I AM, Part 6 Larry W Peebles

I AM, Part 6   Larry W Peebles   November 17, 2017   17.44

My wife and I have been married over 48 years, and have known each other for over 51 years.  We fell in love immediately when we met, but after we married we soon realized we were more different than we were similar.  The early years of our marriage were a struggle as we searched for our marital identity.  Genesis 2:24 says that at marriage a man and wife “become one flesh”, and while that is certainly true, it can take time before they operate as one.  After years of living together, learning each other’s ways, experiencing trial and error, having intense discussions, and really coming to know each other, we matured and grew into one.  Now in our marriage there is solidarity, dependability, and a trust that is the most precious thing I know.  We have grown to know each other’s preferences, habits, and even thoughts.  More and more we move and act as one.  The deep familiarity has fueled the growth of even more love.  As our faith in Jesus has grown, we have experienced the power of a third person in our marriage.  His presence has added strength to fend off the attacks that come against every marriage.

The disciple John and Jesus grew that close.   John, Peter and James were the three disciples closest to Jesus, and they were the three disciples who not only witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration, they also saw Moses and Elijah with Him.  (Matthew 17:1).  They were the only ones invited into the house of the ruler of the synagogue when Jesus prayed for his daughter who had died and brought her back to life. (Mark 5:37).  These were also the three disciples Jesus asked to go further into the Garden of Gethsemane for more intense prayer as Jesus’ betrayal approached.  (Mark 14:33).  They clearly were the inner circle of disciples who were closest to Jesus.

In the Gospel of John, however, it is John who is referred to six times as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.”  It was John who laid his head on Jesus’ breast at the Last Supper.  (John 13:23).  Following His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples and spoke to them about what was to come.  He said Peter would be bound and “taken where he did not want to go”, meaning imprisonment and death.  Peter then asked Jesus “What about this man?”, referring to John.  Jesus responded “If I will that he remains until I come, what is that to you?”  (John 21:22).  John explained in verse 23 that this did not necessarily mean he would not die, but church history teaches that he was the only disciple to die a natural death.  Although he was lowered into a vat of hot oil at Ephesus, he did not die.  He was exiled by the Romans for a while to the island of Patmos, but his faith was not silenced at the hands of man.  Although ready to die for the Gospel he had received from Jesus, he in fact died peacefully of old age.

In writing the Book of John, he wanted the world to know Jesus as intimately as he did.  John 20:31 says- “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”  He desperately wanted to reveal the identity, character, and deity of Jesus to the world.  He used the “I AM” statements of Jesus to do that.  All of the “I AM” statements we have studied in this series have come from the Gospel of John and Book of Revelation, books written by John:

  1. I AM the bread of life. John 6:35.  Part 1.
  1. I AM the light of the world. John 8:12.  Part 1.
  1. I AM the gate/door. John 10:9.  Part 1.
  1. I AM the good shepherd. John 10:11.  Part 2.
  1. I AM the resurrection and the life. John 11:25-26. Part 2.
  1. I AM the way and the truth and the life. John 14:6.  Part 2.
  1. I AM the true vine. John 15:1. Part 2.
  1. I AM the Alpha (Beginning) and the Omega (End). Revelation 1:8 and 1:17-18, Revelation 21:6, and 22:13.  Part 3.
  1. I AM the Root and Offspring of David. Revelation 22:16.  Part 4.
  1. I AM the Bright Morning Star. Revelation 22:16.  Part 4. 
  1. I AM before Abraham was. John 8:58.  Part 5. 
  1. It is I AM; do not be afraid. John 6:20.  Part 5. 

One reason John carefully recorded these I AM statements of Jesus was so the world would come to know the great expanse of His character and nature.  When we know Jesus and believe in Him as John did, we become one with Him.  Ephesians 5: 30-32 speaks of the strength of this unity- “For we [believers] are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’  This is a great mystery, but I [Paul] speak concerning Christ and the church.”  [Inserts mine.]  1 Corinthians 6: 16-17 adds- “For the two [husband and wife], He says, shall become one flesh.  But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”  [Insert mine.]  His desire was we become one with Christ, as Jesus prayed in John 17: 20-22- “I do not pray for these [disciples] alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You Father are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one as we are one.”  [Insert mine.]

Again, when we know Jesus as John knew Him (intimately, as the I AM), we become one with Him.  When we pray in His name (I AM), and we pray allowing His spirit to pray through us, we pray effective and powerful prayers.  In John 16: 23-24, Jesus issued a new instruction to the disciples- “In that day you will not [need to] ask Me about anything.  I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whatever you ask the Father in [the merit of] My name [presenting all that I AM, and as the representative of I AM], He will give you.  Until now you have not asked in My name; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy may be full and complete.”  Amplified version.

When we know Jesus as John knew Him, and we allow His spirit to pray through us, we also are one with and pray on behalf of the King.  We are issuing decrees and commands in the name of the King.  As a representative or ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20) of the King, we speak in prayer with the granted authority from the throne.  Even devils know and recognize that authority, and must obey.  Declarations must be followed, and commands obeyed.  Failure to obey the commands of the King will result in certain death.

It is not enough to teach and follow the faith.  There must be evidence of a power flowing out of that faith through a connection and oneness with the Spirit of Jesus.  Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2: 4-5- “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”  When we know Jesus (the I AM), believe in Him, and pray through His spirit, the power of prayer will be there.  Then lives and situations can be impacted, and the world will believe and be changed.

Sovereign Prayers Kay Keith Peebles

Kay K. Peebles

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pharaohs of Egypt were considered to be Gods.  They had sovereignty over all the people of Egypt.  When a Pharaoh declared a law or a ruling whether right or wrong, it would be done.  A person or a nation that has jurisdiction, rule, supremacy, dominion, power, ascendancy, control or influence over others has “sovereignty” over them.

Thutmose II was probably the Pharaoh in Egypt when Joseph was second in charge.  It is not clear who was Pharaoh when God called Moses to set the Israelite slaves free.  When Jacob moved his family to Egypt as protection from years of drought and suffering, they were just a few hundred in number.  Over the years, the Israelites prospered and multiplied to the degree their population became a threat to Egypt.  A succeeding Pharaoh, who did not know Joseph or how his godly wisdom protected Egypt from starvation, decided he needed to take strict measures to ensure they could not overthrow his kingdom or sovereignty.  In order to control this substantial group of people who were in the country and not natural born Egyptians, Pharaoh chose to enslave the Israelites.  Pharaoh used his sovereignty in Egypt to solve an imagined threat to his nation and his leadership.  The oppression of slavery kept the Jewish people weak and wanton for 400 years although they continued to multiply.  It was a diabolical way of controlling them but Pharaoh was about to learn he was not sovereign in all the earth, and he would soon have an encounter with the One who was.

The Lord enlisted Moses, a mere man, to demonstrate to Pharaoh His power and sovereignty over the earth.  He instructed Moses, “Behold, I make you as God to Pharaoh [to declare My will and purpose to him]”.  He continued, “You shall speak all that I command you…The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord when I stretch forth My hand upon Egypt and bring out the Israelites from among them.”  The results were amazing, “And the Lord did according to the word of Moses”.  (See Exodus 7).

