Pentecost: Gods Resource for His Church

Jason Silver | Pastor & Author

holy_spirit_fireRead Acts Chapter 1 and 2

Wikipedia explains it this way:

The word Pentecost is from the Ancient Greek Pentēkostē, meaning “the Fiftieth [day]”) it is one of the prominent feasts in the Christian liturgical year commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ.  The feast is also called Whitsun Whitsunday, Whit Sunday, or Whitsuntide, especially in the United Kingdom. Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks (50 days) after Easter Sunday, hence its name. Pentecost falls on the tenth day after Ascension Thursday.

Pentecost is historically and symbolically related to the Jewish harvest festival of Shavuot, which commemorates God giving the Ten Commandments to Moses at Mount Sinai fifty days after the Exodus. Among Christians, Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus as described in the New Testament book of Acts chapter 2 verse 3.  For this reason, Pentecost is described as the “Birth of the Church”.The Pentecostal denomination of Christianity derives its name from this biblical event.

Pentecost is not just a denomination, it is a divine resource provided by God to every believer who would receive it. It is more than just tongues; it is the power and boldness to be witnesses of Jesus Christ in the Earth!! Jesus Himself proclaimed this in Acts 1:8 when He said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses.” How can we effectively witness about Jesus who Himself walked in the power of the Holy Spirit, if we too were not able to walk in the same manner? 1 John 2:6 says, “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” Now many would say that John meant holiness here… I agree. Jesus walked in holiness, but Jesus walked also in the Power of the Holy Spirit. As matter that was also how He walked in holiness by the power of the Holy Spirit. You can’t really separate the two.

When those in the Church were first called Christians, it was because they were speaking and acting (in power) like Christ. FOLKS..They were able to do this because of PENTECOST!!

REMEMBER: Jesus told them to do nothing but wait UNTIL they received the Promise of the Father!! Jesus did not want His followers to be ill equipped! We need to understand that while Jesus was with the disciples, they operated alongside the mantle that was on Jesus. But when Jesus left Earth they needed their own mantles. Jesus explains this  to the disciples in John 16:7-8 he says… Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

Pentecost is for today… God’s resource is not recorded anywhere in scripture as drying up, so to speak. It did not die with the Apostles, there is nowhere in scripture saying anything like this. As matter fact, it’s just the opposite.

 In Acts 1:7-8
Jesus said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Not to mention the Power of the Holy Spirit was given to reach the ends of the Earth, so until we reach every nation, and every tongue, the power will still be needed.

Romans 15:17-20
Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.

Arguments Concerning Present day Pentecost  Experience:

A.
  In Acts 19  Paul the Apostle  asks, “Which baptism are you of?” Which implies more than one. In fact there are 2 baptisms!! With water representing our cleaning from sin and identification with Christ death and resurrection. Secondly with Spirit and Fire to be witnesses in power that are holy!

B.  When will diverse tongues cease?

1 Corinthians 13:8-12
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

That which is perfect is clearly the Kingdom of God come to Earth! Not the completed Bible. God’s will done on earth as it is done in Heaven… perfectly! We’re not seeing that yet, the imperfect is still here all around us. So until God’s kingdom comes; Pentecost is needed.

C. Pentecost power was only for the Apostles to start the Church.

Really?

Ephesians 4:11-13
It was he (Jesus) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 UNTIL WE ALL reach unity of faith in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

The five fold ministry is given until we “the church” attain perfection in Christ… FOLKS Paul is obviously referring to the KINGDOM OF GOD!!! Even to his own admission, he had not yet attained the goal of his faith… to become wholly like Christ. The divine provision of Pentecost is for today, and is for tomorrow, and will be until Christ returns!!


http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

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Living in the Grace and Holiness of God | Part 2

Jason Silver | Pastor & Author

holy-spirit-best-best2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Must I go on boasting? Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know — God knows. 3 And I know that this man — whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. 5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.

7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Now Look back at 2 Corinthians 11:24-31 and Paul describes what God’s grace has allowed him to endure…

24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.   25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and do I not feel weak also? Who is led into sin, and do I not inwardly burn?

