Saturday, February 13, 2016

KILLING THE GIANT OF JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS


This person jumps to a negative conclusion that is not justified by the facts of the situation. Two examples of this wrong kind of thinking are “mind reading” and “the fortune teller error.”

1. Mind Reading:  This is where a person interprets events in a negative way—without really knowing what is truly going on. For example, a man walks in where two friends are talking and laughing. He automatically assumes that they are making fun of him—when actually they are planning a surprise birthday party for him!

The problem with this kind of negative “mind reading” is that it can cause you to either withdraw or counterattack. It can hurt relationships with others when it shouldn’t.

2. Fortune Teller Error:  It is as if you had a crystal ball that foretold only misery for you! You imagine something bad is about to happen, and you take this prediction as fact even though it is unrealistic. For example, a high school librarian repeatedly told herself during anxiety attacks, “I’m going to pass out or go crazy.” But these predictions were unrealistic because she had never once passed out or gone crazy in her entire life.

Can you relate to this kind of wrong thinking? Perhaps you have had thoughts like this or know someone who does.

This kind of wrong thinking can put you into a place of fear and bondage. It can make living life very difficult and uncomfortable to say the least. But the good news is that you can be free from this “giant of jumping to conclusions!” Let me tell you how.

1. First of all, learn to be secure in who you are in Christ.

     (1). II Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come.”

     Declaration of faith: I AM A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST. I AM SECURE IN HIM! As you grow in knowing that you are secure in Christ, you will be much less likely to always jumping to negative conclusions in certain situations.

     (2). II Corinthians 5:21 “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God in Christ.”

     Declaration of faith: “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.” When you know by revelation who you really are in Christ, the temptation of mind reading and fortune telling will become a thing of the past! You will become that secure in who you are in Christ!


2. Secondly, learn to walk in love because walking in love will keep your mind and emotions free.

     (1). I Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.”

As we grow in the love of God, there will be no place for “mind reading” and “fortune telling.” The love of God will keep us from the temptation of jumping to conclusions!

Walking in the love of God will never fail to kill the giant of jumping to conclusions!

Let me illustrate.  Let’s say that I walk into a situation that looks really suspicious. I can either begin to jump to conclusions or I can do the following: I can say by faith, “God’s love in me is patient; it does not envy; it does not boast; it is not proud; it is not rude; it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs; love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. IT ALWAYS PROTECTS; ALWAYS TRUSTS, ALWAYS HOPES AND ALWAYS PERSEVERSES. LOVE NEVER FAILS!

Now someone may say, yeah, but what if some friends really are making fun of me? What if someone is doing something that they shouldn’t be doing?

What if they are? First of all you don’t know all of the facts. Secondly, this doesn’t change the fact that jumping to conclusions will not solve anything, and it will put you in bondage! So the best thing to do is not jump to conclusions (mind reading and fortune telling), but rather walk in the love of God. And know this, if someone is doing something wrong, God is big enough and God-enough to take care of it and them! So the way to kill the wrong thinking of the “giant of jumping to conclusions,” is to learn to find your security in who you are in Christ and to walk by faith in the love of God.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

KILLING THE GIANT OF A NEGATIVE MENTAL FILTER

You pick out a negative event or detail in any situation and dwell on it EXCLUSIVELY, thus perceiving that the whole situation is negative. This one negative event or detail takes over your thoughts to where it’s all you think about! It literally begins to control you to where you become anxious and/or depressed.  Because you become fixated on this one negative situation, your whole world becomes negative. You become trapped with a negative mind-set or outlook. You refuse to let in anything that is positive.
This kind of negative mental filter can and will color your whole world with negativity IF YOU LET IT.  I know what I am talking about because it happened to me. I allowed a negative situation to take over my thoughts until it almost consumed me! How did it happen? It happened because I did not lift up the shield of faith and take up the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.  I allowed this giant or “Goliath” to intimidate me every day, keeping me in fear, anxiety and depression.
But that day ended when the Lord empowered me to rise up and face this giant as David did Goliath!
1 Sam 17:45-51
45 David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands." 48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground. 50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. 51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine's sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

