Sunday, June 1, 2008

JUNE NEWSLETTER 2008

Living Word

Christian Fellowship

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

Vol. 17, No. 6 June 2008


Things are moving along at a rapid pace in the spirit realm. The war is heating up so we must be more sensitive than ever to the work of the Spirit to guide us and direct our paths. We are going to experience some wonderful times with the Lord and we will be encouraged to know Him more and more. But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees! Mixture will deplete our strength and the goals of the Spirit in our lives. Do not allow yourself to be swayed into something where there is a spiritual check. Yes, it is true that some people do not get spiritual checks as long as all they look for is selfish. We gain the greatest advantage when we are willing to have it God’s way no matter what the cost.
It is too easy to fall for the counterfeit – it is appealing to the flesh, but no spiritual life is gained. Remember, the Lord is looking for those who are willing to pay the price to have Him, not the easy way out.
I truly thought by now more ministers would be preaching this, but I am young in the ministry and realize it doesn’t get better, but worse as time goes by. Less and less we hear about the cross and the sacrifice and the self-denial. But one thing is for sure, a greater peace and direction and determination to follow Christ takes place. With your face set like flint, nothing deters your walk of the Spirit that says, 1Pe 4:13 KJV “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
That does it for me!
If you have not come to this place yet, it is because you have not allowed the testings of Christ to promote you in your sufferings with exceeding joy.
Rejoice and again, I say, rejoice!
In Christ,

Pr. Steve

Restoration


Acts 3:19-21 (KJV) “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; (20) And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: (21) Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”
Times of refreshing. Times of restitution (restoration). Both signify a definite season of opportunity. The word “times” has two different meanings in scripture. The first is found in: Hebrews 11:15 (KJV) “And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity (season) to have returned.” The second is found in: Luke 4:5 (KJV) “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
The word found in Acts is a definite time or season of opportunity that comes from God. Definite times in earth’s history have been designated by the Lord for various aspects of the process of restoration. During these times there will be opportunities that were not available in the past and will not be available in the future.
The fullness of the feasts of the Lord are proclaimed in Lev.23:4 “in their seasons,” meaning the set appointed time by God.
At any given time in history there is a part of the work of restoration taking place. The appearance of Christ on the earth was one of those times. The return of the Lord will be another opportunity for restoration. In between, there are other aspects of restoration for “whosoever will.”
There is always a “present truth” according to 2 Pet.1:12, to fulfill the work of restoration. Those who will forsake the religious fervor of the hour to press into Christ are the ones who will receive the times of refreshing which bring restoration.
We are in a time of Christ Jesus comes to us as the “latter rain.” The climax of reviving and restoring will be the return of the Lord. But before He comes, there remains much to be accomplished: The Body of Christ must be built up to the full stature in order to receive the coming of the Lord. Neither the church nor the world is ready for the Lord to return.
The problem is that disobedience has not been dealt with. That which is lost can only be restored as the people of God learn obedience to God.
Obedience is the Presence of God being restored to the Church that will lift the curse so rebellion and sin can be completely destroyed from her.
We are now working with God as God works in us. God is in control. His authority and power are being restored to compel nations to obey Him. Jesus possesses all power and authority. So only the Holy Spirit can reveal to us by the rhema word what and when we are to respond to God’s power and authority.
The call is for total discipleship. If we are half-hearted as the church has been for the last generation, then the work of restoration will not happen. Restoration proceeds only from the cross. Restoration operates only from the life of Christ and the power of His resurrection, as we suffer with Christ in His sufferings. If Christ is to live, then we are to die. PAINFUL – but it is the only way to bear the cross of Christ.
The problem lies in the fact that people are all different. We want them to be like we are. We want others to stand with us. But the key is to get people to stand with Christ Jesus. And that comes by accepting what God is doing in the earth and simply doing what we are called to do without making others like us.
Restoration brings maturity to the Body of Christ. Everyone will benefit when this takes place. We must never give up hope that God will restore all that is according to His Word. The glory shall come to pass. If God has promised you something, never, never stop believing. It will come to pass in your life if you only keep believing. Remember Abraham.
First the Body of Christ must be brought to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Then God will fill the Body with the fullness of the Spirit of God. WE DESIRE THE FULLNESS OF THE SPIRIT – BUT GOD DESIRES THE MATURITY OF THE BODY.
God wants you and me built up. He desires that we build the temple, that we complete the work according to God’s standard of obedience.
He has a special work for us to perform. When we serve the Body of Christ, through the life of Christ, which is His body and blood, that is building His temple, His Body. The goal in restoration is to attain the fullness of spiritual maturity. God’s standard of perfection and completion is finding your own destiny and place in the Body.
When restoration takes place, all mountains of difficulty become plain. It brings us to the place where we are trusting the Spirit of God rather than the wisdom of the flesh. This is the fulfillment of Zechariah 4:6-7 (KJV) “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. 7Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.” Christ will finish the work He began: Zechariah 4:9 (KJV) “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.”
And then we will understand John 17:23 (KJV) “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”
Jesus will not return until He builds His Church into His own image and then Jesus will come and dwell in His Church and the world will know that God the Father has sent Christ Jesus and that God loves the Church even as He loves Jesus.
The sooner we are willing to do our part of the work, the sooner we will bring back Jesus. THE HEAVENS MUST HOLD CHRIST JESUS UNTIL THE TIMES OF RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS. (Act 3:21 paraphrased)
Christ is not just coming to us. He is coming with us and in us.
Just because people accept Christ Jesus as personal Savior does not mean they have received Him as personal Lord. Not until He is ruling their life is He Lord. Multitudes have accepted Him as Savior but don’t serve Him and perform His will with a mature heart.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS THE RULE OF CHRIST JESUS IN ME!
We find the work of restoration will be brought to completion during the “third day” (Luke 13:32).
Hosea 6:2 (KJV) “After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.”
The third day is represented by the third gathering of the feast of Tabernacles, which includes the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, & the Feast of Tabernacles itself (Deut.16:16). This is the pressing onward toward the fullness of redemption and restoration. The fulfillment of Tabernacles is the “rest” of God.
1. The Lord comes to drive out His enemies from His temple – Trumpets. Every Saint will experience a spiritual deliverance at the hand of the Lord. This is the spiritual warfare we are now in. If you remain in the flesh, you will not warfare in the Spirit.
2. Day of Atonement is the reconciliation to God. It results in the Image of Christ in us, which is fruitfulness with dominion and authority. It is the absence of sin and rebellion so that the Presence of God may be seen in us.
3. Tabernacles is the coming of the Father to dwell in the Temple in His Glory. It is the “rest” of God.
This results in the fulfillment of the New Covenant found in Hebrews 8:10-12 which includes:
1. The divine laws of God being written in our minds and hearts
2. Knowing the Lord Jesus Christ
3. God’s forgetting our sins by removing the sin nature from us.
We are now in this time of restoration. There may never be another time like it. We must obey the Spirit of God. We must gain the Spirit Victory in the midst of battles. Those who help the Lord in obedience are going to be rewarded greatly when the Lord returns.
Christ is bringing order out of chaos. Confusion will be ruled through certainty. The glory of this latter house will be greater than the former. We are now beginning the days of double portions (food), greater works (miracles becoming the norm, and awesome glory (His presence of goodness in our midst).
Never, Never, Never give up and all this shall come to pass as you keep on keeping on.
Acts 3:19 (KJV) "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
20And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”

