Tree of Life Blog

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Monthly Archives: May 2009

Help Needed For Wonderful News Crusade

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In no particular order, we need the following things for our Wonderful News Healing Crusade from 11-14th August 2009.

1. A worship leader

As anyone who knows me knows, I cannot lead worship and have very little musical talent.  Due to the fact we are in a library we are not allowed any amplification equipment.  We can have an acoustic guitar and we have access to a piano on the last two nights, so if you know someone who can lead for us that would be wonderful.  We need someone who is an individual (a band would be too loud), can play three or four songs that are upbeat, Biblically based (not begging and whining songs!) and who is a person full of faith and the Holy Spirit.  Please believe God with us that we will find someone.

2. Ushers.

We have a couple already, but we ideally want 4.  Again, people full of faith and the Holy Spirit.   Willing to greet people, be positive, and take names and addresses of people who are saved and healed for follow up.  Someone who is willing and able to lead someone to the Lord, lead someone into the baptism in the Holy Spirit and lay hands on the sick would be a bonus.  In the church we are teaching on healing and ministering healing throughout July on Sunday afternoons, so we would expect our ushers to attend a couple of services in July at least.

3. We need people to attend.

People are drawn to crowds, so if you are reading this, then think about making your way to Essex in August and come and join with us.  You will hear some great preaching (if I do say so myself) and see some great miracles (because God honours His Word!) and will be blessed.  If you need accomodation, don’t worry, we will sort that for you.

4. A Banner.

I want a 3′ x 7′ banner to put up outside so people walking past will know about our meetings.  I am going to price some up in the next week.  If you know companies that make excellent banners at good value, then please let me know!

5. Tracts.  We are submitting our plans to the printers and designers next week.  Please pray for wisdom for them that they produce something truly eye catching and anointed.

6. Bibles.  Thankfully a charity looks like it is going to be donating us 20 Bibles.  Please pray this goes smoothly.

7. 4 sermons.  Please pray for wisdom and revelation for me so I preach the Word of God and not tradition, with boldness and with humility and grace.

8. People help hand out leaflets.  Door-to-door and in the streets of Ilford and Barkingside and possibly Romford and Barking too.  If you can help for a few hours one evening or on Saturday, please let us know.

9. Advertising.   My goal is to advertise in the local paper and on local radio.  I would also like to advertise on Premier radio.  Please pray that I will be able to get through to the decision makers easily and get eye catching adverts in all these places.  Also, some money to get these adverts out would be lovely!

10. A Follow Up Plan.  I want to be able to hand out Andrew Wommack literature to everyone who attends, and some clear teaching literature to everyone who is born again or healed or baptised in the Holy Spirit.  I want to have a clear plan for collecting addresses and details of people who have their lives changed.  I am not looking to steal sheep from other churches in the slighest, but when people come, are born again and have their lifes changed, I want to be able to pastor them and help feed them and help them renew their minds over time.

11. Boldness.  Please pray we will have boldness to keep faithful to the Lord and His plan throughout the entire event.

Thanks in advance for your prayers and so on.  If you are praying for us, add a comment to this post and let us know.  We need encouragement too!

Blessings,

Benjamin

Yongii Cho Quotes…

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David Yongii Cho is the pastor of the world’s largest church.  Here are some wonderful quotes to build you up spiritually…

To Grow Out You Must Grow In


Growing in means the development of inner resources. When you build a tall building, the crucial aspect that determines success is the building’s foundation. To build high, you must dig deep.

A building’s foundation is not tested until the exact stress for which its foundation was designed comes to bear upon it. The foundation’s strength is then tested and the soundness of its construction is most crucial at this time.

Changing Your Attitude


The first place that God needs to work is in your heart. The heart is the major battle ground.

John 14:1-4 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Prov 4:20-23 “My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.

How does one become successful as spiritual leader, as a businessman, or in any other profession? You first must change your heart attitude. How can you change your heart attitude? You must inspect your vision. If you have the wrong vision or if your vision is too small for the ability God has granted you, your heart attitude is also going to be wrong and you’ll find yourself discouraged, bewildered, and depressed.

Some cover up their failures by using catch phrases that sound spiritual. God wants us to grow and to grow in a big way. Being satisfied with smallness may reveal a lack of spiritual insight of God’s kingdom purposes. Or perhaps it is a lack of compassion for a world that doesn’t know the Lord or for believers that are struggling. How else can we serve God and help others unless we ourselves are successful. This is no time to be satisfied with the status quo in your life. This is the time that God will work in your heart for great growth both spiritually and materially. Don’t be fearful when you consider the possibility that God has great things for you. God has called you for special purpose. You must work on your heart to find His purpose for your life.

