The Holy Spirit Part III Kay K. Peebles

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pharaoh had two very troubling dreams.  They were so concerning to him he sought the counsel of all his magicians and wise men but no one could interpret his dreams.  Pharaoh’s chief butler and his baker had been in prison with Joseph (son of Jacob), and Joseph interpreted each of their dreams.  When Pharaoh became distraught and desperate to know the meaning of his dreams, his butler told him about Joseph.  Pharaoh called for Joseph from prison and after listening to him recite his dreams, Joseph explained the meaning of his dreams.  Because of his wisdom, Pharaoh named Joseph second in command over all of Egypt.  The only one with greater power and authority in Egypt was Pharaoh himself.  Joseph was successful because he walked in the Counsel of the Lord.  See Genesis Chapter 41.

King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and all the magicians, astrologers, the Chaldeans and soothsayers in his kingdom were not able to interpret his dream.  He appealed to Daniel (Belteshazzar) to tell him the meaning of his dream.  He spoke to Daniel, “declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation:  but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.”  Nebuchadnezzar saw something in Daniel like Pharaoh saw in Joseph.  It was obvious the spirit of the Lord was with Joseph and Daniel to give them wise Counsel.  See Daniel Chapter 4.

The Holy Spirit series is teaching the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers, disciples of Jesus Christ.  In Part I, I highlighted the Holy Spirit who Intercedes through us.  Part II emphasized the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Truth who will lead us into all truth.  Part III further explains the Holy Spirit’s role as our Counselor.

3)  Counselor

Counselor defined by Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is as follows:  to advise; to deliberate or resolve; consult, (give take) counsel, determine, devise, guide, purpose.  This is the role of Jesus as shown in Isaiah 9:6-7 and it is now the role of the Holy Spirit according to John 16:7-11.

Isaiah prophesied about a counselor who was to come.  He is Jesus the Messiah for whom Israel was waiting.  “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace…”  See Isaiah 9:6-7.

Jesus prepared his disciples for his death and resurrection by encouraging that they would be better off if He went away so that the Holy Spirit could come.  “But I tell you the truth it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor-Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you].  And when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness and about judgment; about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message]; about righteousness [personal integrity and godly character], because I am going to My Father and you will no longer see me; about judgment [the certainty of it], because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned.”  John 16:7-11.

It is the Holy Spirit who speaks to our minds and hearts teaching us about Jesus and giving us revelation as we worship Him, pray, read and study the Word of God.  James, the brother of Jesus wrote, “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all generously and without reproach; and it will be given to him.”  James 1:5.  He goes on to say we must ask in faith, believing that God will give us the wisdom we need.  Wisdom and counsel go hand in hand.

It is amazing that the Holy Spirit has been given to believers so that we never have to lack in wisdom, understanding, knowledge or revelation of who Jesus is and how we are to live.  We need a counselor not only for understanding the written word, we need to know what to do in our everyday lives.  He helps us discern which job offer to accept, and whether to move or to stay where we are.  We need to know what to do when problems arise and we need discernment to see the spiritual battles we face.  These are just a few examples of the counsel the Holy Spirit gives us.

The Apostle Paul was led by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem where the Jewish Sanhedrin would arrest him and put him on trial.  The Holy Spirit also spoke to Agabus, a prophet from Judea who came to see Paul and warn him about the dangers in going to Jerusalem.  See Acts Chapter 21.  Paul realized the Lord was leading him despite knowing that he would be arrested and imprisoned once he reached Jerusalem.  His goal was to be able to share the Gospel with Caesar in Rome.  Those around Paul at the time were trying to persuade him not to go.  “Then Paul replied, ‘What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart [like this]?  For I am ready not only to be bound and imprisoned, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.’  And since he would not be dissuaded, we stopped pleading and fell silent, saying, “The Lord’s will be done!”  Acts 21:13-14.

While the church grieved his being imprisoned in Rome, Paul was writing his letters to the churches and recording all the rich Biblical teaching from which we now benefit.  He willingly gave up his freedom in order to preach to the Jewish hierarchy, kings and even Caesar, giving them a chance to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  “And now, compelled by the Spirit and obligated by my convictions, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly [and emphatically] affirms to me in city after city that imprisonment and suffering await me.”  Acts 20:22-23.  Paul graciously left us with Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon.  His willingness to “suffer” for the Kingdom of God has reaped a great harvest of faith in the Lord and righteous living in the church today.

The written Word of God is wonderful, insightful and full of revelation about the Lord and His Kingdom, but we need more than the written word alone to stand.  We must have an intentional abiding relationship with the Lord through the Holy Spirit and allow Him to Counsel us through our daily lives and help us discover the purpose for which God created us.  He is the One who reminds us of past victories to encourage us in our present battles.  When darkness surrounds us and we feel abandoned and almost hopeless, He is the one who causes us to recall a hymn, song or scripture that lifts us up so that we can see His light and feel His presence holding us up and carrying us through.  The Counselor is the one who quickens us and calls us to join the fight, the spiritual battle and gives us the strategies for full victory for ourselves and others.  He is the One who gives us dreams and visions, renews our strength and instills hope in our hearts.

In The Holy Spirit Part II which taught about the Spirit of Truth, I explained that Paul, who was not a first-hand witness to Jesus’ ministry, was thoroughly instructed about the Gospel through the counsel of the Holy Spirit.  I find it amazing that He wrote the majority of the New Testament although the 12 original disciples wrote very little comparatively.  Their books were the testimony about what Jesus did and who He was/is.  Paul’s writings have taught believers for centuries how Christians should live and conduct themselves according to Jesus’ example.  This combination of approach in the New Testament is paramount to a believer’s understanding of God and His Kingdom.

