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We have all heard of Romans 8:28, that all things are working together for our good but rarely will you hear the whole subject matter within its full context. Let’s take a look shall we?
Starting with the beginning of Romans chapter 8, let us look at who is speaking and to whom and why; as well as what is being said within its entirety. Most scholars believe that this book was the words of Paul the apostle to the church in Rome. Apparently there was no established Christian institution in Rome but rather a group of different families who congregated together in homes. Paul does not address a particular Church of Rome but different households. Paul uses the phrase, “all that are at Rome,” which were both Jew and Gentile. Paul covers in the book of Romans many topics but I want to address one in particular, that being; all things work together for good to those who love God.
First of all, we know that Paul is addressing the Christians at Rome, whom we know from history suffered great persecution. Paul says in Romans chapter 8, that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. To be “in Christ” is to be baptized into his death and raised to life by the Holy Spirit, in other words, born of God. Not baptized in water per say, but baptized into Christ. Remember there is a baptism of fire, not just water, just so you know. That fire is Holy Ghost fire. If you have water baptism but no baptism of fire, you may not really be born again. Baptism in water can be a religious exercise if not accompanied with baptism of fire, or being born from power from on high.
Many sitting in churches today mimic Christians in some outward behavior and culture but have never really been born of God. They have not actually had an encounter with the Holy Spirit and made alive by his miraculous power. They know about Jesus but have never personally met him. They lack the power, even though they may have a form of godliness.
What power you ask? Dumanis Holy Ghost power; to heal the sick, raise the dead, speak in tongues, cast out devils and work miracles.
Those in Christ are not condemned. They are not under God’s judgment and nor will they face his wrath. Those walking after the flesh however, are in condemnation. These are those who are not in Christ, not walking in the Spirit because they have no life in them. Paul continues in the next verse to say that the Holy Spirit of life makes the Christian free from sin and death because of Christ’s atonement. It is very clear that Paul is differentiating between the Christian and the carnal unsaved person. Paul says that walking in the Spirit of God is now the perquisite for godly living and not the keeping of Old Testament laws and rituals. Paul tells us in this chapter that YOU ARE NOT IN THE FLESH IF THE SPIRT OF GOD DWELLS IN YOU BUT IF YOU DO NOT HAVE GOD’S SPIRT THEN YOU ARE NOT SAVED.
How do you know if you have God living in you? Paul says to examine yourself to see if you are really in the faith. If you do not personally know the God of the Bible it is likely that you are not saved. What does it mean “to know”? Well the Bible likens the “to know’ as the same kind of intimacy that a man and a wife have. Do you know his voice? Have you experienced his touch, his caress, his feelings, and his heart? Does he wake you up in the middle of the night to pray? Does he sing songs out of your spirit and weep with you in your sorrow? Do you feel his breath of life in your being? Are you certain without a shadow of a doubt that you really belong to him? Does God bear witness in your heart that you know him? Do you know, that you know, that you know, that you are saved because you know him?
If not then you need to surrender to Jesus and make him both Savior and Lord of your life. Knowing about Jesus and believing in him does not save you. Even the devil believes in Jesus. You must know him! Belong to him; be connected to his Holy Spirit by the blood of the lamb. Those led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. To be led is to have God direct your life, not you. You don’t make the decisions, he does. You listen in prayer and obey what his Holy Spirit tells you to do and where to go.
Paul next tells us in Romans chapter 8 that the sufferings of this present world are of no consequence in comparison to our eternal inheritance that we hope and wait patiently for. Paul lets God’s people know that the Holy Spirit which lives in his people knows our weakness and he will pray through us to the Father for help in all our struggles. God’s will is going to be birthed forth as the Spirit intercedes with prayers of intercession by groaning and moaning deep in our spirit’s as we seek his face.
Then right after that Paul says that all things are working together for our good. We can now see the connection. The Christian who walks in the Spirit and is suffering in this present world, prays by the Spirit that dwells in their spirit for God’s will which is birthed through prayer by the Holy Spirit, to work ALL things for our good. The reason Paul says this is because the Christian is predestined by God the Father, to be conformed into the image or likeness of his Son, Jesus Christ. So, why are ALL things working together for our good? So that we can be made into the image of his Son, that is in character and attributes. God has a destiny for each of us; a predetermined plan and that plan is being worked out by the Holy Spirit as he prays through us, God’s perfect will.