-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 2007
June 2: “Do not be afraid of what you see or experience, for what I do will bring blessing and glory and honor.”
June 6: “Perfect peace have they whose mind is stayed on thee.” (Isa. 26:3) Once we get all the junk out of the way there truly is a peace that settles way down deep inside that will cause us to know the Glory of God.
June 11: There is much freedom in Christ, only never use it to sin.
June 12: Make every effort to be found in peace without spot or blemish before Him.
June 21: “My anointing upon you is for My Kingdom purposes and plans. If My people would allow My anointing to flow freely, I would accomplish for them more than they think or ask.” Oh God, let it flow freely.
June 23: His faithful love endures forever. I give thanks to the Lord over and over, again and again. I say, “His faithful love endures forever.” You have stayed the enemy and given a spacious place of living in joy and peace with fullness and fulfillment. You have raised Your hand to the enemy and Your righteousness is made known. I will say, “Your faithful love endures forever.”
June 24: “Watch Me multiply the fishes!”
June 29: Thank you, Lord, for the incredible prayer times over the past few weeks. The peace and comfort and blessing of the Lord floods my inner most being. May You continue to be my all in all.

Spring Forward or Fall Back?


Now that winter has given way to spring, so death and lifelessness have given way for cataclysmic life changes to take place. Those things that lay dormant through the long and cold months must now find strength to break forth into newness through great transformation. Trees are budding, and flowers are sprouting forth, and those things that could not live without the increase of sunlight and rain can now be planted with expectations of a harvest to follow. Christians go through seasons of change but are not limited by natural conditions. Fortunately the spiritual elements needed for us to be changed into the image of Christ are always available.
1. We have been given the life- giving water: Eph 5:26-27 (KJV) “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
2. We have also been given the life-giving light: John 1:4 (KJV) “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”
There is only one way that we can increase in the things of God when we just don’t feel like things are budding so beautifully in our lives: Hos 10:12 (KJV) “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for [it is] time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”
Every year we must change the condition of the ground to accommodate the seeds we plant so that crops will grow and supply us with food and sustenance. We know that if we plant only a little, we will harvest only a little. The same is true for our spiritual increase: 2Co 9:6 (KJV) “But this [I say], He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”
If we are to increase in Life and Light we must be seekers of the same; and for the increase of the new nature of Christ, we must at the same time forsake the desires of the old nature. All of that will require some of our focus, our time, and our resources. John 3:30 (KJV) “He must increase, but I [must] decrease.”
Vying constantly for dominion are the desires and needs of our natural lives. In these changing times, we have to cope with the soaring price increases in gas, groceries, utilities, taxes, health care, and insurances, along with many salary and job cutbacks. Multitudes of people have already lost their homes, their means of transportation, and their comfortable lifestyles. None of these natural setbacks is as devastating as the spiritual setbacks and loses suffered when we fail to keep ourselves in Christ. Though it may not seem obvious at first, the outcome of Spiritual recessing is always a fall. Though the timetable is different than that in the natural, there are still only two choices to make each day: Spring forward, or Fall back.

-Kurt Thurston