Thursday, December 6, 2018

Whisper - - or Shout When you Pray??


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Whisper - - or Shout ??

Jesus said in Matthew 6: "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites who want to be seen by others. For they love to pray loud prayers saying, "Lord I am thankful that I am NOT like those sinners.   When you pray, go into your closet (private room,) shut your door, and pray to your Father in secret. And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do." 

There is a time for private quiet prayers while you seek the presence of God personally for yourself.  Then there is also a time for praise, and worship, that can get loud. 

Reading from;  Psalms 47:1  O clap your hands, all ye people; shout onto God with the voice of triumph.

Psalms 100:  Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness!  Come into His presence with singing!  Know that he lord, He is God!  Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with Praise!

Psalms 81  Sing ALOUD to God our strength: SHOUT for joy to the God of Jacob.


When God created the world, the Bible tells us, "And God Said."  It does not say He whispered, and it does not say He shouted.  God declared no doubt in a normal tone, "Let there be" and it was so. However it is interesting to note that the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters.  His very breath was enough to create change and make new from what appeared to be nothing but earth, darkness, and water without form and void. 

As Joshua led the Children of Israel to Jericho to begin their march around the walls; only the army and priests were to blow their trumpets, but the warning to the people as they marched: was No voice was to be heard until Joshua gave the command in seven days. 

Joshua 6:  And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, 
the priests going on, and blowing with their trumpets. And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, You shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall you shout. 


Elijah said to Ahab and the false prophets of Baal; The God who answers by fire is the true god.  Although the prophets of Baal shouted and cried aloud, danced and even cut themselves there was no answer.   And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet of God came near, and calmly said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at your word - - and the fire fell consuming the sacrifice.


Hannah was a woman in torment for she was without child.  At their annual visit to the temple, she cried bitterly and prayed for a child to bring her fulfillment.  1 Samuel records her prayer this way:  "Now Hannah, spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli the priest thought she was drunk."


After Jesus rose from the dead, He told his followers to return to Jerusalem and seek God until the Holy Spirit would fill them with power to heal the sick, cast out devils and deliver those who were bound.  On the day of Pentecost, 120 were gathered together in an upper room. These all continued with one accord in fervent prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.    

Acts 2: And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance in languages they did not know.    

The Bible does not say they were loud, but it is understood, because they were in an upper room, and people out in the street heard them magnify God and wondered what this could mean.  Peter went down to the street; preached a short sermon and 5000 were converted that day.

Soon after - - there was persecution and as Peter relayed to the believers what was happening; this time their voices were loud as they prayed.  Acts 4:24 They LIFTED up their VOICE to God with one accord, and said, Lord, behold their threatening: and grant unto your servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,  By stretching forth your hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy son Jesus.  And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. 


These individuals were the same ones who were baptized with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and here they were again being refilled.  Scripture tells us to:  Be Being filled with the Holy Spirit.  It is wise to daily keep the oil of the Holy Spirit burning in our hearts. Jude tells us to build up your self by praying in the Holy Spirit.


Grant you there is a time we can enter into quiet, whispered prayers, but when you get ready to do business with God, there is a time to get loud.  There is a time to shout our declarations and draw the lines.  


We need to be aware that the Satan, our enemy does not like noisy prayers, and this kind of Holy Spirit praying will shake the walls of intimidation, rejection, fear, depression, addiction, immoral living and cause our citizens to be open to the voice of the Holy Spirit as he Woo's them to come to Christ Jesus. 


Friday, November 30, 2018

The Sun Rises and the Rain Falls



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The Sun Rises and the Rain Falls  Message at our prayer meeting by Hazel Moon

Jesus was teaching upon the mountain, in Matthew chapter 5 and he ended his message by saying:  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’   But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,  that you may be sons of your Father in heaven;  (pause)  For God makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Jesus warned his followers, not to misinterpret terrible events thinking the people were being punished because they were wicked.  -  It was not so.  The messengers were feeling proud and superior, thinking others (even believers) who suffer, must have secret sins. 

