Friday, April 1, 2005

APRIL NEWSLETTER 2005

Living Word Christian Fellowship

“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving...” Psalm 26:7

Vol. 14, No. 4 April 2005


Dear Family of God:

We are walking very carefully today-not in fear, but in awareness that God is doing something so wonderful we don’t yet comprehend it. We are walking carefully because we don’t want to miss our Lord at His visitation. There is such a sense about God it is very encouraging to be a part of His vision for His church.

Eph 5:15 “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,”

This means to place your attention so that you will not be surprised at what will happen. Isn’t that great? Our Lord does not want to shock us or surprise us. He wants to just move in and bless us beyond what we have already thought He would do.

The steps of the righteous are ordered of God. Keep your steps in line with His steps and keep walking and you will walk right into the blessings and promises of God without astonishment at what is happening.

We are being prepared, for the best is yet to come.

In Christ,

Pr. Steve


The Walking Dead

No purpose, no plan

Shallow eyes staring at death

Reflecting the only reality known to them

Repeated hurt, Repeated wounds

Leaving a heart they don’t even want to touch,

Much less know

Blank, void of real emotion

Reacting out of base instinct

No Divine Connection

Dead

Only Christ can revive the Dead

Only God can give The Breath Of Life

Only the Holy Spirit can fill this heart

A dead, lifeless, heartless generation

The Walking Dead

-Henry Wright

Revival We Need


Psa 85:4-7 “Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. (5) Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? (6) Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? (7) Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.”

The greatest obstacle of any theologian is when, what and where is revival. All generations have tried to define it. All have desired it. But not all have experienced it. There are basic thoughts about revival that don’t differ among denominations. One that is conclusive is “An absolute awareness of God’s holiness.” It can be taught and preached about, but until you are personally aware of it, you won’t have it operating in you.

Revival cannot be determined by outside influences of fruit because fruit changes within us – it increases and decreases based on our walk. But one thing that is certain about revival: it comes because of God’s great MERCIES. That is what will break out when God is ready. He will see our cry for mercy like we have never cried before. Everything that has made us proud and arrogant will come down. We will turn because of our mistakes and sins that have kept us away from His Presence. As saints of God we are being forced to walk closer with the Lord and with each other. There is a pressure that will become a blessing because we are seeking God’s face like never before because we need His mercies and His healings.

The enemy is given permission to sift us like wheat which breaks off the husk so the chaff can be separated from the kernel. This shifting represents our carnal shell being separated from that which is holy and eternal. The enemy so hates this process he rages with fury. Revelation 12:12 tells us in the last days the devil will come down to you having great wrath because his time is short. The enemy is raging at the church where holiness and obedience and righteousness is being taught and trained. We must stop this diabolical flood of the enemy by raising up the standard of the Lord which is His Word and by the Spirit until we can say with Jesus, “The prince of this world is coming and he has nothing in me.” (Jn.14:30)

ALL OF THIS WILL BE MADE POSSIBLE ONLY BECAUSE OF GOD’S ENDLESS MERCY! He is completely faithful, because we don’t deserve revival. It is MERCY!

Three things we must do during this time:

1. We must get through the awakening. We have to have an awakening of where we have been. It is not easy to recognize you are alive until you go to a funeral. Rom 13:11-12 “And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed. (12) The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”

2. After an awakening comes an awareness. I am awakened to see where I have been and I become aware of where I now am. Luke 11:44 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over [them] are not aware [of them].” God is giving us discernment so we can recognize things that we did not know we were in. While we learn to discern, we recognize what is of God and what is flesh and what is the devil. 2 Cor 4:7 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” There is a hunger that gnaws at you until you cry out for more of God. Then in His Mercy He responds.

3. After awareness comes abandonment. We are giving more than we ever thought possible to find God today. He will not disappoint us. Will we go where He wants us to go and do what He wants us to do? Will we forsake all others and cleave only to our husband? That is what abandonment is about. Repentance is more than just change; it is following after the one who forgives and changes us so that His will is done continually.

One of my favorite verses in all of scripture comes from Psa 85:10 “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed [each other].”

You have been offered Truth (Jesus) for years. You have been offered righteousness for years. It is time for mercy and peace that we might walk in the rest of the Lord. The whole reason the Lord comes to us is to have a consciousness of His Mighty Presence over our lives.

The cross with the blood will sustain you and revive you with the life that you have prayed about time and time again. He will not disappoint.

