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Friday, April 29, 2016

The Mountain of Fire

Thunder, Fire, Smoke and a Loud Voice
During our Bible Study, I took notes and present a digested lesson here for you.

In Genesis chapter 12, God told Abraham to leave his home and family and God would give him a promised land.  The Children of Israel were leaving Egypt to fulfill that promise to Abraham.

Exodus 19 reminds us of the 3 month journey to reach Mount Sinai.  The priests were to prepare themselves, wash themselves clean, be upstanding, and holy.  God said, be ready for on the 3rd day He would come down on the mountain.  The people were to be prepared, to wash their clothes, and be clean.  Moses gave us the written word, and Jesus is the Living Word.

On the mountain, God answered with a voice that caused the people to be terrified and fearful.  They had been in Egypt many years, and were steeped in Egyptian culture including the worship of their gods.

Jehovah God was new to most of them, and the fact that He was a living God frightened them.  God came down on the mountain in power shaking it with thunder and a loud voice.

If you grew up in America, you have a culture from your family, school, friends, and church.  It may not be with “Power” until you have a personal experience with Jesus and receive his spiritual connection.

The Children of Israel thought they were entitled.  There was story after story of God’s provision, protection and deliverance, yet they murmured and complained.

From the Mount Sinai, was thunder, lightening, smoke, fire and a voice.  The Priests blew the trumpet and the people waited in awe.  God instructed Moses to warn the people not to touch the mountain or come too close or they would die.

The Priests sanctified themselves, lest the Lord break through upon them.  Moses and Aaron could come up but not the priests. 
Moses went down and spoke to the frightened people.  They said to Moses, you talk to God for us, and tell us what He says.  Their hearts were hardened and they desired someone to represent them.

They remembered the variety of food in Egypt and forgot the hard labor and bad treatment they endured as slaves.  They were looking at their past instead of forward to a glorious future.   God reminded them to remember what He did to the Egyptians, and it is best to serve the Living God.

Acts chapter two, On the day of Pentecost, there was an outbreak of the Holy Spirit.  Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these other things shall be added unto you.

How desperate are we for a touch from our God and for His Holy Spirit? 

Pentecost is coming as we count the days to day 50, but  your personal Pentecost is available now.

Passover to Pentecost

You shall count seven weeks from the time you begin to harvest.  You shall keep the feast of week, when all shall rejoice and give tribute to God.  You shall remember the day when you came forth out of the land of Egypt all your life.  Deuteronomy  16
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 I took notes and have digested our Bible Study at Open Door Church and present it here.

When the “Death Angel” took the first born from the households NOT protected with the blood of the Sacrificial Lamb; King Pharaoh decided perhaps he should let the Children of Israel go.

Remembrance of this Passover Event has been passed down through the families from father to son and to their sons. 

Soon after leaving Egypt, the Children of Israel arrived at Mount Sinai.  With a demonstration of thunder, lightening and a loud voice, God showed Himself powerful.  Here on the mountain, God gave Moses instructions on how to live a life pleasing to God. 

Recorded in the New Testament, the Jews gathered in Jerusalem from all over the world to feast and celebrate the Passover for 49 days.  They had no idea what God was soon going to do in a spectacular way.   

Day 50 of the celebration, was the “day of Pentecost,” where in an upper room, 120 believers were fasting, praying and seeking God.   

As it is recorded in Acts chapter two, the Holy Spirit came down in power with the sound of a rushing mighty wind and tongues of fire rested upon the heads of the believers.  This baptism was to change a culture and empower believers. 
The visiting Jews were amazed and said, “What is this strange happening?” 

Peter explained, “This Holy spirit was prophesied of old - - but today He is available for all who believe on Jesus, and 3000 believed and were added that day to the “church.”  Many returned to their land with this new message of being “born again, and filled with the Holy Spirit.” 

Join with us as we count up from 1 to 50 days.  With each historic move of the Holy Spirit there is a culture change.  Meshing together in unity, various denominations and believers have come together to Worship Jesus.   

This past April 2016, Lou Engle and TheCall, in partnership with Bethel Church in Redding, California, hosted over 65,000 people in an event called AzusaNow.  People from all around the world gathered together in the rain at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to make the name of Jesus famous once again.  The meeting in Los Angeles is still having reverberations of healing, deliverance and people drawn to Jesus.   

The gifts of the Holy Spirit have not been revoked, but continue as believers seek God and desire a personal Spiritual awakening.   