Jesus’ ministry on earth was a clear demonstration of the sovereignty of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).  He had/has sovereignty over: demons, nations, the earth, life, death and eternity.  He also judged Satan.  “About judgment, because the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him.”  John 16:11.  The only reason so much evil is happening in the earth is because mankind still has free will choice.  Our choices affect not only ourselves, but everyone else on earth.  What we say or do gives authority to either Satan’s kingdom of darkness or God’s kingdom of light.  When we are totally aligned with the Lord, we are able to pray sovereign prayers which bring heaven to earth!

The time for Jesus to die on the cross and be resurrected was approaching.  He was leaving His disciples with instructions in order to prepare them for His departure.  Jesus taught His disciples how to pray.  He instructed them, “I tell you that My Father will grant you whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM].  Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as presenting all that I AM]; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete.” John 16:23b-24.

Jesus continued by praying not only for His disciples, but for those of us who would believe in Him throughout the generations.  (See John 17:19-26).  He prayed that we would be one with each other and with the Father as He is one with the Father.  “That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in you, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.  I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one [even] as We are one; I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me and that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me…I have made Your Name known to them and revealed Your character and Your very Self, and I will continue to make [You] known, that the love which You have bestowed upon Me may be in them [felt in their hearts] and that I [Myself] may be in them.”

When we become one with Christ as He is one with the Father, our prayers will become sovereign prayers.  When our will is surrendered to our Lord as His will was completely surrendered to God, including death on the cross, we will be one with Him.  Jesus will reveal to us the character and will of the Father as we surrender our lives to Him.  When we know the character and will of the Father, our prayers in His name will be upheld by His sovereign power.

There are two sources available for us to know the will and character of God.  They are the written Word of God (logos, Bible) and the revealed Word of God by the Holy Spirit (rhema).  The (rehma) Word will not contradict the (logos) Word or Character of the Lord.  The Bible clearly and succinctly makes known the character of God and the character of Satan.  We know from the Word of God that Satan is a liar, a thief, a destroyer, a murderer, one who oppresses, controls, deceives and enslaves people and one who is directly opposed to God.  His goal is to possess and destroy people whom God loves.  We know he is the source of pride and he rebelled against the rule of God.  We know that the devil’s kingdom has set itself against everything that God’s kingdom represents.  Their kingdoms are diametrically opposed to one another.

By the Word of God, we know that the Lord is:  Creator, Life, Joy, Truth, Good (Kind), Gentle (Meek), Love, Patient, Faithful, Righteous, Holy, Just, Merciful, Resurrection, Light, Sovereign, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, and Everywhere (Omnipresent) to name a few.  He is the Door to the Father, the Way in which to walk, and the Savior of all who believe in Him.  He is Deliverer who sets the devil’s captives free and much, much more.

There are some truths we know about Jesus’ ministry from reading the four Gospels which empower us to pray “Sovereign Prayers”:

1)  He came to seek and to save the lost and desires that none should perish.  John 3:16-17, Luke 19:9-11.  Knowing this truth, we can pray for the unsaved and expect God to change their hearts because His will is that they not perish!   We can confidently pray and fast for their salvation and keep persisting in prayer until we see it come to pass.

2)  It is God’s will to heal.  Everyone that came to Jesus for healing was healed.  He did not reject anyone who cried out for healing.  A man with leprosy approached Jesus and asked “Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean”, and Jesus replied, “I am willing. Be cleansed.”  Matthew 8:2.  We can pray for the sick and fully expect that they will be healed.  Mark 16:18, Matthew 10:5-6.

3)  Everyone who was demon possessed was delivered and set free.  Even though Jesus was sent to the Jews first, He willingly delivered the Canaanite woman’s daughter who was possessed by demons.  We have been given the authority to cast out demons in His name.  Mark 16:17, Matthew 10:5-6, Luke 10:1-24.

4)  The Holy Spirit Who dwells in us prays through us.  We can pray the will of God through the help of the Holy Spirit.  Mark 16:17, Ephesians 6:18.  Romans 8:27 says, “And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will.”

5)  We can pray (declare) His written Word (Bible verses) over ourselves and others, which is His will, and God will answer our prayers.  Isaiah 55:11, “So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth:  it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

6)  We can pray against premature death over others.  It is clear in the Bible that the enemy has a plan to kill, steal from and destroy our lives.  We also know that God created us with specific plans and purposes that are good and not evil.  Jeremiah 29:11.  Psalm 139:16 and Job 14:5 reveal that the Lord has already ordained the days of our lives on earth.  We can come into agreement with God’s sovereignty over our lives and the length of our days which He ordained for us.  We can also disagree with the plans of the enemy to shorten our days or change God’s ordained plans for us.

7)  We can pray God’s will and sovereignty over the nations!  We know that it is the Lord who raises up kings and pulls them down.  The nations are to be Jesus’ inheritance.  Psalm 2:8 “Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations as Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth as Your possession.”  People of all nations will fill heaven but it is our responsibility to pray for them to hear and know about Jesus.  We can pray for godly leadership over nations.  The Bible says that when the leader, ruler or king is righteous, the people are blessed.  Proverbs 29:2 affirms, “When the [uncom-promisingly] righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked man rules, the people groan and sigh.

The Lord is calling us to become much bolder in our prayers.  He also desires for us to become more focused on His will and purposes for ourselves and others.  We have been given the authority to pray and proclaim that His will in heaven come to pass on earth.  The enemy only has the authority we allow him to have in our lives.  We can eliminate his authority by coming into agreement with the Lord’s sovereignty over our lives, our family, our church and our nation as we walk in righteousness and godliness.

When our heart (soul:  mind, will and emotions) becomes one with His, He will show us His plans and purposes and we will join with him in intercession.  He promised to answer all our prayers that are prayed according to His will and in His name.  By acknowledging His sovereignty over our lives and our world, our prayers will move mountains, transform hearts, fill leaders and change nations.  We will see more of heaven and less of “hell” on the earth when all our prayers are “Sovereign Prayers”!

I AM, Part 5 by Larry W. Peebles

I AM, Part 5   by   Larry W. Peebles   November 3, 2017   17.42

My daughter has become quite successful in the Human Resources profession by being able to efficiently fill open employment positions for her clients.  She is able to quickly look at a resume, and determine if there is a potential fit for the open position.  If there is potential, a telephone interview will then reveal if this candidate should be recommended to the client for the position. If the client accepts her recommendation and conducts a face-to-face interview, a high percentage of her recommendations are ultimately hired for the position.  A big reason for her success is the quality of the initial questions she asks the candidate in the phone interview, along with her ability to listen to the answer and pursue with instinctive and appropriate follow up questions.  Her process is intended to dig into the basic question of who the candidate really is—what are their strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, etc. relative to the requirements for the position.