-Pr. Steve

I am going to be sharing with you thoughts from my journal over the past few years. This is to show you how the Lord has brought about His Word in my life to minister to you and to show you how real this walk can be. Please read and understand by the Spirit about ...

. . . My calling as a pastor


Pastor’s Journal 2004

Apr. 2: We are not called to be moral transformers. We must determine to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Apr. 8: “Be ready.”

Apr. 10: Allowing worldly practice to remain among the church will gain the respect of the world, but if repentance doesn’t come the Lord will respond, “I never knew you, depart from Me.”

Apr. 15: “You have been striped of many areas of your life, depending on others instead of Me. I have given you others to help and encourage but not to replace Me. Now nothing stands between us. I can accomplish My plan with you and know that I will be the one you turn to without hesitation. Now your love for others can be pure. For My vision for you will surely come to pass.”

Apr. 17:We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not destroyed. Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” (2 Cor. 4:8-10) “We have treasures in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.” (2 Cor. 4:7)

Apr. 19: “When you hear a sound of marching (going forth) in the tops of the mulberry trees (weeping) then sound the alert, the Lord is going before you to smite the enemy. When the weeping is strong enough in you then you will hear, “Deliverance is on the way.”

Apr. 20: “Whoever humbles himself like a child is the greatest in the Kingdom of God.” (Matt. 18:4)

Apr. 22: “For he is a faithful man and fears God more than many.” (Neh. 7:2)

Apr. 23: Watch for the lies to discern deception. “The pride of heart has deceived you.” (Obed. 1:3)

Apr. 25: “The impartation of water will begin to flow outward by My Spirit.”

Apr. 29: Even my convictions I surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. May my all in all be Christ over all.

Revering the Truth


Mat 5:29-30 (KJV) “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell. (30) And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

Jesus’ preaching was to the point and directed straight at sin. The alarming statistics concerning the increasing sin in the church at large today must be a result of soft-soaped preaching, and watered down witnessing. Otherwise, how could someone read either of these first two passages, and then continue to walk to the contrary? Judgmental and condemning messages are not the answer either, but rather a serious look at revering the truths Jesus speaks in the gospels, by every one who reads them.

Mat 23:25-28 (KJV) “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. (26) [Thou] blind Pharisee, cleanse first that [which is] within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. (27) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness. (28) Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

Outward appearances don’t always reflect the inward conditions, but all things are brought into truth when the word of God is applied. As it is written in, Heb 4:12 (KJV) “For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

As we follow the progression of written warnings that were given to us by our Lord, we can see that these warnings are as great a part of the gospel’s salvation message as is the message of the cross. In essence, what good would it do to die for someone’s sins if your message would be that they should live in the same sinful condition they were in before you died for them? It is time to awake, to come out of any spiritual stupor we may be in, and to apply our lives to the truth.

2 Pet 2:4-9 (KJV) “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to hell, and delivered [them] into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; (5) And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth [person], a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; (6) And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned [them] with an overthrow, making [them] an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; (7) And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (8) (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed [his] righteous soul from day to day with [their] unlawful deeds;) (9) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:”

Excuses will not diminish the consequences for deliberate disobedience. Those words, as with the words the Lord spoke, are not to condemn but rather to lead the reader out of the deceptions of darkness and into the liberating freedom that comes from revering the truth.

-Kurt Thurston

Growing Up is Hard to Do - part 2 of 3


It is time to grow up. Has the kingdom been put on hold? God is waiting for the mature. He needs people who can walk in His authority. This church needs submitting, faithful people who will take their role and position in the family of God.

Enough of this “I need love” talk. Babies need love. Adults give love. Babies need instruction. Adults have instruction. Babies have needs. Adults meet needs. Babies need prayer. Adults pray.

Babies borrow. Adults own. Babies cry. Adults overcome. Babies whine. Adults profess.

One hundred years ago there was no such thing as the social class of “teenagers.” America has created them with the increase of education. Before the nineteen hundreds, these young men and women would be trained for their lives: jobs, ownership, mothers, and fathers.

There are six human needs:

1. Today those natural needs of authority are put on hold until after education, so they rebel against authority.

2. The fathers and mothers do not meet those natural needs for affection and attention, so they are met by fornication.

3. Teenagers get their approval from peers through drugs and alcohol because they are constantly told what they do wrong and not what they do right.