Jesus began in Luke 13 to say to the people who had just brought a message to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them–do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

For God makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

I am reminded of twin cities in the Old Testament, where there was a multitude of wicked persons;  They were so evil that God decided to destroy the two cities with fire.  Although some of the citizens may not have been quite so wicked, there was an immoral bent filling them; and their minds were warped toward evil.  It so happened that Abraham's nephew and his family lived in that city but because of Abraham's intercession, God send two angels to take Lot, his wife and two daughters out to safety.  There was no time to gather precious mementos, pack a suitcase and grab their Bible as they were hurried out with only the clothes on their backs.

The angels gave a stiff warning:  Do NOT turn around and look back on all that is behind you.  Only run and keep your eyes fixed on your future.  Nothing behind you is worth keeping, so run for your life and pay close attention to my warning.

As they ran, all was fine until Lot's wife remembered all the fun and good times she had enjoyed with her friends as they drank and partied.  "Oh this is so sad," she thought, "Oh that I could just remain here and live the good life," as she slowly turned her head and looked back.   Bamm - - One of the balls of fire fell on Lot's wife and she was turned into a pillar of salt.

Was Lot's wife any worse than the other's that perished?  Probably not.  But she did have a choice to save herself, and she chose to disobey the warning.

In our city, we have many who have heard the warnings, to prepare their hearts because we do NOT know the day or the hour when Jesus may return.  Today is the accepted time for each of us to turn from the old ways, to leave all the habits and lifestyles that were once dear to us and face a future with Jesus.  

As we pray over our city, may we claim that the hearts, minds and choices of our citizens will be facing forward - - looking straight at the face of Jesus; keeping eye contact and not turned backward in the other direction where there is destruction and loss.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Things Didn't Look So Good ! !




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As we met to pray over our city, our county and for those in our close by city that has about 95% homes and businesses burnt to the ground with 50 or so dead, and the fires about 35% contained, we could say that "things don't look so good."   

Yet we are reminded that God has promised never to leave or forsake us, and that he is with us even in the hard times.

Exodus 14 tells us of the Children of Israel leaving Egypt, and stopping to camp at the Red Sea. Pharaoh and his officials declared, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!”   So Pharaoh had his chariot made ready and took his army with 600 of the best chariots along with all the other chariots and officers over them, and pursued the Israelites, and overtook them as they camped by the sea.  As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, terrified and cried out to the LORD.  What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?  There they were; the red sea before them and Pharaoh behind them.  - -  Things didn't look so good.

Joseph had bragged about his dreams, and his brothers were jealous of their father's attention to Joseph.  When he arrived with lunch for them, they bound him and put him in a pit while they decided how to kill him.  Can you imagine the anxiety Joseph must have experienced while in that deep hole?  - -  Things didn't look so good about then.

The three Hebrew children refused to worship the golden image, and the furnace was being heated 10 times hotter than ever before.  Things didn't look so good.

Job was a Godly, rich and prosperous man, and his children were celebrating the birthday of their oldest brother.  It was a happy day, but out of the blue there came a messenger saying, the Sabeans swooped down and have taken away all your oxen and donkeys and killed the servants, and I only was able to escape. 

While the man was still speaking another messenger came saying, the lightening from heaven has burned up the sheep and the servants, and I only was able to escaped to tell you.  That wasn't all - - here came another saying, The Chaldeans made a raid upon your camels and killed the servants, and I alone was able to escape.    

While he was still speaking there came another who said: Your sons and daughters were enjoying the birthday celebration, when a great whirlwind took the house off it's four corners and it fell on your children, killing them all and I was able to escape to tell bring you this terrible news.      - -   Things didn't look so good about then.

Jesus was hanging on the cross.  He had been unmercifully beaten, mocked, spit upon, pierced in hands and feet, and when the sins of the world were placed on his body, His Father God could not look at him and pulled a dark curtain over the sun for about 3 hours.   - -  Things didn't look so good about then.

