Tuesday, January 1, 2008

JANUARY NEWSLETTER 2008

Living Word Christian Fellowship

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

Vol. 17, No. 1 January 2008


Is anyone cold besides me? Boy, it is getting more difficult to warm up in the winter time, especially where we are located. So I have learned to seek the Lord to warm me up. You see, I can warm up the outside with more clothes or blankets. But how do you warm up the inside? Most people drink coffee or something hot. I don’t. I ask the Lord to warm me up and He does. When He fills me and refreshes me, I get all cozy inside. There is nothing that can compare with His Presence.
Psa 51:11 “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.”
How many times do we ignore the Presence of the Lord? He doesn’t have to stay around. He wants our attention. So give it to Him and recognize what a blessing that flows out of you when He is near and recognized. There is just something about Him that makes a difference.
If you have not yet experienced it, wait until the time you can’t experience His Presence, and then you will realize what you are missing. You see, My God is very personable and real. So I can really experience Him with whatever I am going through.
I think we have a long winter in front of us, so maybe we ought to just stay warm being wrapped in the Presence of the Lord.

Have a blessed New Year!

In Christ:

signature_pastor

Pr. Steve

Waiting & Waiting


Revelation 12:7-11 (KJV) “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
There was war in heaven (not earth). Remember this concept. Michael and his angels (not cute little naked babies with wings) fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought back “But he was not strong enough.” This indicates there was a time when Satan was able to maintain a place in heaven, indicating that God is waiting for the Saints to become mature enough so Michael can do his job.
Satan, or the devil who leads the whole world astray was hurled down. Satan’s power was destroyed on the cross of Calvary. Now Satan has to work through deception. He is deceiving the whole world. He wants to usurp God’s authority. God created man in his image, but Satan wants man in his image. Satan is filled with self-will – those who are deceived are self-willed people. Satan was hurled down to the earth. He wants control of the earth, but he wants it from a heavenly vantage point. Satan was condemned to eat dust, so he craves the flesh of mankind which is dust. When he is cast down he will eat more dust until he is stuffed.
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: Now is come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ.” Salvation, power, and the Kingdom of God and the authority of Christ all come into being when Satan is brought down from His heavenly perspective and cast under our feet. THE BURDEN OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS FOR THE SAINTS TO COME UP TO THE FULL STATURE OF CHRIST SO MICHAEL MAY BE EMPOWERED TO DRIVE SATAN UNDER THE FEET OF THE CHURCH.
Although Satan is already defeated from Christ’s standpoint, he is not defeated from the church’s viewpoint until we rise up empowered in Christ. (Rom.16:20) “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.”
The church is continually being accused, and the world is under torment waiting and waiting for the Saints to rise up in Christ so they may be empowered in glory. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood and loved ones. WE ARE WRESTLING AGAINST SATANIC LORDS IN THE HEAVENLY REALM. The accuser of the brethren doesn’t stop night or day. As long as there are people filled with self-will, Satan can influence the church because they won’t take up their cross and follow on to know Christ Jesus.
If you are one who is continually being accused in your mind or by other people, continually beaten down and defeated, then listen. The Lord gives us a time when we overcome. God Himself will empower the church by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of our testimony if we don’t give up, and we will no longer care about our own lives, only about the will of God.
At the beginning of Revelation 12 he tells us how this will come into being. The woman travails in birth until the son is brought forth and is caught up to God and to his throne. This is the church who will travail and intercede until the conquering Christ is formed in us. The moment that takes place our inner life is caught up to God. Maturity enables the saints to overcome the accuser, and the result is that God himself will fight for you by sending forth His angels to defeat the wicked one.
In spiritual warfare there are two armies – one made up of angels fighting angels, and the other an army of saints who exercise mature judgment which enables God’s warring angels to fight. (Mat.16:19) “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (John 20:23) “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you don’t forgive they are not forgiven.”