Who shall condemn those in Christ? Who shall separate us from God and his will for us? No one! This is because Jesus sits at the right hand of God the Father making intercession for us as the Holy Spirit intercedes through us. Paul says that in persecution, trials, sorrows, hardships and even death; we are more than conquerors. We are living out a predetermined plan of almighty God for his purposes. Whether we suffer or are persecuted or even killed, we will come out the victor because Jesus conquered death! So, walk in the Holy Spirit and let him lead you. Even through the fire he will be with you and make all things work together for good, that is for God’s predetermined plan and purposes!
Minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What exactly does it mean to be blessed and how does one get blessed by God? The Hebrew word for “blessed” is ASHERI or BARAK. Whenever a person is blessed by God the word BARAK it is always used. This means that the blessing is initiated by God and is beneficial to the person receiving the blessing.
In reconciling the use of trials and tribulations of this world that God allows in our life to occur and God’s blessing in our life, this is what I feel the Lord has shown me. First of all the perquisite for blessings is to know Jesus Christ and be clothed in his righteousness. This we can see from the scripture, in Matthew chapter 5 verse.6. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Not our own righteousness but the righteousness that comes by faith in Jesus Christ.
This blessing comes through having a humble heart. (Poor in spirit) If one will not humble himself before God and admit being a sinner then the blessing of salvation will not come. Pride is the negative attitude of the world, it is Satan’s attitude. Satan is uppity, prideful, boastful, thinks he is hot stuff. We can never get saved having this kind of an attitude. This is why God allows life trials and tribulations to occur in the lost so that they get humble and come off their high horse! God also uses the law, he shows the lost how evil they are and how they fall short of God’s expectations. He uses these things to bring us to salvation; because he loves us.
Simply put, a child who is rebellious and never does what he is told, needs correction and discipline for his good. We need correction and discipline for our own good! Even the Christian is constantly being humbled and made dependant on God. God will never use a Saul. That is a person who thinks that he has a right or is God’s gift to everyone. God will always use a David, one humble and small in his own eyes. The humble boasts only in the Lord, not in their own ability.
But to this one I will look, to him who is poor and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My Word. Psalm 25:9-10
To be blessed by God does not mean that you will not experience hardship! When you are blessed by God it is based on right relationship with him but also by certain behaviors. Remember that James said that “I will show you my faith by my works” In other words, if you have faith in Jesus Christ, your life will bear fruit to show that you have been born of God.
In order to perform these behaviors we must be led and moved by the Holy Spirit and not by laws, rules, and regulations. An example would be, if I give all my money to the poor thinking that I will earn kudos with God; then I am gravely misinformed. Cain’s sacrifice of his works was not acceptable to God because they came by his own hand and for the motive of winning God’s blessings. Ables’ sacrifice, on the other hand was expectable because his sacrifice was based on God’s requirements and not by his own works. Able knew that nothing that he could do in his own ability would make God love him more or accept him. Only the requirement of a sacrifice of a lamb (figurative of Jesus Christ) was acceptable.
This is the same way with blessings from God. They are delivered according to certain requirements and based on how the Holy Spirit directs. In other words, my giving must be initiated by faith in God’s Holy Spirit which always comes with a love and passion for what one is giving to. If I give out of a requirement of necessity, to get a blessing, then my giving will not be acceptable to God BUT if my giving is initiated by the Holy Spirit it will be done with a joyful heart, even if I have given my last penny. You see, it is all based on the humble attitude.
He teaches the humble His way… Psalm 25:9-10
If you read all of Matthew chapter 5 you will see the requirements for certain blessings to come. I will bring a short caption of some of them. As you can see blessings are not always material and may not occur until we enter heaven.
Requirement: the poor in spirit (humble) Blessing: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Requirement: those that morn Blessing: they shall be comforted
Requirement: Be meek Blessing: they shall inherit the earth.
Requirement: hunger and thirst after righteousness Blessing: they shall be filled
Requirement: Be merciful Blessing: shall obtain mercy.
Requirement: Be pure in heart. Blessing they shall see God
Requirement: Peacemakers. Blessing: called the children of God
Requirement: persecuted for righteousness’ sake Blessing: theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Requirement: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake Blessing: great is your reward in heaven
In order to be blessed by God we must love God, walk in his ways by the power of the Holy Spirit, be obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and God’s word, do not go after false God’s (idols in our heart) Deut. 11:22, 26-28
Obedience to the Holy Spirit, (God in us) walking in the Holy Spirit, listening to his voice will give you a life blessed by God. Remember that many are the afflictions of the righteousness BUT the Lord delivers from them all!