30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

God’ grace allows us to be refined, to become holy not just in a spiritual truth and position in Christ sense, but in character and action!

1 Peter 1:3-9
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.


LISTEN NOW….

7 These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your

1 Peter 4:12-16
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

Again it is the grace of God that allows us to be refined and to not perish in the process!!

Thank God for his grace! Thank God that’s it’s sufficient for me! AMEN!

Say this with me!! “God’s Grace… is enough for me!”

Say this! “God’s grace…. Is allowing me…  to become holy.”

“I can walk… in the Grace… and Holiness of God!”

The scriptures do not speak of God to be like a forest fire, or like an incinerator’s fire. It says that he is like a refiner’s fire. A forest fire destroys indiscriminately. An incinerator consumes completely. Even the prophet Malachi in chapter 3 verse 6 says, “I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, you are not consumed — you are not destroyed.”

He is a refiner’s fire. A refiner’s fire does not destroy indiscriminately like a forest fire. A refiner’s fire does not entirely destroy like the fire of an incinerator. A refiner’s fire refines. It purifies. It melts down the gold, and separates out the impurities that ruin its value, burns them up, and leaves the gold intact and worth far more in value. God is like a refiner’s fire

Yet God is a consuming FIRE. And therefore purity and holiness will always be a dreadful thing. There will always be a reverential “fear and trembling” in the process of becoming pure.

We learn if from the time we are little children: never play with fire!
And it’s a good lesson! Therefore, Christianity is never a play thing. And the passion for purity is never flippant. He is like fire and fire is serious. You don’t fool around with it.

But He is like a REFINER’S fire. And therefore this is not merely a word of warning, but a tremendous word of hope. The furnace of trials in the family of God is always for refinement, never for destruction.

It is only the grace of God that’s allows us to go through the fire, to be refined and made holy!

http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

Compassion and Justice

Jason Silver | Pastor & Author

crucifix-2-flashREAD Isaiah 30: 1-18

Here’s a quick break down of this passage:

God rebuke’s those in Judah who looked to Egypt for deliverance
God tells them that their trust in Egypt will gain them nothing.
The Lord documents Judah’s rejection of His life giving message.
The judgment to come upon Judah for their trust in Egypt and for their rejection of His message. Judah is brought low because of their self-reliance and rejection of God’s message.
And then this right in the middle of it all…
Isaiah 30:18
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!

For the Lord is a God of justice: On the surface, compassion and justice seem to oppose each other. If a guilty criminal stands before the judge, he has the choice to show either compassion or justice. But God is so great, He can show both at the same time. Like on the cross, Jesus took the punishment we deserve, God’s justice is satisfied. And at the same time, He shows compassion by extending the work of Jesus to us as payment for our sins. Only God can reconcile compassion and justice, “that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:26).

Psalm 111:2-9
The works of the Lord are great, Studied by all who have pleasure in them. 3 His work is honorable and glorious, And His righteousness endures forever. 4 He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; The Lord is gracious and full of compassion. 5 He has given food to those who fear Him; He will ever be mindful of His covenant.  6 He has declared to His people the power of His works, In giving them the heritage of the nations.

7 The works of His hands are verity and justice; All His precepts are sure. 8 They stand fast forever and ever, And are done in truth and uprightness. 9 He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name.

Psalm 145:8-9
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy. 9 The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.

Mark 1:40-42
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” 41 Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”  42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.

Jesus was full of compassion and it moved him to do what He saw the Father doing.  REFER BACK TO PSALM 148:8 “The lord is gracious and FULL of compassion…”

Now to the Justice side of God…
First of all justice must be defined. A simple definition taken from the book of Romans is that justice is defined as rewarding the law abider and punishing the law breaker. The definition according to Dictionary.com would concur with this definition it says, JUSTICE: the administering of deserved punishment or reward.

Just as much as God will reward those who diligently seek Him, He is also the punish those who outright reject the truth and stand in dreadful fear of judgment. The scriptures are clear that both are of God.