Immaturity keeps us from exercising the appropriate judgment. Hebrews 5:13-14 tells us anyone who stays on milk will not understand righteousness and will remain immature. We have been on solid food for awhile now – we are being trained in righteous judgment! Righteous understanding and righteous behavior are not automatic – they develop through a process that comes by the Spirit of God to a faithful consistent people who will press into Christ. We will not overcome Satan until we are able to judge between righteousness and wickedness. The way we know Christ is formed in us is to be able to renounce evil when it comes forth and to be able to embrace righteousness no matter what the cost.
WE OVERCOME BY BLOOD OF THE LAMB:
The blood pardons sin.
The blood clears the record so God no longer remembers our sin.
The blood protects us from the judgment of the world.
The blood is our spiritual nourishment to drink.
The blood enables us to gain victories over the sinful carnal nature.
The blood of the Lamb is the basis to remove sin from our being.
WE DON’T OVERCOME ANY EVIL WITHOUT THE BLOOD.
Now, if all of this is true, what keeps us from overcoming? It is our self-will that keeps us immature and unable to believe and accept the power of the blood. With every disobedient response, we are negating the power of the blood. Only when we obey the voice of the Spirit of God are we empowered by the blood of the Lamb. The only way to remain empowered is to daily put to death the deeds of the flesh by confessing them, repenting, and renouncing them as evil so we can draw near to God and find help in time of need. ALL DELIVERANCE LOOKS TO THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB FOR ITS AUTHORIZATION.
If we do not resolve to overcome sin during our lifetime, when we are given the opportunity to do so, we shall reap corruption.
WE OVERCOME BY THE WORD OF OUR TESTIMONY: We always bear witness of God by what we do and say. If we do and say in accord with Satan, we are overcome. If we do and say in accord with the Word of Truth, not what someone tells us, but a Rhema from God, then we overcome. You have to hear the voice of God to be able to have a testimony. You know it is His voice because it gives you life. There is no doubt. [While you are in training and learning, there will be times of doubt, but we are talking about maturity today.] We are not a true witness for Jesus until we are listening and obeying His voice. There are multitudes of false witnesses in the church today – the evidence is unrighteous behavior, lack of holiness, and lack of respect for God.
True servants of the Lord proclaim truth by what they do and say. Servants of Satan proclaim what they are by how they act and speak.
How then do we determine which is the true testimony and which is false? This is where we become the Judges. Whatever is contrary to the Scriptures (no matter what doctrines are presented, no matter how much power is seen) is a false witness. We have to “eat the book.” You can’t survive off of what I eat. [I am not a bird that regurgitates and spits into your mouth] Learn to chew what is being served, if it is truth. We come into the image of Christ by what we eat, not by what we watch someone else do (no matter what the power). We have no power to bear witness of Christ until we receive the Holy Spirit and are living in the Holy Spirit. There is much ignorance today in the church because people are trusting in myths that keep them infantile. [Ex: NAS (brought to my attention) Eph.2:8 footnote: “The grace of God is unconditional, that is, we are not saved on the condition that we hold out to the end or that we fail not or that we do our best. We are saved by the grace of God, apart from any works.” {NAS 1979 pg.1131}] If that is true, then we are not saved by enduring to the end, even though Jesus Himself said in Matthew 10:22 you must endure to the end if you are to be saved. You cannot possible overcome when you are living and believing what is not scriptural.
WE OVERCOME BY LOVING NOT THEIR LIVES TO THE DEATH: The church is split over the issue of suffering. Too many have gone forth with their ministry and gifts, not waiting to be brought forth by the Spirit of God or the command of the Lord. They just do what they want and think God is in it. In contrast, are those who have paid the price and who wait and wait and wait until God speaks. With each day passing they are dying to themselves and their own self-will. I had a supernatural call from God to start our work. But I had to pray and wait and encounter suffering before I was ready to receive that encounter with God. I had an agenda that wasn’t His. But I was surrendered to His will and purpose. Until we are willing to deny our own desires, we will attempt to fulfill God’s will by our own methods. And like Abraham, we will create havoc that is far reaching beyond our own agenda. Only as much as we are willing to die to our self can Christ live in us, for it is only Christ who can overcome the accuser and place him under our feet.
We have waited and waited as we are being prepared. Our Lord is going to sweep us off our feet. He that overcomes will inherit all things and God will be his God and he will be God’s son.