In this I AM series, we have been looking at the statements Jesus made regarding Himself—who He was/is, and His qualifications.  I can only imagine the look on the HR interviewer’s face if he or she asked Jesus who He was—to tell something about Himself.  The I AM statements we have studied thus far (Parts 1-4) are listed below, and they are not the average interview-type responses:

  1. I AM the bread of life. John 6:35.
  2. I AM the light of the world. John 8:12.
  3. I AM the gate/door. John 10:9.
  4. I AM the good shepherd. John 10:11.
  5. I AM the resurrection and the life. John 11:25-26.
  6. I AM the way and the truth and the life. John 14:6.
  7. I AM the true vine. John 15:1.
  8. I AM the Alpha (Beginning) and the Omega (End). Revelation 1:8 and 1:17-18, Revelation 21:6, and 22:13).
  9. I AM the Root and Offspring of David. Revelation 22:16.
  10. I AM the Bright Morning Star. Revelation 22:16.

These are some very weighty answers, but Jesus in the flesh was also Deity, and He had a big job to do while here on earth.  He came to save the human race from sin’s death and destruction.  This job required some unusual and divine qualifications.  He could not just be a “star,” He was the bright Morning Star.  He would not be a mere “leader”, He was the Way.  He was more than “honest,” He was the Truth.  He was above a “self-starter,” He was the Beginning and the End. He was better than a good “manager”, He was the good shepherd.   His qualifications would leave the interviewer speechless.  In Part 5 of this series, we will study more of these I AM statements.

I AM before Abraham was-

This might sound a bit tricky, but we begin with the background to the statement.  In John Chapter 8, verse 48, the Jews had a dialogue with Jesus to find out more about Him, and they accused Jesus of having a demon (being possessed by a demon).  The conversation became more intense when in verse 51 Jesus said- “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word he shall never see death.”  In verse 52, the Jews pointed out that Abraham was dead, and the prophets were dead (both assumed to be greater than Jesus), and therefore they felt justified in saying that Jesus was demon-possessed because of His statement.  In verse 53 we read- “Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead?  And the prophets are dead.  Who do you make yourself out to be?”  Jesus responded that the Jews did not know Him or His Father (God).  Because the Jews claimed Abraham was their father, Jesus then said in verse 56- “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it, and was glad.”

This had to really confuse the Jews.  How could Abraham, who was born and died before Jesus, have possibly seen the day of Jesus’ coming on the earth and have been glad for it?  Verse 57 says- “Then the Jews said to Him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”’  Jesus concludes that part of the interview with this statement in verse 58- “Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’”  The Jews were so infuriated they were ready to stone Him, but He slipped away through the crowd.

There was no doubt Abraham was the father (ancestor) of these people.  God promised it in Genesis 12: 1-3- “The Lord said to Abram (later Abraham), ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.  I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’”  As we discussed in Part 4 (I AM the Root and Offspring of David), Jesus’ human heritage also traced back through David and Abraham, all the way back to Adam.

When did Abraham “see Jesus…and was glad”?  Genesis Chapter 14 tells of Abraham’s encounter with Melchizedek, king (jeru) of Salem (peace), or of Jerusalem (king of peace).  He is also referred to as the “priest of God Most High”.  Abraham honored this king and priest with a tithe from the spoils of battle, the first tithe in Scripture, and Melchizedek blessed him.  In addition to this strong symbolism, Jesus is King and High Priest forever according to Hebrews Chapters 6 and 7, and is from “the order of Melchizedek”.  Hebrews 7:3 says Melchizedek “had neither beginning of days nor end of life, but (was) made like the Son of God.”  It was Melchizedek’s assistance in battle against five other kings that saved Abraham’s life.  Abraham was very glad and grateful to meet this “Jesus”.

Abraham also met Jesus in Genesis Chapter 18.  The Lord came with three angels to prophesy a child for Abraham and Sarah (v. 10), and to warn Abraham of the coming destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (v. 20-23).  In this encounter Abraham bowed to the ground to honor the Lord (v. 2), called Him “Lord” (v. 3), washed His feet (v. 4), served Him bread (v. 6), and shed blood to serve Him meat (v. 7).  The symbolism here is also strong, and again Abraham was glad and grateful to meet the Lord Jesus.  He received the good news that a child would be born, and that his nephew Lot would be spared from the coming destruction.  Jesus was not referring to a figurative meeting with Abraham, He was referring to an actual meeting.

Jesus was not disputing that Abraham was the father of this nation.  He was pointing out that if the Jews knew Abraham as father without knowing Father God, they could not know Jesus, whom the Father sent.  Further, if all their attention, admiration and pride focused on Abraham as being the greatest they would also miss Jesus, who was greater than Abraham.  Jesus declared He was the I AM of Exodus Chapter 3, the eternal and almighty one who revealed himself to Moses.  He was not just present at creation, He was the Creator (Colossians 1:16-17- “by Him all things were created…all things were created by Him and for Him…He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.”)  He created all things, including Adam, and therefore was before Abraham.  Though Abraham was great, Jesus was greater.  The man Jesus standing before the Jews in flesh came after Abraham, but they did not recognize Him as the eternal Son of God who had always been.

 

It is I AM; do not be afraid-

Following the feeding of the five thousand in John Chapter 6, Jesus went onto the mountain to be alone.  After dark, His disciples got into a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee to get to Capernaum.  A great wind came up across the sea.  After rowing over three miles in the rough waves, they saw Jesus walking on the sea, coming toward the boat.  They were afraid.  In verse 20, Jesus said – “It is I (I AM); do not be afraid.” (Amplified version.)  They took Him into the boat, and immediately they were at the land where they were going.  They were through the storm.

I have seen the lion in Africa on several occasions.  This animal is so calm and self-assured.  It is fearless, powerful and composed.  The locals say its paw can break the back of a cape buffalo, and its jaws can crush its prey.  How much more powerful and fearless is the Lion of Judah.  Jesus is saying the “I AM” is with us, we do not need to be afraid.  He will get in the boat with us in the midst of a storm.

Consider Isaiah 43: 1-4- “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.  For I AM the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior….you were precious in my sight, you have been honored, and I love you.”’

The Bible is full of examples where God tells us not to be afraid.  Joshua was told this a number of times when the Israelites were ready to move into the Promised Land and conquer the inhabitants.  The women who came to Jesus’ tomb were told not to be afraid.  After Jesus’ death and resurrection, He appeared to the disciples and said “Peace be with you.”  There is no need to worry or be afraid.  The Eternal One, the one who conquered death, is on our side.  In the Old Testament, He is the “Commander of the Armies of the Lord” (Joshua 5:13-15).  He is powerful and fearless, yet He is the Prince of Peace.  He goes before us in every storm and battle.  Before he was anointed king, David wrote in Psalm 27:1- “The Lord is my light (I AM the light of the world) and my salvation (I AM the resurrection and the life) -of whom shall I be afraid?”  (Inserts mine).

Isaiah 41:10 says- “Fear not, for I am (I AM) with you: Be not dismayed, for I am (I AM) your God.  I will strengthen you, yes I will help you.  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Inserts mine.)

Both of these I AM statements give us great insight into the omnipotent, eternal, and faithful Son of God who has always been involved in the affairs of mankind.  Taken together with the ten I AM statements from the preceding parts to this series, we see deep into the divine character of Jesus.  He is the literal center of the universe as its Creator, Sustainer, and absolute Focus.  Everything and everyone is by Him and for Him.  Yet with all the vastness of His creation, including the billions of people on this earth, He still comes for the one, you and me.