A Man’s Vision Will Also Limited His Behavior.

We can never be any more than we dream of being. As we set our eyes on God’s holy word and develop a deep fellowship with the Holy Spirit, our vision is changed. How can you change your vision? You can’t, but the Holy spirit can and will.

I had to be delivered from the concept that the Holy Spirit was just an experience and come to the realization that the Holy Spirit was a real, divine person.

As I began to wait upon him and talk to him, he then became very real to me and began to change my vision. In fact, as we set our gaze upon the Holy Spirit, he takes the brush of faith, dips into the ink of the Word of God and draws beautiful pictures upon the canvas of our hearts. After he gives us a new picture to strive for, we find a new internal motivation.

…there is no obstacle that can discourage a man who’s been given a vision by the Holy Spirit. One of the main obstacles to overcome is the opinion of those who say, “It’s impossible. It has never been done before.” What is their problem? They have never seen what God has shown you. Once God has granted you a vision, then you must learn to spend time dreaming over that vision.

Visions and Dreams


This is the essence of my philosophy. It covers all of the principles of congregational growth work. I call it “visions and dreams.” As I travel throughout the world, I’ve seen evidences of the fact that the application of vision and dreams really works in changing one’s heart attitude.

Most men I’ve seen are satisfied with the status quo. They have congregations of 30 to 50 members and since most tithed, they could live comfortably without expanding. So their congregations become exclusive little clubs. When this happens, the desire for growth will not develop.

Expand Your Vision


Sometimes our actions limit our vision. At times we find ourselves in a situation where we have to choose the level of money we’re going to spend for something. Perhaps you’re visiting a place and need to stay in a hotel. What kind of a room should you stay in? Does God really want us to stay in a nice place? Does he want us to stay in spartan surroundings so as to conserve money? This a difficult question, which only you can you answer. Yet sometimes, I’ve found that people don’t believe God for great things, especially when it comes to themselves. This may come from a sense of inferiority, or a false humility or spirituality.

That week I spent much time teaching the leaders to begin to expand their vision and dreams. As amazing as it sounds, it seems that our heavenly Father allows his representatives on earth to limit his activity through a lack of vision. I believe the same thing applies to prayer. God voluntarily limits Himself by our prayers. He can do anything, but He chooses to limit the scope of His authority by vesting it in us.

So here is how it works. Our heart attitude is changed by catching a fresh vision from the Holy Spirit. Once the vision is imparted, we must dwell upon it and dream about it until the vision comes into reality.

The Language of the Holy Spirit


Rom 4:16-18 “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed– God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”

Abraham was a man who was not willing to stay in the status quo. He was able to leave the known and enter into a new place, the one shown to him by God. If Abraham looked only upon the circumstances he would not have listened to God. He would have stayed in Haran. Abraham possessed the quality of obedience which caused him to move forward despite every obstacle. He went through difficult times, when everything he did seemed to fail. Abraham was first obedient to God as evidenced by his leaving the known and being willing to enter into the unknown. Although he believed that God could do what he promised, Abraham had to “see” the promise come to pass in his spirit before he could actually set foot upon it. He first saw the reality in the dreams and by Holy Spirit-given vision. Cho believes that vision comes after a person has proven themselves to be obedient. Then once the vision comes, a person needs to dream about the fulfillment to the vision. That process of dreaming, thinking, and meditating about the vision, he calls incubation. We should incubate on the vision until it becomes reality–until God calls those things which are not as though they were.

God is Interested in Our Success


We must always remember that God is more interested in our success and church growth than we are. After all, it is his church. Our problem is that our hearts have not had the proper attitude because our vision has not been correct. We have not have the proper vision because we have not entered into a deep and loving fellowship with the Holy Spirit. All vision is revealed to us by God through the Holy Spirit.

What is our goal? Is it growth of God’s kingdom? Are we looking for increased numbers? Are we looking for increased spiritual maturity in people? If so, that we can be assured in our spirits that this is certainly God’s will.

Remember, you can listen to this talk or read a book on spiritual growth yet never see a change in yourself or the situation you find yourself in. Why? Perhaps it’s because your heart has not really changed. Nothing much will happen unless there’s been a heart change.

We are Spirit Beings


We are essentially spiritual beings, using intellect and emotion, all housed in a physical body. Our spirits are revived at the new birth, but they need nourishment and development. The Holy Spirit has been given to us as the comforter to lead us and guide us. He has the mind of God, even for your church. Once you receive his direction and vision, you change your heart attitude from failure to success. Now you begin to be motivated by a greater force than you have never known and you will begin to see results as you follow proper church growth principles.