True worship and praise will usher in a move of the Holy Spirit.  Keep your mind focused on God and His holiness.  Don’t allow your mind to wander, but keep zeroed in on our Mighty God.

Stretch, bend, but don’t worry about breaking.  The Holy Spirit mends broken hearts and broken lives, when placed on the altar of sacrifice. 

The Holy Spirit brings healing to physical, mental and spiritual or our being.  Sing unto the Lord a new song.  Recognize the words, of old hymns, or make the words fit the song in your heart.   

The Comforter has come! Oh spread the tidings ‘round, wherever man is found.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Waters of Salvation that Heal

Naaman Thought This was Foolish, But - -  Why Not?

Waters of Salvation that Heal

Pastor Allan has asked me to give a short focus to the Prayer group that meet to pray over our city.  Today I spoke about two Biblical events and the living water that heals.
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The Bible speaks many times of “WATER.”  Jesus promises Living Water in us, springing up and flowing out. 

Today I would like us to look at two waters in the Scriptures.

2 Samuel chapter 5  Relates the story of the Israelite slave girl in the house of Naaman.  She told her mistress, “If only my master would go to the prophet in my land, God would heal him of his leprosy.” 

Naaman was told of her speech, so he asked his king to write a letter to the king of Israel to heal him.  The King of Israel upon receiving the letter, tore his robes and said, “Am I God to heal this man? Can I kill and bring back to life?”

The prophet heard of this and said, “Tell him to come to me.” Naaman went with his soldiers, his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.

There are times we want God to answer our prayers the way we think they should be answered.  We want the Minister of God to anoint us with oil, and pronounce us healed.

Naaman’s soldiers convinced him to at least try what the prophet asked him to do.

Perhaps on the dip 3 or 4 he said to himself, “This isn’t working.”

When God tells us to pray for our city and I will save them, we often get angry and think God should punish them for their sin.  We think they do not deserve to be blessed. 

We even think after praying 3 of 4 times, God should turn our city upside down.  But Naaman continued to dip the entire 7 times and he was healed, (saved) body, soul and spirit.

Perhaps God sent you to Open Door Church, and you questioned to yourself, “These people are fanatics, and they are perhaps not as proper as the nice people at a church you once attended.”

But what happened to Naaman when he obeyed?   God saved him (healed him) body, spirit and soul, and he declared that the God of Israel was the true God.

The second incident is recorded in John chapter 5. 

On the Sabbath day in Jerusalem, Jesus visited the pool of Bethesda.  There lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.  At certain times an angel came down and stirred the water and who ever got in first was healed.

You might think these people were superstitious waiting for an “Angel to stir the water.”

No they truly believed, because they were witnesses to others who had been healed by leaping into the moving water.
Jesus asked a man who had been paralyzed 38 years, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool.”
How often do we come with our excuses?  Many sit in church and are never born again, as they wait for someone to tell them how to be saved. 

There are people in your neighborhood lamenting this same question.  I have NO person to put me in the living waters. 
This is why we pray over our city.  “Lord send workers to tell the people that Jesus is the answer and if they will kneel at his blood stained cross and ask him to come into their life they shall be healed (Saved.)” 
The paralyzed man said, “I have NO ONE.” 
You may be that ONE who needs to tell the lost person how to come to Jesus.  Be ready with the message of salvation.  Tell them to Believe and Receive.

What can we learn from these stories?

1.     Let God be God and allow him to answer in His own way, not the way we think He should.

2.     Obey the instructions given and do not question if you think they seem foolish.

3.     Understand that the messenger may be YOU. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

No More Giants

The Battle Belongs to the Lord

Pastor Allan at Open Door Church, was speaking about the new chairs replacing the pews as scriptures were displayed on the screen.  His sermon is edited from my notes and presented here for you.

2 Corinthians 5:7  For we walk by faith, not by sight.   Psalms 46:10  Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth.

Pastor was explaining the new chairs give us more seating room, as we are expecting to grow.  We are looking forward not backward except to remind our selves what God has already done.  We are experiencing freedom as God is moving among us. 

The Promised Land was controlled by giants, but Joshua and Caleb said, we are able to go up and take the country because God is with us.

Every one of us has experienced some form of bondage in our lives; but in Christ there is freedom available.

Some have it all figured out how to overcome without Jesus.  There are many support groups, meetings, and self help programs, which are all good, but Jesus Christ is the deliverer.