Each one of these horrible events played out in real time to provide a happy ending.  The Children of Israel finally made it to the promised land.  Joseph became second to the Pharaoh in Egypt and saved his family from death.  A fourth man walked in the furnace with the 3 Hebrew children and no one was burnt in the hot fire.  God blessed Job and gave him more wealth, more children and renewed faith in God.  And Jesus won the battle over death, hell and the grave bringing salvation and eternal life to all who receive Him.

Our neighbor city of Paradise, and our County has suffered great loss in the past few days.  Fires raging to take lives and livelihood, homes and possessions.  Things don't look so good; yet there is hope to recover.  Not all our citizens have this hope.  More than ever before, our citizen's need Jesus.  As we go to prayer today, let us remember that even when things don't look so good, God is still there.  The enemy has tried to defeat us but we shall not be defeated, because God and His angelic army is there surrounding us.

Luke 12:32: Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.    God is giving us our City, our County and our State for His Glory.



Sunday, November 11, 2018

Jesus Loves His Church His Bride




                            From my notes I present a digested message of our Sunday Bible Study





Our Bible Study began with the Song of Solomon and how it is a representation of Christ and the Church, his bride and His love for her.

Solomon wrote this book, and also Proverbs and Ecclesiastes

. 
There were three metaphors of a spiritual flavor:

1. Divine Kiss Song of Solomon 1:2
2. Divine Embrace  Song of Solomon 2:5 - 8:4
3. Divine Seal  Song of Solomon 8:6

The reference of Jesus the inviting Shepherd   John 1:3 - 5:1-39
Jesus is our passionate Savior.  Ask God to reveal His emotions to you.  Share with him

This book reveals the Love of Christ and the allegory of the story reveals the meaning of mature married love.
Israel was not faithful to Jehovah God, and worshipped many heathen gods, yet God wooed Israel to come back and serve Him only.

The Prophet Hosea tells us the true story of himself, who was directed by God to marry a harlot and she bore him children.  Then she left and went back to her old ways of whoredom.  God instructed the prophet to search and find her, to speak gentle comforting words to her and bring her home and back to his loving arms.  The promise was that she shall sing as she once did; and a new covenant with new vows could be made.    She was to receive a new hope, recovery and a vineyard of prosperity and supply.

God sent judgment against unfaithful Israel,  "Yes, I will be angry, but I will woo her back and show her mercy."

Hosea 4:6  My people shall be destroyed for lack of Knowledge.

Hosea 2:18  In that day I will make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, With the birds of the air, And with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, To make them lie down safely.

Hosea 2:23  And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, 'You are My people!' And they shall say, 'You are my God!' "

Understand that we are a Spirit, we live in a body and we have a soul, (our mind, will and emotions.)   Hear the words of our Father as He washes over our Soul (our feelings) and cleanses our mind and thought to understand His love and to save our Spirit.

There is a Divine Shift in these last days, and our inheritance is near.  The Holy Spirit is calling:  Salvation is available to all who come and receive.


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Are You Sitting or Standing?



Today this Scripture is Fulfilled in your Ears


As we gather today to pray over our city, let us not be as the proud man that Jesus spoke about in Luke's gospel chapter 18:  "Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, robbers, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner."
It is interesting to notice these two men were standing as they prayed.  Position in prayer is not important to God, as many fell prostrate on their faces, at the feet of Jesus when they came with a request. 

Jesus mentioned standing to pray In Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any: that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Jesus often sat down to teach and preach but when He read God's Word he stood and after reading he would sit down: 

Luke 4: "He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him (a rolled up scroll) the book of the prophet Isaiah.  And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written (Isaiah 61:1-2) ... 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.'  

And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down.  And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them ... "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." 