You Need Vision


The greatest hindrance to the fulfillment of God’s desire to see growth is a lack of vision within the leadership. “It can’t happen here. This is too hard a field.” These negative statements must be put out of our vocabulary, once and for all. We are to begin using the language of the Holy Spirit and building a new success consciousness in the minds of all our people.

This kind of negative talk kills vision. Once you get a vision from God go with it. Put to death any negative statements. Of course, your vision must not contradict the Word of God and it must be in His will.

I’ve found that the safest course is to take counsel with those in leadership above you. They have been given by God to guard you from getting out of his will. Any true vision of God will stand the test of being brought before leadership. Even if those above you don’t understand or comprehend the vision God has given you, they’ll recognize that the Holy Spirit has indeed planted something within your spirit. you see, efficient is implanted spiritually and its communicated spiritually. You don’t have to fear that your explanation will not convey the divine nature of what you’ve received. Our spirits are commended to another’s spirit by the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes a failure to take counsel indicates a lack of trust in God. God works through leadership not in spite of leadership. Leadership is not an obstacle to get around. Fear that the leadership which God has entrusted to care for your soul will prevent you from walking out your vision is a terrible deception of the Enemy.

People can be deceived in regard to vision. This isn’t meant to discourage you, but vision is so powerful a tool from God that the Enemy can use false or distorted vision to get believers out of God’s will.

Have an Attitude of Success


To motivate others to succeed, we must have an attitude of success not only in our speaking but also in our lives. Many congregations have a non-growth attitude because the leader does not possess a high enough self esteem. This is a key in leadership.

The reason for your poor self-image may be one of the following: poor appearance, education, discipline, family status, ability, and health. This list is far from exhaustive but representative of the excuses given for poor self image.

Another thing that Cho is saying is that personal appearance is important. When he meets ambassadors of the world’s leading nations, one of the common traits they seem to possess is general good looks. They may not be young or handsome, but they seem to be in good shape. After all, are they not representing their particular country? Should they not try to present their best image? Yet, the kingdom of God also has ambassadors. They represent the king of kings and the Lord of the Lords. It is Cho’s opinion that a leader can change his self image by watching his diet and doing the best that he can with what God has given him. Are you doing the best with what God has given you–as Messiah’s ambassador? Are you presenting an image that other should follow? If not, it’s never too late to change. Once you start feeling good about yourself, you will find others will feel better about you too. People will first look at you before they listen to you. What they see affects how they hear.

Another important concept is learning. Success for people spend their whole lives aboard this is not limited by formal education. He has called us to a life of continual improvement. Educate yourself understand what you’re asking and go out and prove yourself.

Have Discipline


A lack of discipline is another reason why people have a poor self image. I’ve had appointments with leaders who show up one to 2 hours late. Traffic, business pressures and unexpected circumstances are poor excuses for tardiness. Make your plans with the provision for the unexpected.

Sin

Sin is one of the chief causes of poor self image. It is therefore, imperative for every person who God wishes to use in the building of his congregation to live a holy life. What you watch and dwell upon will affect what you become. If there is sin in your life, confess that sin quickly to God, repenting from it and asking for his Grace to live morally clean. Little success leads to great victories and soon you will find your self image has changed. God is a loving and forgiving God. If he expects you to forgive your brother, why should he not forgive you?

Change is Possible


I don’t care how low your family station is, God can change your self image. Remember that Yeshua was born into a very poor family circumstance and He is a son of God. As you get a fresh vision of God’s will for your life and ministry, you can overcome all of society’s barriers and succeed. Abilities may differ but success is for all. Our problem begins when we compare ourselves with other people. Some of you haven’t succeeded in school or in the job market and as a result you have poor self image. The way to overcome these past obstacles is to compare ourselves with the goal that God has set before us. He never leads us to do anything that He has not given us the grace and the strength to accomplish successfully.

Don’t judge yourself too harshly or too quickly. Even Einstein failed over and over again before he had success. Just because you’ve failed doesn’t mean you are a failure.

All successful ministries and leaders that I know have made mistakes. Making a mistake doesn’t mean you’re God’s mistake. Learn valuable lessons from your mistakes.

Health and Handicaps


You must cooperate with God in keeping your body fit. Exercise regularly, watch what you eat, rest as much as possible. Stress is one the greatest problems to keeping healthy. Oftentimes leaders collapse from exhaustion. Learn the secret of trusting other people. Realize that the kingdom of God works by others combining with one another. Trust other people. Trust that you don’t have to do everything yourself.