However we cannot fully understand God’s justice only using human ideas, we must view it from scripture.

Zechariah 7:8-9 says… Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, 9 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Execute TRUE JUSTICE; show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother.

Aren’t you thankful that God’s definition of Justice is to show mercy and compassion?

However, Godly justice does not allow wrong to go unpunished or undisciplined either. We also must understand the difference between punishment and discipline. God’s children are disciplined as we are told in Hebrews, while those who reject Him will one day be punished. God is just, He must reward and punish otherwise He would not truly be just. How would you feel about a judge that constantly overlooked crimes, and let criminals go? We would call that judge corrupt. God is not corrupt!

Mercy always comes before judgment, but if that mercy is rejected, judgment still has to take place to satisfy the requirement of JUSTICE.

2 Thessalonians 1:3-10
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes all of you, because you believed our testimony to you concerning Jesus.

Isaiah 30:18
“…the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!”

http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

Living in God’s Grace and Holiness | Part 1

Jason Silver | Pastor and Author

holy-spirit-best-bestEphesians Chapter  2
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.


A lot of Christians stop here at that thought and think, “Well… Grace made it so I had to do nothing but believe to be saved.” People continue this line of thinking throughout their Christian lives and think that because of God’s grace they don’t have to do anything with their salvation once they have it. For us to believe that we don’t really have to live different, think different, and speak different is simply not true. Grace is not an excuse to do nothing, it’s empowerment from God to do everything! He’s given us everything for “life” and “godliness” or God-Likeness, meaning to become more like God in character, and in action.

Continuing on in verse 10

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

We are fellow citizens with God’s people! We are members of God’s household!

Every household has principles and rules even that the family lives by; God’s household is no different! As much as there are expectations for how we live in our earthly homes, there are expectations for how we live in God’s home! We must realize that God’s grace does not excuse us from living out these principles at all!

Galatians 5:13-26
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who practice these things cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Ephesians 5:1-5
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

What are some principles to help us make righteous decisions and live a holy life?

These are principles by which I strive to live my Christian life, and I know they will help you.

Principle One
1 Corinthians 6:12-13
“Everything is permissible for me”-but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”-but I will not be mastered by anything.

Principle 2
1 John 2:5-6
This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

Asking ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” Really does still apply!
It’s a great litmus test, so to speak,  to help us make right decisions, and walk in holiness

Principle 3
Ask yourself? Does it bring glory to God?

1 Corinthians10:31-32
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Principle 4:
The Hidden Word

Psalm 119:11
I’ve hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you

Many folks could get victory over sinful habits in their lives just by gettin the Word of God into their hearts more. We say we don’t have time, yet we all find time for less important things. What could be more important than learning to walk pure before God?

http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

What Does God Think of Witchcraft?

Jason Silver | Pastor and Author

witchcraft-supplues“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6

The context of this passage refers to priests who knew what was right and wrong, and it would destroy the people, but they ignored God. And they said nothing to the people. And the Lord grew very angry with them.

As a Pastor, as a leader, and as a fellow Christian, it is my responsibility before God to provide knowledge that can save people from harmful ways, and destructive deceptions of our one true enemy….the Devil.

Ephesians 6:11-12
“For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies-the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world.” 

One of the more prominent ways the Devil is becoming more active in our society today  is through the fascination and actual practice of witchcraft… or named the more innocently sounding “white magic”. Which by the way is like saying “good evil”. As a Christian leader I refuse to sit back and watch people fall into this dangerous curiosity.

So what does the Bible say about it? And what does God think about it? Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what you or I think about it.

Galatians 5:19-21 says…
“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Deuteronomy 18:9-13
“When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God.”

What’s the attraction to witchcraft really?

1. It provides a sense of quick power control. In an out of control world, we feel more secure if we think we can personally have power to control it.

2. It promises you personal control of the affections of your life – money, people you have infatuations towards, and material extravagance.

Note the word CONTROL!

The reality however is that the only control going on is your free will is being controlled to perform mantras, spells, incantations, and all this out of the drive to please your selfish nature.