It’s Time to Take Dominion Part V

Kay K. Peebles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My parents taught me well.  I grew up going to church every Sunday so I learned faithfulness, servanthood and commitment.  My mother taught me how to cook, clean the house, do the laundry, iron and sew.  Both my parents taught me the gift of hospitality and friendship as well as treating others with integrity and honesty.  I learned to respect and honor all authority figures.  My dad taught me how to work hard and do the best job I could do.  I was prepared to put into practice everything I learned and take responsibility for my actions.

I left home when I married at the age of 20.  I was excited to have my own home whether it was an apartment or a residence and make it ours.  I wanted to stand up and make my own decisions (with my husband) and be a responsible adult.  It was time to put into practice everything I had learned from my parents.  In a sense, it was “time to take dominion”.

This is the fifth and final part of a message I preached in Kenya in September of this year.  The series began with listing the three directions that vie for our attention here on earth.  They are:  Looking back (at our past) which we cannot change, Looking helplessly around (at our circumstances) which will eventually change, and Looking down (at ourselves) which won’t change unless God is allowed to intervene.  In the natural realm, our lives are a total contradiction to what the Lord says about us.  We must therefore set our gaze upward upon Him “Looking Up” to see our resurrected Lord as He rules and reigns in heaven.  .  “Rising Up” to reach the high call of Jesus Christ and “Taking Dominion” over the earthly and demonic realms through His authority, power.

TAKE DOMINION!

Psalm 8:4-9 “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him?  Yet You have made him a little lower than God (Elohim, angels), and You have   crowned him with glory and honor.  You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen—Even the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas.  O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!”  (Emphasis mine).

God created man to have dominion over the works of His hands.  He made man in His image and placed him in the Garden of Eden.  He then gave that dominion to Adam and Eve.  “And God blessed them [granting them certain authority] and said to them “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subjugate it [putting it under your power] and rule over (dominate) the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and every living thing that moves on the earth.”

When sin came into the world through Adam and Eve, we lost dominion, and the earth became the domain of Satan.  Jesus came to restore all things which will be completely fulfilled at the end of the age when He returns to rule and reign.  His ministry on earth was a demonstration of the power, plan and purpose of God for the earth and its inhabitants.  He knew He would be the sacrifice to reconcile mankind to God but He had to train His disciples (believers) to continue His work on earth until He returned. When Jesus was raised up into heaven, He gave believers (His disciples), authority here on earth to be His witnesses to the world.  He also gave us the authority to bring His Kingdom here on earth by our being one with Christ.

Authority over demons:  Luke 10:19-21 – “Listen carefully, I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you…” See also:  Mark 16:17, James 4:7, Mark 6:13, Matthew 10:1

Authority to bind and loose on earth:  Matthew 16:19 – “I will give you the keys (authority) of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth will have [already been] bound in heaven and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth will have [already] been loosed in heaven.”

Authority to destroy strongholds, arguments, opinions:  2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – “For though we walk in the flesh [as mortal men], we are not carrying on our [spiritual] warfare according to the flesh and using the weapons of man.  The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ.”

Authority to do the works of Jesus:  John 14:12-15 – “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, anyone who believes in Me [as Savior] will also do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these [in extent and outreach], because I am going to the Father…”

Authority to proclaim and declare His Word:  Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.”  See also Luke 4:18, Proverbs 18:21.

Authority to speak in His Name:  John 14:12-15 – “…And I will do whatever you ask in My name [as My representative], I will do it.  If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments.”  See also:  Mark 11:23, Luke 10:17-19

Authority to heal the sick:  Mark 16:17-18 – These signs will accompany those who have believed:  in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents and if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will get well.”  Matthew 10:8 – “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.  Freely you have received, freely give.”

Jesus gave believers authority!  It is time we walk in the maturity of the faith by faithfully serving Him and doing the works that He did.  It is His power and it is for His glory, but we have been given the authority to call upon His power and His name to do His will.

Ephesians 2:6 “And He raised us up together with Him [when we believed], and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, [because we are] in Christ Jesus.”  Those heavenly realms are “the realms of celestial creatures and spiritual conflict”.  (Key Word Study Bible).  It is the heavenly Jerusalem of Hebrews 12:22.

Ephesians 3:10-12 “To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 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; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.”

Ephesians 6:10-18  “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”

When we are one in Christ as He is one in God, we will walk in the authority to bind and loose, pray, declare and proclaim the Word of God.  We will use the authority He has given us to cast out demons and pull down strongholds in His name.  We will heal the sick and raise the dead in His power and His name.  All believers have the power of life and death in their tongues, therefore we can either build the Kingdom of God or the kingdom of darkness.  It is time to “Look Up”, “Rise Up”, and “Take Dominion” as the sons of God in the earth.  His Kingdom will manifest when we do and His return will be swift!  We are not waiting on Him, He is waiting on us.  Be encouraged, He is calling us all:  “It’s Time to Take Dominion”!

 

I AM, Part 4 by Larry W Peebles

I AM, Part 4   by   Larry W. Peebles   October 20, 2017   17.40

When Jesus described Himself to the world, He used unconventional words and phrases.  Terms that related to earthly things were not relevant or adequate to describe Him.  Though He appeared in the flesh, He was God, an eternal spirit.  He then demonstrated that He was/is God with miracles that defied the natural world.  In this series of articles, I have used Jesus’ own statements to pull out the super-natural qualities He wanted the world to examine and remember.  These self-descriptions are in the form of “I AM” statements recorded in Scripture, spoken from His mouth.

  1. I AM the bread of life. John 6:35.
  2. I AM the light of the world. John 8:12.
  3. I AM the gate/door. John 10:9.
  4. I AM the good shepherd. John 10:11.
  5. I AM the resurrection and the life. John 11:25-26.
  6. I AM the way and the truth and the life. John 14:6.
  7. I AM the true vine. John 15:1.
  8. I AM the Alpha (Beginning) and the Omega (End). In the Book of Revelation this was spoken four times (Revelation 1:8 and 1:17-18, Revelation 21:6, and 22:13).

All of these have been discussed in the previous parts to this series.  In addition to these eight, The Book of Revelation contains more of these “I AM” statements.  This article will explore Revelation 22:16, where Jesus spoke to John in a vision and said- “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.  I AM the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

I AM the Root and Offspring of David-

Addressing the first part of this I AM statement begs this question– how can someone be both the root (ancestor) and the offspring of the same person?  The answer is that Jesus is both God and man.  In His deity, He is David’s Creator and God.  In His humanity, He is the offspring of Jesse, David’s father, and the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 11:1- “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.”  (See also Romans 1:3, 4).  Luke takes an interesting approach in tracing Jesus’ genealogy.  He begins with Jesus, and goes backward through David, Jesse, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, and Noah, all the way back to Adam (Luke 3:23-37).  Adam is described there as the (first) son of God.  Since Jesus is the Creator, He is Adam’s father, and therefore is the Beginning and End of His own human genealogy.  This answers the questions raised by the Jews in John 8:48-59 where Jesus said “before Abraham was, I AM”.  It also speaks to Matthew 22:41-46, where Jesus points out to the Pharisees that David said (Psalm 110:1) the Lord (Jesus) was his Lord.  That is, the Lord who would come after him was also above and before him as Lord.  David, the shepherd/king was a fore-shadow of Jesus.  Jesus is truly son of David and son of man (Adam), yet Creator of both.

