The Living Truth

Jesus answered, “Scripture says, ‘A person cannot live on bread alone but on every word that God speaks.’ ”

Matthew 4:4 GW

Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.

1 Thessalonians 5:19‭-‬22 NASB

Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.

But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.

One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church.

Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying.

1 Corinthians 14:1‭-‬5 NASB

When the devil tempted Jesus, He responded by quoting Scripture.

The devil had no answer except to try to tempt Him in other ways.

A person cannot live on bread alone.

Thus, physical food is not enough to sustain life.

But on every word that is written.

No.

But on every word that God speaks.

The Scriptures are the inspired written Word of God.

Jesus is the living Word of God.

And they are in complete agreement.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

Jesus is alive.

He is risen.

He sits at the right hand of the Father on the heavenly throne.

He intercedes for us.

Christianity is not a philosophy.

It’s not even a religion.

It’s a way of life.

It’s a life of faith, lived in fellowship and communion with the Holy One of Israel.

The born again believer becomes a temple of the Holy Spirit.

God lives inside of them.

God is not silent.

He is speaking continuously.

You must train your inner ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.

When we prophesy, or speak what God has revealed to us by revelation, we speak what God is saying.

No prophecy originates from the mind of man.

Nor is the interpretation of it.

What is the purpose of prophecy?

To build up the Body in love.

It’s the same as all the other gifts.

They all come from God and are used to build up His Body, the Church.

If what you’re saying isn’t bringing a greater understanding of God, encouraging others in their faith, or comforting people, then you’re not prophesying by the unction of the Holy Spirit.

False prophets are everywhere these days, just like in Old Testament times.

Their lifestyles don’t conform to Scripture.

They tell you what they think you want to hear.

They tend to excuse sin instead of encouraging repentance.

They are motivated by material gain instead of the love of God.

I’ve seen it myself firsthand when I was a baby Christian 20 years ago.

Because of all the abuses, some fellowships and denominations despise prophecy.

Don’t let the devil win.

We need prophecy to edify the Church.

We also need to test every prophetic word according to Scriptural standards.

A word given at the right time brings life.

Another word of caution: don’t go seeking prophetic words.

If God has something that needs to be said, be sure that He’ll say it.

If everyone concentrated on their relationship with God, we wouldn’t even need prophecy.

We could all hear from God for ourselves.

And eventually, the gift of prophecy will cease.

It is to our advantage to be intimately familiar with Scripture.

It is also to our benefit to be in intimate fellowship with the Holy Spirit.

Together, they will guide us into the fullness of Christ.

Lord Jesus,

You are the Living Word of God.

Thank You for Your sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary.

Thank You for setting us free from the law of sin and death.

Thank You for sharing Your inheritance in the Kingdom of God with us.

Lord, we humble ourselves under Your mighty hand.

Give us wisdom and revelation.

Give us ears to hear and eyes to see what You are saying and doing in this hour.

Free us from the sins that so easily beset us.

Empower us and fill us with Your Holy Spirit.

Let us be your good will ambassadors here on this Earth.

Let us carry the Gospel, the ministry of reconcilation, and the message of Your eternal covenant to the people who need it.

Confirm Your word with miracles, signs and wonders.

In Your Holy Name we pray.

Amen.

The Threshing Floor

“These are the miraculous signs that will accompany believers: They will use the power and authority of my name to force demons out of people. They will speak new languages. They will pick up snakes, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them. They will place their hands on the sick and cure them.”

After talking with the apostles, the Lord was taken to heaven, where God gave him the highest position.

The disciples spread ⌊the Good News⌋ everywhere. The Lord worked with them. He confirmed his word by the miraculous signs that accompanied it.

Mark 16:17‭-‬20 GW

I baptize you with water so that you will change the way you think and act. But the one who comes after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to remove his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing shovel is in his hand, and he will clean up his threshing floor. He will gather his wheat into a barn, but he will burn the husks in a fire that can never be put out.”

Matthew 3:11‭-‬12 GW

This is to continue until all of us are united in our faith and in our knowledge about God’s Son, until we become mature, until we measure up to Christ, who is the standard.

Ephesians 4:13 GW

The Church is God’s threshing floor.

He gathers His disciples, the fruitful ones, into His Kingdom.

Those who are not fruitful, the empty husks, that look like the others but inside are barren, are burnt with an unquenchable fire.

Don’t muzzle the oxen while they are threshing grain.

The oxen are preachers.

The Word of God is what separates the true from the counterfeit.