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21
Blessed is the man that endures trial: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him.
In conclusion, to be blessed by God does not always mean material nor does it mean that all blessings will be fulfilled in this life; some blessings will be fulfilled in eternity.
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“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
In the Greek the word for thief is kleptēs. The English derivative is embezzler, pilferer. It comes from the word Klephts. These were warlike robbers who were self appointed people descendents of the Greeks who opposed Ottoman oppression. They carried on a continuous war against Ottoman rule and remained active as brigands until the 19th century. (Wikipedia)
The thief in this scripture is a metaphor for Satan because this is how he operates; fiercely, opposing God’s kingdom by plundering, robbing, killing and destroying.
Let’s take a closer look at what Satan does against God’s kingdom, shall we? God refers to him as a Klepht because he does guerilla warfare. He lies in waiting, crouching in hidden places and looking for any opportune moment to pounce upon unsuspecting targets. He then plunders his prey by robbing him and if he can, he will kill and destroy. How does he do this? Well let’s take a look at what scriptures tell us.
• By masquerading as the Good Shepherd. Pretending to be sent by God. This can be a false religion or false cult or false doctrine leader or group. The wolf will devour. A wolf is always in scripture portrayed as a devourer. The wolf will take all your money and all your freedom in Christ and all your liberties in the Holy Spirit. The thief wants you in bondage. Jesus came to set you free from the religious restraints of false Shepherds. He came to give you life in the Spirit and not death under the law. Jesus gave his life for you to be free from sin and death, not under guilt and condemnation.
The false shepherd draws disciples after themselves; they do not lead you to the Holy Spirit. The thief will run off when danger comes but the true Shepherd will stay with you even in trouble.
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.” John 10: 8,9
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. John 10:11
But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. John 10:12
• Another way the thief ill try to destroy you is by keeping you under his power by the world’s sensual pleasures. Satan offers you the money and riches of the world because they are his to give. Remember that he offered Jesus all the riches of the world if he worshipped him! Are you being lured by false prophets promising you money and “blessings” if you give to their ministries? You will be left behind if you are! Remember that Judas worked for Jesus. And he stole money for himself!
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 1 Thessalonians 5:4
• The thief will break into your house and steal your belongings. Materially, spiritually, physically if you are not constantly watching! Be alert in the Spirit! Stay close to the Lord and watch in prayer! If you don’t and let this slide the thief will come and plunder all that belongs to you! Watch and pray at all times in the Spirit! Jesus will come when you do not expect him!
But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Mathew 24: 43
Jesus promised to give his sheep life abundantly. Let’s take a closer look at this verse. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. “
Might have- echō- to possess, to own.
Life- zōē- absolute fulness of life which belongs to God. life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed both physically and spiritually.
More abundantly- perissos- superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon, pre-eminence, superiority, advantage, more eminent, more remarkable, more excellent.
In conclusion, we must watch and pray against the thief from entering in to plunder and steal, kill, destroy. We also must pray for Zoe, God’s abundant life as he sees fit to give us individually in the earth and for his keeping power until he calls us to be with him where we will have our inheritance in him for all eternity,
God has his valiant ones (Hebrew -chayil -able, effective, strong,) that he sends to spy out, a city, country, church, or a ministry. These are usually prophets and intercessors. Sometimes it is just to pray, but other times, it is to speak a word from the Lord into a situation. I have personally been sent to do both, at different times, in different situations.
Let’s take a look at the Old Testament, which is a shadow of things in the body of Christ today, and find out about spies that were sent into the land. In Joshua, chapter two, we find that Joshua sends 2 spies to search out the land. (Spy out- Hebrew is Tuwr- to seek, search out, explore, and find out how to do something) These spies were sent out before the army was sent in. Their purpose was to look for the cities’ strengths and weaknesses but not only that, they were also sent to view the land. To see what was going on there.
In Judges Chapter 18, we find that the men of valor who went to spy out the land for the Danites, found idols and graven images in the land. It was a cursed land because of the idols. God said that he would take away that land and give it to his people for an inheritance, BUT God’s people had to fight for the land and God would give them the victory.They went out with weapons to fight. In this case, the people were not warriors but at ease, secure, peaceful but in sin. God wanted to chastise them for their idolatry. Today our weapons are spiritual weapons and we war against the demonic realm in the heavenly places.