 

I AM the bright Morning Star

Luke called Jesus the Dayspring (Luke 1:78), the only time in the Bible this term is used.  The Hebrew word is “anatole”, which means the place of rising, the dawn.  Like Venus, the first planet/star to appear at dusk and the last star to be seen at dawn, Jesus is the guiding light to show us the way.  He is the point of reference for all life’s journeys and decisions.  Scientists say that if we could look down on our solar system, we would see Venus is the only planet to rotate clockwise.  This makes Venus unique, as is Jesus, the one and only Lord and King–son of God and Savior of the world.

Jesus fulfills Balaam’s prophesy in Numbers 24:17- “A star will come out of Jacob.”  It was a star that guided the wise men to His place of birth in Matthew 2:2-9. As the Word (John 1:1), Jesus is the lamp to our feet and light to our path (Psalm 119:105).  As previously studied in this series, He is the light of the world (John 8:12).

It is interesting that Isaiah says Satan is the “morning star” in Isaiah 14:12, an angel “fallen from heaven”.  He has lost his light, and is now associated with lies, darkness and death.  In sharp contrast, Jesus is the bright Morning Star, sitting in heaven at the right hand of the Father.  He is superior to the angels, the source of all truth, light and life (John 11: 25-26, and John 14:6).

2 Corinthians 4:6 says- “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of the darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the glory of God in the face of Christ.”  That light of the bright Morning Star is the glory of God shining in the face of Jesus.  Revelation says that light will never go out when it says in 21:23- “The city (of God) does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”

When Moses was in the presence of the Lord, his face shined with such radiance he wore a veil (Exodus 34: 29-35).  Jesus called the believers “the light of the world.”  Our relationship with Him should be such that the radiance of His glory should shine on our faces when we have been in His presence.  Consider this from Hebrews 1:3- “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.”

Jesus is the bright Morning Star we can depend on, and the light of the world.  We must be so filled with Jesus that we too are a light into a dark world.  Jesus must shine on our faces. The beacon of our lives should reliably point others toward Him.  This is the only I AM statement we have studied where Jesus asks us to be a participant.  He says in Matthew 5:16- “So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

As the morning star closes each day and opens the next, Jesus is our hope for a new day, new life, and a fresh beginning.  Lamentations 3: 22-23 says- “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  Jesus as the bright Morning Star stands as the guaranty of this verse.

Our challenge is to be a conduit of the light of the Morning Star.  2 Peter 1: 17-18 tells us this is possible- “For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’  We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.  And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”

The fate of the peoples of the world lies in the balance.  I close with Isaiah 60: 1-3- “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you.  Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”

It’s Time to Take Dominion Part III Kay Keith Peebles

 

 

 

 

 

There is an old saying, “The early bird gets the worm.”  That phrase holds a lot of wisdom.  Another way of saying the same thing could be, “Those who make an extra effort get the prize.”

I have always been a morning person and I love to get up early enough to see the sunrise!  I not only enjoy the sunrise at home, but I have seen it in many countries and other places I have visited.  There is something peaceful and promising about the sun rising every morning that ministers to me.  Scripture says “It is the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3:22-23.

There are times when I must make a special effort to get up in time to watch the sunrise but it is never a disappointment because the Lord meets me there.

In Part I of this series, I explained three directions which are distractions that keep us from gaining the “prize of the upward calling of Christ”.  They are:  Looking back – at our past, Looking around – at our circumstances, and Looking down – at our insecurities and inadequacies.  Looking in these three directions keep us in the natural realm, stifling our faith in God and thwarting our ability to walk in the Spirit of God.

Part II began to redirect our gaze by teaching us we must “Look Up”!  We need to see the Resurrected Jesus on His throne, ruling and reigning over the Kingdom of Heaven.  His desire is for us to bring the atmosphere of heaven to earth to overrule the kingdom of darkness.  (See the Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13).  Those who are really “born again” will no longer move by the dictates of satan’s kingdom (the world).  When the impossibilities are removed through genuine worship of Him and true faith in Him, we will be able to “Rise Up”.

RISE UP!

The Bible says the whole earth is groaning for the revealing of the sons of God.  (See Romans 8:19).  Many in the church today do not look or act any differently than unbelievers.  They believe Jesus exists but they do not live for Him, by Him or in Him.  These are what the Bible calls carnal Christians.  Instead of representing the Kingdom of God they are still living in the world’s system.  They lack the authority God gave His church to bring the atmosphere of heaven into the earthly realm.  Jesus did not commission His disciples to make converts into a social club.  He did not commission His disciples to reproduce Pharisees and Sadducees who teach the Word of God but lack intimacy with Him.  They denied Jesus was their Messiah because they knew about Him but did not KNOW HIM like Moses did!  They had ears but did not hear, they had eyes which could not see.  They failed to recognize Him when they had their visitation.  That is still happening in many Christian Churches today.

Isaiah prophesied about the Lord being born and coming to earth in Isaiah 7:14.  “…Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us].  (See also Matthew 1:22-23).  Isaiah 9:6 declares, “For unto us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace.

Christ, the Messiah, is God with us – Immanuel.  Revelation 17 and 19 declare He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  Jesus, the Messiah, God with us, has a kingdom that is separate from the kingdom of this world.  When we become born again, we repent of our sins committed while living in the kingdom of darkness.  We then ask Jesus, our Savior, to be Lord and King.  In essence, we agree to walk in a completely different set of rules for our lives, the rules (or laws) of His Kingdom.  We recognize that we are unable to do that in our flesh, but we acknowledge that He is able to do that in us by His Spirit.  We must therefore consecrate everything we are and everything we have to Him, and receive His Holy Spirit (God in us) so that transformation can happen.

He broke the power of sin’s control over us, but our victory will only come when we make Him King over our thoughts, emotions, will and bodies.  When we have become partakers of Christ, we are to live in the Spiritual realm of His Kingdom, walking in His ways of righteousness and sanctification. When we see His grace and power which He freely gives to us, we will no longer say “I can’t!”

Jesus did not commission His disciples to create a “bless me” club.  The Gospel of the Kingdom is not focused on blessing us personally, it is focused upon bringing the Kingdom of God to the lost and broken.  As we seek FIRST His Kingdom and His Righteousness, then all these other things will be given to us.  (See Matthew 6:33).  The blessing and favor of God comes with obedience to the Word and will of God.  It comes through intimacy with the Lord, not living for ourselves.  Our own comfort and pleasure is not what God seeks for us, it is our transformation into His image, the purifying of our hearts and the consecrating of our lives to His will and purpose.  This all happens through intimacy with the Ever-Living God.

Psalm 24:3-6 “Who shall go up into the mountain of the Lord?  Or who shall stand in His Holy Place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.  This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face.”