When you are dealing with this giant of negativity, in order to defeat it, you must be aggressive as David was with Goliath. Face this giant and speak to it in the Name of the Lord God Almighty!
This is no time to wish or hope that the giant would just go away. Rather it is time for faith in God and time to kill this giant which has been intimidating you and keeping you in bondage and keeping you from the blessed life that God died to give you.
How do you do that?
1. First, lift up the shield of faith and do not allow what this Goliath of negativity says to keep you in anxiety, fear and depression or defeat!
It was when Goliath said to David in v.44 “Come here,” he said, “and I will feed your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field,” that David spoke back to the giant in the name of the Lord.
When the giant of negativity says to you, You’ll never be free of anxiety and depression, you might as well give up; this will always be your lot in life,” rise up with faith in God—as David did—and talk back to this giant!
In the name of Jesus Christ rise up and declare victory over Goliath! Declare and decree in the strong Name of Jesus Christ that you are victorious over anxiety, fear, depression and addiction or whatever may be coming against you.
And proclaim that you will be victorious because the Lord God Almighty is with you! And greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world!
Once you have defeated this giant of addiction, anxiety, depression and fear, give glory to God by testifying of His greatness, power and glory in making you victorious! (Psalm 40:1-3)
Now let’s take up the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and take off this giant’s head as the sign and seal of the victory.
1. Mark 11:22-25   "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. 23 "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
Dear friends, our Heavenly Father is telling us to be aggressive in dealing with this giant that has come against us. Take authority in the Name of Jesus—the God-man—over every addictive, anxious and depressive thought! Command these thoughts to be uprooted out of your life and cast into the sea!
And remember, the victory over this giant is not with carnal weapons—weapons from the earth—but by the Name of the great Shepherd of the Church—even the Lord Jesus Christ!
Zechariah 4:6 says, “Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord.”
Our part, like David, is to have and to walk with faith in God.
Beloved, it is time to ACT in the Name of the Lord; aggressively confront the giant of negativity—addiction, anxiety, fear, and/or depression—in the Name of the supernatural God—Jesus Christ. And believe that His power at work in you and through you will give you the victory!
In faith, speak back to this giant in the Name of the Lord and let it know that it is going down and you will kill it and cut off its’ head!
Dear friends, let us follow the faith of Abraham who is the father of all who have faith. Romans 4:17 says “As it is written: I have made you a father of many nations. He is our father in the sight of God in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls those things that are not as though they were.”
So let us, in the authority of Jesus’ Name, call those things that are not as though they were!
Proclaim and decree this with me: In the Name of Jesus, by faith I declare, I am free from the giant of negativity; I am free from anxiety, depression, fear and addiction!
I ask now that the Holy Spirit of God would rise up in you and give you the tenaciousness of Heaven. And in that anointing you will defeat this giant just as David did Goliath!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

KILLING THE GIANT OF OVERGENERALIZAITION

1. To overgeneralize means to go beyond what are appropriate or justified limits. You see a single negative event as a never ending pattern of defeat.
This giant desires to keep you in bondage and from receiving what is yours by trying to convince you that the “bad” thing that happened to you once will happen over and over again. You conclude that it will always be this {negative} way and there is nothing you can do about it. If you believe this lie, and that is what it is—a lie, then this giant will keep you enslaved and keep you from having restored to you what is rightfully yours. If you were rejected once, you will be rejected again and again.  This distorted or wrong thinking actually sets you up for rejection—you are expecting it to happen! It can and does become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are a “rejection” just waiting to happen.
If a person is rejected and holds onto this rejection, it can color their whole world in an upsetting and negative way. You see yourself as someone who is less than others. Although this is not true, it is nevertheless real if that is how you think.
When you overgeneralize, you basically take a single negative event and allow it to define you. It shouldn’t, but it does because this is how you think. And as we said above, this kind of thinking can keep you in bondage and rob you of what belongs to you in God.
2. So the question is this: how do we defeat this giant of overgeneralization?
(1). First, lift up the shield of faith and block this deceptive and distorted thinking that comes from the devil. God’s will for your life is victory and not defeat! So break out of this pattern of defeat and step into the blessing and favor of God. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, BUT Jesus has come that you might have life and have it more abundantly! It is time for you to be done with the wrong kind of thinking! So block every lie of the devil with the shield of faith. Don’t receive the devil’s lies any longer. Instead, receive God’s plan of victory for your life. It will make this journey of life a whole lot more pleasant and enjoyable.
(2). Secondly, let’s take the head off of this giant with the Sword of the Spirit which is the  Word of God.
a. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you a hope in your final outcome.
b. Romans 8:28 We are assured and know that {God being a partner in their labor} all things work together and are {fitting into a plan} for good to and for those who love God are called according to His design and purpose.
c. Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to all this? If God is for us, who then can be against us? Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?
d. Ps 23: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
e. Hebrews 13:5 “. . . God himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give up nor leave you without support. I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake you or let you down or relax my hold on you. Assuredly not.”
The only person’s approval that you need is Father God’s! If someone rejects you, be truthful and honest with God and with yourself. And if you need to change something, then change it. But it not, then don’t worry about the person who rejected you. Simply love them, and move forward with your life.
Be aggressive against this giant who would love to hold you down and hold you back. Like David, run toward him and say, your time is up. You will go down and not me. And through the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, I will kill you and cut off your head!
I declare that God’s will for my life is blessing and not defeat! From this moment forward I will look for the goodness of God and not defeat. The old pattern of being held in bondage to always looking for something bad to happen is over! It is Jubilee, my year of abundance, and I am believing God to be released and set free from ALL than binds, and having restored to me ALL that is mine!







