The Peaceable Fruit of Righteousness – Part Two

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

Hebrews 12:11 AMP says, “For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

Discipline – instruction, training, correction – is not pleasant at the time it is being administered, but it produces righteousness in the person being disciplined and ultimately it produces peace. If you will submit to God’s discipline – through His Word and His Spirit, you will bring forth the fruit of righteousness and peace.

And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him; 6 For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. 7 You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline? 8 Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all]. 9 Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live? 10 For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness.  Hebrews 12:5-10 AMP

The biggest problem in the Church today, is that you have too many people calling themselves Christians – children of Father God – who do not, and will not, submit themselves to God’s discipline through His Word and Spirit. Paul tells us not to take God’s discipline lightly and not to get all bent out of shape or give up when He corrects you. We have seen so many people going round and round the mountain one more time, because they have areas of their life that are off limits to God. They will not allow the Lord to bring correction to them in particular areas of their lives, therefore they never grow in those areas and are always in bondage to the mistaken attitudes and ways of thinking that come with pride and sin. Of course, discipline is not pleasant at the time! None of us likes to be disciplined – its hard on our flesh and our pride and our ego – but if we will humble ourselves and allow the fire of God to do its work in us, we will come through the other side with a burden lifted; freer and more joy-filled than we have ever been before; with a new appreciation for our Father God and how much He loves and cares for us!

Paul asks the question: “For what son is there whom his father does not thus train and correct and discipline?” Discipline is for the good of the child. In those days fathers would instruct and discipline their children and God expects fathers to continue to do that today. Instructing, disciplining, correcting, and training his children is one of the main responsibilities of a father – not just putting a roof over your kid’s heads, clothes on their back, food on their plate, and sending them to a good school. None of these things will produce obedient kids and good, productive citizens without your personal, daily input. You have to realize that if you do not give your children guidance – someone else will; if you do not mold them and shape them – someone else will.

Politicians are always trying to remove or hinder parental authority – in the guise of what is good for the child – and have succeeded in many instances, but God put the responsibility for teaching, training, and discipline squarely on the parents, especially the fathers! You have to understand that we are in a war for the hearts of men. Ungodly law-makers and educators would love to have the opportunity to shape your child’s mind and attitude. Why do you think it was so important to the atheists for prayer to be taken out of school? This one decision has changed several generations – and not for the good. America is losing its moral compass as society encourages rebellion against authority and disdain for all that is good. If you do not take responsibility for appropriately disciplining your children, you leave them open for a life of rebelliousness against authority, resulting in rebellion against God, Himself!

Raising and disciplining a child is not the easy way or the lazy way – it requires effort and time and consistency. You have to discipline yourself to take the time and make the effort to input into your children. It takes lots and lots of love and patience. You have to put your own flesh under; you cannot afford to be selfish; you cannot abdicate your responsibilities and leave it up to the mother of your children to do it all on her own. A father’s influence on his kids is huge – whether he takes responsibility or not. He is directly responsible for how they turn out. A father who refuses to be involved with his children’s upbringing – whether he lives in the house or not – is sending a message to his children: you are illegitimate! That may sound strong, but illegitimate children are usually not acknowledged nor treated as sons. If you ignore them – that is the message you are sending – you are saying, “You are not loved or wanted.”

We are not illegitimate offspring – we are children of our Father God. Discipline produces respect. If we respect our earthly fathers and obey them, should we not even much more submit to our Heavenly Father and live! Earthly fathers discipline us for only a short period of time and chastise us as seems proper and good to them; but God disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness.

Living in the Family of God

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

Foundation Scriptures: Colossians 3:5-25

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. 22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.  Colossians 3:5-25 NIV

1. In the Family, we have been raised to a new life through Jesus Christ—He was raised to new life therefore we have been raised up with Him.

  • We are to seek the rich eternal treasures that are above—in the Heavenlies.
  • Set your mind on the higher things.
  • You died with Him, you were buried with Him and you have been raised to new life with Him.
  • Putting off the old—verses 5-9
  • Putting on the new—verses 10-12

2. Your conduct in the Family of God.

  • Forgiving one another—verse 13
  • Put on love—verse 14
  • Let peace rule—verse 15
  • Be thankful—verse 15
  • Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord—verse 16
  • Whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him—verse 17

3. Christian family conduct.

Verses 18-25

  • Husbands; wives; children; parents; fathers; servants.
  • The Word of God must be the foundation for our lives.

