, over 600 poor aged widows were given free food,
YOU HAVE TO SEE 1. Open up your heart and see with faith-eyes what the natural man cannot see with natural-eyes. See God working in the dark. See God turning situations around. See God in every aspect of life.
My dear Brother's & Sister Who believe in him they will receive ..Peace, Joy , Hope & strength......etc Believe in him And Receive the Blessings In Jesus Name Your Brother In Christ Pastor Mekala prakash
PAKISTAN I am Rev. Azar naz ,Chairman LIGHT OF THE WORLD MINISTRIES REGISTERED IN PAKISTAN. I am also Chairman All Churches Pastors Counsel in Pakistan.20 Pastors are working with me in different areas in Punjab. Last night on 16 October 2013, there was a whole night meeting in my church.
Started from 8:30 pm and close 4:30am on 17 October morning. there were 74 people, 25 people accept Jesus as their Personal Savior and baptizing with water, 20 people received the baptizing with Holy Ghost. One young man was abnormal since his childhood. Now he is 28 years old, when he came this meeting under the Shadow of the Holy Spirit touched him and he is healed completely right now. Praise the Lord, You are requested to pray continue for them all. God bless you.
AFRICA KENYA Praise God yesterday program was done and Ian happy to inform you because of your prayers 28 students And 8 techers received salvation it was wonderful! and they want us to help doing the same program and also mentorship program, I love my Lord. praise God yesterday program was done and Ian happy to inform you because of your prayers 28 students And 8 techers received salvation it was wonderful! and they want us to help doing the same program and also mentorship program, I love my Lord.
Crusade in Mwanza, Kenya
Chile USA We are excited to announce that a new web site is coming for ICOF Global. The IT Dept has removed the old site and a new one will be up soon! New pages for ICOF History are already up!
Keep watching! http://www.icof.net
hover [Genesis 1:2]. These Flames of Fire hovered over the heads of the people.
Vision and Prophetic Word of the imminent Glory Invasion of Vanuatu and the world
Then God said, “The whole world is already at the threshold of the awesome Outpouring of My Spirit with an unparallel manifestation of the Glory of God. This mighty move of the Holy Spirit is not only centred on big and wealthy ministries, but it is also centered around millions of the unknown men and women divinely appointed to present the Word in simplicity and clarity to their respective peoples. Many of these men and women had been looked down by many men and women of God in their own countries, and even looked down by “big” ministries in the western countries. But I am taking the simple and uneducated men and women to reach the world with my Word and my apostolic and prophetic Anointing. They will carry the apostolic and prophetic anointing to everyone everywhere. These unknown men and women will reach multiple millions where big and well-financed ministries with modern technology cannot reach.
God me showed this Vision and gave me this Prophetic Word in 2003 during a church service.
Sadly, some men and women with big and well-financed ministries are in many ways become intimidating to the simple and uneducated men and women who are divinely appointed. These simple men and women feel they are helpless and hopeless because they lack the finance. But I will show Myself strong and mighty before them. I am their only standard. These simple men and women will do mighty and unbelievable miracles and exploits before the devil, his hoards and his human agents.
Vision and Prophetic Word of the Imminent Glory Invasion of Vanuatu and the world In this Vision, in 2003, I saw a mighty River of Fire flowing from the Throne of God. This awesome outpouring of this River of Fire simultaneously poured down on all countries. In Vanuatu, there was a most powerful explosion, and sparks of the River of Fire scattered throughout the islands. These sparks touched other Pacific Island nations. This River of Fire of the Holy Spirit also touched the countries on the Pacific rims. These golden sparks of the River of Fire touched the heathen countries of paganism, materialism, Muslim, and eastern religions in the Americas, Africa, Asia, including the mighty land of China, and the materialistic and industrialised countries of Europe.
