Tuesday, November 1, 2005

NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER 2005

Living Word Christian Fellowship

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

Vol. 14, No. 11 November 2005


Dear Family of God:

All the struggles of today are making us stronger in the Lord. Don’t listen to the voice of the enemy that says, “You aren’t going to make it.” We are stronger than we have ever been. We are braver than we have ever been. We are still overcoming and will overcome to the end if we love the Lord with all our hearts. Today the Lord keeps reminding us it is about FAITH, faith in the Lord and what He is doing instead of how we feel and what we see or experience. I want to be edified. It doesn’t take too much to be edified if you can find someone who in living in the Spirit of Faith. Jesus Christ is not troubled or worried about our times. No, He is excited because the time is short and He sees the end and is busy preparing for us the time of grandeur and glory. The world cannot see what the Spirit-led Church can see. Keep your eyes open and you will behold His glory and experience His Presence.

My, oh my, what a day. Maybe you can’t feel any relief, but it is not far away. It’s like delivery. Push with all your might, then rest and take a breath until the next pain. God is good. It isn’t constant pain and agony. It is just coming faster because the birthing time is upon us.

In Christ

Pr. Steve


Selah:

Bibles that are falling apart usually belong to someone who isn’t.

Testing, God’s Way


(1Co 10:13) “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].”

If we are to bear fruit, then God must test us. The testing is always God’s way, not ours.

The story of Job is of trial and testing, not of his righteousness. Notice, God is the one who approached Satan, not the other way around. The response was a challenge to God saying that Job would not trust or serve Him in the midst of great adversity. Satan plainly stated that Job’s trial would cause him to break relations with the Lord: “Touch all that he has and he will curse you to your face… Touch his bone and flesh and he will curse you to your face.”

Please understand this truth: Many of our problems today in these hours are because of the testings taking place at the hand of Satan because God said.

The testings of Job are not normal testings. They are major, master trials – they are final exams in the school of the Spirit. They are more lengthy and severe than what we have been accustomed to. Not until we reach the end of our spiritual testing process does God expose us to these kinds of distresses. The characteristics are common, but the degrees are different. Regardless, God is the same through all of them. Everything He did for Job, before, during and after his trials, He will do for you and me.

Christians have to qualify for the Job kind of testing. God will not put wood, hay, or stubble in the refining process. It would be consumed. Only gold and silver qualify for these types of tests. God reserves His hardest trials for His most promising servants.

As scripture tells us, Job was tested severely because of his standing of righteousness. (1:8) “There is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man.”

JOB’S QUALIFICATIONS:

· Feared god (1:1)

· Avoided sin (1:1)

· Loved his children (1:5)

· Communed with God (1:5)

· Interceded regularly (1:5)

· Understood the sin nature (1:5)

· Was perfect (spiritually mature) (1:8)

· Was a worshipper of God (1:20-21)

The trials of Job represent the Christian who is becoming a mature disciple of the Lord. Those who walk an upright, righteous life in Christ Jesus are qualifying participants of this special honor. They walk in obedience and have proven their love for the Lord. God is not interested in trying baby Christians who cannot handle the heat.

Because Job was an interceder for his family there was a hedge about them all. The enemy could not touch them until God permitted it. Therefore God was Job’s personal protector. That same protection is available to every obedient Christian today. Under orders from the Protector, angels guard our bodies, families, homes and possessions day and night. With supernatural security, comes supernatural peace against all terror and fear.

This testing of Job occurred for approximately one year. The rest of Job’s life was very prosperous (200 years). Satan did not touch Job again. That kind of security is Divine, unfailing and miraculous.

Satan’s malicious invasions were not Divine failures. They were Divine interventions to establish Job eternally. Instead of focusing on what is happening to us now, we need to focus on all that God has done and will do for us eternally. If we trust and obey, God will do for us what He did for Job.

But remember, the same God that protected Job from destruction also exposed him to severe testing.

Once we are growing and maturing in the life of the Spirit, and we are gaining wisdom and understanding from the lesser trials, there will come a season of strong testing: (Job 1:13) “There was a day…” This represents a day when our loyalty and faith to God will be severely tested that we may be established for all time and eternity.

God, not Satan is the initiator, thus proving that the adversities are not accidental, but providential. Satan did not conceive them. God authored them. But God only does this when He knows He can trust us to withstand the attacks. (1Cor.10:13) “God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted above what you are able to withstand.”

Satan only attacks the Saints of God after God has spoken well of us in the heavenlies. The enemy’s onslaughts reveal that God is pleased with our current spiritual advancements. REMEMBER THIS: Our trials are not random happenings, but the plan of a Mastermind. God started them and Satan wants to control them. But God sees the good, not the ruin for our lives. So the mere fact we are in them proves that we are presently able to overcome them if we can maintain the correct frame of mind.

God does not leave Satan to his own designs or he would have killed Job. God did not let Satan do what he wanted. Remember that! The first time, God said to Satan, “All that he has is in your power.” But you can’t touch his body. The second assault was also limited. “Behold he is in your hand, but, you cannot kill him.” So no matter how bad things get, there is a limit set by God over the evil one. Satan knows no bounds, so God sets them for him.

Another thing I want us to understand about the way God tests us is this: God does not allow anything to happen to us without His watching over us. (2:3) “He still holds fast his integrity, although you moved me against him, to destroy him without cause.” God knew every response of Job. Now, if Job had known that, do you think he would have reacted a little differently the next time around? But God has given us this record so we would know it, so we would be encouraged to believe that every time we hold fast to our faith and righteousness, God will bring us through and shut the mouth of the accuser. For Christ’s righteousness is in us.

Do not fear that your devotion to God goes unnoticed. Don’t lose heart when the trial is prolonged. Don’t allow discouragement so you will stumble. God is watching over you ,and He who sees in secret will reward openly and will speak well of you in the heavenlies.

Just as one day began a long time of testing for Job, so one day it all ended. (Job 42:10) “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends.” (Listen) When finally Job abandoned his self-defense and spoke of surrender, (42:6) “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes,” then God could release him from the trial.

It is that simple. When pride is finally broken, our spirits are crushed, our hearts are purified, AND we demonstrate faith and submission, then Satan has nothing left to hold on to – no more accusations – then God ends our captivity. (1 Cor. 10:13) “God is faithful, who will make the way of escape, so you can bear it.”

If we remain in strife or continue trying to justify ourselves, we are snared – the pride and strife of self-vindication will eventually bring a divine rebuke. God will only turn our captivity if we repent of our uplifted pride and return to being humble in spirit, word and deed. If we will accept the judgment of God, knowing it is for our good, and not defend ourselves before men, “God will take delight in us and bring forth our righteousness as the light and our justice as the noonday.” (Psm.37:6) “Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.. “ (Isa.41:11)

THE OUTCOME: God recompensed Job for his pain and suffering. God doubled his blessing. God will always honor the faith that honors Him. This is the true message of prosperity. God always give more than we give or give up. Those who are willing to endure intense testing receive immense blessing. This is the good news for every believer who is tried and tested. To help you through the tough and trying times remember there awaits you great reward for your patient endurance. The greatest blessing is the release from every hindrance that ever kept you tied down. God does not give grudgingly, but with delight: “God give us richly all things to enjoy.” (1 Tim.6:17) He is a rewarder to those who endure to the end.

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

Nov. 2: Dear Lord, help us this day not to complain or murmur against our opposition to what we want or think we deserve. You are displeased with a people who do this. Forgive us for not understanding Your ways. For whatever state we may be in, at least You are with us. What is more revealing than Your presence? Forgive us for failing to give You praise in all things. We look to You, O Lord, as a child looks to their father, waiting for mercy. We are filled with anger because of the lies and deceit from the enemy. But Your mercies are new every morning and great is Your faithfulness.

Nov. 5: A picture of WWII fighters. I am inside looking out. I see bombs being dropped everywhere. The Lord says stay in the higher realm. Those who are earthbound are in great danger. Come up higher.

Nov. 8: “For what is about to come forth will bring devastation to many. But for those who remain covered by Me they will be protected. Do not remove the covering. Keep your focus and your heart on Me at all times. Do not fear or get distracted from Me. I am the all wise infinite God. I save, the enemy destroys.”

Nov. 15: “Now is the time of fulfillment. You have been faithful. The Word spoken to you will come to pass. Do not be afraid to take a stand in what I have given to you and spoken over you. This is the time I have spoken about in the past and now you will see many things take place.”

Nov. 20: How do I express all that is happening? I don’t want to say it is too much. What is too much? Your Word says You won’t give us too much. So I accept by faith all that is taking place is for Your purpose in me and this family. I believe in healing and deliverance, but O Lord, You choose the method. Although I am hardened to difficulty, may my heart remain soft and tender in every situation. I know you will be glorified and you will accomplish all this for Your church.

Nov. 22: “Paul was in great distress over the churches. I see your care and concern for that which is Mine, but I have appointed for you peace. Be led forth with peace. The Spirit rules in peace and the mind who is stayed on God. Continually give to Me that which is too great to carry.”

Nov. 26: Righteousness is the integrity of Christ. Holiness is the character of God.

Nov. 27: O Lord, I repent for allowing the irritations of life to affect me and I take responsibility for my actions. O Lord, forgive me.

Nov. 28: “The flow of the water of life is covering your hips and waist. As the water comes in and goes out, there are still areas that are exposed. Sometimes you are in My Spirit and sometimes you are in the flesh. You must continue to go further until the sensitive part and the secret part are completely immersed in Me.”

Nov. 30: “You shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing.” (Is. 55:12)

No Strings Attached – part 2 of 2


Love thy neighbor as thyself. Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

We are not better than others. We should not forget where we have been. We should not forget where we have come from! We should move in mercy to those that are with us. Reach out to them. Don’t judge; don’t condemn.

Mark 10:14 (KJV) But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”

The Value of Life

On September 11, 2001, thirty-five hundred people lost their lives in an act of terrorism. We mourned because of the business men, firefighters, policemen, etc. that died. We mourned because of what these people did or because of what they had. Yet every day four thousand babies are killed through abortion. We don’t mourn them because they haven’t become anything or gained anything. But God mourns because of who they are and because of their value of life.

Works look good but are not necessarily God. We should fear the Lord, not man. The rest of the Lord is in doing what He says, knowing that He is in control. The people of Israel could not rest. God gave them 40 years to rest from being in the hands of Pharaoh, but they always felt they had to be doing something. They did not have the understanding of who they were in God At the foot of the mountain they made an idol instead of realizing the presence of God in their midst They always complained that they didn’t have enough. They had manna and water from the rock, but it wasn’t enough because they did not have the revelation of the sovereign God.

Life is not about what we have or don’t have, what we do or don’t do. It is about who we are in Christ Jesus. He will meet our needs and what we do will be His will. We don’t need to worry about getting in trouble or what others will think. We have the Master on our side and He keeps us straight.

Rom. 8:9 (KJV) But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

Does the Spirit of God dwell in us? Then we are in the Spirit.

We should recognize who we are and become who God wants us to be. May we cut the strings of Pharaoh and be free from the bondage of the fear of man. Fear the Lord your God! Whatsoever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

-Pr. Chad

Real Hope


According to Webster’s Dictionary, “hope” is a desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. Hope differs from wish and desire in that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety.

Pro 13:12 (KJV) “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but [when] the desire cometh, [it is] a tree of life.”

If our hope in Christ is accompanied by disappointment and nervousness, and anxiety, we must realize that something is not right. If our hope is not bringing us pleasure and joy, it is most likely that we lack the proper understanding of hope. The misinterpretation of words and their meanings can cause even the most sincere people to error. For example: If people choose to live a sin-filled lifestyle, and claim to have a hope of salvation at the same time, they have of a truth cancelled out the latter by living the former. Hope is an obtainable expectation; therefore, if we hope for something, we will actively participate in the avenues that lead to the fulfillment of that expectation.

Jer 17:7 (KJV) “Blessed [is] the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.”

Jeremiah says that those who trust in God and place their hope in Him will be blessed. That word “blessed” is defined by Webster as meaning: Happy; enjoying spiritual happiness and the favor of God; enjoying heavenly felicity. There is not any room in that definition for gloom, despair, and agony; although there is still the need for the means by which we must acquire and apply that which is necessary to obtain the proper results. In this next scripture is found a prime example of how this hope works.

Lam 3:21-26 (KJV) “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. (22) [It is of] the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. (23) [They are] new every morning: great [is] thy faithfulness. (24) The LORD [is] my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. (25) The LORD [is] good unto

them that wait for him, to the soul [that] seeketh him. (26) [It is] good that [a man] should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.”

In Lamentations the writer was blessed because he had found hope and comfort in the word of God. His faith in the truth of what he had read motivated him to keep the words active in his mind, and led him to cease from other pursuits that he might wait upon the Lord instead. The same can be true in our lives. Anyone who chooses to believe and act upon the word of God is going to be blessed by the hope therein. It is this hope that causes people to praise the Lord, and most of the time it is those blessings and praises that draw others to do the same.

Psa 40:2-3 (KJV) “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, [and] established my goings. (3) And he hath put a new song in my mouth, [even] praise unto our God: many shall see [it], and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”

-Kurt Thurston

The Church as Spiritual Zion - part 2 of 3


(Amplified and KJV)

Throughout scripture the words “Israel” and “Zion” are sometimes used interchangeably. At other times, the word choice refers specifically to either “Israel” or to “Zion.” And while the New Testament Church parallels and fulfills much of what is recorded about God’s dealings with and promises to Israel, the New Testament “remnant” may at times be reflected by the specific but small area (Zion) within the greater (i.e. Israel / the Church). The writer of Hebrews contrasts the actual Old Testament mountain with the spiritual Mount Zion: “For you have not come [as did the Israelites in the wilderness] to a [material] mountain that can be touched, [a mountain] that is ablaze with fire, and to gloom and darkness and a raging storm. And to the blast of a trumpet and a voice whose words make the listeners beg that nothing more be said to them” {Heb 12:18-19}. In contrast to the mountain which could not be touched, those who make up the Body of Christ are described thusly: “But rather, you have come to Mount Zion, even to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless multitudes of angels in festal gathering. And to the church (assembly) of the Firstborn who are registered [as citizens] in Heaven, and to the God Who is Judge of all… {Heb 12:22-23}. Here we find four synonyms which indicate those who make up the Body of Christ: (1) “Mount Zion,” (2) “the city of the living God,” (3) “the heavenly Jerusalem,” and (4) “the church (assembly) of the Firstborn.” Since each phrase is synonymous one with the other three, it is obviously the writer’s intent to designate the Church as spiritual Zion.

According to the Old Testament, the Lord God instructed Moses to “Go and sanctify the people [set them apart for God]…And be ready by the third day, for the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai [in the cloud] in the sight of all the people” {Exo 19:10-11}. Just as He charged Moses with commanding the people’s sanctification by the third day, the Holy Spirit is even now sanctifying those who are called to become a part of spiritual Zion. For we are in the Third Day. And today He is sounding forth the trumpet, calling His prepared people to move increasingly in all that He has prepared for them. “Again He sets a definite day [a new] Today…saying…Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts” {Heb 4:7}.

In addition to requiring sanctification, Moses was to “set bounds for the people round about…” {Exo 8:12}. Just as before the foundations of the world when God, in His sovereignty, called us into His appointed destiny, He also established both natural and spiritual boundaries. So precise is He that Luke records: for “all nations” He has “…definitely determined [their] allotted periods of time and the fixed boundaries of their habitation (their settlements, lands, and abodes) {Acts 17:26}. Within this same precision and forethought, we know that God envisioned and established the boundaries for and the inhabitants of Zion. From before the foundations, He foresaw Zion as “The City of the King,” and His Son as “The King of Zion.”

Another parallel between an Old Testament blessing and that of spiritual Zion is seen by the following: In God’s blessing to Israel Balaam gave a multi-dimensional prophetic utterance: “[Israel] shall pour water out of their own buckets [have his own sources of rich blessing and plenty], and his offspring shall dwell by many waters… {Num 24:7}. Jesus, too, spoke of the pouring out of water when, during the most important day of the Feast of Tabernacle, He prophesied of the coming Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s transforming work within the members of Christ’s body enables each one to become a river of living water: “He who believe in Me…as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water” {John 7:37}. Yes, the Church as spiritual Israel will bring the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s “waters to swim in” until “everything shall live wherever the river goes {Eze 47:5} Of Israel’s King David, Balaam’s blessing stated: “…and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted” {Num 24:7}. While David warred to gain victory and possession of territories overtaken by his enemies, Jesus, too, battled and conquered the forces of evil. In fact, David’s first act as king over all the tribes of Israel was capture from the Jebusites of “the stronghold of Zion, the City of David” {2 Sam 5:7}. So too, the Lord Jesus Christ took back that which satan had corrupted at the Fall, and He awaits the culmination of His Victory and the restoration of His original intent through His end-time Church, the inhabitants of spiritual Zion..

Purchased without money are those of Christ’s kingdom, for “…with Your blood You purchased men unto God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And You made them a kingdom (royal race) and priests to our God, and they shall reign [as kings] over the earth” {Rev 5:9-10}. Far above any earthly kingdom is that of Christ Jesus, the King of Zion Whose Kingdom shall know no end.

-Ruth French