4. They have no affiliation with their families so they seek it out by joining gangs, clubs at school, and clicks.

5. They are not taught about anointing so they find it in the occult and worshipping the earth.

Here is the problem: we have adults in the church who have never grown up. Adults still hold the teenage mentality.

Do we want to go on? Would we get very upset if the pastor would say, “I can’t help you today?” Have we lost the friendship and the fear of our God, how since the Garden of Eden He has wanted to meet our needs? Where is the maturity in our lives?

There is the story of a young man who lost time in his spiritual maturity. He took on the teenage mentality for five years and that held him up from what God wanted for his life. The signs:

He went from straight A’s to straight B’s in high school.

He began holding resentment and unforgiveness.

He began seeking ways to fit in and succeeded.

At times he would buck the authority of teachers and parents.

One day, this young man had an encounter with God. His home was turned upside down. He finally decided to move on, but he was like a child trying to see over the heads of taller people. There were a lot of big heads in the way. He gave up the resentment and unforgiveness. He didn’t care if he fit in anymore. He once and for all submitted to the natural and spiritual authority in his life. He was delivered and set free and the five years the enemy had stolen were given back.

Our goal should be to make the decision and fight the teenage mentality out of our lives. God did not design us to be teenagers. He designed children to become adults. Children need to be trained. Adults are trained.

-Pr. S. Chad Ross

The Suddenlies of God - part 1 of 3


Amplified Bible

(unless otherwise specified)

Against the curtain of eternity, every event in time appears as a "suddenly." In the beginning God spoke over the dark and formless void, and suddenly there was light. Over man's dark and empty existence He still speaks and suddenly life emerges. Across man's blinded eyes He stretches His Hand and man suddenly sees beyond the horizon of the familiar. We who were once darkness suddenly become light, bearers of the light, children of the light, sons and daughters of the Most High God. "…God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [no, not in any way]" {I John 1:5}.

Gathering the accumulated suddenlies of our individually transformed lives, the Holy Spirit works in cooperation with the Father and the Son to build us into a holy temple, members who will together manifest the completion of the one New Man, Christ and His Body, joined and ruling with Him in His Kingdom. Once the full stature of Christ is revealed, the long process will seem but a moment in time. "For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is even more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!] Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting." {2 Cor 4:17-18}.

Even before Adam's disobedience, the Triune Godhead had purposed, planned and prepared for each suddenly of the Incarnation, as indicated by God's promise to the serpent through whom the temptation came: "… I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head underfoot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel" {Gen 3:15}. And in fulfillment of that promise, "…when the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman…" {Gal; 4:4}. Thus appeared the Virgin-born Son, suddenly and humbly appearing among those He had created.

We are not told how long Adam spent in the Garden of Delight before the Fall, but to Adam the God-executed exile was surely sudden and shattering: "…the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So [God] drove out the man…"{Gen 3:23-24}. Suddenly man found himself not simply "tending" but "tilling," no longer just caring for, but working laboriously to effect production. How significant that one meaning of "drove" is "to drive out from a possession." For man to be restored to the Father's original intent and purpose required that the Incarnate Son be born through an earthen vessel, crucified, buried and resurrected to live His life through those who willingly accept His sacrifice and die to their own self-life, allowing Him to live His resurrected life through them.

Before his eviction, Adam was assigned to "tend and guard and keep" the garden {Gen 2:15}, but afterwards, the ground was cursed, bringing forth thorns and thistles; and man's sustenance was supplied from the sweat of his brow {3:19}. Before the Fall, man knew nothing of death, but afterwards, his spirit suddenly became lifeless and his lifespan terminated in eventual physical death. "So altogether Adam lived 930 years, and he died" {Gen 5:5}. Ruled by the inherited carnality of his father's nature, Cain killed his brother over an act of worship. Suddenly he, too, received a curse: "When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength; you shall be a fugitive and vagabond on the earth [in perpetual exile, a degraded outcast]" {Gen 4:12}.

As we read the contrast between who we were as those naturally born with Adamic nature and the suddenlies of who we are as those reborn with Christ's nature, let us give thanks: "[Remember] that you were at that time separated (living apart) from Christ [excluded from all part in Him], utterly estranged and outlawed…And you were in the world without God" but now "…you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens)…but you now share citizenship with the saints…and you belong to God's [own household]" {Eph 2:12, 19}.

-Ruth French