                                                                                                                                                                                           

Friday, January 22, 2016

“Tsunamis can travel thousands of miles across the open ocean, where they are difficult to see, rarely reaching more than 3 feet in height. Tsunamis often exceed 100 miles in length in the deep ocean, where they can travel as fast as 500 miles per hour, crossing the entire Pacific Ocean in less than 24 hours.” (ABC News Fun Facts)
This last week the Lord allowed me to see a vision of a Tsunami. I knew it was the Spirit of God moving very fast toward its destination. To be brief and to the point, here is the meaning of the vision: When this Tsunami hits, and it will be soon, it will bring both judgement and blessing. Blessing to those who are prepared and judgement to those who are not. The hearts of many (in the Church and in the world; from the greatest to the least) will be exposed. And although this will look bad, and in one way will be bad, it will actually be good! This will bring about a major shift that will prepare the Body of Christ for the greatest move of God that we have ever seen. It will position the True Church to be the new wineskin that will be able to receive the new wine of the Spirit—an explosive wine of signs, wonders, healing, and miracles! God is only going to pour out His Spirit on a Church that He can trust—a Church that will steward the Presence and power of God in love, humility and wisdom. He that has ears let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
And for those who can receive it, the “Josephs” (stewards) whom God has prepared through hardship and suffering, will be in place to provide “food” for those who are in need.
Please join us as we make intercession for the above: That in judgement God would remember mercy; that the collateral damage will be minimal for those sheep who will be effected by the actions of others; that God will use all that happens to advance His kingdom. Thank you!
(Might I suggest that you print this word or put it in a safe place? In the coming days you are going to need it. Remember, what looks bad will actually be good!) Shalom

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

“KILLING THE GIANTS”
(TEN COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS)

TEXTS: I Kings 17:1-6; Romans 12:2; I Samuel 17:32-51
SUBJECT:  “killing the Giant of “All or Nothing Thinking”
INTRODUCTION:

Let’s begin by a brief explanation of the above scripture texts. First, in I Kings 17:1-6, God commanded the ravens to feed the prophet Elijah during a famine. This was a supernatural provision of God, but it came by an unclean bird, the raven. The point is that God delivered what the prophet needed through an “unclean” source. I reference this text because when God led me to a book, “Feeling Good,” by Dr. David Burns I was concerned that it was not written from or with a Christian viewpoint. When I questioned Him about it, His response was I Kings 17:1-6. It was from this “secular” source or book that I learned about the ten cognitive distortions. A cognitive distortion is simply wrong and harmful thinking that can cause anxiety and depression. I think you will be surprised at how this wrong thinking affects most of us in one way or another. Secondly, in Romans 12:2 the Word of God tells us not to be conformed to the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. In other words, the way to transformation is by changing the way that you think. You can't change the way you feel until you change how you think. And of course the way that we do that as Christians is through the Word of God. Then third, we will use I Samuel 17:32-51, the scripture where David faced the giant Goliath and killed him. In these messages, we will face and kill all ten giants of cognitive distortions. The end result is to see you set completely free from all anxieties and depression. And experience full restoration of all that belongs to you! Jubilee!