The interesting thing here is that when Jesus sat down, he did not return to his normal seat, but as he proclaimed, 'This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears,' he sat down in the vacant chair that was always reserved for the Messiah.  No wonder the crowd was shocked because it seemed Jesus was declaring that He was the Messiah.

After his resurrection, Jesus stood on the mountain and proclaimed to about 400 believers the great commission "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel, and these signs will follow you, as you heal the sick, cast out demons and bring deliverance to many.   And in the sight of them all, he began to ascend into heaven where he is now seated at the right hand of God.

Hebrews 10:12  But when this priest (Jesus) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.

Now I am going to change the story line a bit, and speak about sitting . . .

Rachel sitting on the hidden household gods.

The book of Genesis in the Old Testament, it is recorded that Jacob worked 20 years for his deceptive father-in law, Laban who tricked him into marrying the older daughter Leah and then after working another 7 years, gave Jacob, Rachel for a wife.  

Laban changed Jacob's wages 10 times as he worked in exchange for flocks and herds.  God revealed to Jacob how to increase his flock by requesting the spotted and speckled sheep and goats.  As Jacob increased in riches, he became concerned that Laban was jealous and would harm him.  While Laban was away, sheering his sheep, God told Jacob to leave now in secret taking everything that was his, and return to his home land.  Unknown to Jacob, his favorite wife Rachel had stolen her father's household idols.

When Laban returned home from sheering his sheep he was told that Jacob had left taking everything and his family with him.  Laban became very angry and with a band of men took off to catch up with Jacob, his daughters and family.  "Why have you left without telling me?  And especially, why have you stolen my gods?" Laban declared.  Jacob, answered, "We have done no such thing as steal your gods, and you have always been unfair to me, and rather than have an argument, God told me it would be best to leave unannounced."  Furthermore search for your gods and if you find them, the person who took them shall die. 

Laban diligently searched each tent and when he came to Rachael's tent, she excused herself by saying, "It is the time of the month for me, so please forgive me for not getting up."  She said this because she was sitting on the gods that were hidden in the camels saddle.  Neither Jacob or Laban trusted the other, but they made a promise to stay friends and care for each other and built an alter to remember their covenant.
 
Now we leave this story, with Rachel still sitting on the hidden gods, her father's idols.  These idols that had been in the family possession for many years as household gods.  Generation gods handed down from parents to their children.   gods of greed, lust, fear, anger, dependence, and lack of self worth.

I tell this story because today many in our city are sitting on family gods that have curses from previous generations of immorality, lust, addiction, anger, no self respect, and poverty.

These are covered over and hidden to the naked eye, because they are spiritual bondage that must be broken.  The invisible is just as real as that which is seen.  Powerful Words spoken in the name of Jesus can and will destroy these unseen forces.

Today, let us declare that curses of the past shall be exposed and no longer hidden, but declare that they are broken over families, over households, over the children, and these spiritual forces must leave in the name of Jesus. 

Then let us declare that a spirit of desire and hunger for truth and the Gospel shall fill the hearts of men and women to come to the cross and receive salvation from our Lord Christ Jesus.

Friend is it you, who are sitting on some stuff that has been hidden?  Secrets from the past?  Things you are not proud of?   It is time stop sitting, time to stand up and clean up what has been so private. Time to replace those things that are false with reality.  There is a certainty of heaven for those who come to Jesus, and declare, allegiance to follow him all the days of your life.   It is time to no longer sit, but to stand, to walk and to follow Jesus.
 
Man Sitting his "baggage"

Friday, November 2, 2018

Not of this World






Gleaning from our Bible Study on Sunday from John 17:

John 17:1-2 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 

Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world

In this chapter, Jesus is praying to His Father God, and is saying that he (Jesus) is not of this world. (Jesus was standing there on earth, yet he was proclaiming that He is no longer in this world.  His vision was of things not seen to others but things that were visible to Him.)

Jesus asks the Father that he might be glorified, so that He may glorify God.  He knows the hours is approaching where he is to die, be resurrected and leave this earth.  Jesus also knows he has been faithful to teach only the Words that came from His father, and trusts that his disciples will use these same words to go forth and minister in His name.