4. Foundational things you must do in order to live your life prosperously and effectively in the Family of God.

  • Decide to obey God’s Word and take it as the written, spoken, God-breathed pattern for your life in the Family.
  • Don’t be conformed to the world—its ways and ideologies.
  • Don’t be persuaded by outside influences—be controlled by the Holy Spirit.
  • The Holy Spirit is the One who has been sent to help you live your life in the Family.
  • He will constrain and restrain you and also release, empower and enable you to live by the grace of God to handle any situation that might come your way.

NB You are part of the Family of God in Heaven and Earth!

Effective Prayer


“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

  1. Pray at all times.

    • There are many things God has equipped us with, to effectively run our race. One of them is prayer.
    • Pray at all times—on every occasion, in every season. Seasons change—pray in every season and don’t stop praying.
    • Pray with all manner of prayer and entreaty. Different prayers for different situations.
    • To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance. The enemy won’t give you a break—don’t give him one. Pray with strong purpose and perseverance. Weak, faithless prayers are not answered.
    • Intercede—stand in the gap—in behalf of all the saints.
    • Intercede means: to plead on another’s behalf; to act or interpose on behalf of someone in difficulty or trouble, as by pleading or petition; to act as mediator in a dispute; to attempt to reconcile differences between two people or groups.
    • 1 Corinthians 14:15 – Pray in your earthly language; pray in your heavenly language.
  2. Pray in the Spirit.

    • Romans 8:26-27 NKJV – Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
    • We pray in the Spirit when we don’t know what to pray.
    • When we pray in the Spirit, we are praying the perfect will of God; therefore it is very important to pray in the Spirit even if you think you know what to pray.
    • As you pray in the Spirit, you grow in sensitivity to the voice of the Spirit, and He will lead you and prompt you even as you pray in your earthly language as to what to pray.
  3. Confidence in prayer.

    • 1 John 5:14-15 AMP – And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. 15 And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.
    • If God hears us, He will answer us.
    • How can we be sure that He hears us?
    • If we ask the Father for anything according to His will, we know that He hears us. You can be confident that you are heard and that the answer is on the way.
  4. Pray to the Father in the Name of Jesus.

    • Under the Old Covenant, people knew God as God, but Jesus showed us an added dimension of Him as a loving, heavenly Father.
    • If you are a born-again, blood-washed believer, then God is your Father. John 16:23-28—Ask Me nothing—ask the Father in my Name.
    • John 14:13-14 NKJV – And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
    • We don’t ask Jesus for anything.
    • We ask the Father in the Name of Jesus. We ask according to His will as revealed in His Word.
    • Our joy is full because He answers our prayers.
    • Jesus said, “Don’t keep asking Me. The Father Himself loves you directly.”
  5. Jesus our High Priest.

    • Under the Old Covenant, men came to God through a priest and heard from God through the prophet. Under the New Covenant, Jesus is our High Priest.
    • Hebrews 4:14-16 – Come boldly to the throne of grace.
    • Because Jesus loves us, because He totally understands what we face, because He took our place, we can now come to God, based on what Jesus has done, and boldly ask for help in the Name of Jesus.
    • People who are timid before God do not have a revelation of how much He loves us and what He has done for us.
  6. Effective prayer.

    • James 5:16 KJV – The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. NKJV – The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. AMP – The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].
    • There are three things at work here. A righteous man; praying fervently; expecting an answer. The result is powerful, dynamic and effective!
    • Fervent prayer. Fervent means: having or showing great warmth or intensity of spirit, feeling, enthusiasm, etc.; having or showing great emotion or zeal; ardent; extremely hot; burning; glowing.
  7. Righteousness and answered prayer.

    • 1 Peter 3:8-12 – For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their prayers.
    • Righteous in heart and motive, righteous in word and righteous in action.
    • Love God and your neighbor; do good, not evil; clean up your mouth; pursue peace.
    • God’s eyes are on the righteous—He is constantly watching over you.
    • His ears are tuned in to your voice and He hears your prayers. Remember, if He hears, He answers.
    • Commit to righteousness, because you are called to inherit a blessing!

 

Is There Not A Cause? – Part Two

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? 27 And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him. 28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. 29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? 1 Samuel 17:26-29 KJV

Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

Goliath defied Israel and their God. God was not going to let that happen. He found a young boy with few qualifications in the natural, but who had an unswerving faith in God. Saul, and Israel’s army, saw a giant, but David saw a mortal man defying Almighty God. David had a cause and God anointed him to fulfill that cause. A teenager killed an experienced warrior, who was impossible to defeat in the natural, all because he looked at the situation, not from man’s point of view, but from God’s point of view. No matter how big your giant is, God has the plan to slay it. What cause has God called you to? What giant is out there defying your God? They will not prevail against a man or a woman, filled with faith, and obedient to His plan.

The devil is a liar – God is true

Goliath had a big mouth and he made a lot of scary sounding threats, but David cut his head off. Goliath trash-talked God, but David lifted God up and magnified Him. The devil tries to intimidate you with his lies and fear – but that is all he is – a liar. The truth will always defeat the lie – no matter how big and scary it is. Start talking about how good and how great God is! The truth will prevail. What lie is the devil telling you? Chop its head off!

Please God – not man

God can only use you to the level of criticism you can handle. Other people’s opinions and criticism could not stop David. The rest of the army stood around waiting for who knows what. David saw that there was a cause, and that something needed to be done. He had God to fight for him, so there was no reason to wait. He took action, found the giant’s weakness, killed him, and cut his head off. People may try to discourage you with negativity or mockery, but you need to continue to do what is right and to do what God has called you to do. Please God – not man.

Courage and faith

David was not encumbered with man’s armor or heavy weapons. He was able to move quickly and stay out of the range of Goliath’s weapons. David was an expert marksman with a sling and stones. What made him dangerous to Goliath – was not just his skill – but his courage and faith in God. Even the most skilled marksman will miss the mark when he is shaking in fear.

Use the skills God has already given you

David had already seen victories against a lion and a bear, so he had experience with impossible situations that built his faith in God. He could not have done what he did without absolute faith and trust in God. When you face new problems, remind yourself of – and encourage yourself in – what God has already done in the past. Your strength comes from God. Use the skills He has already given you and move forward in life.

The greater the challenge, the greater the victory

That one act – slaying the giant – launched David into prominence in Israel. Without Goliath, no one would have known David’s name. He was already called and anointed by God to be king, and it would be years before he sat on the throne, but everyone knew of him and they also knew that the hand of God was upon him.

Sometimes your challenges come not from the enemy, but from within your own camp

David’s victory over Goliath made him very popular with the people. Unfortunately, they made him very unpopular with Saul, who was afraid of Goliath, and who was now violently jealous of David – especially since David now carried the anointing that Saul had lost.

Sometimes the small things are more challenging than the big ones – you need courage and you also need patience

While David was hiding and avoiding being killed by Saul, he faced his greatest personal tests. Even though it didn’t look like it sometimes, God was still on his side and His plan was being worked out in David’s life. When David took the throne, he was no longer a boy, but a mature man of proven character. Because he kept his eyes on God and His help, and because he was patient and conducted himself honorably, the tests, trials, and opposition did not wear him down or take him out – rather they helped to develop his character. It’s not the challenges that have the power to conquer us – it is our own attitude that makes the difference between victory and defeat.

David trusted God to keep His word to him

David had two opportunities to kill the man who was trying to kill him, but he wouldn’t raise a hand to King Saul, the man whom God had anointed and appointed. His men thought it was God delivering Saul into David’s hand, but David had too much respect for God. He showed Saul kindness and mercy and allowed God to deal with Saul. No matter what God has promised you, you need to resist the urge to accomplish it by natural means. The shortcut is not God’s plan. Stay on the path God has placed you on and allow God to bring His plan for you to pass.

The Truth About the Grace of God

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:16-17 NKJV

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24 KJV

There is a difference between mercy and grace. Mercy is what we receive when God does NOT give us what we DO deserve. Grace is what we receive when God gives us what we DO NOT deserve. We receive both when we obey the gospel and receive Jesus as Lord. The truth is that grace cannot be withheld from man because of any demerit and it cannot by lessened by demerit; neither can it be mixed with the law of works. However, this does not prove that we do not have any conditions to meet in order to receive the benefits of grace. There is not one scripture that teaches unconditional grace, or that God gives grace to those who disobey the gospel. God’s love is unconditional, but His grace is not. You must cooperate with God in receiving, and continuing to receive, His grace.

Romans 2:11 AMP says: “For God shows no partiality [undue favor or unfairness; with Him one man is not different from another].” God is not a respecter of persons. The same rules apply to all. If He saves just one sinner, who disobeys, then He is under obligation to save them all.

1 John 1:7 NKJV says: “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” God is under obligation to believers only when they walk in the light and remain true to the gospel. He is not under obligation to sinners until they receive Jesus and start obeying His word.

Titus 2:11-12 NKJV says: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.”The grace of God teaches us that we should deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and should live soberly, righteously, and godly here and now. Grace can go no further, if people do not obey its teaching.

It is possible to:

1. Receive grace in vain

2 Corinthians 6:1 NKJV – We then, as workers together with Him, also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

2. Frustrate (set aside) the grace of God in your life.

Galatians 2:21 NKJV – I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.

3. Fall from grace

Galatians 1:6-8 NKJV – I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

Galatians 5:4 NKJV – You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

4. Fall short of the grace of God

Hebrews 12:14-15 NKJV – Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.

5. Turn grace into lasciviousness

Jude 1: 4 AMP – For certain men have crept in stealthily [gaining entrance secretly by a side door]. Their doom was predicted long ago, ungodly (impious, profane) persons who pervert the grace (the spiritual blessing and favor) of our God into lawlessness and wantonness and immorality, and disown and deny our sole Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

6. Sin in spite of grace

Romans 6:1-2 NKJV – What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

7. Continue or discontinue in grace

Acts 13:43 NKJV – Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

8. Minister grace to others

1 Peter 4:10 NKJV – As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

9. Grow or not grow in grace

2 Peter 3:17-18a NKJV – You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

10. Receive or reject grace

John 3:16 NKJV – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Revelation 22:17 NKJV – And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

James 4:6-10 NKJV – But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Characteristics of the Power of God – Part II

But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth. Acts 1:8 AMP

Delivering power:

Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, 18 and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. 19 But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.” 21 And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those with him came and called the council together, with all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 But when the officers came and did not find them in the prison, they returned and reported, 23 saying, “Indeed we found the prison shut securely, and the guards standing outside before the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside!” 24 Now when the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these things, they wondered what the outcome would be. 25 So one came and told them, saying, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” Acts 5:17-25 NKJV

The apostles were flowing in the power of God – healing and delivering large numbers of people and more and more people acknowledged Jesus as Lord and Savior and were being added to the body of Christ. This infuriated the high priest and the Sadducees. They locked them in prison, but an angel brought them out of prison and instructed them to go back and preach in the temple. When we are doing the will of God, the power of the Holy Spirit is also the power of deliverance from the hands of man.

Power in the face of death:

When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:54-60 NKJV

Stephen preached the sermon of his life and the truth he spoke cut the Jews to the heart. They picked up stones and began to throw them at him. Stephen was so full of the Holy Spirit that he seemed oblivious to the stones hitting his body – he looked straight up into heaven and saw Jesus, the Father and the glory of God. Referring to his death the Bible says that he “fell asleep”. The Holy Spirit gives one peace, strength and power in the very face of death!

Power that money can’t buy:

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city. Acts 8:5-8 NKJV

The people of Samaria were enthralled with the power of God on Philip’s life. They were saved, healed, delivered, baptized in water and filled with the joy of the Lord! Even a sorcerer called Simon was saved and baptized!

Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” 24 Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.” Acts 8:14-24 NKJV

Simon wanted to buy the power or ability to fill people with the Holy Spirit, but his motives were evil. Peter thoroughly rebuked him. The power to pray for people to be filled with the Holy Spirit cannot be bought, controlled or manipulated. You must be thoroughly yielded to the Holy Spirit yourself. The Lord can only do through you what He is allowed to do IN you. The power to fill people with the Holy Spirit comes only through the Holy Spirit Himself – not by the power of man.

Overcoming power:

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Revelation 12:11 NKJV

The power to overcome the devil and his works is through the blood of Jesus and the word of your testimony. What the Lord has done in you, to you through you and for you, is a powerful witness and a powerful force! Keep trusting in the power of the blood and the Name, and keep testifying – preach the Word of God and the power of God – and you’ll see great miracles and victories!

Seventeen Benefits We Have Through Jesus Christ

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Colossians 3:2-3 KJV

All that we have is in Christ Jesus. All that we have in and through Jesus are the blessings of God.

1. Through Jesus we have the blessing of righteousness:

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:21-23 NKJV

2. Through Jesus we have the blessing of the grace of God:

But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. Romans 5:15 NKJV

3. Through Jesus we have the blessing of grace reigning through righteousness:

So that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21 NKJV

4. Through Jesus we have the blessing of grace and truth:

I thank my God at all times for you because of the grace (the favor and spiritual blessing) of God which was bestowed on you in Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:4 AMP

For while the Law was given through Moses, grace (unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing) and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 AMP

5. Through Jesus we have the blessing of the Gospel of peace:

You know the contents of the message which He sent to Israel, announcing the good news (Gospel) of peace by Jesus Christ, Who is Lord of all. Acts 10:36 AMP

6. All of creation was created through Jesus:

And to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 3:9 NKJV

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. Colossians 1:16-18 NKJV

7. Through Jesus we have the blessing of reconciliation:

But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him]. 2 Corinthians 5:18 AMP

8. Through Jesus we have the blessing of the revelation of the Gospel:

But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:11-12 NKJV

9. Through Jesus we have the blessing of justification:

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. 17 “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! Galatians 2:16-17 NKJV