Peter was made aware of Ananias’ and Sapphira’s deceit in the sale of their land and the amount they intended to give to the church by the Counsel of the Holy Spirit.  They promised the entire sale price to go to the church but secretly, both agreed to hold back some of the money and therefore lied to Peter.  It was the Counsel of the Holy Spirit that made Peter aware of their false testimony and deceit.  “But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and [secretly] keep back for yourself some of the proceeds [from the sale] of the land?  As long as it remained [unsold], did it not remain your own [to do with as you pleased]?  And after it was sold, was the money not under your control?  Why is it that you have conceived this act [of hypocrisy and deceit] in your heart?  You have not [simply] lied to people, but to God.”  Acts 5:3-4.

When the Israelites were in the wilderness heading to the Promised Land, they had sinned many times against the Lord by worshipping the false gods of Egypt and rejecting God’s personal invitation to abide in His presence.  Because of their evil deeds, they lacked the counsel necessary to walk in obedience to God.  Moses lamented in Deuteronomy 32:28-29, “For they are a nation devoid of counsel, and there is no understanding in them.  O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they could discern their future and ultimate fate!”  Because they rejected the Counsel of the Lord, they ultimately rejected their Messiah.  As a result, the Lord put a veil of blindness over their eyes until He once again draws them back to Himself.

“He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, to keep themselves from seeing with their eyes and understanding with their heart and being converted otherwise, I [their God] would heal them.”  Isaiah 12:40.

We desperately need the Holy Spirit’s Counsel.  We cannot reject His invitation to commune with us like the Israelites did or we will be found opposing the Lord as they were.  He is our eyes and our ears into heaven.  He is the one who gives us glimpses into God’s Glory.  He conveys our heart’s cry to the Lord and He shows us the Heart of God for His people.  He Intercedes through us when we do not know what to pray (Part I) and He leads us into all Truth (Part II).   Jesus said it was better for Him to go so that He could send us the Holy Spirit.  When we receive the Counsel of the Holy Spirit, we will not fail, we will be more than conquerors!

The Holy Spirit Part II Kay Keith Peebles

Kay K. Peebles

 

 

 

 

 

One minute he could see and the next, he was blind!  Saul of Tarsus was a young Pharisee living in Jerusalem, who was zealous for the Jewish faith.  Stephen was a new believer in Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, godly character and wisdom.  He had just been appointed by the Apostles to serve in the distribution of food to the widows among the new disciples of Christ.  Jesus had been crucified four years earlier and the clash between the staunch Jewish leaders and the new believers in Jesus was festering.  Stephen, full of grace and power was doing signs and wonders before the people.  He was quickly noticed by the Jewish leaders and caught in the crossfire of the two beliefs.  The Jewish hierarchy had rejected Jesus as the Jewish Messiah while the Jewish disciples of Jesus accepted Him as their Messiah, Savior and Lord.  Stephen was brought for questioning before the leaders of the Synagogue of the Freedmen, but they could not refute his arguments about Jesus.  They treated Stephen much like they did Jesus by using false testimony in order to kill him.

Stephen continued to preach about Jesus and His fulfillment of all the prophecies about the coming Messiah in the Jewish Torah and the writings of the prophets.  While they were stoning him, Saul was standing close by holding the outer garments of those who were stoning Stephen.  He was zealous to rout out all the new disciples of Jesus and eradicate their voice because many of the Jews were turning to faith in Jesus Christ (Messiah).  Moments before he died, Stephen looked up to heaven and asked the Lord God not to hold his death against his persecutors.  What they did not realize was the message Stephen preached was Truth, and they were fighting against the Lord God Himself by killing His disciples!

Time passed and zealous Saul received papers from the High Priest to go into neighboring towns and villages to arrest Jesus’ disciples and bring them to Jerusalem for imprisonment and subsequent death.  While travelling from Jerusalem to Damascus the Lord appeared to Saul as a brilliant flashing light and spoke in a thundering voice.  He asked Saul why he was persecuting His people.  The power of God’s voice threw Saul to the ground and the men with him shrunk in fear at the authority they heard and felt.  Instantly Saul’s eyes became blinded by scales which remained for three days.  The men with Saul brought him into Damascus in order for him to rest and recover.  The Lord then spoke to a disciple named Ananias and sent him to minister to Saul.

Ananias told Saul God had sent him to lay hands upon him to receive the Holy Spirit and regain his sight.  At that moment, the scales fell off his eyes and Saul could see again.  Completely healed and filled with the Holy Spirit, Saul went into the synagogues to preach about Jesus the Son of God, the Messiah for whom the Jews had been waiting.  See Acts Chapter 9.  Eventually, Saul’s name was changed to Paul and he wrote the majority of the New Testament in the Bible.

Who is the Holy Spirit and what does He do?

1.)  Intercessor – In Part 1, We learned that the Holy Spirit intercedes through us praying directly to God.

2.)  Spirit of Truth – In Part II, The Holy Spirit leads us into all Truth.

Saul was a Jewish Pharisee who studied and taught with the scriptures of the Torah.  The writings of the Torah were the compiled knowledge of the Jewish faith (written by Moses).  They are the first 5 books of the Bible.  Prophecies in the Jewish scriptures prepared the Jews for a day when Messiah would come to His People.  Although their texts were accurate, their perception of how their Messiah would come and what He would do was very different from what Jesus actually said and did.  Saul’s mindset was based on partial truth.  When Messiah Jesus came, the majority of the Jewish hierarchy rejected Him as their Messiah although He fulfilled all 353 prophecies in the Torah and the writings of the Jewish prophets regarding His coming.  Much of their blindness was due to valuing the traditions of man in their faith more than an abiding relationship with God.  They practiced their Judaism outwardly, but inwardly their hearts were far from God.

Saul was zealous for what he knew, but he staunchly rejected his Messiah when He came.  It took extreme measures for God to get his attention and guide him to receive the Holy Spirit who would lead him into all Truth!