We may think of idols as statues of false gods and therefore often miss the scripture’s instructions.  An idol is anything that has preeminence over the Lord and His will.  Materialism is an idol, our family can be an idol and comfort can be an idol as well as many other things.  If we allow our insecurities and inabilities to negate the power and plan of God to use us to bring others to the Lord, that is an idol.  Fear is an idol.  You may ask how?  When we believe more in the power of the enemy to hurt us than we do in the power of God to keep us, then we remain in the grips of fear!  Deliverance from fear comes when we trust God for everything!  (See I Am Your Keeper 5/27/17).

Christianity is a life-long walk of faith and endurance.  We are being perfected, step by step.  We are being changed from glory to glory but that comes with death to self.  Daily consecration to His will and a willingness to submit to His sanctification process leads to holiness.  It happens over time but in the process, freedom from bondage, victory over one sin after another, and a greater love and devotion to Him builds step by step.

Matthew 5:8,9,10 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven!” These are the result of consecration and sanctification which enable us to “Rise Up”!

Isaiah 60:1-5 “Arise, shine; For your light has come!  And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.  For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you, the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”

The Lord has called us to be His disciples (followers of Jesus).  A disciple was expected to “learn, study, and pass along the sayings and teachings of their master”.  (Hollman Illustrated Bible Dictionary.  Matthew 28 reveals that Jesus instructed His disciples to make more disciples, and to preach the Gospel of His Kingdom throughout the whole earth.  The four Gospels and the book of Acts calls every believer a disciple.  There is no commission to simply make believers.  The Great Commission is to make disciples, followers of Jesus who learn, study and pass on His teachings to others.  He has anointed us for a purpose:  to get the world out of us and to get the people out of the world.  Our perspective must change.  We must have a paradigm shift in our thinking.  By personally reading and studying the Bible, and praying for His Kingdom to come to us, He will move heaven and earth on our behalf.  If we are His disciples, He must be our Lord and King.  If He is our Lord and King, we will live our lives by His direction and plans, not by our own.  We must examine our hearts and our lives.  Are we doing the works of Jesus and that of His disciples or are we doing our own thing?  Are we residents in His Kingdom under His rule or do we rule our own kingdom?  Are we truly walking in the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s presence or are we still acting and thinking like the world around us?  If we are not, there is good news, He will help us.  Paul interceded for the Ephesian churches and that prayer is just as powerful today as it was almost 2,000 years ago.

Ephesians 1:17-22 “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe according to the working of His mighty power which He worketh in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.  And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

Ephesians 2:4-6 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead, in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

We have been called to “Rise Up”, to come up higher!  God has enabled us to see from His perspective and through Christ Jesus, to participate in heavenly activities.  The Lord is not troubled by our lack because He never runs out of provision.  He is not disturbed about our inadequacies because He is more than enough.  He is not mistaken by choosing us because He uses the weak things to confound the wise.  He is not challenged by our weaknesses because He is full of power and might!  It is time that we, His disciples, trust Him completely, love Him more than anything else, and follow Him wherever He leads us.  To truly serve Him, we must “Rise Up”!

I AM, Part 3 by Larry W Peebles

I AM, Part 3   by   Larry W Peebles   October 6, 2017   17.38

Before I retired, and while I was still in the workforce, I kept a current resume on myself.  If my address, phone number, or place of employment changed, I updated the resume.  If I received a promotion or change of title, it was noted in the resume.  Any significant life event that should be included in a resume was documented in case I had need to quickly present information on myself to any interested party.  I updated the resume more than I needed to, but I was always ready to describe myself and my business credentials.

Jesus did not use a resume to tell the world who he was.  His attributes were beyond description in conventional words and terms.  Information that might appear on a resume today, such as address, phone number, education, work experience, etc. was just not adequate to describe Jesus.  As we discussed in Parts 1 and 2 of this series (see archives July 28-17.28, and August 11-17.30), when Jesus began to tell the world who He is/was, he used a number of powerful statements that began with the phrase “I AM”.  Seven of these statements are contained in the Book of John, and were covered previously:

  1. I AM the bread of life. John 6:35.
  2. I AM the light of the world. John 8:12.
  3. I AM the gate/door. John 10:9.
  4. I AM the good shepherd. John 10:11.
  5. I AM the resurrection and the life. John 11:25-26.
  6. I AM the way and the truth and the life. John 14:6.
  7. I AM the true vine. John 15:1.

John, the disciple and apostle, was very clear (John 20:31) that his purpose in writing the Book of John was “that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”  John used Jesus’ own “I AM” statements to tell us who Jesus is/was.  It comes as no surprise that other writings of John also contain the “I AM” statement.  The Book of Revelation was written by John while he was in exile on the island of Patmos. At that time, Rome was becoming more of an emperor worship cult, and was growing increasingly less tolerant of the Christian worship of Jesus as Lord.  John was imprisoned on Patmos for his Christian missionary work.  While on the island, he received a series of visions and prophetic words (revelations) from Jesus, which he recorded.

Four times in the Book of Revelation, John quoted Jesus as saying “I AM the Alpha and the Omega”.  These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.

  1. Revelation 1:8- “I AM the Alpha and the Omega, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the almighty.”  This speaks to the eternal deity and power of Jesus.  He always was, is and will be.  He was not just present at creation, He is the Creator.  It was His Word and His power that created everything we see and understand as creation.  Colossians 1:16 says- “Everything was created through Him and for Him.”  It all began with Him, it all points to Him, and it will all end with Him.  He has the final say, and He already knows the ending.
  2. Revelation 1: 17-18- “Do not be afraid. I AM the First and the Last.  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!  And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”  Jesus died for our sins, and rose from the dead.  All life emanates from Him.  He is the source of all life.  He is not only the author of all life, He has the authority over death.  He raised Lazarus from the dead in John 11, and then announced “I AM the resurrection and the life.”  When He was raised from the dead, He took the keys to hell away from the devil.  We do not ever need to be afraid of death.  If we believe in Jesus, death is merely a graduation from this natural existence into our eternal existence with Him.
  3. Revelation 21:6- “I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.”  This is a promise of the free gift of His Holy Spirit, the One who teaches and comforts us, and gives us power to overcome this world.  Jesus made this clear in John 7:39, which says “by this (living water or water of life) he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive.”  When He says He will never leave nor forsake us, He guarantees that with the indwelling of His Spirit.
  4. Revelation 22:13- “I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” This is similar to the three described above.  To use a contemporary phrase, the “circle of life” is Jesus.  He is life, who like a circle, is without beginning or end.  Each person born has always existed in the mind and plan of God, and once born is already on a path of eternal existence, even as a spirit being after their life on earth is done.  The only question that remains is where they will spend that eternal existence—in heaven or in hell.

The prophet Isaiah adds meaning to this discussion with these scriptures written approximately 800 years before the Book of Revelation:

  1. Isaiah 44:6- “This is what the Lord says-Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I AM the first and I AM the last; apart from me there is no God.”
  2. Isaiah 48:12-13- “Listen to me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I AM He; I AM the first and I AM the last.  My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.”

Consider a contemporary term– the “it” factor.  One either has the desired persona “it factor” or they do not.  “It” may be hard to describe, but one “in the know” will recognize “it” when they see “it”.  “It” is cool, very desirable, and having “it” makes everyone else envious.  Some would say “it” is wit, charm, intellect or suave.  I can say without reservation Jesus is “it”.  He is or should be the ultimate object of our desire, the highest we can achieve.  He is the factor we cannot do without.  His value does not diminish or become worn.  He is the one we want to be like—not someone from Hollywood, politics or sports.