Maybe you have a handicap–a physical or mental limitation. We should take any handicaps that we have and turn them into assets. Believe God for your healing and restoration, yet move forward. Don’t wait for your healing to move forward.

Our Associations


Watch out for the type of people to associate with. Are they negative? Do they negatively affect our self image? By the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be set free from the disabling effects of negative people and surroundings. Read the Word of God. Find out what God says about yourself. If God did not believe we were of value, He would not have sent His son to die for us. We are called to special works. We have great value in the Lord. We’re able to do all that God has called us to do, by his Grace.

Pray and Do

Sometimes we pray that God would do something and then we stand back to see what God does. This is a great mistake. God will work through us. He works through you and me. This is why our personal resources are of utmost importance. What would we be like if we had the success we’re believing for? The answer to that question is very important. Our character is now being prepared for revival. We are being tested and we are finding grace to overcome the test. Why? Because God wants to use us.

Wonderful News Healing Crusade

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It is my absolute pleasure to announce that Tree of Life Church is going to hold a “Wonderful News” Healing Crusade in Ilford, Essex from August 11-14th 2009 (Tuesday – Friday).  We are believing God for the same miracles we see whenever we preach the Word of God with boldness and confidence and we have no doubt we will see healings, miracles and salvations throughout the crusade because we know our God.

We will need a number of things to ensure this crusade is effective and will make a list in the next few days and publish it here.  Right now, your prayers for success and the growth of the kingdom to develop and expand.
Blessings,

Benjamin

The Holy Spirit (Andrew Wommack)

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There are few things more controversial in the body of Christ than the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the accompanying gifts.

Much of modern-day Christianity sees the born-again experience as all there is to salvation. Many Christians oppose the belief that there is a separate experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit, and they especially oppose the validity of the gifts of the Holy Spirit for today’s believers.

That type of belief puts them in conflict with the book of Acts and the very teaching of Jesus. Those who experience the power of the Holy Spirit today are labeled as fanatics or heretics. But what does the Bible have to say? What did Jesus say about this?

On the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, He made one of the most astounding statements of His whole ministry. John 16:7 records these words:

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”

Grasp what Jesus is saying! Jesus said it is more beneficial for us to have the ministry of the Holy Spirit than it was to have Jesus present with us in His physical body!

Most Christians are totally shocked by this. They would give anything to have Jesus present in His physical body. How could anything be better than to physically see, hear, and touch Him?

Jesus knew His disciples would be shocked by His statement, so He prefaced it with the words, “I tell you the truth.” As hard as it may be to understand, the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is better than the earthly ministry of Jesus.

This is not to take anything away from His ministry on this earth. Without Jesus coming to the earth and accomplishing what He did, there could be no ministry of the Holy Spirit. The whole plan of God hinges on the redemptive work of Christ.

But, once His work was done, it was actually to our advantage to have Jesus return to His Father and send the Holy Spirit to take His place. Therefore, we shouldn’t lessen the preeminence of Jesus, but we should increase the importance of the Holy Spirit’s ministry.

Most Christians don’t realize how involved the Holy Spirit is in everything that the Lord does. They do not ascribe nearly enough importance to the Holy Spirit and what He is doing in the earth today. In Genesis 1:1-2, the Bible says,

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

In the beginning, God created all the elements needed for His creation. Then, everything else was formed from what had already been created. All the essential ingredients were in place. But nothing happened without the Spirit of God.

Notice specifically that the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) moved upon the face of the waters. The English word moved was translated from the Hebrew word “rachaph.” It literally means “to brood.” This is describing the manner of a hen sitting on her eggs to hatch them.

The Holy Spirit was brooding over the creation of God just waiting to bring forth whatever God the Father said. When the Lord said “Let there be light” (Gen. 1:3), then the power of the Holy Spirit brought that light into being. Likewise, with everything the Lord created and made, it was the power of the Holy Spirit that brought it all into existence.

God the Father conceived it. Jesus spoke it. And the Holy Spirit was the power that performed it. Everything God did in His creation was accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit. When God the Father was ready to bring Jesus into the earth, He took the spoken Word (Jesus), the Holy Spirit brooded over Mary (a virgin), and she conceived Jesus’ physical body.

This perfectly illustrates the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They are one. In fact, they are so much one that they can’t operate independent of each other. They are a team. Jesus didn’t do any miracles or start His public ministry until after He had been anointed with the Holy Spirit.