1 Samuel chapter 17 tells us that David was sent by his father to bring lunch for his brothers in the army. 

1 Samuel 17:23  As David was talking with his brothers, behold, the champion of the Philistines named Goliath, was coming up from the army of the Philistines, and he shouted out his usual defiance; and David heard him.

The sight of this giant and his challenging words struck fear in the hearts of the Israelite army, but not in David. 

David said, I will take the challenge and with God’s help I will defeat this giant. 

King Saul, and the others all said, you can’t go against him, because you are just a boy.  Bold David, remarked, as I tended my sheep, I have fought and killed both a lion and a bear who tried to harm my sheep and God will go with me.

From all appearances it didn’t look good, but David had no fear.  The giant laughed at David and said, “Am I a dog that you send a boy with sticks to fight me?”

As David came to the brook, he picked up 5 smooth stones and put them in his shepherd’s bag.  “Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.”

David ran to the battle line, reached his hand into the bag, took out a stone, slung it, and struck the Philistine in his forehead; and he fell on his face to the ground.

1 Samuel 17:51 - Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

There are giants in our lives walking around in the darkness and causing us to stumble.

Poverty, depression, habits and addictions are giants in many lives.

The Word of God dispels poverty, and Jesus offers us a sound mind and body, breaking chains that bind.

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

He gives us power to walk in holiness.  Evil spirits seek to drive us to live in darkness, but the Holy Spirit brings light for us to walk in the Righteousness of God.

With Jesus we can walk in liberty – marching forward. 

No more darkness, no more fear, no more giants in our lives.

David’s faith was in the ability of God to help him. 

Do not be afraid, for God desires to restore and make new broken lives.  Stand against the giants in your lives, because God is on your side. 
There are giants in your city, your family, our homes, and schools, but the devil is a looser.  Put God’s Word to the test and go forward. 
Take heart and hear the Word of the Lord and it is important to act on that word. 
Do not be afraid, be bold and don’t forget your weapon; God’s word, the sword of the Spirit.  Step up, and go forward in God.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Passover and Counting the Omer.

1 Corinthians 5:7-8
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:

 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I took notes and have digested our Bible Study at Open Door Church and present it here.

The Children of Israel were released by Pharaoh to leave Egypt because the “Death Angel,” had taken the first born son of those households not protected with the blood of the Sacrificial Lamb. 

Remembrance of the Death Angel Passover has been handed down through the families, generation after generation.

At Mount Sinai the Power of God came down and Moses was given instructions how to live a life pleasing to God.

On the day of Pentecost recorded in Acts chapter two; the Holy Spirit came down with Power to change a culture and empower believers to live a life pleasing to God. 

Jews from all over the then known world had come to Jerusalem to celebrate The Passover.  They had no idea that God was going to do something so spectacular. 

The Passover had been celebrated for 49 days, and the 50th day was the day of Shavuot (or Pentecost.) 

On that 50th day, 120 believers had been fasting and seeking God, when the Holy Spirit came down like a rushing mighty wind setting tongues of fire upon the heads of the believers assembled there.
The visiting Jews heard these unlearned men, speaking in other languages and thought they were drunk. 

Peter explained these men are not drunk, but this is the promise unto all who believe in Jesus.  That day 3000 men became believers in Jesus and received the gift of the Holy Spirit.  They would soon return to their own land with this new message of a living Christ who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and with power to live a Christian life.

With every historical move of the Holy Spirit there is a culture change; meshing together in unity various denominations and believers. 

The gifts have not been revoked, but they continue as believers seek God and desire a personal Spiritual awakening.

True worship and praise will usher in a move of the Holy Spirit.  Keep your mind focused on God and on His Holiness.  Don’t allow your mind to wander, but keep zeroed in on our Mighty God. 

God desires to use you in your world.  Allow God to stretch and bend you. 

The Holy Spirit mends broken hearts and broken lives, when they are placed on the altar of sacrifice.  The Holy Spirit brings healing to physical, mental and Spiritual needs within our nature. 

Sing from your heart unto the Lord a New Hymn, using new words that come to you as you open your mouth.

Our teacher gave us a hand-out about “Counting the Omer” and asked us to read each verse on the day selected; and to focus on the comments; beginning on Saturday, April 23, 2016.

What is the Counting of the Omer you might ask:  This from a search on the Internet:

The Counting of the Omer begins on the second day of Passover (the 16th of Nisan) for Rabbinic Jews (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform), and after the weekly Shabbat during Passover for Karaite Jews, and ends the day before the holiday of Shavuot, (Pentecost) the 'fiftieth day.'