Everything true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8) is embodied in Jesus.  Believing in Jesus, following Jesus, and striving to become like Jesus is a serious matter.  It has eternal consequences, but it also has eternal rewards.  He is the beginning, and He is the end.  He is the finishing touch, and an eternity spent with Him should be the medal and ribbon for successfully crossing the finish line of this life.

 

 

It’s Time to Take Dominion Part II Kay Keith Peebles

My last post two weeks ago was “It’s Time to Take Dominion Part I”. In that teaching I noted three directions that can consume our focus/attention, and keep us struggling in the earthly realm, leaving us defeated. They are: Back – looking at our past; Around – being focused on our current circumstances; and Down – being focused on ourselves, our inabilities, insecurities and shortcomings. All of these directions of focus keep us self-centered. The problems created by these three outlooks have no solution in the natural realm. We cannot change our past, our current circumstances are temporary and how we perceive ourselves and our personal limitations will never change until our perspective changes. Our breakthrough does not come in the natural realm, it comes from the Lord. “It’s Time to Take Dominion Part II” will direct our attention to the supernatural realm in which the Kingdom of Heaven functions.

Jesus was asked by His disciples how to pray and He responded with a prayer we call “The Lord’s Prayer”. See Matthew 6:9-13. In that prayer He instructed His disciples to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We, His church, are not to be wistfully longing for our heavenly home, but actively building His Kingdom here on earth! How do we do this? We consecrate our lives to do His will and not our own. We humble ourselves before the Lord and allow Him to transform our mind, will and emotions into His image. We make disciples who will do the works Christ did and even greater. We seed the atmosphere of the world with the atmosphere of heaven wherever we go. This teaching is meant to draw our attention from the earthly realm to the Kingdom of Heaven where all our answers, power and authority lie.

The Lord’s return is closer now than ever before. The signs Jesus discussed in Matthew 24 point to situations like the ones we are experiencing in the world today. Our modern day culture as well as the increase in many violent storms, earthquakes and destructive natural events are mentioned in Matthew 24:6-14. “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom and there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved, and this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

He also said that in the “end times” there would be those completely distracted by their personal lives. Distractions from the enemy will keep many from preparing and looking for the Lord’s return. We must change our perspective if we are to endure to the end. The Lord said when we see those things happening, we are to “look up”!
LOOK UP!

Psalm 121:1-8 “I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your “keeper”; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul, the LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.” (Emphasis mine).

The Lord gave me more revelation on this scripture a few months ago. Faith in Him as my “keeper” has given me great peace, especially when thoughts of fear try to creep into my mind. We do not have the power to keep ourselves safe no matter how hard we try, but the Lord does. We may have limitations, but He does not, therefore, nothing is impossible with God. We may be weak but He is not. All glory and power belongs to Him. We may see in part, but He knows all things and freely gives us all we need to know to be victorious. Jesus is the Word of God and He will back up His Word with all the power and might of heaven. We need to believe what He has said and what He has already done. We must keep our gaze on Him by keeping our eyes looking upward.

We may relate to Jesus more through His humanity but we must look beyond His humanity to see He is the ruling and reigning authority in heaven. He is our resurrected LORD and all the dominion and power in heaven belong to Him. He is sovereign over all the works on earth and that of the devil. Our adoption into His family, and our inheritance in His Kingdom gives us the right to expect His intervention in our lives here on earth as well as the lives of those around us. He desires us to establish His Kingdom here on earth just as it is in heaven. In order for us to have authority in the earth today, our spiritual eyes must see Him as John saw Him on the Island of Patmos.

Revelation 1:10-18 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last’… Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me, and having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.’ ”

Revelation 19:11-16 “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns, He had a name written that no one knew except himself. He was clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God…Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron, the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

When Jesus died, He spoke, “It is finished!” He, by His death and resurrection, had done everything necessary to take back possession of the earthly realm. He left the operation of His Kingdom in our hands. He told us how to bind and loosen the Kingdom of Heaven upon the earth. He told us how to pray and wage spiritual warfare. We were left responsible for making disciples who would walk in the same dominion and authority as the first 12. Like the first Adam, the Lord again charged us to take dominion by enforcing His will and His justice in the earth.

Psalm 24:7-10 “Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory.” Our eyes, our ears and our hearts are our gates. We must shift our focus to our resurrected LORD.

Alone, we are helpless and hopeless. When we put our trust in Who He is and What He said, we will walk in victory and we will be able to lead others to victory! He is our strength and He is our hope. When we believe, pray and declare His word, He will back us up with all the power of heaven. He has called us to come out of the world. We are not to operate (live) according to the systems of the world. He has given us a new and living way in which to walk. His Kingdom is governed by a different system of laws, attitudes and actions. He has beckoned us to be transformed into His image so that we can do the works He did. If we are to be completely transformed, we must set our gaze upon Him. He compels us to “Look Up”!

Standing Out In A Crowd by Larry W Peebles

Standing Out In A Crowd   by   Larry W Peebles   September 22, 2017   17.36

I had a feeling he was the one when I saw him standing across the street.  He was tall, distinguished looking, and well dressed.  He could hardly hold back the tears.  In a moment, we would know for certain.  My wife and I were on the final afternoon of three days of street evangelism meetings in a small town in Kenya.  Along with our Kenyan friends, the pastor and worship team from a local church, we had set up on the street corner of a busy transportation station, where taxis (14 passenger vans) were coming and going, moving people from one place to another.  These taxis are the principal means of transportation in this part of Kenya.  Cars are expensive, so if it is too far to walk, people use these taxis.    The traffic in and out of this transfer station is quite busy.  The locals had set up a market here also, selling snacks, drinks, fruit and other merchandise to the travelers coming through.  So it was on this street corner out in the open air we had been preaching the good news of the Gospel of Jesus for three days.

Each day we had drawn a crowd bigger than the day before.  The travelers coming and going, as well as the locals working the booths in the market would stop and listen to the message.  They would join the dancing and singing to the lively worship music.  My wife and I both spoke that last afternoon, and our messages were connected.  The messages were similar in theme not because we had planned it that way, as neither of us knew in advance what the other would say.  The messages were similar because God intended it that way.  He often does that when we both speak in a ministry setting.

I spoke from John 14:6, where Jesus says He is “the way, the truth, and the life.”  I was reminding the crowd that when Jesus comes into a new believer’s heart as Savior, He brings real life and truth, and reveals the direction and purpose for that life.  That was when I heard the Lord say He does not come for the crowd, but always for the individual.  The size of the crowd does not matter.  When He looks at the crowd, he sees only the individual.  What I heard in my spiritual ear was so strong I spoke it aloud to the crowd.  I announced that Jesus Himself would be walking into our gathering to receive one soul into His salvation.  At least one person within the sound of my voice would make the decision this very afternoon to invite Jesus into his heart and life to be Savior, Lord, and King.