If Jesus couldn’t, or wouldn’t, operate independently of the Holy Spirit, neither should we. No one can have an effective life or ministry without the power of God’s Holy Spirit working in him or her. This fact can’t be argued by anyone who truly believes the Bible is God’s Word. The Scriptures are replete with proof that it is “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts” (Zech. 4:6).

So, why is there so much debate over this issue? The sad truth is that denial of the ministry and power of the Holy Spirit is a convenient theology. Believing that miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit don’t operate today excuses powerless living. If it’s true that the Holy Spirit is still willing to move as in biblical times (and it is true), then there is no excuse for living lives so far removed from the victory portrayed in God’s Word.

The number one reason people resist the ministry of the Holy Spirit is because it exposes the lack of power in their lives. And once exposed, it demands a change. In an attempt to avoid responsibility for change, they change the Scriptures instead of themselves. Of course, it’s not that blatant, but there is a predisposition against the ministry of the Holy Spirit, so the Scripture is twisted to support their views.

It’s now politically correct to say that alcoholics are not responsible for their actions, depression is a chemical imbalance, and homosexuality is genetic. We’ve even had lawsuits where overweight people sue fast-food chains for their obesity. No one wants to admit that their lives are the result of their choices and actions. It’s appealing to think that someone else is at fault for their messed up lives. Sadly, the lack of personal responsibility in our society has crept into the attitudes of the church.

But, the ultimate attempt to avoid responsibility is when we place the blame on God. This goes all the way back to Adam when he said, “It’s that woman that YOU gave me” (Gen. 3). He passed the “buck” to the woman and then ultimately blamed God. But God’s judgment shows that He held Adam responsible for his own actions.

Another group of Christians willingly accept a limited ministry of the Holy Spirit as their comforter and consoler, but they still deny His miraculous power. That’s convenient, the benefits without the responsibility. These are usually the ones who also believe there isn’t a second experience with the Holy Spirit beyond being born again. They may be sincere in their beliefs, but they are sincerely wrong.

There are many clear examples in Scripture where a miraculous encounter with the Holy Spirit enabled believers to live supernatural lives. Jesus taught about two separate experiences in the believer’s life.

In John 20:28, Thomas confessed Jesus as his Lord and God. That made him “saved” according to Romans 10:9-10. Yet, the Lord told Thomas and all the disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they received the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4). The reason Jesus told them to wait on the baptism of the Holy Spirit was because they didn’t have it yet. Look what happened to the disciples once they received that power. They were changed men.

Jesus said it this way in Acts 1:8,

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

After the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus’ disciples, they were powerful. They faced persecution and death fearlessly. What made the difference? By Jesus’ own words, it was the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

In Acts 8, Philip preached to the Samaritans, and the whole city believed on Jesus and was baptized in water. They were saved. But Acts 8:15-16 says,

“Who, when they [the apostles] were come down, prayed for them [the Samaritans], that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus)” (brackets mine).

This is a very clear example of people being born again but still needing to receive the Holy Spirit. This can also be witnessed in Acts 19. Paul found disciples who were not baptized in the Holy Spirit. He prayed for them, and they spoke with tongues.

Spirit filled, but no tongues!

There are other believers who acknowledge a second experience with the Holy Spirit which releases power, but they refuse the part of speaking in tongues, or at least say it’s not for everyone. But the baptism of the Holy Spirit is like a pair of tennis shoes: It always comes with tongues.

I guess it’s possible to have the baptism of the Holy Spirit and not speak in tongues, but why wouldn’t you want to? If you’re afraid, don’t be! There’s no reason to fear; you’re in full control. I’m not speaking in tongues as I write this, because it’s up to me to decide when I speak in tongues. It’s the same for you. You’ll control when you speak in tongues.

Maybe there’s something else that is holding you back. I know from experience that a person whose understanding of this gift isn’t right can stifle it. I did. In my case, a denomination had instilled such fear in me that I was afraid I would get something from the devil. It wasn’t until later that I learned the Lord wouldn’t let that happen (Luke 11:13).

Whether you’re not sure or just having a problem receiving, my teaching entitled The Holy Spirit will answer your questions and set you free to receive this powerful gift. My life was completely changed when I received the Holy Spirit. If it were not for that, you would never have heard of Andrew Wommack.

Here is a little of my personal story; it may help you. In 1957 I was born again at the age of eight. I loved God and served Him to a degree, but was basically powerless. I prayed six months for my Dad to be healed, but he died when I was only twelve years old. As a young man, I was introverted, timid, and so shy I couldn’t look people in the face when talking to them.