1. What is the giant of all or nothing thinking? You see things in black and white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.

I have been affected by this giant of wrong or distorted thinking because I allowed it to cause in me a fear of failure. That would mean, at times, I wouldn’t want to try to do something new for fear of failing at it. So when a new challenge would come along it would cause me to be anxious or experience anxiety. Why? Because it was all or nothing on my part.

Maybe you can relate? Even now you are feeling a bit anxious just by me talking about it. But please listen carefully; the only way to conquer this giant and overcome it is to face it! This “Goliath” will go down if you will trust God. And we can do this together! You are not alone.


Call it “what if” thinking. What if I fail? What if I make a fool out of myself? What if I let down the people who are depending on me? Negative “What if” thinking is wrong thinking!

Illustration: When I played little league football, I didn’t want my Dad—the most loving and affirming man I have ever known—to come and watch me practice because I didn’t want to fail in front of him! The fear of failure can cause a lot of anxiety!

2. So then, how do we slay this giant of all or nothing thinking?

A. First of all, realize that your self-worth is not based on what you do or do not accomplish. Rather, your self-worth is based on your position: who you are in Christ.
1. With this belt of truth wrapped around your waist, lift up the shield of faith and quench the devil’s dart of “all or nothing thinking” when he tells you: “you’re not pretty enough; you’re not talented enough; you’re a loser; you’ll never amount to anything; you’re just a failure; you can’t do anything right; you might as well not even try.”
2. Then take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and take this giant’s head off!
A. II Corinthians 5:21 “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Make this declaration of faith: I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. My position in God’s Son is my self-worth and not how I look or what I do or don’t do.
B. Ephesians 1:4 “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.” Make this declaration based on God’s Word: I am one of God’s chosen ones in Christ, I am holy and blameless in Him—that makes me special!
C. Ephesians 1:5 “In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ. . .” Declaration of faith: I am a child of the living God! He chose me and adopted me into His family, not because of how I look or how talented or gifted I am, but because He loves me unconditionally in Christ.
D. Ephesians 1:7 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of His grace.” Declaration of faith: God loves me so much that He shed the blood of His only-begotten Son so that I could be forgiven and be with Him forever!
E. Revelation 1:5 “. . . to Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His own blood.”
Declaration of Faith: Jesus loves me; He shed His blood for me! That is where I find my value!

I declare, based on God’s Word that is forever settled in the heavens; the Word that is sharper than a two-edged sword, that penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; and judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart; the word that is the truth and cannot lie. . .

Because Father-God loves me unconditionally and perfectly, (He has set His will to love me forever) I am free to try and fail without any fear of condemnation. My relationship with my heavenly Father is not and never will be based on my performance, but instead is based on His grace and mercy to me in Jesus Christ.

The only opinion that truly matters to me is my heavenly Father’s. If I fail, His love for me doesn’t change. His love, grace, and mercy give me the confidence that I need to keep trying and to never quit or give up.  Therefore, I will not be afraid to try and fail, for my self-worth is grounded in the truth of the Father’s love for me in Christ. Because I am in Christ forever, I cannot fail no matter what!

Allow me here to make a common sense statement that I think will also help you in facing and defeating the giant of all or nothing thinking. What if you do try something and fail? Is that the end of the world? Of course it’s not. Learn from your mistakes and try again. Don’t allow the fear of failure to keep you from trying. You want always get it perfect, but who does? Just give it your best shot and then rest in that. If someone can’t deal with it, that is NOT your problem.

Connie’s first attempts at cooking when we got married were, let’s just say, not exactly perfect! But I didn’t die, and she kept working at it and now she is a very good cook. Still not perfect, but very close!

Be willing to face your fear of not getting it perfect. You will find that when you do you will conquer it. And that will be one giant down! Remember, you’re not perfect. There was only One who was perfect and that is Jesus. But you are chosen, forgiven, and loved unconditionally in Him! Live in that truth and you will overcome your fear of failing.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of the deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid and cold souls who neither know victory or defeat.” President Theodore Roosevelt.