10. Through Jesus we have the blessing of adoption into the family of God:

For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]. Ephesians 1:5 AMP

11. Through Jesus we have the blessing of His exceeding riches of grace:

That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:7-8 NKJV

12. Through Jesus we have the blessing of having all our needs supplied:

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. Philippians 4:19-20 NKJV

13. Through Jesus we have the blessing of salvation:

For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 NKJV

14. Through Jesus we are able to offer up spiritual sacrifices:

You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5 NKJV

15. Through Jesus we have the blessing of a good conscience:

There is also an antitype which now saves us — baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 3:21 NKJV

16. God calls us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus:

But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 1 Peter 5:10 NKJV

17. Through Jesus we are given utterance and knowledge:

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge. 1 Corinthians 1:4-5 NKJV

Twenty-One Proofs of Physical Resurrection – Part I

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, [the women] went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had made ready. 2 And they found the stone rolled back from the tomb, 3 But when they went inside, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And while they were perplexed and wondering what to do about this, behold, two men in dazzling raiment suddenly stood beside them. 5 And as [the women] were frightened and were bowing their faces to the ground, the men said to them, Why do you look for the living among [those who are] dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen! Remember how He told you while He was still in Galilee 7 That the Son of Man must be given over into the hands of sinful men (men whose way or nature is to act in opposition to God) and be crucified and on the third day rise [from death]. Luke 24:1-7 AMP

See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself! Feel and handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see that I have. 40 And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 And while [since] they still could not believe it for sheer joy and marveled, He said to them, Have you anything here to eat? 42 They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, 43 And He took [it] and ate [it] before them. Luke 24:39-43 AMP

1. Jesus showed them His hands and feet (Luke 24:39).

2. Jesus said: It is I Myself, not another (different) person (Luke 24:39).

3. Jesus told them to touch Him and prove that He was alive (Luke 24:39).

4. Jesus told them: a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have (Luke 24:39).

5. He showed them His hands and His feet (Luke 24:40; John 20:20).

John 20:20 NIV – After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

6. He took fish and honeycomb and ate it before them (Luke 24:41-43).

7. He is risen (Matthew 28:6-7; Mark 16:6).

Matthew 28:6-7 AMP – He is not here; He has risen, as He said [He would do]. Come, see the place where He lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell His disciples, He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.

Mark 16:6 AMP – And he said to them, Do not be amazed and terrified; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.

What is risen? It could not be His soul and spirit for they did not die. They went into hell to preach and carry on work (Psalm 16:10; Luke 23:43; Ephes. 4:8-10; 1 Peter 3:9; Hebrews 2:14-15).

Psalms 16:10 AMP – For You will not abandon me to Sheol (the place of the dead), neither will You suffer Your holy one [Holy One] to see corruption.

Ephesians 4:8-10 AMP – Therefore it is said, When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive [He led a train of vanquished foes] and He bestowed gifts on men. 9 [But He ascended?] Now what can this, He ascended, mean but that He had previously descended from [the heights of] heaven into [the depths], the lower parts of the earth? 10 He Who descended is the [very] same as He Who also has ascended high above all the heavens, that He [His presence] might fill all things (the whole universe, from the lowest to the highest).

1 Peter 3:18-19 NKJV – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison

His body is the only thing that died (James 2:26) and the only thing that could have been resurrected (Luke 24:39; Zech.13:6; Acts 1:11).

James 2:26 NKJV – For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Acts 1:11 NKJV – Who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

8. They held Him by the feet (Matthew 28:9; Luke 24:39-40).

Matthew 28:9 NKJV – And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.

9. They saw Him (Matthew 28:17; John 20:19-20).

Matthew 28:17 NKJV – When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

John 20:19-20 NIV – On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

10. They did not find the body (Luke 24:3; 23) because it was resurrected (Luke 24:39-43).

Luke 24:23-24 AMP – But did not find His body; and they returned saying that they had [even] seen a vision of angels, who said that He was alive! 24 So some of those [who were] with us went to the tomb and they found it just as the women had said, but Him they did not see.

11. They went to the tomb to embalm Jesus’ body, but it wasn’t there, because Jesus’ body was raised up. The angel asked: Why do you seek the living (body) among the dead bodies (Luke 24:5-6; James 2:26)?

12. Jesus Himself came to them. He sat and ate with them and they knew Him (Luke 24:15; 30-31).

Luke 24:15 AMP – And while they were conversing and discussing together, Jesus Himself caught up with them and was already accompanying them.

13. Angels said He was alive (Luke 24:23; Matthew 28:6-7; Mark 16:6).

Reaching Souls across America