-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 Prophecies 2007
Jan 1: Much wisdom and insight will be proven to be the weapon against the enemy this year. It will provide answers for those who will listen and heed their purpose. The test for wisdom is believing the Word of the Lord first and foremost without fearing the outcome. It will bring many to the straight and narrow way of life. The blessing comes with the wisdom. It defeats the deception of their world.
Jan 2: “The wisdom from above is pure, peaceable, gentle and easy to be received, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy (doesn’t doubt). I do not want people to give to Me out of necessity but out of a desire to want Me more than anything else in life. You will go to great lengths to get what you want, but how far will you go to find Me?”
Jan. 4: “In this world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, “I have overcome the world.”
Jan. 6: There is a joy, a hope, an expectancy that is unprecedented. And You, O Lord, are the reason. Do great and awesome things in this hour. Have your way to awaken Your people to the power and pleasure of Your presence.
Jan 11: “The fire of God has spread and all are in it. Remember, it is to burn away all that is not of Me and true salvation will result.”
Jan. 12: “I am bringing you to a new place of enjoyment in Me.”
Jan. 13: “You validate My word to your heart and life by taking what I have written and applying it to the now situations. Yes, they are literal, but My words are life to those who validate them.”
Jan. 15: “I have set you apart for yet an appointed time.”
Jan. 20: “You are victorious even as I am victorious.”
Jan. 21: I now understand, O Lord,: my mind had to be broken even as my heart must remain broken. I know nothing at all unless You reveal it to me.
Jan. 23: “The backslidden will hate the one who brings conviction and will despise one who speaks with integrity.”
Jan. 24: Lord, there is a darkness trying to come in. I do not fear. It is trying to find a foothold to enter. I do not fear. Arise O God and let your enemies be scattered. You deal with the darkness and we will rejoice in your Glory.
Jan. 28: “This is a time I want My people to pursue Me. I have sought them out time and time again. They must seek Me; and when they do this with all their heart, I will be found of them. Their hearts will be satisfied and their destinies will be fulfilled.
Jan. 29: “Rejoice and be glad for the Lord God is with you. I will go with Chad and be his advocate and approve the school. I will also make a way for you so all that is needed will be made available in its time.”
Jan. 30: “To whom much is forgiven, much will love.” (Luke 7:47)

Renew the Mission


Usually people choose to make New Year resolutions in the month of January. These are most often resolutions to stop or start doing certain things. The big question is: where do they plan to get the power to accomplish things that they evidently could not accomplish the prior year? There is nothing wrong with setting goals, but futility is eminent if those goals are approached in the same old manner. Goals and resolutions should be different for Christian’s who have the power of the Holy Spirit abiding within them. But when counting on the power of God, remember this: God empowers people to do His will, not theirs. If the things we desire in life seem unreachable, we have all the more motive to try to accomplish the things that God desires for us to do. All people are created equal in the area of selfishness and stubbornness, and all people have been given equal opportunity to die to their old nature, to humble themselves before the Lord, and seek to do His will.
Isaiah 61:1-4 (KJV) “The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; (2) To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; (3) To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. (4) And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.”
As do the multitudes, we ourselves still personally need the accomplishment of many of the things listed in Isaiah 61:1-4. But to approach these areas without a renewed mission in mind will not suffice. Let’s consider the fact that we have been given the Holy Spirit with power! That power comes with the tremendous responsibility for us to do with Him the things He came to do. The Hebrew word in this text for “Spirit” is (ruach), and it refers to the active, and dynamic, presence of God. So we must not only have the Holy Spirit, but we must also walk in the Spirit and presence of God. Essentially, our walking with God, while restoring our role as a witness to God in the earth, is the whole message of that text.
1 Samuel 10:1 (KJV) “Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured [it] upon his head, and kissed him, and said, [Is it] not because the LORD hath anointed thee [to be] captain over his inheritance?”
In 1 Samuel 10:1 we see the example of King Saul being anointed by the Prophet Samuel. In the New Testament we see Jesus Christ called the Anointed One, or Messiah. Saul had been anointed to be a King of the Hebrews. Jesus Christ is anointed as the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. In fact, the word used in the ancient Hebrew language for ‘anointed’ (mashach), means: “Messiah” (One sent to save, deliver and heal). Even the translation to the New Testament Aramaic language is consistent as we read about Jesus, while teaching in the temple and speaking of Himself as He read from the scroll: Luke 4:18-19 (KJV) “The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, (19) To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
King Saul, though he was anointed, did not fulfill the will of God for his life because he was disobedient and selfish; but the King of kings, Jesus Christ, did and still does operate in the anointing, fulfilling the calling that was given to Him. If we believe that Jesus Christ abides in us, then we must also believe that the anointing to do the will of our Heavenly Father abides there as well. With that, we can then go forth with a renewed mission, knowing that the anointing is not just for one action, but is to enable us to accomplish every God-commissioned task.
Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV) “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.”


-Kurt Thurston