The centre of the greatest outpouring of the My Spirit is in the southern hemisphere. My Spirit has and is touching untold multitudes of people in the southern hemisphere through some of these simple uneducated men and women. Multitudes of people are to receive the Word of Life. My Spirit only responds and moves upon the lives of these multitudes of people through the spoken Word. I am currently raising up more simple and uneducated unknown men and women in every country of the world and turning them into people of
This River of Fire literally filled the whole world and everything on earth stood under it. This River of Fire suddenly turned into breathtaking River of Blood. Above the heads of countless multitudes flames of Fire 71
the Word, people of pray, and people of the Spirit and people of Christ-like character.
gifts [Ephesians 4:11 – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers]. After this conference on our return to Port Vila, my beloved friend, partner in Ministry and wife Phishia had a stroke which saw her in coma for 21 days and she peacefully and gloriously went home to be with the Lord of Glory, Jesus Christ in Heaven on October 6, 2013. During her departure for Glory, God spoke to many apostles, prophets and servants of God here, that her departure for heaven marks the end of one period of the move of God and beginning of the next move which will supersede the previous one. It is gain but not loss – Philippians 1:21.
These men and women will carry My apostolic and prophetic Anointing to everyone everywhere. I am already begun releasing My apostolic and prophetic Anointing upon these simple and uneducated unknown men and women. I am also releasing to them the fresh and life-changing revelation knowledge of My Word to bring in the lost souls to My kingdom. I know that many will doubt what I have said, but that is okay, because I have given each one a free will to decide what to believe and what they want to do. I am the Alpha and Omega, and I am not a man that I should lie; therefore do not be afraid to share this Vision with my people. This is a global Glory invasion which will witness the manifestation of My love and power.” This is the end of the Vision. It however has been imprinted into my memory. After serving God for over thirty years as the pioneer leaders in the Charismatic renewal movement in Vanuatu, God began to lead my late beloved wife Phishia and I to something more exciting in 2010. God led us to pioneer the Glory Invasion movement; consequently we began to conduct Mission Glory Invasion outreaches and meetings everywhere, particularly on Shefa, Sanma and Torba provinces. We determinedly went through some heart-searching processes which caused an immense paradigm shift from where we used to be to what we are. In 2012 we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the humble beginning of our ministry which God used a vehicle to ushered in the Charismatic Renewal movement in the Body of Christ in Vanuatu and also in other countries where we ministered.
The Charismatic renewal movement has come to an end after 40 years in the limelight. God supernaturally blessed the Body of Christ in Vanuatu and elsewhere we went during those 40 years. But the passing away of Phishia to Glory is an end of the last move of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the manifestation of the Glory of God in Vanuatu and the world. It is the beginning of the Glory of God invading Vanuatu. The Glory of God will invade the lives of people spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially and materially. Only 15 days after my beloved Phishia left for Glory, there was a reconciliation that took between Pastor Kalan Luan and I; on October 21, 2013. This reconciliation took place because in 1979 when I went to preach at Lawa, the late Pastor Alick Luan when Kalan Luan was an elder contested my going. That reconciliation facilitated the ushering of the Glory of God invasion on Stallan Memorial Presbyterian Church, Lawa, Southwest Malekula Island. Three week after this reconciliation, unexpectedly on November 17, 2013 God’s Glory descended on the congregation and the
And in 2013, we conducted the three-week Vanuatu Glory Invasion Conference which was held from April 728, 2013 in Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Sanma Province. We launched Global Glory Invasion Network, an international interchurch partnership of like-minded leaders and Christians, operating in the fivefold ministry 72
youths who were leading the worship were slained by the power. On Monday November 18, while the school was having devotion the Glory of God fell and eight students were slained by the power of God. They were taken to the church where the elders and other youths prayed for them. That day they were taken to heaven by angels. On their returns they shared their testimonies, calling on the people to repent and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. This they did. The Stallan Memorial Church leaders met and agreed that I must visit them. I did on December 9-15, 2013 to conduct Glory Invasion Conference. The theme is “Walking in the Glory of God” based on my book with the same title. I taught the leaders, and people there to “walk in the Glory of God.”
miracles. The Glory Invasion is rapidly gaining momentum everywhere here in Vanuatu, and I have no doubt whatever, it will spread like wildfire to other countries. Heaven is invading earth. We are also inviting you to visit and see for yourself what the Glory of God is doing at Stallan Memorial Presbyterian Church, Lawa, Southwest Malekula, Malampa Province. Contact: Pastor Kalan Luan-Mob If you want us to visit your church to conduct Glory Invasion Conference/Seminar, do not hesitate to contact us as follows: • Apostle Philip Torboe, President, Global Glory Invasion Network [GGINetwork]. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Mobile Phone: +678 5603110
During that one week Glory Invasion conference, every night the angels took the youth/kids to Heaven and to hell. While worship was on the Glory of God descended and people were slained, saved, and healed physically. It was an awesome sight to behold.
• Prophet Jeff Vutilolo, Executive Chairman, GGINetwork Board of Directors. Mobile Phone: +678 5479589
After this Lawa Glory Invasion Conference church leaders and youths began to walk in the Glory of God, as they did God’s Glory began to invade the lives of people wherever they go. The Glory Invasion is rapidly spreading throughout Malekula, Espiritu Santo, and Port Vila. The Glory Invasion movement has nothing to do with any man. I do not have to do anything apart from teaching people how to walk in the Glory of God while God confirm their messages with signs, wonders and
For more information about what God’s Glory is doing at Stallan Memorial Presbyterian Church. Contact: Pastor Kalan Luan, Senior Pastor, Stallan Memorial Presbyterian Church, Lawa Village, Southwest Malekula Island. Mobile Phone: +678 5424692 God bless and all is well in His Glory.
INTERNATIONAL CIRCLE OF FAITH COLLEGES, SEMINARIES AND UNIVERSITIES EDUCATING TOMORROWS CHRISTIAN LEADERS
WANTED INTERCESSORS Together we are making a real and lasting difference for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
IF YOU ARE AN INTERCESSOR WE NEED YOUR HELP! We are putting a team of intercessors together to pray for our new church plant. We know that we can never accomplish the vision that God has given us without intercessors.
LIFE CHURCH of Kentucky is in the process of a new church plant. As part of our launch team we need a plethora of God called intercessors. We would love for you to be part of what God is doing in our area.
If you will commit to praying for LIFE CHURCH of Kentucky we will commit to give you timely updates on the needs.
But don’t do that. Let it reveal to you the weakness that God is trying to show you. God doesn’t send adversity to be against you, but to benefit you. (out of weakness, we are made strong) The cares of this world are the stiffest competition for your attention God has.
ADVERSITY IS TEMPORARY!!
The Purpose of Adversity
One of my favorite lines of scripture in the Book is, Genesis 40:1 “…and it came to pass…”
By J. Samuel Willoughby
Psalms 34:17-22 The righteous cry; and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Matthew 11:29-30 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. You need some rest and peace? Take up His yoke. Murrel and Joan Ewing wrote a song that says… “The storms don’t decide how long they will stay…when the Master says, ‘Enough!’ they just go away…”
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. 20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. 21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. 22 The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
The simple Truth about the Christian walk, is that adversity is no respecter of persons…it comes to every man, regardless of status or experience levels. When Jesus told the story in Matthew 7 of the contrast between the housebuilding sites of the wise versus the foolish man. The ONE constant in the story is, the flood comes to all!
Hebrews 12:6-7 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? Hebrews 12:10-13 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
When adversity comes, many foil God’s plan and purpose by trying to remove the adversity. 77
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
In our self-examination we need to ask ourselves, “Have we dishonored our teaching in any way?” Adversity is often God’s way of conquering our pride. Think of Moses…Joseph…David…Apostle Paul. Proverbs 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Adversity is God’s wake-up call for self-examination—
Proverbs 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
Time for us to thoroughly examine our actions, our attitudes, our motives, the things that drive us…If not we’re liable to miss the little OBLIQUE turn in life’s road…
Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit. Some things are just not honorable! According to James 4:6-7 God “resists” the proud! That word means “to set the battle in array against”. God goes to war with us when we allow pride to govern us!
1 Corinthians 11:28-32 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
James 4:6-7 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Revelation 4:10-11 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above
Ephesians 6:2-3 Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth;
measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christâ€™s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Christ. He is a member of the International Circle of Faith Fivefold Roundtable for North America.
Bishop J. Samuel Willoughby brings a lifetime of ministry experience to his role as a Teacher in the Body of