There wasn’t any difference between me and an unbeliever in terms of visible results. If I would have been arrested for being a Christian, there wouldn’t have been enough evidence to convict me.

Then, on March 23, 1968, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. My life was transformed instantly. Before the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I was in fear; afterward, I was as bold as a lion (Prov. 28:1). My love for the Lord went through the roof. It wasn’t me living anymore, but Christ was living through me.

My life wasn’t perfect then and still isn’t now. But receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit opened up a whole new, dynamic relationship with the Lord. You would never have heard of me if I hadn’t received the second work of the Holy Spirit, which the Bible calls the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It’s my desire to see you experience that same power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts that come with it.

The Day the Sun Stood Still (Chuck Missler)

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Do you really believe that?Chuck, you ve got to be kidding! That’s often the reaction by some to the idea that we take the Long Day of Joshua seriously.

The days were just not long enough for some of Joshua’s battles. In the Battle of Beth-Horon, responding to Joshua’s request, the Bible says the sun stood still to extend the day for Israel to defeat their enemies.

Why Joshua?

  • It is a manual for spiritual warfare;
  • It is a prophetic anticipation of the Book of Revelation;
  • It deals with the background to Israel’s claim to the land, which is presently being contested by the current Peace Process.
  • It contains some of the most fascinating passages in the Old Testament.

The Name of the Book

It may come as a surprise that the name Joshua, in Hebrew, is essentially equivalent to our Lord’s name in Anglicized Greek: Jesus. That was designed to get our attention.

Furthermore, as a military commander, Joshua’s actions at Jericho strangely parallel the events in the Book of Revelation: he first sends in two witnesses, he defeats the enemy with seven trumpets, and he seems to ignore the numerous ordinances in the Torah.

The Levites were exempt from military duties yet they are in the march against Jericho. The Ark of the Covenant is also in the march. They are supposed to rest on the seventh day yet on the seventh day they march seven times as much!

What is really going on?

And who really fought the battle of Jericho? Despite the declarations of the popular song, it wasn’t Joshua. It was a mysterious personage who identifies Himself with the Burning Bush of 40 years earlier: our Lord Himself!

The kings aligned themselves with a leader who called himself “The Lord of Righteousness.” (Does he foreshadow the Antichrist?) The kings are subsequently defeated with signs in the sun and moon and then hide in caves.

An Anticipatory Model?

As we examine the Book of Joshua carefully, we notice that it seems to be a precursor to the book of Revelation: another Yehoshua, as Commander-in- Chief, will dispossess the Planet Earth of its usurpers first sending in two witnesses, then with a series of judgments of sevens finally defeats the kings with signs in the sun, moon, etc. The kings hide in caves, etc.

Rahab, Woman of Destiny

Where was the most dangerous spot in Jericho? On the walls! Think about it. Where was the safest place in Jericho? In Rahab s house. Where was Rahab’s house? On the wall.

It is Rahab, a Gentile of dubious reputation who becomes the mother of Boaz, the hero in the Book of Ruth who links Bethlehem with the House of David. (You cannot really understand the Seven Sealed Book in Revelation unless you have studied the Book of Ruth as a book of prophecy!).

Rahab subsequently emerges in the genealogy of the Son of God–which is a study in itself.

Two Memorials

When they cross the Jordan (in a manner conspicuously parallel to the crossing of the Red Sea 40 years earlier), 12 stones are erected on the Gilgal side, after crossing.

Also, just prior to the Jordan returning to its regular flow, Joshua sets up 12 stones in the middle of the Jordan, which will then be covered with the waters.  Strange.

These are not only commemorative of their deliverance, they are prophetic of ours: the baptism of His death, and the deliverance by His resurrection.

It is interesting that, much later, John the Baptist, at this very spot alludes to these stones in his challenge to the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Practical Applications

Perhaps the most important aspects of this military book are the practical insights for spiritual warfare. Its parallelism with Ephesians is also instructive.

The first issue is, who has the initiative? Remember, it was God who declared war on Satan.  When Christ first announced the church, He pointed out that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. It is the church which has the initiative! That’s you and I, isn’t it?

What does “Crossing the Jordan” signify spiritually? Going to heaven? Hardly. There are enemies there. Warfare. Setbacks. The ingredients of success and failure in their adventures are detailed for our own instruction to gain victory instead of defeat.

After they cross the Jordan, they get circumcised! For 40 years Israel was not circumcised! It is remarkable that while they were miraculously provided for throughout their wilderness wanderings, they were not rebuked for not maintaining this sign of the covenant.

Is there an intentional parallel between this and the Jewish diaspora, during which they “are not my people”?

They are in enemy territory. So are you and I. (But are we adequately prepared? Ephesians warns us to “put on the whole armor of God.” You must do this before not during the battle!)

If you are not under attack, perhaps it is because you are not relevant, or perhaps you are already relegated to where the enemy wants you.

We may not realize this as we should, but no conflict, no crown. If we are truly Christians, then we will be in real warfare.

The Prophetic Horizon

As the nations of the world line up to challenge Israel’s rights to the land that God covenanted to them, another Yehoshua is getting ready to give them the surprise of their lives! He, too, is preparing to dispossess the land in fact, the entire Planet Earth of the Usurper and his followers!

The Book of Joshua also introduces the Shofar and the cycle of the Jubilee. After each seven sabbatical years (49 years), the next year was to be a Jubilee Year: all debts were forgiven, all slaves went free, and the land returned to its original owners.

Peter, referring to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, alludes to the time of restitution of all things, which is regarded as an allusion to the Jubilee.

Many suspect that the Jubilee, too, will prove to be prophetically significant, and we are approaching the 70th Jubilee!

As we sit back and watch the emergence of a European Superstate, the rebuilding of Babylon, the positioning of Magog and the Muslim allies to attack Israel, and the Vatican positioning to lead a worldwide ecumenical movement and to internationalize the Temple Mount in Jerusalem we realize that the stage is being set for the big climax. It’s time to do our homework! It’s time to diligently find out what God has said about these things.

What Makes a Good Leader

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A good leader has three elements.

They must have a vision – a destination to go to or they cannot lead people there.

They must have a plan – if they don’t know the route to the destination they cannot lead people there

They must have influence – if no one wants to follow them to the destination along their route, then they are not leaders.

 

I think you should be able to sum up each of these in a sentence.

E.g.

My vision is to create a word of faith, multi-racial, cell church in London that lifts the life of people across the world.

My route is to develop strong cell leaders, train people in righteousness and evangelise using personal discipleship and healing crusades

My influence is found in caring for people as individuals, loving them and letting them love us, showing them out to step out in their giftings and teaching the Word in a clear and relevant way.

 If you cannot sum up what you are doing so succinctly, I would challenge you to do so immediately.

Blessings,

Benjamin

A Call to Prayer by Andrew Wommack

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I think all Christians would agree that we should be praying for our nation during this critical time in our history. Judicial activists are no longer interpreting the law but attempting to legislate from the bench. By using these activist judges in our courts, the ungodly are systematically attempting to remove all reference to and influence of God in our society. It’s even become politically correct to discriminate against Christians. Christianity is also the only religious influence that can be prohibited by law. We need the intervention of God to turn this situation around.

Prayer is a powerful weapon. But, there is a right and a wrong way to pray. Just like any powerful weapon, without the proper instruction, it may be useless or someone could get hurt. Wrong prayer is not only ineffective, it can also release the power of the devil. I’ve experienced this firsthand.

In the beginning of my walk with the Lord, I listened to a teaching which used an example of a teenager who felt very ineffective in witnessing for the Lord. This young man prayed and asked the Lord to do whatever it would take to use him as an effective witness in his high school. He specifically asked God to give him cancer and take his life if that was the only way he could show others the power of God in his life. The next day he came down with leukemia. At his funeral, four of his classmates accepted the Lord because of the way he had dealt with his terminal illness.

At that time, I didn’t know that God had redeemed us from sickness. I had been taught that in God’s sovereignty, He controlled everything that happened to us. So, I bought into this teaching “hook, line, and sinker.” I then gave this tape to a close friend of ours. She also accepted it as truth to the point that she prayed this same prayer. The next morning, she was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with leukemia. At her funeral, four people accepted the Lord also.

Since then, I have learned the truth. God did not answer those prayers by giving two teenagers leukemia. Certainly, God received a measure of glory when those eight people accepted the Lord, but God doesn’t kill one of His children so that others can be saved. Satan is the killer; it was Satan who took advantage of the open doors these wrong prayers created. That’s why it’s important to know how to pray.

On this National Day of Prayer, millions of Christians will be praying for God to move in our nation. Typically, they will be pleading with an angry God to turn from His impending judgment and have mercy. That’s wrong praying. And as I’ve testified, wrong praying can open the door to wrong results.

There is a right way to pray for our nation. But first, we need to recognize that God isn’t angry any more. The war between God and man is over. That’s what the angels proclaimed at the birth of Jesus. Luke 2:14 says,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

These angels weren’t saying that from then on, peace would reign on earth and wars between people would cease. That certainly hasn’t happened. They were proclaiming the end of the war between God and man. Jesus paid a price that is infinitely greater than the sins of the whole human race. God loves the world, not only the church, but the whole world. He’s already paid for their sins as the Scriptures say in 1 John 2:2,

“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Therefore, His mercy is now extended to all man not the judgment we read about in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, God’s punishment was poured out on individuals and entire nations. In the New Testament, God’s judgment was poured out on Jesus. Now, God’s mercy and grace are ours.

Through His mercy, we avoid getting the bad things we deserve, and through His grace, we receive the good things we don’t deserve. The nearly-too-good-to-be-true news of the Gospel is that we don’t get what we deserve, we get what we believe. Jesus has made all that God is and has, available to us, and it is through faith that we access that grace (Rom. 5:2).

So, the typical Christian is making intercession to an angry God, asking Him to turn from His fierce wrath, but that’s the wrong way to pray. I can just hear someone say, “But that’s exactly what people did in the Old Testament!” That’s true, but there is a major difference between the Old and New Covenant. That difference is Jesus. Jesus has forever changed the way we approach God and how we appropriate His favor.

Let’s look at an Old Testament example of intercession that will be used by many as the benchmark for the way we should pray on this National Day of Prayer. Moses was pleading with God for the nation of Israel. The children of Israel molded a golden calf and had an orgy as they worshiped it. The Lord became so angry that He told Moses he would destroy those people and make a new nation through Moses’ seed. Moses told the Lord in Exodus 32:12,

“Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.”

It’s amazing that a mere human being had the audacity to speak to God this way! What’s even more amazing is that God allowed Moses speak to Him this way and actually repented (Ex. 32:14). This example will be held up all across this land as the standard we are supposed to emulate.

However, this is not the way that we, as New Testament believers, should approach God. Galatians 3:19 refers to Moses as a mediator. The dictionary defines a mediator as “someone who seeks to resolve differences between two or more conflicting parties.” It was appropriate for Moses to act as a mediator because Jesus had not yet come, and the atonement for man’s sins had not yet been made. God and man were not reconciled.

But now, because of Jesus, God has been reconciled to man. All that is left is for man is to be reconciled to God, and that should be our message (2 Cor. 5:19-20). To approach God as an adversary who is ready to destroy us is to approach God without Jesus. It doesn’t honor the mediation that Jesus purchased. First Timothy 2:5 says,

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

When Jesus became our Mediator, He put all other mediators out of business. In the days of Moses, it was appropriate and necessary for him to act as a mediator and intercede for his nation, pleading with God to turn from his wrath. Why, because Jesus had not yet come and taken His place as the only Mediator. Now that Jesus has come and has paid for the sins of the whole world, it is wrong to continue to pray the way Moses did. It’s against everything Christ accomplished. In other words, it is anti-Christ. I know those words are strong, but they are the truth.

How then should a New Testament believer intercede for their nation? Start by praising God for what He has already accomplished through Jesus. Then take your place in what Christ has already done, and use your authority as a believer to speak God’s blessing over your nation instead of the curses that Christians so often pronounce. It’s really that simple. There is tremendous authority given to us if we will use it, and there is awesome power in our blessing.

Before I learned these truths, I used to say that God would have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah if He didn’t judge America because we are just as deserving of judgment as they were. But now that I know the truth, I say, “If God does judge America, He will have to apologize to Jesus because Jesus satisfied God’s demands of justice.”

That doesn’t mean that America is safe from the consequences of continuing on its current path. God won’t judge America; He has already judged Jesus on our behalf. But the farther we walk away from the Lord, the farther we get away from His protection. God won’t force Himself or His blessings on us. We have to pursue them and obtain them through faith. Without a change in the hearts of the people and a change in the direction we are headed, we will forsake our own mercies (Jon. 2:8) and reap death instead of life (Rom. 6:16).

Jamie and I encourage you to be a New Testament intercessor on this National Day of Prayer. Honor Jesus by approaching a loving God who has already made every provision for the revival this nation so desperately needs. Speak words of faith that release the goodness Jesus has so graciously provided. And then, do your part in sharing this good news with your friends and neighbors.

Most of America will be praying for a move of God, but I will be praying for a move of God’s people. God has already done His part. It’s up to us to take this good news to the world. God isn’t mad anymore. He’s not even in a bad mood. God loves us. Glory to God in the highest and, on earth, peace, good will toward man

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