We see an example of this in Acts 8:9-24
“Now there was a certain man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city, and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great; 10 and they all, from smallest to greatest, were giving attention to him, saying, “This man is what is called the Great Power of God.” 11 And they were giving him attention because he had for a long time astonished them with his magic arts. 12 But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. 13 And even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip; and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed.

14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. 18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 “You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 “Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 “For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.” 24 But Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

We can see witchcraft throughout all kinds of areas we are touched by every day. Horoscopes…fortune tellers…movies… music…and one of the more  prominent form of medias today… computer games. Here’s the names of but a few computer games like this: Diablo, Hexen, Heretic. Just listen to the names. It’s quite obvious. In one of these games you can actually play as the Baal’s, the false Gods mentioned throughout scripture that caused Israel to fall time and time again.

We try to justify everything we do that we like… but deep down we know God does not approve, and our involvement in it does not give him glory in the least.

So what am I saying in all of this?

That at all costs, we must stay away from witchcraft in all forms, even fictional books (ie. Harry Potter) music, and games. And if you’re involved in it now, you can ask God for forgiveness, and ask for him to free you from its control.

Ask for forgiveness? Yes… witchcraft is sin. In the Bible, rebellion is compared to the “sin” of witchcraft. This is what it comes down to. You can make a choice to obey God fully in this, and view witchcraft in any form for what it really is; or you can try to sooth your conscience by justifying it with human reasoning.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people use “Well it’s just entertainment.” as a justification. Pornography is also considered entertainment, yet that still does not justify a Christ-follower watching it.

In all of this however, we do not need to fear witchcraft, we need to deal with it.

“For greater is He who is in us, than he that is the world, that is the Devil!!!”

 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. “

Ephesians 6:10-18
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

 www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

 

Living a Life of Giving

Jason Silver | Pastor and Author

giving-image2 Samuel 24:18-25
On that day the prophet Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up, as the LORD had commanded through Gad. 20 When Araunah looked and saw the king and his men coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.

21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” “To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the LORD, that the plague on the people may be stopped.”

22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever pleases him and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 O king, Araunah gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the LORD your God accept you.” 24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. 25 David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings.

John 12:1-8
Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honour. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “[It was intended] that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

Notice that both David and Mary offered gifts that had monetary value attached to them? Even Mary did not offer the Lord something that cost her nothing as was apparent to everyone in that home thanks to Judas pointing it out.

I find it interesting to note, that not long after this took place, Satan entered Judas’ heart to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. It’s estimated that the 30 pieces of silver today, would be worth around $950. Doesn’t sound like much but According to the Professional Coin Grading Service of America, “The value of 30 of these coins was significant at that time. Such a sum likely would have completely purchased a small farm or provided one with at least a year’s wages.”

The scripture says “The love of money is the root of all evil.”  How could Satan enter Judas’ heart? Because Judas provided him the foothold, the root of all evil, the love of money. So what am I saying?  I believe with all my heart that living a life of giving, is a God given safeguard, fully able to keep any root of evil from ever getting its place in our hearts. I need to settle in my heart, that I would far rather give up 30 pieces of silver for Jesus, than to give up Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

Let me ask you a question…

How many here can think of something they would like to see change in the Church today?

You know I’ve grown up in the Church, and there’s one thing I would love to see change and it is this: That our times of giving would be marked with the same, or greater enthusiasm, as are our times of praise and worship in song. Far too often I’ve watched lively and vibrant assemblies turn solemn at the very mention of money. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to see that change… wouldn’t you?

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Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner.

Should the Church Be More Tolerant?

Jason Silver | Pastor and Author

$(KGrHqJ,!o!FBbD+8rHQBQh8GBk(Lg~~60_351 John 4:1-6
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

There has been great pressure upon the Church in the past few years to change the message we speak, to change the way we get the message across, and to change the moral stance that we take in society.  We even see it in the media a lot lately. We see Church Leader’s endorsing it publicly. These agents of this so-called “needed change” say that the Church has become irrelevant and for us to become relevant again there must be a change.  It seems to center around the ideas of “tolerance” and “presentability”. It is subtly suggesting that we should become more tolerant of certain types of behavior or attitudes. It says that the church should become more presentable to society, to be more accepted by society.