When we had both finished our messages to the people, we turned the meeting over to the local pastor.  He summarized beautifully, asking if anyone present wished to give their life to Jesus, and begin a new life by making a decision to follow Him.   That was when I saw the one man standing across the street.  He stood out, although he was in the crowd.  His lower lip trembled as he fought back the tears.  When the pastor asked anyone who wanted to make such a decision to step forward, the man broke immediately from the crowd to cross the street.  A large crowd followed.  This man received his salvation, and many others were also saved or touched through prayer.

In my last position before I retired from a career in homebuilding, I was responsible for the entire operation of a Division of a large national homebuilding Company.  One year, that Division delivered 2850 homes in the local market.  That works out as an average of 11 homes per work day that were started, constructed, finished, sold and closed.  Someone asked how we could have possibly built, sold and closed 2850 homes in one year.  My response was quick- one home, one customer at a time.

Jesus works the same way.  He is the Savior of the world.  All of mankind will forever owe a debt of gratitude to Him for His saving work on the cross.  Our very eternal existence with Him in heaven is because He came to earth to pay the price for ours sins so that we can be reconciled to God.  However, He works that salvation one person at a time.  I have seen video of massive meetings in Africa where the crowd, numbered in the millions, came to hear the message of Jesus.  The number of people who came forward to receive salvation was in the hundreds of thousands.  Jesus did not respond to the millions or the hundreds of thousands.  He met each one individually, just as He came for that one man that afternoon in a small town in Kenya.

The man looked healthy and strong, but the tears on his face said his heart was broken.  I do not know if his tears were joy or pain or both.  I do not know his past, or his present situation.  I do know that in that moment of salvation the sins of his past were forgiven and washed away.  The man was given a new life, a second chance, literally a new birth.  Hope and help became available.  The burden of having to carry the weight of one’s own trouble was lifted, and great joy entered into the situation.  Each situation and individual is different, and that is the reason Jesus comes for one person at a time.

Some would say that receiving the initial gift of salvation is only a starting point, and that is true, but it is an important starting point.  Every journey begins with that all- important first step.  There may be memories to deal with, forgiveness to seek from others, and efforts made to break bad habits and behaviors.  Mentoring and study in the word of God will help strengthen the resolve to not go back to old ways.  Prayer will need to become a habit, like talking with a good friend.  Each person is unique, and each salvation experience is unique.  That is why Jesus comes to one at a time to receive His specially created child back home.

On this day, it was more than enough to celebrate one man being born again into a new life of following Jesus.  While much can be said about the process of salvation, here are five things to remember about what commonly happens when a life is turned over to Jesus:

  1. We are a new creation. When Jesus becomes the Lord and Savior of our lives, we are born again.  2 Corinthians 5:17- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come.  The old has gone, the new is here!”
  2. We are free from past sins. Romans 8:2- “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”  The Bible says our sins are removed from us “as far as the east is from the west.”
  3. We are redeemed and forgiven. Ephesians 1:7- “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
  4. We are not only free from sin, we are made righteous. 2 Corinthians 5:21- “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
  5. We are alive in Christ. Ephesians 2:4-5- “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.”  What we formerly considered living was merely the dead walking.  We move from being dead in sin to a new life in Christ.

Not only did the one man stand out in the crowd, but according to Luke 15:7, “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”  All of heaven danced and celebrated to the music along with us because of that one man’s decision that day in a small town in Kenya.  Something outstanding happened- a man’s life was changed forever.  That, my friends, is priceless.

It’s Time to Take Dominion Part I Kay Keith Peebles

Our victory or loss will be determined by where we focus our attention. The enemy tries to turn our focus in every direction except the one of victory: our past (back), our current circumstances (around us), and our inabilities/insecurities (down).

Looking Back-The Lord called Lot and his family out of Sodom and Gomorrah before He destroyed it. An angel told them not to look back. Genesis 19:17 “So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.” Lot’s wife did not heed the warning. She looked back unable to leave the past behind her and she turned into a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26. Our past cannot help us and we must not let it haunt us.

The Israelites looked back at Egypt when Moses was up on Mt. Sinai for 40 days. They quickly discarded their deliverance the Lord had given them and began to worship the gods of Egypt. Many died in the wilderness because they could not see what the Lord was doing. Instead, they chose to look backward. Exodus 32:31-35 “Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, ‘Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.’ And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin.’ So the LORD plagued the people because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made.” There is nothing in Egypt (the world) we need, nothing that can help us and nothing to desire.

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” We cannot go back and correct our past mistakes. We cannot change the choices we made or the damage we left behind other than asking for forgiveness. Our past is unchangeable and some aspects of it will affect us the rest of our lives. When we repent to God and ask forgiveness from those we hurt, we are then free from our connection to the past. One of the most important things we can do is to also forgive ourselves for the mistakes we made. Once we do all of those things, we are in a position to pull down the devil’s reminders to us with power and authority from God. Our past does not have the power to continue to haunt us unless we allow it.

One of the most powerful scriptures we have been given is our greatest tool of warfare against our past mistakes, 2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

Looking Around – Our circumstances are in the earthly realm. If we stay focused upon what is going on around us, we will lose sight of what God is doing. Romans 8:5-9a “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you…”

Problems are either initiated by the devil, others or ourselves. Life in itself can create problems. When problems occur, they are evidence of something that is amiss. The “evidence” of a problem is at the surface level, but the cause of the problem is something greater that is hidden. The enemy always tries to make us set blame by looking at the “circumstantial” evidence hoping to keep us from attending to the true problem which is the root cause. Unless we cut off the root, the problem will continue to re-produce itself over and over again. Generational curses are passed down because one generation did not deal with the root causes. The majority of our problems are spiritual, not physical.

Ephesians 6:10-12 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” We will never find the answers we need by looking around at our circumstances. Defeat will always be the result when our focus is in the wrong direction.

Looking Down – Placing our focus on our inabilities, our unworthiness, or our weaknesses will keep our eyes looking down into the depths of defeat. Sometimes we think that when we focus on our inabilities we are being humble. The reality is, we are in pride. Humility is believing what God says we can do! We are also in pride when we focus on who others say we are whether good or bad. True humility is believing we are who God says we are! Psalm 8:4-6 “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower that the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.”

1 Corinthians 1:27 “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence, But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.’”

When we are self-focused, we are self-absorbed. We do not have the personal power to resolve our problems that are spiritual. We lack the wisdom to fix everything that is wrong in our lives and we remain in a cycle of defeat. When we become God focused, we are God-absorbed. A God focus is full of faith. Faith makes the impossible possible. It knows the power required is not only accessible, it’s more than enough. It believes the supply required will come in abundance. It understands that in our weakness He is strong, in our inabilities, He is more than able. Whatever help we need is found in Him. There is therefore no climate of lack in any area at any time!

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

The result of simply changing our focus transitions us from looking to ourselves to find and fix all our problems to looking up and living in Him. Acts 17:28 “for in Him we live and move and have our being.” The Lord is coming back. Our focus must be on Him, His plans and His purposes. In order to be positioned to be used by the Lord, we must remember that all we know here will soon be gone. The only thing eternal is His Kingdom and those who truly call Him Lord. We must not allow the distractions all around us to miss the event of a lifetime, of all eternity! We can only take dominion by looking up!