The idea of counting each day represents spiritual preparation and anticipation for the giving of the Torah which was given by God on Mount Sinai at the beginning of the month of Sivan, around the same time as the holiday of Shavuot. The Hebrew people were only freed from Egypt at Passover in order to receive the Torah at Sinai, an event which is now celebrated on Shavuot, (Pentecost) and to fulfill its laws. Thus the Counting of the Omer demonstrates how much a Hebrew desires to accept the Torah in his own life. 

We as Christians look forward to the 50th day being the Day of Pentecost.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Wind of the Holy Spirit is often Hot

Walls of Protection for God's People
Wednesday we meet at our church, to pray over our city (and our families and friends too.)  Pastor Allan has asked me to bring a short focus each week, and I am sharing todays focus with you.

The Children of Israel were on their way OUT of Egypt when all of a sudden, Pharaoh’s Army was after them.  The enemy was behind them and the impassable Red sea was ahead.  The Children of Israel were good at FEAR and MURMERING.   

We should not be too hard on them, because often we act just like they did when an obstacle is in our way.  God heard their crying and told Moses to stretch out his hand holding his rod. 

All that night God caused a STRONG East WIND to blow against the water, creating a wall of water, on each side of a dry path for them to pass the next morning. 
It was a wide path, not a single-file walk way.   In my imagination, I can see the wind warm perhaps even hot like on the Wind of Pentecost; when the Holy Spirit sent tongues of fire on the heads of believers. 
If the wind was hot, it would dry up the muddy sea bottom, causing dry land for the people’s feet as the scripture declares. 

If you remember this story, you will know the enemy army decided to come after them into the dry path - - except the path became mud again causing their chariot wheels to break and their wagons to fall apart.  On top of all that - - the walls of water came crashing down drowning Pharaoh's army. 

As we pray for our family, friends and for our city, what can we learn from this reminder?

  1. Do not fear or complain; thinking all is not working.
  2. Continue to pray - - expecting the walls to support you, but to fall around the enemy.
  3. March forward with your feet on good ground as you shop, work, visit and testify to others.
  4. Keep a positive attitude, knowing God is fighting the battle, as you pray.
  5. Allow the Wind of the Holy Spirit to renew, restore and hold you up in your Body, Soul and Spirit.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Seasons in Life Bring Changes


I took notes as Pastor Allan began his message and present here an edited sermon. 

Pastor began by looking around and making a statement.  “I don’t see a building, I see a congregation standing in the throne room of the King.  God is here today to bring healing and deliverance to those who struggle and reach out for help.

Help is here in the presence of Jesus, the one who paid for all our needs, and our sorrows can be met in Him.

We are waiting on God.  We are in a bumper Zone and God is stretching us.  No apology is necessary, as we give permission for the Holy Spirit to take over the service according to His plan and direction. 

If we are not careful with our attitude, we will find ourselves walking in the desert places.

The will of God was for the children of Israel to go forward and enter the promised land, but they complained, murmured and refused to believe.  This caused them to wander for 40 years.

Open your eyes and ears to see and hear what the Holy Spirit is saying today.

What is going on here is a shift with coming changes to bring us out of our comfort zone.  God desires to use you, but He wants a Holy Vessel one who is willing to allow the Holy Spirit to work through.  There is no room for pride or fear, so take boldness as a friend. 

Realize you are no longer the person you once were, but you are now identified with Christ, and are sharing the heart of God and His desire for our church.

We all meet at the cross and leave our burdens there.  The Bible tells us that our sins are removed as far as the East is from the West and God does not remember them any more.

God has made you Holy, so your responsibility is to walk Holy. 

God has made the provision, and it is up to us to come and partake.  Blessings come with obedience to His Word.

Malachi 3:10 (NKJV) Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”

Today we are doing something a bit different.  If you placed your tithes in the offering box at the back of the church; that is fine, but we are going to take a special offering toward the purchase of this building.

Giving is also an act of worship.  We are not twisting arms, because giving must be from a cheerful heart.  Invest in the future of this church, as we train leaders to go forth and advance the Kingdom of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 - - To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; - -

Don’t allow time to pass you by, but embrace each season in life.

Pastor said, he preaches at funerals, but he doesn’t like funerals.  They remind us that life is fragile and death awaits us all. 

When we receive Jesus and His life, there is no fear of death, for we depart to be with Jesus in heaven.  In the mean time, it is needful that we stay here and serve our Lord.

Speak life giving words, and when changes come, keep a good attitude, walking in faith, not in fear.