Sunday, June 21, 2015

TEXT: Leviticus 23:34-43
SUBJECT: The Feast of Tabernacles
INTRODUCTION:

In this message we conclude our teaching on the Seven Feasts of God. As we have learned, God’s Feasts were actually rehearsals carried out at appointed or set times by His chosen nation Israel. The Feasts begin with Passover and end with Tabernacles.[1] And it is The Feast of Tabernacles that will be our final subject in this series on God’s redemptive plan and purpose.

The Hebrew word “sukkot” can be translated as “tabernacles” or “booths.” As with the other feasts, this feast is found in the Book of Leviticus. From the fifteenth day of Tishri to the twenty second day of Tishri—the Jewish seventh month— (our September or October) the nation of Israel was to dwell in “booths” to remind them that God had brought them out of the bondage of slavery in Egypt and into freedom! It was actually a week-long celebration of their deliverance from slavery and bondage. This was to be a joyous feast and celebration!

Deuteronomy 16:16 says “Three times a year all of your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place He will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread/Passover, the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), and at the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. They shall not appear before me empty-handed.”

Keep in mind that each of these feasts had to do with the harvest. Unleavened Bread/Passover was the barley harvest; Pentecost or Shavu’ot (weeks) was the wheat harvest; and Tabernacles was the fruit harvest—pomegranates, olives, and grapes.

Exodus 23:16 refers to the Feast of Tabernacles as the feast of ingathering at end of the Jewish religious year. The point is this: The Feast of Tabernacles will be fulfilled at the end of the age with the final harvest. I’ll say more about this a little later.

1. What is the context for The Feast of Tabernacles or where does it all begin?

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Verse 14 “The Word became flesh. . .” God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ.


Concerning the birth of Jesus, we read in Luke 2:22-24, “When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

But when you look back to Leviticus 12:6 we read, “When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering.” Verse 8,
“But if she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering.”

Luke 2:22-24 tells you that Joseph and Mary were not a wealthy family. Yet here is Mary with this unique experience with the Holy Spirit and this powerful Word from the angel Gabriel about her son and who He was! Don’t you know that in her heart she wished that she could afford to offer a lamb to God on such a special occasion?

Actually she did have a lamb to offer: Jesus The Lamb of God!

This is the place where I want to begin my message on this seventh and final feast—The Feast of Tabernacles. Back to John 1:14 “The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The Greek word for “dwelling” is “eskeenoosen,” from the root word “skenoo” which means to “tent” or “tabernacle” as God did in the Old Testament Tabernacle.

In Jesus, God was tabernacling among us![2]

The question is this: to what end? Why was God tabernacling among us in Jesus? Why did the Son of God become a man? I believe the answer to that question is found in the Seven Feasts of God. The Seven Feasts tell His story. God revealed the feasts in the Old Testament and chose Israel to rehearse the feasts at set or appointed times each year with types and symbols. But only God could fulfill the feasts! And that is why Jesus—God in the flesh—came and pitched his tent among us—to fulfill the Feasts of God! 


1. First there was Passover.

God laid the foundation for this feast through the blood of the Passover Lamb that was to be taken into Jewish homes on the tenth day of Nisan (our March or April) and inspected for four days to make sure that the lamb had no blemishes or imperfections. On the fourteenth day of Nisan, the Passover Lamb was to be killed and its blood applied to the top and two side posts of the doors of each Jewish home.

At midnight when the destroyer came into Egypt to kill the firstborn, the homes that had applied the Lamb’s blood were “passed over.” They were delivered from judgment.  It was in this way that God broke the power of Pharaoh and set His people free from bondage and slavery. This deliverance was to be rehearsed by Israel each year.

Then two thousand years ago on what is called Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the tenth day of Nisan and the Jewish people chose Him as their Lamb when they welcomed Him by waving palm branches and saying “blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

He was inspected by the Jewish religious leaders as they asked him questions. And they could find no fault in Him.

But then on the fourteenth day of Nisan they killed their lamb when they turned him over to Pilate and said “crucify Him.” At 9am on Nisan fourteenth, the same time the High Priest bound the Passover Lamb to the altar as he had done for hundreds of years, Jesus the Lamb of God was crucified.

Then at 3pm, after all of the other Passover Lambs had been slain for the Jewish people, the High Priest went to the last lamb to be sacrificed—the lamb that had been bound to the altar at 9am—and he cut its throat and said, “It is finished.” Sovereignly, also at 3pm, Jesus the Lamb of God said, “It is finished,” and gave up His spirit!