“But when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth [full and complete truth].  For He will not speak on His own initiative, but He will speak whatever He hears [from the Father-the message regarding the Son], and He will disclose to you what is to come [in the future].  He will glorify and honor Me, because He (the Holy Spirit) will take from what is Mine and disclose it to you.  All things that the Father has are Mine.  Because of this I said that He [the Spirit] will take from what is Mine and will reveal it to you.”  John 16:13-15.

We must have the Holy Spirit to walk in Truth.  The men and women of the Old Testament had encounters by the Holy Spirit.  He is the third Person of the Godhead, but His intent is to always point to the Father and the Son.  The Prophets of Israel all prophesied through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  He would come “upon” them and they would deliver the word of the Lord.  Prior to Pentecost, the Holy Spirit worked outwardly with mankind but after the resurrection of Jesus, He came to dwell inside the heart of man.  Today, we have the privilege of daily hearing from and being directed by the Holy Spirit.  By living inside us, the Holy Spirit has the opportunity to empower us, inspire us and transform us into the image of Jesus Christ.

He is the One who convicts us of sin, confirms there is a judgement of Satan and all who follow his ways.  He also gives us confidence in the resurrection of the believer’s soul into eternal life.  (See The Holy Spirit Part I).  It is not hard to believe there is such a strong warfare against having the Holy Spirit to guide and lead us into all Truth.  The devil has done a great job at deceiving the body of Christ with the “doctrines of demons” which have not only divided them, but in some cases, led many into a false security of salvation.

The work of the Holy Spirit is to illuminate the scriptures and lead us into all Truth.  His process is much like that which Jesus did with the two men on the road to Emmaus.  Jesus sat with them and explained the scriptures concerning Himself from the beginning in Genesis through to His resurrection.  See Luke 24:13-35.  Those who read the Bible but struggle with understanding it need the Holy Spirit to help them understand.  Many are confused by the contradicting doctrines preached in churches today.  However, they can become settled and encouraged by the voice of the Holy Spirit who calms the storms of controversy with His message of Truth.  His work not only inspires and teaches, it affirms by experience, attesting signs and wonders following.  “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.”  Mark 16:17-18.

“At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders (attesting miracles) were continually taking place among the people.  And by common consent, they all met together [at the temple] in [the covered porch called [Solomon’s portico.”  Acts 5:12.

“So Paul and Barnabas stayed for a long time, speaking boldly and confidently for the Lord, who continued to testify to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders (attesting miracles) be done by them.”  Acts 14:3.

“[and besides this evidence] God also testifying with them [confirming the message of salvation], both by signs and wonders and by various miracles [carried out by Jesus and the apostles] and by [granting to believers the] gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.”  Hebrews 2:4.

We need the Holy Spirit.  We need Him to illuminate the written Word of God to our minds and hearts.  We need the empowering work of sanctification to rout out all our sinful and destructive character traits making us holy and faithful disciples of Christ. We need more than a “head” knowledge of the Word of God, we need a life-transforming Gospel that not only changes us, but also effectually changes those who are around us.

The Holy Spirit in us is the River of God that flows to and through us touching others.  It is the fire of God that fuels the zeal to evangelize, heal and deliver those in bondage while making disciples of those who believe in Jesus.  The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and He leads us into all truth.  Fear, confusion, doubt, insecurity and indecisiveness cannot stand when the Holy Spirit speaks!  His voice cuts through the darkness and emboldens even the weakest of believers.  His work enables us to die to self in order to live for Christ!

We live in treacherous times, the end times.  Now more than ever, we MUST be able to hear God’s voice of Truth.  The Holy Spirit has been given to all who believe in Jesus.  As scripture has said, it is not enough just to be baptized in the name of Jesus, we must also be baptized in the Holy Spirit.    “They came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for He had not yet fallen on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of Jesus [as His possession].  Then Peter and John laid their hands on them [one by one], and they received the Holy Spirit.  Acts 8:15-17.  See also Acts 19:1-6.

Jesus said, “it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor-Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you].  And He, when He comes will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness, and about judgment:  about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message]; about righteousness [personal integrity and godly character], because I am going to My Father and you will no longer see Me; because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned.  I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear [to hear] them now.  But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth [full and complete truth].”  John 16:6-13a.

Come Holy Spirit!  Abide in us and lead us into ALL TRUTH.

THE HOLY SPIRIT Part I Kay Keith Peebles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The phone rang and my daughter’s voice was frantic at the other end.  She told me my 3 year old granddaughter had found the cough medicine in the cabinet and consumed what was in the bottle and she was acting strangely.  My daughter said PRAY!!  I immediately began praying in tongues because we needed answers from God.  My daughter was going to call poison control but wanted God’s intervention quickly.

An amazing peace came over me as I was praying and I knew she would be alright even though I did not understand one word I was praying.  I continued praying and within 30 minutes my daughter called back.  She said as soon as she hung up the phone the Lord gave her a vision of the cough medicine bottle the last time she used it.  The amount left in it was not enough to harm my granddaughter according to poison control.  Peace flooded both of us again.  The Lord’s wisdom and her conversation with poison control prevented her from having to take my granddaughter to the hospital to have her stomach pumped.  God’s intervention spared my granddaughter from a traumatic hospital experience that would have been terrifying to her, as well as the time and expense of unnecessary emergency treatment.

There are times we have no idea how to pray.  It never crossed my mind that the Lord would give my daughter a picture of the medicine bottle the last time she used it to bring assurance and peace that our granddaughter would be alright.  The Apostle Paul explained that the Holy Spirit searches the mind and the heart of man and knows our inner-thoughts and motives.  The Holy Spirit knew exactly what we needed at the moment and provided the answers to prayers we did not know how to pray.  He interceded through me exactly what was necessary at that time.