When God shows his spiritual spies the things in the land that need to be dealt with, he will use us to pray, against the devil’s devices. God shows us the entrance to the city, or in other words the door, in which the enemy has gotten access to the land. Then the spies will confront that demonic gate and bring it down or into the light as the Lord sees fit. The spies sent to Laish, reported the find of idols but instead of destroying them, they set these idols up for themselves. Consequently the tribe of Dan was accursed with their idols. This is a good lesson. When we see idols in the land we are sent to by the Lord, we are not to compromise with them! We are to destroy them!
In the case of Joshua, a different story, the Ark went before them, (The Holy Spirit that was in that ark is now residing in his people) and they walked through the water by his power. Then they marched around the city at God’s command 6 times and on the 7nth time the priest blew his trumpet. Joshua told them,”Shout for the Lord has given you the city!” Then the people were warned “Don’t keep any cursed thing because you will be cursed.”
When the Lord shows an intercessor, some problem or sin in the church, if we turn a blind eye to it and compromise with it, then we are being disobedient. We must seek God’s wisdom on how to capture the city. How to tear down the strong holds that have gotten in there. If a prophet is sent to give a word of repentance to the city, nation, church, or whatever place; then this is a great mercy from God. He is showing compassion and giving place to repentance in the hearts. Only if his word is not heeded, will God destroy the city, close the church down, or stop the flow of ministries finances. Sometimes God even sends, two or three different prophets, to the same place to give several chances to repent! But eventually if God’s word is not heeded the place will fall.
In conclusion, as intercessors, when God shows you the sin in a place that he has sent you, ask for wisdom on how and what he wants you to do about it. You may be the prep guy, and just called to pray or God may have already sent others, and you are the one called to bring the word. Ask the Lord first, and don’t go do your own thing because then we are in idolatry; by playing God. Always get into the habit of NEVER, ever; doing anything in God’s name unless you know for sure that he has given you the direction. That way you are safe. God would rather have you test something as his word commands, instead of being a bull in a china shop. It is not lack of faith to ask for confirmation; it is being wise and fearing the Lord!
Blessings in Jesus brethren!
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The Bible tells us that Satan is our adversary, accuser, and enemy. According to Zec. 3:1, Satan stood before God’s throne to accuse God’s people and Joshua the high priest under the old covenant was being resisted by him. Why is Satan standing at the right hand? Prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus, the devil had authority to resist and accuse God’s people, before the throne of God on a daily basis.
Today, the devil still accuses, however he has no authority because Jesus took away his authority over God’s people because of his victory at the cross. Jesus now has ALL authority in heaven and in earth and he delegate’s authority in certain areas to whom he pleases.
Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:18-20
The Bible makes it clear that God has given the devil authority to make war with the saints and over the unsaved as well. Satan has no authority other than what has been delegated to him by God.
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. Rev.17:7-10
However, God gives his people spiritual weapons to battle the devil with. God’s people are given authority over the works of the devil BUT they must use that authority. I have talked about different weapons in my prior blogs but today I want to talk about resisting the devil.
To resist means to oppose and withstand. In order to resist we must first be in submission to God. This means that we must yield to God’s wisdom, advice, and control. We can find all these things in his word. If we are in disobedience to the word of God then we have given the devil authority to attack us. For example, if we watch bad moves, read bad books, go to the devil’s dens, partake in the devil’s activities, then we open the door for demons to attack us.
Resisting the devil is to take a stand against him, by refusing to participate in the devil’s activities. Instead of doing the devil’s activities; do things useful. Go to church, prayer meetings, read good wholesome material, do outdoor activities, family events, ect.
The world is getting a lot eviler and we must be sober in all things. That is we must be awake, alert, to the evil about us. Be wise concerning evil but ignorant concerning participating in evil.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 1 Peter 5: 9
Today recommit yourself to be sober and watchful. Ask forgiveness for participating in any evil activities and tell the devil to take a hike. If we do not learn to resist then we will be destroyed because the devil is in a war with God’s people. Jesus died to give us authority and resisting the devil’s evil is one of our weapons! Ask for strength to say no to playing around with the devil’s tempting diversions and God will give you his power! Be diligent and never let your guard down! Be in constant prayer with the Father in Jesus name and he will give you the victory!