Jesus is asking the Father, in the same way that you have sent me, I ask you to send my followers, because they are also not of this world.  (This is because when we follow Jesus we are lifted up into another Kingdom - - the kingdom of God.)

Jesus continues praying that he has kept his disciples, and now asks His Father to protect and keep them from evil in all of its forms.

Jesus declares that God's words are truth, and may they be "one" even as we are "one."  As you have sent me, so send I them.

Jesus reminds God, that he is praying for them, but also for all those who in the distant future will believe because of the faithfulness of preachers and teachers to reveal the truth of the Word of God.

John 17:12.  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one

This is what it is all about, that we may be glorified and pass it on and glorify God.  As we worship at the throne, gathering with all nations of all languages, dialects praising God all in one accord in the Spirit.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Have You Been Converted Since You Believed?


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                                          Have You Been Converted Since You Believed?

What exactly does the word "Convert" mean?  My Random House dictionary gave me some answers:  1.  To change into a different form.  To transform, to alter into another shape or appearance.  2.  To change from one belief to another.  To change religions.

1 Corinthians 3:15 reminds us: If any person be IN Christ, they become a new creation, old things pass away and all becomes new.

In the Old Testament 1 Samuel chapter 9 we are told How God sent the Prophet Samuel to anoint the first King of Israel.  Saul was searching for his fathers lost donkeys, when his servant suggested that they seek help from the man of God.  As they arrived at the Prophet's dwelling, Samuel told Saul your animals are safe and are now at home, so please join us for a meal.  Samuel brought them to a hall where there were 30 guests waiting and told the cook to give Saul the best portion of meat.  The next day, early as Saul was departing, Samuel asked him to send his servants on ahead because God had a word for him.  Then taking a flask of oil, Samuel poured it over Saul's head and anointed him to be the first king. 

Saul was timid and shy and could not believe God would select him, because he came from a small family and he was the least in his household.  Samuel told him that on his way home, he would meet certain people including a group of prophets with their stringed instruments, flute, tambourine and harp and they would all begin to worship and prophesy and the Spirit of the Lord would change Saul into another man.  Saul was a believer but now he was converted and transformed.

In the New Testament, Acts chapter 9, there was another Saul who loved God and was zealous to protect the Jewish religion and way of life.   Believing he was doing the right thing, he set about to pull Christian men and women from their homes and put them in prison, even killing some.  But suddenly one day, a bright light shone from heaven around him, and he fell to the ground as he heard a voice saying: "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"  Saul answered, "Who are you Lord?"  Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting."  So he trembled and was astonished and said, "Lord, what do you want me to do?"  These very words were Saul's moment of conversion.  

These words are what we need to say every morning and through out the day.   - -    "Lord what do you want me to do?"

After three days, God sent Saul to the home of Ananias and was totally converted as hands were laid on him and he was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues.  We know it must have happened here, because Paul told us "I speak in tongues more than you all."

Cornelius an Italian gentile, loved God and gave generously to the poor and prayed to God always.  An angel appeared to him and told him to send for Peter who would tell him words - - Words that would effect a drastic change and conversion.  As Peter began to share words about Jesus with Cornelius and his family, the Holy Spirit fell on all of them and they began to speak in other tongues.  What a splendid conversion experience. 

I am reminded of Lazarus who was dead, resurrected from the Grave by Jesus to new life.  He did not keep his dirty grave clothes but left them in the tomb.  No when Jesus raises us up from spiritual death to spiritual new life, we leave behind all those old things we no longer need.  

Many in our city believe in God - - Honestly, the Bible says even the devil believes and trembles, but those who "ONLY" believe are not born again.  It takes a conversion.  An act of the person's will and desire to request a total complete change where the old life stops and a New Creation emerges. 

As we pray over our city, let us declare according to 1 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  Believe, receive Jesus and become new.