I can’t imagine what it must have been like on that first day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell upon all 120 believers in the Upper Room.  To hear the roar of the mighty rushing wind and see the tongues of fire upon every person’s head and then hear them all speaking in their own heavenly language must have been amazing.  They were so caught up in the presence of the Lord they appeared to be drunk but it was only 9 a.m.  There were men and women there in the streets of Jerusalem from many different nations and the Bible says they heard what the believers were saying in their own language although they knew the believers were all Galileans.  See Acts 2:4-13.  They came out on the streets and Peter began to preach.  The one who denied association with the Lord only 50 days prior preached a bold message to the same Jews that cried out for Jesus to be crucified.  What he said was astounding.

But this is [the beginning of] what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:  ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God, ‘That I shall pour out My Spirit upon all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and your young men shall see [divinely prompted] visions, and your old men shall dream [divinely prompted] dreams…And I will bring about wonders in the sky above and signs (attesting miracles) on the earth below, blood and fire and smoking vapor.  The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes.  And it shall be that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”  Acts 2:16-21.  See the rest of the sermon in Acts 2.

There is much misunderstanding about the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers.  The devil has attacked that one area of teaching more than any other because he knows how powerful and effective we can be if we have full knowledge and function of the Holy Spirit’s help in our lives.  Too often, believers neglect the opportunity and the practice of the Holy Spirit’s intervention on a daily basis.  Others flaunt the “gift” of the Holy Spirit as if they are more spiritual than their brothers and sisters in the Lord.  His presence in our lives is for all believers, not a select few, and we have done nothing to earn it nor does it qualify us as better than anyone else.  It is a free gift to all who believe and a necessity to those who understand and take advantage of such a great gift from God.  Paul encouraged the church to “desire” the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  He expounded upon the gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 but put the Love chapter 13 in the middle to insure believers would use their gifts with the motivation of unconditional love.

1 Corinthians 14:1-2 states, “Pursue [this] love [with eagerness make it your goal], yet earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual gifts [to be used by believers for the benefit of the church], but especially that you may prophesy [to foretell the future, to speak a new message from God to the people].  For one who speaks in an unknown tongue does not speak to people but to God; for no one understands him or catches his meaning, but by the Spirit he speaks mysteries [secret truths, hidden things].”  See also 1 Corinthians 12:29-31.

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the trinity and He is the One Jesus left to help us so that the church would grow in maturity in the faith and function as Jesus functioned on earth.  It is imperative that we know Him and allow Him to teach us and work through us in order for us to attain the stature of Christ likeness.  He told His disciples believers would do even greater works that He did.  See John 14:12.

In this study we will learn who the Holy Spirit is and His function in and for believers.  Jesus was preparing His disciples for His crucifixion and resurrection when He introduced them to the coming Holy Spirit.  He was trying to comfort their concerns that He would not be with them much longer.  Jesus explained to His disciples He would send the Holy Spirit to them after He ascended into heaven and the Holy Spirit would be with them teaching, guiding and directing their lives.

“But I tell you the truth it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor-Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you].  And when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness and about judgment; about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message]; about righteousness [personal integrity and godly character], because I am going to My Father and you will no longer see me; about judgment [the certainty of it], because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned.”  John 16:7-11.

1)    INTERCESSOR

Romans 8:26-27 “In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words.  And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of God’s people in accordance with God’s will.”

The Apostle Paul was well-versed in the knowledge of the Holy Spirit.  He knew the Holy Spirit although he was not one of the 12 original disciples of Jesus, nor was he present on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit first fell upon the 120 believers, as discussed earlier.  Paul was converted by a sudden and radical encounter with the resurrected Jesus.  Soon after his conversion Paul went to a remote area to learn and grow in the teaching of Jesus.  It was the Holy Spirit Who prepared Paul for his ministry and taught him about Jesus and the Kingdom of God.  He saw Jesus the Messiah woven throughout the entire Old Testament.  The Apostles examined Paul’s doctrine of the kingdom and released him to begin his ministry of building the church.  The majority of our Christian instruction has come from the Apostle Paul who wrote Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy and Titus.

Paul continued teaching about the gift of tongues in 1 Corinthians 14.  He asked the question, “Then what am I to do?  I will pray with the spirit; I will sing with the spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me] and I will sing with the mind [using words I understand]; I will sing with the spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me] and I will pray with the mind [using words I understand].  Otherwise if you bless [and give thanks to God] in the spirit only, how will any outsider or someone who is not gifted [in spiritual matters] say the “Amen” [of agreement] to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying?… I thank God that I speak in [unknown] tongues more than all of you.” 1 Corinthians 14:15.  I encourage everyone to read more of Paul’s writings about the Holy Spirit and the gift of tongues.

There have been times when I was oppressed by a demonic spirit but had no idea the specific cause which gave it permission to operate against me.  Praying in the Holy Spirit enabled me to break the spirit of confusion which always functions around attacks of the enemy.  I was then able to hear from the Lord what spirit to bind and how to break its power in the name of Jesus.

There are times when I was fearful and needed direction.  Praying in the Holy Spirit built up my courage and also gave me the information needed to get breakthrough.  Paul taught that our warfare is spiritual and therefore we need spiritual tools to acquire and maintain victory.  Praying solely in our natural mind can be effective, but there are so many times we do not know how to pray as I mentioned above.  When I pray in the Holy Spirit, I am much more effective in a shorter amount of time.  I can’t take credit for the answers or breakthrough because it wasn’t me praying, it was Him.

There is so much more the baptism of the Holy Spirit enriches in us.  Having His daily presence with us is like walking beside Jesus as the disciples experienced!  In this study we will see He is not only our Intercessor, He is our Counselor, Advocate, Comforter, Strengthener, and Standby.  He is the Spirit of Truth and He will teach us all things pertaining to Jesus as well as helping us mature in the faith becoming true disciples who change the world.