Many are saying we need to be more tolerant or more non judgmental. To many being non judgmental means, never saying anything is outright wrong, because that may offend someone… especially those who are doing the wrong. Their view voiced this way… “…well if they want to do that, it’s right for them, it’s just not right for me.” These change seekers call themselves Christians. Yet this philosophy does not sound like anything Jesus taught.

What is a Christian? According to the Bible, in Antioch, where the word was first used… it meant to be like Jesus.

So Was Jesus Tolerant?

In Matthew 23:15 Jesus said… “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you only make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.”

 That doesn’t sound too tolerant to me… that doesn’t sound like Jesus was okay with what the Pharisees believed and taught.  Him speaking out this way didn’t win Jesus any popularity contests. As matter fact they put Him on a cross for it. Now we could look at that and say, “Well Jesus was speaking out to a corrupt church government system… we can understand that.” After all, a corrupt government we all would agree cannot be tolerated. But Jesus’ intolerance is not just towards the actions of corrupt leadership, but to towards all people’s sinful actions in general. After He ministered to someone, He would often say , “Now go and sin no more.”

2 Thessalonians 1:8-10 says, “He will punish those who did not know God and did not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you about Christ.”

Jesus will not be tolerant on the day He returns to those who did not receive Him. But until that day, the Spirit of God calls out through us His Church, to raise Jesus up that all would come unto Him to receive mercy, and grace! Not tolerance…. there’s a difference. Mercy is given to those who admit and recognize that they are sinners, lost, and in need of being found. Tolerance says, “Oh you’re fine just the way you are, you don’t have to change.” With God there is incredible mercy and grace extended towards the sinner, but there is absolute intolerance towards the sin itself.

2 Peter 3:9 says, ” The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. But He is being patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but wanting everyone to come to repentance.”

Jesus did not and still does not tolerate sin. Neither does the rest of scripture contradict Jesus.

1 Timothy 5:20 says, “Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.” 

1 John 3:8 says “…the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.”

Jesus Speaking of the Holy Spirit said, “And when He comes, he will convict the world concerning its sin,  righteousness and judgment; concerning their sin, because they did not believe in Me…


A theologian by the name of Dennis Francis said this:

“The Church is not to be like a politician who takes polls to see what way the winds of popularity are blowing, and then go in that direction to gain the favor of the followers. The church is to be governed by the principles set forth by Christ Himself… eternal principles. If that pleases men, good; if it does not, too bad for those who are displeased.  But the Church must not waver. The Church is often counter-cultural, and that very fact is what makes her a “city upon the hill… a light in the darkness.”

 The idea of tolerance is very much based on a feel good theology, if it feels good do it, and that makes it right. Christianity says obeying God is right and will give you real peace…. And that will ultimately make you feel good.

Dennis Francis also once said…

“Some advocates of the “feel good theology” say, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” That may be true, but we seek the lost souls of people, not flies.”

Should the Church change the message to become more tolerant of this change? Jesus hasn’t changed. Hebrews 3:8 says “He’s the same: Yesterday , today, and forever!” The Bible has not changed, people’s  need for God has not changed, therefore the message of the Church does not need to change.

Tolerance also says that there are many ways to God. And we need to accept them.  Yet it’s the “wide road that leads to destruction”. Christianity says there is only way to God who is Jesus!! And we need to accept Him. It’s the “narrow path” that leads to life”. However those who are supposedly tolerant of all faiths cannot tolerate this statement. The Bible speaks very clearly about a spirit of error in the world in the last days before Christ returns, a false and perverted doctrine of men and demons. And there are many passages in scripture dedicated to warning God’s people to avoid all these things like the plague. And this was my intention… to warn you. Don’t be tempted to tolerate sin. Sin is sin, treat it that way; we do not excuse it, coddle it, or condone it.

I leave you with this passage from the Bible:

Ephesians 4:14-24
No longer be as infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.  17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

 20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

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Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner