Sunday, April 1, 2007


Living Word Christian Fellowship

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

Vol. 16, No. 4 April 2007

I have often said how much we are blaming all of our problems on the world and the evil that is maturing. However, I recently heard this come out of my mouth, “It is not the world that is creating the problem; it is God trying to get the church to move on with His plan of redemption.” Well, now who am I going to blame when I don’t like something? Certainly not God! What is so exciting about this is that once again I realize how much God is in control. When all you read about is how many people are leaving the churches and why, they just don’t get it. Why would God say not to neglect gathering together more and more when you see the day approaching? Because His plan comes through the Church which is the body of Christ. When you finally realize what it is that God is doing, you can join with Him and His Church to see it come to pass.
We simply need to get with His program and forget about all our programs that do little except make proselytes of hell. How much different from the world’s welfare system is the attitude of churches which say, “Let’s see how many people we can feed and clothe”? In truth, what people need is a Savior Who will transform them into His glorious image and Who will empower them to provide for themselves. Yes, there is a time to feed the poor and clothe the naked, but it CANNOT be our emphasis or priority. The priority must be the Redemption plan of God through Christ Jesus. But how many people even understand this principle?
Where are the teachers and trainers of disciples? Not where are the latest gimmicks or the newest charismatic people to fill us with hype.
“Dear Lord, I repent for ignoring Your ways and plan and taking upon myself the things that You did not direct.”
May we each have the heart of repentance for the church and our part in it!

In Christ
Pr. Steve

Perilous Times

Psa 91:5-6 “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; [nor] for the arrow [that] flieth by day; (6) [Nor] for the pestilence [that] walketh in darkness; [nor] for the destruction [that] wasteth at noonday.”
Fear is the most deadly disease known to man. 2Ti 1:7 (KJV) “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
How dreadful the days have become to so many today. How terrifying is the mind of God’s people when we think of what might be – plague, terror, financial ruin. People awaken in the night with chest pains. Our bodies are filled with aches and hurts – and many of them come because of fear. Yet the Word says, “You shall not fear…” How? By maintaining a close personal relationship with the unchanging Word of God. Unless the church of America turns from their wicked ways, repents and turns to the Lord in careful prayer, much fear will strike.
Terror = speaks of that which happens and we don’t understand
Arrow = speaks of our warfare that can be identified
Pestilence = that which destroys over time (unidentified)
Destruction = that which cuts off (the vine)
Wasteth = infection
Psa 91:7 “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee.”
The reason we need to get down to business with God is because the natural events of life are growing worse and we won’t escape the effects of them. We will see it happen on all sides, but the promise is that we will be protected. The Lord is very slow to wrath and anger. He is preparing His people to stand in the day of evil. He doesn’t bring judgment all at one time. This truth is a comfort to us. But that comfort lasts only if we receive His counsel today and walk in the peace of God in our hearts and minds. This is not saying we won’t be affected. It is only saying that we will overcome.
Psa 91:8 “Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.”
We are going to remain on the earth long enough to see and observe evil being dealt with. This is why we set our faces like flint – so we won’t run when this happens.
Today we see many wicked people operating. When we suggest that the way to live is righteously, they become angry and claiming their rights. This verse is not between Christians and non-Christians, but between the righteous and the wicked. The wicked do not become too upset about faith talk and going to heaven; but talk about living righteously, and all kinds of evil are exposed. How does God react to this kind of injustice? He laughs. He wants you and me to laugh with Him and realize He is in complete control. If you don’t think it is funny, ask the Lord to make you laugh until He lifts your anger and bitterness. The Lord does not accept our fretting. Fretting leads to sin. The wrath of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God. Be an Isaac and laugh at wickedness. The wicked will need your help soon enough.
Psa 91:-10 “Because thou hast made the LORD, [which is] my refuge, [even] the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”
All of the help of the Lord for deliverance is dependant on our abiding in Christ. This means that right now, today, we are looking to Jesus for all we are saying, thinking and doing. Living in Christ is our environment, holding all our decisions, worries, fears, hopes, dreams and dreads before Him so we don’t take one step out of His will.
But this state is:
It is not enough just to attend a church.
It is not enough to believe correct doctrine.
It is not enough to say I have accepted Jesus.
TODAY is the day of salvation. The Kingdom of God is as a seed. It is alive and growing in us IF WE ARE TENDING to the environment – that which is conducive to healthy growth to produce fruit. Psa 34:7 “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”
Galatians 5:21; Hebrews 6:8; and 2 Peter 2:20 all are warnings of living out our salvation TODAY. Until the church begins to live TODAY in salvation they don’t have a witness for righteous living.
Psa 91:11 “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”
The only thing we know is that there are twice as many good angels for us as are against us. Then why do we have to wrestle against the evil ones? It is because they are in rebellion against Christ. They do not want us to obey and please our Lord; so until a believer fights back, he will not gain his place of authority in the kingdom of God.
Heb 1:14 (KJV+) “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”
The righteous angels have been sent to enable us to overcome the rebellion of evil angels and to take their places in the heavenlies. An angel strengthened Christ in the desert, and at Gethsemane. Angels rejoice when a sinner repents and turns to God. Christ announces the name of each victorious saint in the presence of God and His angels.
We see God commands His angels to guard those who are abiding in Christ, to guard them in all their ways. We don’t see them performing their duties, but they are watching over us very carefully (vrs.12) so that we are not destroyed. This is telling us that God attends to the smallest detail of our daily activities. Their constant care and attention to detail afford us innumerable deliverances, most of which we remain unaware. Without their help, our lives would be the most miserable of all people. But again, this promise is to those who are living in communion with Jesus Christ.
Psa 91:13 “Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.”
It is likely that none of us will experience this verse naturally. So what is being said? Who are the lion and the serpent? They are the power of Satan! The Christian who lives and abides in the shadow of the Almighty, the habitation of the Most High, is to have no fear of what Satan or his angels and demons can do. We must not be presumptuous in what we do. The idea of trampling on lions and serpents portrays a boldness of action with which we are empowered when we are obeying the Lord in all that we do. Yes, there is a day when Satan is crushed under our feet; but today, the Lord directs our steps so we can ride over the power of darkness.
Jam 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Instead of rebuking the devil, resist Him by living righteously. Satan is terrified at righteous behavior. He cannot harm us unless he can persuade us to disobey God in some area. Satan has no power over us unless there is sin operating, then he can get past our protection even though we name the name of Jesus Christ.
Christianity can be one of two things: it can be religious, something we subscribe to like Islam, Buddhism, Catholicism; OR, it can be a daily experience with living in the Lord Jesus Christ, continually trusting in Him for every aspect of our life. We present our bodies as living sacrifices; we set our minds on things above; we carry our cross behind Jesus, singing and making melody in our heart to the Lord at all times. Then we are abiding in Him as He abides by the Life of the Father.
Psa 91:14 “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.”
Loving the Lord and acknowledging His name means to invite Him into every area of our personality and behavior. We call upon Him for assistance in every aspect of life, honoring Him and thanking Him continually for the help and wisdom He is giving us continually.

-Pastor 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 2006

Apr. 2: We have received grace and apostleship through Him to bring about OBEDIENCE OF FAITH! (Obedience that comes through faith) Rom 1:5

Apr. 3: “You are being weighted in the balance for integrity. Those who walk upright before Me will not be found with falsehoods in their mouth. There are some who are not willing to allow Me to cleanse and change them because they do not fear Me. But You, My Son, do fear Me and I will prove you to be honest and My integrity within you will stand.”

Apr. 7: “I will clearly speak to My people today when they have dealt with their idolatry and turn towards Me in repentance. If they do not, then I speak to them through deceit because they will not turn from their sinful practices. For those who come to Me with pure hearts, undefiled, I will be their God.”

“Construct the building NOW!”

“Perfect peace have they whose mind is stayed on thee.” (Isa. 26:3)

Apr. 8: Weapon – Sword of the Spirit to divide soul and spirit for clarity and direction.

Apr. 14: Thank you Lord, I set aside the joy to follow You and the joy follows me.

Apr. 15: “You stay in obedience to Me and My rest will lead you.”

Apr. 29: The battle is immense. Difficulty with the spirit realm affects me with weakness. The strain is overwhelming but My God shall prevail. He will show mercy and favor. No darkness or enemy or antichrist spirit will prevail against My Lord. He is with us, right beside us, never will He allow us to be forsaken. My God knows what to do to sustain and keep us from evil. I shun evil and adhere to holiness. The knowledge of good and evil is difficult. To understand how people are trapped by evil is extremely painful. Please, Lord, give us the victory and let us live with your peace prevailing.

Building the Church part 3 of 3

Using the Old Testament as our guide, we continue to see what God desires from us for our Temple where the Holy Ghost is residing.
Inner Court
Table of Showbread (Ex. 25:23-30) The table of showbread was a stand on which the offerings were placed. Always in God's presence on the table were the 12 loaves of bread representing the 12 tribes.
Golden Lamp Stand (Ex. 25:31-40) The gold lamp stand stood in the holy place, opposite the table of showbread. It held seven lamps, flat bowls in which a wick lay with one end in the oil of the bowl and the lighted end hanging out.
Altar of Incense (Ex. 30:1-10) The altar of incense inside the tabernacle was much smaller than the altar of burnt offering outside. The incense burnt on the altar was a perfume of a sweet-smelling aroma.
Holy of Holies
Ark of the Covenant (Ex. 25:10-22) The ark was most sacred of all the furniture in the tabernacle. Here the Hebrews kept a copy of the Ten Commandments, which summarized the whole covenant.
The Tabernacle - The Church
Outer Court
Altar of Burnt Offering: Altar where we humble ourselves and pray
Bronze Laver: Our praise where we wash ourselves making ourselves clean for Him.
Inner Court
Table of Showbread: Always before the Lord, keeping our mind and heart centered upon Him.
Golden Lamp Stand: The word of God given in Prophecy, the mood of the Spirit is revealed.
Altar of Incense: Our Worship
Holy of Holies
Ark of the Covenant: Hearing God’s Voice, His Word, Meeting With Him.
In our Personal Lives:
We must build an altar every day before the Lord.
We must praise Him
We must hear His word and direction for us and our family for that day.
We must center in upon Him
We must worship Him.
We must enter in to know Him that day, meet with Him.
This is truly how we can glorify the Lord with our bodies. It is living every day holy before Him. It is not religiousness, or a form of Godliness. It is building a house for the Lord, with Him being the Master Builder and using the materials He gives us. Let us work, and build a body for Jesus Christ. It is time for the Church to come together and prepare herself for Jesus Christ.

-Pr. S. Chad Ross

New Life & Restoration

John 12:24 (KJV) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
The dying process is not fun, but it is necessary for increase. In much the same way, pruning does not look good at first but it stimulates growth and glorious beauty. There is nothing worse than humanistic efforts to increase in the midst of a season of spiritual pruning. Not only will that produce confusion, but it will also negate the effects of a much needed season of rest. It is vital that we enter into the spiritual seasons of rest because without that rest there cannot be restoration.
John 3:30 (KJV) “He must increase, but I [must] decrease.”
All who serve Christ desire that He would increase in them, but not all are willing to do what it takes to allow the increase. We must realize that in a time of planting there is not a harvesting of fruit, but instead an opening of the earth as well as a preparation of its soil. Therefore, Christians must examine their own hearts and let them be pierced, opened to the seed of God’s word.
Mar 4:19-20 (KJV) “And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. (20) And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive [it], and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.”
As we prepare our hearts to receive God’s word, we may discover the need to remove hard places and other hindrances. Even after these words are set in our hearts, they must be cared for if they are to mature and multiply. We must allow the life process of the word of God to flourish by casting down desires for riches, lusts, and the cares of this world. Matthew Henry’s comments on this subject will encourage us to press past the complacency that has infected many a Christian like a life-stealing virus: “This parable contained instruction so important, that all capable of hearing were bound to attend to it. There are many things we are concerned to know; and if we understand not the plain truths of the gospel, how shall we learn those more difficult! It will help us to value the privileges we enjoy as Disciples of Christ, if we seriously consider the deplorable state of all who have not such privileges. In the great field of the church, the word of God is dispensed to all. Of the many that hear the word of the gospel, but few receive it, so as to bring forth fruit. Many are much affected with the word for the present, who yet receive no abiding benefit. The word does not leave abiding impressions upon the minds of men, because their hearts are not duly disposed to receive it. The devil is very busy about careless hearers, as the fowls of the air go about the seed that lies above ground. Many continue in a barren, false profession, and go down to hell. Impressions that are not deep, will not last. Many do not mind heart-work, without which religion is nothing. Others are hindered from profiting by the word of God, by abundance of the world. And those who have but little of the world, may yet be ruined by indulging the body. God expects and requires fruit from those who enjoy the gospel, a temper of mind and Christian graces daily exercised, Christian duties duly performed. Let us look to the Lord, that by his new-creating grace our hearts may become good ground, and that the good seed of the word may produce in our lives those good words and works which are through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God the Father.”

-Kurt Thurston