The Holy Spirit is truly a gift from the Lord and we cannot function without His help.  The baptism of the Holy Spirit enables us to be immersed in Him in His fullness.  When we submit to His direction, he begins preparing, equipping and guiding us as we walk out our faith in Christ Jesus together.  Jesus Himself said it is better that He go so that He could leave us with the Holy Spirit.  He is our vital component to our faith and He is just as important and beloved as our Heavenly Father and Jesus our Savior!

True and powerful intercession comes through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  The best news is He is available to all who believe.

IMMANUEL Kay Keith Peebles

 

 

 

 

 

 

The long awaited day had finally come.  All of heaven was ecstatic!  There was a flurry of excitement from the Throne Room of God to the outer regions of heaven. Before creation the Cherubim and Seraphim had heard the discussion between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as did the Archangels Michael and Gabriel.  Before the Lord created Adam, He knew Adam would eventually fall into sin if he was given the free will to choose.  The All-Knowing God, in His great wisdom, was already planning a way to redeem Adam’s descendants from their sinful nature. 

The Son (pre-incarnate Jesus) asked His Father to allow Him to become flesh like man, to show Adam’s offspring the great love His Father had for the people.  He told His Father He knew the people would love Him if they could see what His Father was truly like.  They discussed the need for pure sinless blood to be shed for the redemption of mankind’s sin-filled souls.  The Son volunteered to go and reveal to the people His Father’s character and His Kingdom.  He also chose to lay down His sinless life for the whole world, in order to save those who would choose to believe in Him.  Every heavenly being looked on in awe as the Godhead agreed that the Son of God would one day leave the glory and majesty of heaven to become the Son of man in order to save the people.

In God’s perfect timing, Adam and Eve were created and planted in the garden to abide in the perpetual, glorious presence of the Lord all their days.  They were made in the image of God and clothed with His glory.  They were created in the perfection of holiness and were completely without sin.  In that sinless state, they and their descendants would have lived forever in the presence of the Lord. 

They were given dominion over every living thing in the garden.  Each plant bearing food was available for them to eat except one, the fruit from Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  The serpent (Satan), who had rebelled against the Lord and was cast down from heaven, beguiled the woman and the man.  His cunning distortion of God’s commandment tempted them and as a result, they chose to eat the fruit from the one tree God had forbidden.  His twisted words incited them to doubt the Word of the Lord as they entertained the lies of the serpent.  He told them they would become equal to God if they ate from that tree.  The lust of their eyes for the forbidden fruit and the pride in their hearts believing they could be equal to God motivated them to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Although the Lord had warned them death would enter their lives if they disobeyed, they rebelled against the Lord God which caused the breaking of fellowship with Him.  What was once beautiful and glorious became ugly, dark and grim.

The hardness of their hearts caused by their sin kept them from accepting personal responsibility for their choice to reject God’s Word and authority.  Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent for their own actions.  Consequently, they were cast out of the garden of God’s glory and they lived under the curse of disobedience and dishonor their sin brought upon them.  Lives that would have existed forever became temporal and mortal as sin began the cycle of disease, death and destruction.  Although they did not die immediately, they began to feel the results of their rebellion against God.  Cain and Abel were the first two children Adam and Eve produced after their sin.  Death became a reality as their rebellion was inbred into their sons.  Jealousy over their offerings to the Lord caused Cain to kill his brother Abel.  Having the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve discovered they could not live a holy life without the presence of the Lord.  Experiencing the consequences of their sin first hand, the reality of sin and death became starkly personal.  Death stared them in the face.  Cain lived the rest of his life under the curse of death and murder.  There would be no help for any of their descendants if God did not intervene on their behalf.  The Lord established a “temporary” sacrificial system for them until His complete, eternal redemption could be enacted.

Millenniums passed while God chose one man after another to speak for Him in order to show the people how to live, but for the most part, they chose to continue in their rebellion of God’s will and His ways.  Miracles were witnessed and devout examples of leadership rose to prominence through many of the prophets and kings, yet the people continued to worship their idols instead of the one, true God.  Most of God’s messengers were not only rejected, they were killed by the people because they chose their idols of self-rule instead of that of their Creator.

Over three thousand years had passed from Adam to the prophet Isaiah when Heaven began to stir again.  The time had come to initiate the plan the Father, Son and Holy Spirit had created to save mankind.  The precision of God’s timing intersected with the chosen prophet to deliver His message.  Isaiah was selected by God to speak His declaration of hope to the people on earth at that moment.  The name Isaiah means Yahweh is Salvation! 

All the heavenly beings bowed in reverence as the Lord God stood to speak a Word that would impact both heaven and earth.  As He began to declare His eternal promise, an explosion of light empowered His Words.  Met with a roar of thunder, the two collided as His decree broke through the heavenly realms.  It pierced the veil of great darkness that covered the earth.  The eternal seed of Truth was deposited in the earth to remain until its divine purpose would be fully revealed.  Empowered by His glory and all the authority of heaven, a lightning rod of God’s Word penetrated the heart and the mind of the prophet Isaiah as he stood before the people.  He began to speak the very Words of God…

“For unto us a Child shall be born, to us a Son shall be given and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  There shall be no end to the increase of His government and of peace.  [He shall rule] on the throne of David and over his Kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from that time forward and forevermore.  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”  Isaiah 9:7.

The Holy Spirit began to brood over the Words of God as the time for the incarnation of the Son of God and man would enter the earthly realm.  The Almighty has always watched over His Word to perform it and it has never returned to Him void of its intent.  The Lord also promised the people a sign would accompany His Son as He came to earth…

 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:  Listen carefully, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will call his name Immanuel (God with us).”  Isaiah 7:14.

Yahweh is Salvation was declaring the incarnation of the Savior.  The people heard with their ears but their sinful hearts clouded their understanding. 

Eight hundred more years passed before the day finally came for the King of Glory to be born.  The Majesty from on High entered the womb of a virgin named Mary so that He might show the people the true heart of God.  Seeking shelter as His birth was imminent, Mary and Joseph found no place other than a stable on the edge of Bethlehem for this holy, Son of God to be born.  Although He deserved to be born in a great palace filled with silver and gold, His infant form was placed in a stable manger, a mere feeding trough for animals. 

The moment of His first cry, all of heaven stood at attention and began to rejoice!  The angels sang, praising their King, who gave up the glories of heaven to save His people.  A huge star converged over the humble stable and guided believing hearts even thousands of miles away.  Shepherds who were tending their flocks nearby saw a great angel in the sky and heard their voice proclaiming the Good News, a Savior has been born who is Christ the Lord.  The Long awaited Messiah (Christ) broke the veil between God and man entering the earthly realm as a tiny babe in a most humble borrowed manger. 

Wise men from the Far East had seen the star and ventured the difficult and distant journey to see the wonder it proclaimed.  They brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh which were symbolic of His deity, His death and resurrection, and His eternal reign as King above all Kings.

The King of Glory became the servant of all, the Lord of Life was the sacrifice for sin and death.  The Prince of Peace reconciled God to man, and The Way, the Truth and the Life led His disciples to eternal life.  The curse of sin and death was forever broken and all who would believe were given a way unto salvation!

At a time when those with eyes could not truly see and those with ears could not truly hear, the Lord made the ultimate sacrifice to reach His people through His abandoned, reckless love.  Those who would believe saw a Savior in a manger, the God of heaven and earth in His miracles and the Lord of Life on the cross.  He has given us a new way to live and the power to be transformed into His image.   

May the glorious birth of Jesus so impact your life that you will never be the same.  May the truth of His gospel so fill your heart that you live in heaven on earth as you prepare others for His return.  May His death and resurrection produce resurrection life in your innermost being, and may His Truth sustain you until you see Him face to face in eternity!  God bless you all, and Merry, Merry Christmas.

POWERFUL WORDS Kay Keith Peebles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The atmosphere in the room changed!  At one time, I was a member of a world-wide denominational church which had a large women’s organization.  Most of the women in our 2,500 member congregation were members of the women’s group.  The Lord had been teaching me the difference between simply discerning things and changing them.  He told me I was not to be a thermometer which simply detected and reported the temperature (spiritual climate) of a person or place.  He continued by explaining I was to be a thermostat that regulated or changed the temperature (spiritual climate) around me.  I realized the Lord had given me authority to change things through prayer and declarations and that same authority is for all believers.

Our women’s group was having a banquet with our husbands so the fellowship hall was filled with people.  My husband was unable to attend and I was sitting at a table of couples and one or two other women who did not have their husbands with them.  The discussion during dinner was controlled by one of the other women there who began to complain about her absent husband.  She listed his “deficiencies” and expounded upon the things about him that offended her.  Her words created an unwelcoming and unhealthy environment, especially because there were several men at the table.  They seemed to identify with her complaints.  The countenance on their faces began to sink as their attention became silently fixed upon their plates instead of looking at others around the table.  They were feeling the condemnation she was expressing about her husband, who was not there.

The Lord spoke to me, “Change the atmosphere”!  I thought, “How can I do that, Lord”?  “What can I say or do to change the atmosphere?”  He said to me, “If you praise your husband, it will break that spirit of condemnation.”  I was able to quickly enter into the conversation and began to list the areas where I had no expertise at all, but my husband was a superstar.  I mentioned his incredible ability to pay our bills on time and balance the checkbook.  I went on to say his gift might not be dressing the children for church like me, but he surely kept our automobiles running well and regularly cleaned inside and out.  As I began to praise my husband, the faces of the men at the table lifted and their eyes brightened.  Their body language was evidence they no longer felt condemnation.  The negative darkness dissipated and everyone chimed in with their affirmation toward their husbands as smiles returned on all their faces.

Through that experience, the Lord gave me a great revelation and understanding of the power of our words.  I could see the authority we have as believers, to change the atmosphere where we are, simply by speaking in the opposite spirit.  The woman was obviously unhappy and bitter about her marriage and life.  Her words were void of hope and joy, gratefulness and thankfulness.  They were filled with judgement, condemnation and death.  The enemy uses our negative words to work his destruction in our families, friendships, churches and world, because he knows our words have power.  I have watched several marriages fall apart over the years.  One of the telltale signs of the broken relationship was one or both partners would complain about the other publically.  I pray my actions encouraged that woman to remember the good things about her husband and to stop criticizing him, especially in public.

We have all been on the receiving end of harsh, bitter, and toxic words someone spoke to us, and therefore know exactly how destructive they can be.  Some of us may still be trying to gain victory over such condemning words.  I do not doubt we all, at one time or another, have been guilty of speaking words of “death” over someone else without realizing the power and authority of our mouth!  The Lord gave us this ability to speak life or death but many of us have not understood the true power of our words.  When we do, we can change the atmosphere around us and turn negative, hopeless situations into ones of victory, peace and joy!

Proverbs 18:21-22 instruct us, “A man’s stomach will be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; He will be satisfied with the consequences of his words.  Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.”  In this passage, we see that we frame our world by our words as our Creator framed the world by His!

Jesus expounded upon this concept in Matthew 12:36-37.  “But I tell you, on the day of judgement people will have to give an accounting for every careless or useless word they speak.  For by your words [reflecting your spiritual condition] you will be justified and acquitted of the guilt of sin; and by your words [rejecting Me] you will be condemned and sentenced.”  Verse 34b states, “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.”

Let me stop here and assure you that this word is not meant to condemn, for I too, have been guilty of speaking the wrong words many times and still can. This word is for encouragement!  We cannot change what we do not know or understand.  We cannot expect different results if we continue on the same broken path.  I am continuing to grow in this as I write!

James, the brother of Jesus wrote an entire chapter on this subject in James Chapter 3.  “But no one can tame the human tongue; it is a restless evil [undisciplined, unstable], full of deadly poison.  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God.  Out of the same mouth come both blessing and cursing.  These things, my brothers should not be this way [for we have a moral obligation to speak in a manner that reflects our fear of God and profound respect for His precepts].”  James 3:8-10.  There is no denying our words have the power of life and death.

I believe disappointment, fear, anger and offense are major motivators of our harsh words.  Disappointments will come and so will offense but how we handle them will determine our future outcome.  Fear and anger are emotions that fuel the temptation to lash out at others.  When challenges come our way, we will either respond in faith or in unbelief.  Our words will speak life or death, blessing or cursing.  They will frame our outcome.  Is it possible that we are currently living in the situation our words created?  When a crisis occurs, what is our immediate response?  If someone hurts us, what do we say and do about it?  Are our words ones of life and faith or doom, gloom, and death?  If death is our answer, we can change by repenting to the Lord and learning how to respond properly to negative situations and circumstances.

Our words come from our heart, our innermost being which is the seat of our belief system.  Our soul is our mind, will and emotions.  A believer’s mind, will and emotions are to be submitted or subject to the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.  When we walk by faith, words that are full of faith will pour out of our mouth in times of crisis.  We become filled with faith by daily reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God.  It will not come solely by a once a week 30 minute sermon at church.  Every day we are confronted by the world because we live in the world, however, we are not to be conformed to the ways of the world!  We are to be transformed by the washing or cleansing work of the Word of God.  The Lord instructed the Israelites to reflect on His Word every day, teach it to their children, and talk about it with others.  They were to symbolically put it on their foreheads and wrists as a reminder they needed to hide the Word of God in their hearts by meditating on it continually.

David wrote in Psalm 119:11-16, “Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, that I may not sin against You.  Blessed and reverently praised are You, O LORD; teach me Your statutes.  With my lips I have told of all the ordinances of Your mouth.  I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.  I will meditate on Your precepts and [thoughtfully] regard Your ways [the path established by Your precepts].  I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.”  Psalm 119:11-16.  Those who hide the Word of God in their hearts will speak forth words of faith, hope and love in a time of crisis, which will bring forth life even amid destruction.  Those who declare hopelessness, death and destruction curse their future and inadvertently blame God.

Psalm 1 speaks of the benefits of walking in the ways of God.  It begins with a promise, “Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example], nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of scoffers (ridiculers).  But his delight is in the law of the LORD.  And on His law [His precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night.”

When we speak words of faith and truth, the power of God will back them up.  When we hide the Word of God in our hearts, we fill our innermost being with life and our words will create life!  When we trust in the Lord and all His promises, we will walk in prosperity, the favor of God, hope and victory.  God created us to walk in dominion.  He gave us the ability to speak words which produce either life or death.  It is good to know that our words are powerful so that we can speak words of Life!

 

Where Is Your Faith? Kay Keith Peebles

Faith will always be tested!  Abraham had an encounter with the Lord God at the age of 75.  His family had lived in Ur of the Chaldees and they were idol worshippers.  The Lord God called Abraham (Abram) to come away from his family and serve Him.  Abraham obeyed and the Lord promised him descendants that would be as numerous as the sands of the seashore or the stars in the sky.  That was a big promise to a man 75 years of age and childless at the time!  He and Sarah (Sarai), his wife, were long past the natural ability to bear children.  The Bible says “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness”.  Romans 4:3.

I believe the Lord quickened Abraham’s body to life the moment he believed Him, but Sarah was not quickened until it was time for the fulfillment of His promise.  Years passed and Sarah had not conceived so she convinced Abraham that she knew how the Lord would fulfill the promise of a child.  She gave her concubine Hagar to Abraham and Hagar conceived a son they named Ishmael.  Abraham and Sarah believed the promise of the Lord, but they mistakenly thought God needed their help in bringing it to pass.  Time can definitely be a test of faith.  If that was Abraham’s test, he partially failed by thinking Hagar would be the surrogate for Sarah.  All that Abraham and Sarah accomplished was to create chaos in their family and in all the generations to come, with their meddling in God’s plan.  The Lord re-affirmed His promise to Abraham, and Isaac was born when Abraham was 99 years old and Sarah was 89.

Their story did not end there, however.  Several more years passed until Isaac became a young man.  The Lord called Abraham to go up to the mountain and offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice.  Isaac was the son God had promised.  He had waited 25 years for him to be born.  In faithful obedience, Abraham loaded his donkey with sticks for the fire, together with all the supplies needed for the trip.  He and Isaac headed up the mountain of the Lord.  Isaac asked his father what they were going to sacrifice to God when he noticed that there was not a lamb with them.  Abraham replied, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.”  Genesis 22:8.

Father and son reached the top of the mountain and Abraham began to prepare the altar for the sacrifice.  Knowing his instructions and not seeing any other options, Abraham bound Isaac and laid him on the altar.  Holding a knife, he raised his hand in obedience but the Lord stopped him from killing Isaac.  The test had been successful and Abraham’s undeniable faith in God had been proven.  The Lord’s response to Abraham was powerful, “For now I know that you fear God [with reverence and profound respect], since you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son [of promise].”  Genesis 22:12.  Having partially failed the first test of time, Abraham proved without any doubt that he trusted the Lord in regard to Isaac and the promise for his descendants through Isaac’s life.  Through his act of obedience, Abraham discovered a powerful revelation about God’s character.  God revealed Himself to Abraham that day as Jehovah-Jireh, The Lord My Provider.  His faith in the Lord’s ability to fulfill His promise of descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky was sealed.  God has since achieved His promise to Abraham.  His descendants are those of the Jewish faith and because of Ishmael, so are all the Arabic Muslims.  God’s promise was not only a physical one, it was also a spiritual one.  All who believe in Jesus, Abraham’s descendant and God’s Son, are also spiritual “children” of Abraham.  Faith will always be tested.

Jesus taught His disciples about the Kingdom of God.  It was time to see just how much they had retained from observing Him heal the sick, drive out demons and raise the dead.  No ordinary man could do such miracles.  Israel’s leaders had rejected and killed the prophets God had sent to keep them pure in their faith.  It had been close to 500 years since the last prophet had spoken the word of the Lord or done miracles in Israel.  Israel’s leadership had become corrupted and as a result, many of the people were filled with unbelief.

Jesus invited 12 men to be His disciples and accompany Him so that He could mentor them about His Kingdom.  He was training them in the work they would be doing when He had accomplished all that God had sent Him here to do.  They had watched as He went from place to place doing miracles and drawing a following throughout Israel.  They had seen Him deliver the demon possessed and put them back into their right mind.  They had witnessed Jesus healing the blind and causing the deaf to hear.  They had experienced the dead being raised to life!  Every day they walked with Jesus  saw miracles that amazed the multitudes.

The Lord was reaching many people and wherever they went, the crowds would gather.  It was important to move from one area to another so that He would reach most of Israel.  One day Jesus and the disciples took a boat and crossed the Sea of Galilee (lake) so that they could reach the people on the other side.   The large lake was surrounded by hills which obstructed their view of incoming weather.  It was common for violent storms to swiftly move through the hills undetected, endangering those on the lake who were unable to get to safety in time.

Exhausted from a long day of ministry, Jesus had laid down to rest and fell asleep in the boat.  A violent storm producing strong gusty winds and crashing waves threatened to capsize their boat.  The disciples were terrified thinking they would all die.  In a panic, they woke Jesus from his sleep.  He commanded the wind and the waves to cease and peace immediately returned.  Jesus then turned to the 12 disciples and rebuked them for their lack of faith.  They had been following Him for some time and had seen many miracles.  Didn’t they hear Him say they were going to the other side?  Had they forgotten so quickly that everything He spoke came to pass?  The storm contradicted what Jesus said.  It was a test of faith.  Did they believe their circumstances more than His words?  Yes, storms would arise, but Jesus was training them that through Him, they had the authority to calm the wind and the waves.  When Jesus is in your boat, you will get to the other side!  Faith will always be tested!

It wasn’t long after that experience Jesus sent His 12 disciples out to minister to the people.  He later sent out 70 of His disciples two by two with the same instruction to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to the people.  He gave them the authority to heal the sick and cast out demons.  He was preparing them for His departure from earth because He was leaving them to continue the work that He did while He was here.  He was allowing them to see that when He left, they would not be helpless, rather, they would be empowered to continue His work.  All four Gospels affirm that the authority of Christ was given to His disciples.  A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ and the anointing that was/is upon Him is also upon His disciples (followers, ambassadors, representatives of His Kingdom).  That means you and me!

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these.”  John 14:12.  Hebrews Chapter 11 teaches that faith comes by hearing the word of God.  It also explains that true faith believes in what is unseen rather than what is already visible.  Faith has nothing to do with our ability, but it has everything to do with what the Lord has said and His ability to keep His promise.

Unbelief trusts in what is seen in the natural realm and doubts or disregards what the Bible says is truth.  When Jesus went to Nazareth and preached in the area where He lived as a child, He could do very few miracles.  The Bible explains that the people had unbelief because they saw Him as the child they watched growing up before them.  They could not get past the young boy they knew, to see who He really was.  They saw Him as Joseph’s son, not as the Son of God!  They saw Him as a mere man, not as their promised Messiah!  Where there is unbelief, faith is negated and miracles cannot happen.

Faith begins at the moment we believe in Jesus as our Savior and Lord.  Our transformation from unbelief to faith is a journey, as we believe the Word of God as the only truth.   We begin to understand that the world system will contradict the Word of God and the work of the enemy is to challenge our faith, hoping we will give up.  Our paradigm shift to faith is continually challenged by the enemy to keep us from becoming true Disciples of Christ.  If we simply believe in our salvation, we have not fulfilled the full call to Discipleship in Christ. Jesus called His Disciples to go forth and preach the Good News of the Kingdom, heal the sick and cast out demons just as they saw Him do.  We are called to be His witnesses (ambassadors) who attest to His existence and His Kingdom.  We are to allow His Spirit to flow through us and around us so that the freedom (deliverance), restoration (healing) and blessings (salvation and provision) of His Kingdom will be experienced by others.

The ministry of Jesus has not changed.  He is still touching people, healing and delivering them.  What is amazing is the realization that He chooses to let us participate with Him.  When we are filled with His Holy Spirit we are carriers of His Kingdom.  When we are God led, what we speak will have the authority that His words have.  When we are one with Him as He is with the Father, committed to do His will, we will do the works He did on earth and more!

Our faith will be tested and challenged.  The enemy fears our believing in the true call to Discipleship and walking in the authority of heaven!  Those who see and believe will do great exploits in His name through His power and instructed by His will.  There is a long lineage of those who believed in Him who have gone before us. We must not only celebrate their faith and their obedience to the Lord, we must rise and take our place in His body of believers.  As disciples, we must continue to make His name known and carry His Kingdom wherever He calls us.  It is good to ask ourselves the question, ‘Where is your faith?’  True faith does not come from us; it comes from the Lord.  Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

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”!

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”!

 

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”!

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”!