Jesus baptises with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Obviously, the Holy Spirit is what brings about spiritual birth, or being born again.

What is the fire?

Some see it as the final judgment.

Believers go to Heaven and those who reject Jesus as Messiah go to the lake of fire.

I believe that’s true, but I also see the fire as the testing and purification that bring about sanctification.

Our God is a consuming fire.

Our flesh nature must be crucified daily.

In this world you will have trouble.

Rejoice when trials, tribulation and persecution come.

I tend to focus on practical Christian living.

What does it mean to be a disciple?

What does that look like?

That’s my passion.

How do we live by faith?

We need to stand on the truth of God’s Word.

Some people are more interested in chasing emotional experiences than studying Scripture for truth.

One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control.

Along with gentleness and peace.

So what is causing people to twitch and shake uncontrollably?

Certainly not the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps they’re just mimicking what they see other people doing, a soulish response.

Perhaps they’re being controlled by demons.

We must test the spirits.

We must discern the spirits.

The proof of your faith isn’t in your experiences and manifestations, it’s in how you live.

Don’t seek after signs and wonders.

They will follow you as you follow after God.

Believers will cast out demons.

And they will heal people.

Miraculous signs will follow them.

They won’t have to fake it.

They won’t perform street magic.

They won’t boast about what God does through them.

We’re just vessels of clay in the Potter’s hands.

Without God we are nothing.

What we do for God is not done by our own power or initiative.

Human wisdom is foolishness.

Don’t get hung up by techniques, tips and tricks.

Did Jesus ever perform a miracle the same way twice?

It wasn’t the technique that performed the miracle, it was God’s Spirit.

Follow Jesus.

Talk to Jesus.

And listen.

These are perilous times we’re living in.

False teachers and false prophets abound.

There are wolves in sheep’s clothing in every fellowship.

That’s no reason to run from fellowship.

It’s all the more reason to walk in righteousness and do what God’s Word says.

Do not only be a hearer of the word and deceive yourself.

Live it.

A Centering Faith

Jesus said to the Jews, “I can guarantee this truth: The Son cannot do anything on his own. He can do only what he sees the Father doing. Indeed, the Son does exactly what the Father does.

John 5:19 GW

Another person might say, “You have faith, but I do good things.” Show me your faith apart from the good things you do. I will show you my faith by the good things I do.

James 2:18 GW

Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you. Whoever does what God approves of has God’s approval as Christ has God’s approval.

The person who lives a sinful life belongs to the devil, because the devil has been committing sin since the beginning. The reason that the Son of God appeared was to destroy what the devil does.

1 John 3:7‭-‬8 GW

Are you on the right track?

I certainly hope so.

How do you know if you’re on the right track?

You’re growing in love and truth.

God is love.

Jesus is the truth.

It’s really easy to get off track.

All you have to do is take your eyes off the target.

What is the target?

Measuring up to the stature of the fullness of Christ.

It’s time to get back to basics.

How do professionals become experts?

They practice the basics until they get it down perfectly.

And then they keep practicing.

Now is no time to slack off in practicing your spiritual disciplines.

Be alert.

There’s a war raging in the spiritual dimensions and you need to stand your ground.

Be rooted in love.

I’m sorry, but I don’t care how talented or gifted you are if you don’t walk in love.

Love existed before Creation.

Love will exist when Creation passes away.

What does that tell you?

Love is the key that unlocks the door to the Kingdom of God.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Love, love, love.

That’s what life is all about.

Truly.

Anything else is just an illusion.

What’s permanent?

What’s eternal?

God’s Word.

What’s temporary?

What is fleeting?

This material world and the lives we live in it.

We must aspire to rise higher.

We will only do that by practicing our most holy faith daily with earnest devotion.

If I slack off in my daily Bible reading and study, my spiritual walk takes a hit.

If I don’t remain steadfast in prayer, my walk really suffers.

If I neglect fellowship, I’m in no-man’s land real soon.

If I’m not praising and worshipping God, my peace and joy fade out.

If I’m not serving others, my problems overwhelm me.

If I’m not meditating on Scripture, I’ll say something stupid.

If I’m not pursuing a deeper relationship with God and abiding in His Presence, I become stagnant and life begins to stink.

The Gospel should motivate everything that we do.

Jesus set us free.

We should want to help others find that freedom in Christ, too.

If we don’t, what does that say about us?

God is more than capable of cleaning up this mess.

We just need to be obedient and do our parts.

Don’t worry.

Be joyful.

Live for God.

You’ll never regret it for a second.

Be blessed in Jesus’ Name.

Amen.