Jesus, the last lamb to be sacrificed, had once and for all taken upon Himself the sins of the world—your sins and my sins. To what end? To the end that the obstacle of sin that stood between God and His people was eternally removed.[3] Jesus died so that a holy God could now dwell and tabernacle among us and with us—forever! Let me ask you friend, have you accepted Jesus as your Passover Lamb?


Are you trusting in His blood alone that you might have fellowship with a holy God?

2. Unleavened Bread.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread began at sunset on Nisan 15. The Israelites were to eat unleavened bread as a reminder of their deliverance from Egypt. They left Egypt in such haste that the bread did not have time to rise. No leaven (a type of sin) was added to the bread.

More importantly, this unleavened bread pointed to the pure, spotless bread that came down from heaven—even Jesus the sinless Son of God. And because His body was pure, spotless and sinless, when they put Him into the tomb death had no power over Him. He suffered no decay or corruption even as David prophesied in Psalm 16:10 and Peter preached in Acts 2:27.

The question is why? Because this was all part of God’s plan to tabernacle, to dwell, to live among us. And that naturally leads to the next feast—the third of the Seven Feasts of God.

3. The Feast of First Fruits.

On Nisan 17, sometime before sunrise, Jesus arose from the dead with a resurrected body—the first wave offering to God—the First to rise from the dead with a new body!

As I Corinthians 15:20-23 says, “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection from the dead comes also through a man. But each in turn: Christ the first fruits; then when He comes, those who belong to Him.”

Can you see it? The only way God could tabernacle with us forever was for Him to become a man and defeat death by rising from the dead with a human body. In this way, the resurrected Christ becomes our guarantee that as He was raised up as the first fruits, so too will we be raised up with Him. As I have said many times, Jesus did not die and rise again to just save us for a day, a week, a month, a year, or even a lifetime. Rather, He died and rose again so that we could be with Him forever! That requires new and resurrected bodies!




4. The Feast of Pentecost.

Fifty days from the The Feast of First Fruits was the The Feast of Pentecost. The resurrected Jesus who had ascended back to Heaven poured out the Holy Spirit on those who had been cleansed by His blood shed at the cross.

He wrote the new law of the Spirit on their hearts as God had written the Ten Commandments on stone tablets at Mount Sinai.

At the same time the Priest was waving the two loaves of leavened bread—representing both Jew and Gentile, who are sinners—God had come to tabernacle and dwell in the hearts of sinful men and women who had been cleansed from their sins through faith in Jesus. The true harvest of the New Creation had begun by the power of the Holy Spirit.

And it was Jesus who had poured out the Holy Spirit, having made a more intimate fellowship with God possible by fulfilling the Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits! Let me ask you friends, have you allowed Jesus to pour out the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit into your heart? Is God tabernacling/dwelling in your heart?

That brings us to the remaining feasts that are yet to be fulfilled by Jesus. They are The Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and The Feast of Tabernacles.

5. The Feast of Trumpets.

On The Feast of Trumpets Jesus will rapture the Church and return to the earth. This will most definitely happen on the first day of Tishri, our September or October. He will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.[4]

Notice that we are going to meet the Lord and be with Him forever!  God will be dwelling with us, tabernacling with us through the rapture and second return of His Son—even Jesus Christ the Lord. This will be a major upgrade in our knowing and experiencing God!


In I Corinthians 15:51-52 we read, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: we will not all sleep, but we will be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will we raised imperishable and we will be changed.”

Changed? Why? Because we will need new and glorified bodies so that we can live with the Lord forever as His New Creation in Christ Jesus!  We will be “partakers of the divine nature!”

The Old Testament Feast of Trumpets, fulfilled when Jesus raptures the Church and returns to the earth, allows God to tabernacle with us in a new and more dynamic way.

Revelation 11:15 “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet . . .” Verse 19 “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within His temple was seen the ark of the covenant . . .”

This is the rapture of the Church: the last trumpet, the seventh trumpet, God’s dwelling place now open or visible. And it is another step toward the fulfillment of The Feast of Tabernacles, God dwelling more fully with us and us dwelling more fully with God!

6. The Day of Atonement.

Passover is the individual applying the blood of the Lamb to his or her life in personal salvation. But The Day of Atonement is the salvation of the entire nation of Israel.

The Day of Atonement follows ten days behind The Feast of Trumpets—on the tenth day of the Hebrew month of Tishri, our September or October.[5] On this day Israel’s enemies, led by the Antichrist and the Beast kingdom, will be trying to annihilate the Jews. But Jesus, having raptured the Church and having circled the globe where every eye will see Him, will have come down in Edom/Bozrah, modern day Jordan, and will have begun releasing the final seven bowls of God’s wrath killing His enemies as He makes His way to the Mount of Olives and Jerusalem. (See Isaiah 63:1-4)

It is here that Jesus will kill the False Prophet and the Antichrist.[6] It is at this point, on the very day of The Day of Atonement, that the veil that has been over Israel’s eyes will be removed as she looks on Him whom she has pierced.

Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.”

On The Day of Atonement all of Israel will be saved in one day! Her sins are atoned for as she realizes and accepts Jesus as the One who made atonement for her by shedding His blood on the cross.

And now God is dwelling or tabernacling with Israel as He promised! Israel’s willingness to repent and so fulfill Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 23:39 which says, “You (Israel) will not see me again, until you say, ‘blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,’” will literally open the door for The Feast of Tabernacles to begin—the last of God’s Seven Feasts.

All of the nations that have come against Israel during the tribulation period will have been judged by Jesus. This will also begin the millennial reign of Jesus over all the earth. Zechariah 14:16 says, “Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty and celebrate THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES. This feast will be celebrated year after year in the millennial reign of Jesus over the nations of the earth.

Think of it friend: we will literally be living on the earth with Jesus the Jewish Messiah for one thousand golden years of righteous rule, peace and justice. There will be no devil and no war. It will be the restoration of what was lost in Eden!

God will be tabernacling with us on a redeemed and restored earth through His Son—even the God-man—Christ Jesus!

Then after the thousand years are ended, we will then enter into the transcendent life of God Himself! You say, what is that? I truly don’t know because it will be a mystery until it actually happens.

But I do like its description in Revelation 21:1-5, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no more sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, look! God’s dwelling place is now among people, and He will dwell with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, I am making everything new! Then He said, write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, and Day of Atonement all lead to the ultimate fulfillment and desire of God’s heart—The Feast of Tabernacles—God dwelling with His people forever and forever in transcendent life and glory! This is the eternal plan of Almighty God! This is the Gospel—the Good News of Jesus Christ!

CONCLUSION

Dear friends, as believers in Jesus, this is what is ours in Him:

1. Our sins have been forgiven, forever.
2. Our Savior has forever conquered death, hell and the grave.
3. We have the Holy Spirit of God now dwelling in our mortal bodies.
4. God will give us new and glorified bodies when He comes again.
5. We will live with Him in our new bodies on a redeemed and restored earth for 1000 golden years.
6. And then we will enter into the New Heavens and New Earth and know forever the transcendent glory of God!



[1] I believe that the Blood Moons that God has orchestrated over the last five hundred years on the Feasts of Passover and Tabernacles is significant. The redemption that began with Passover through the shed blood of Jesus will culminate in Tabernacles and God dwelling with His people forever—which has always been His eternal plan.
[2] Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means “God with us.”
[3] Hebrews 9:26
[4] I Thessalonians 4:16-17

[5] There are those who “spiritualize” The Day of Atonement saying that it will cover the seven year tribulation period. But this would be completely contrary to how Jesus fulfilled the other feasts on the very day. I do not see how that God could or would change the way the feasts have been and will be fulfilled—literally to the day!

[6] Revelation 19:19-21

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

One way that you can recognize Satan's strategy against you is when you suddenly "feel something" that is not "normal." For example, if you are suddenly hit with lust, you can know that it is a demonic attack or strategy. The next step in that attack is for the devil to attempt to work in your thoughts, "has God said?" "If this is wrong, then why do I feel these things about this person?" If those thoughts become action--if you act on those thoughts--then that sin becomes a habit and that habit becomes an addiction, which means that the devil has enslaved you to do his will and not God's will. The devil desires to build this kind of stronghold in your life to prevent you from knowing and loving God as you should, and from building the Kingdom of God. Friend, it would be wise if you very seriously and prayerfully considered what you have just read. Spiritual warfare can mean life and death.