Sunday, August 1, 2010

AUGUST NEWSLETTER 2010

Living Word

Christian Fellowship

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

Vol. 19, No. 8 August 2010

With summer in full swing let us not forget the reason we exist and are so blessed. We must remain faithful to our Creator during these lazy days. Remember that the gospel of Jesus Christ is not a spectator sport. We assemble to find a corporate refreshing from the Presence of God. We are learning to experience Him ongoing throughout the week, but only as we obey His Word to our hearts.

There is too much entertainment available to fill our minds and hearts so we won’t take the time to find Christ. The church is not a show that pleases the crowds. Many churches of today spend their finances and time preparing a show to hype the people up. But God is not in it. If I can’t find his Presence in the worship and the Word, then God is not glorified in it.

“Oh God, let this day be a day of Your Presence and might.” Rom 13:12 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.

We must have His Presence. Here at Living Word we are very blessed because His Presence goes before us leading us all the way through to victory. He is our strength and salvation and we are blessed to know Him. I want more than anything to see people experience Him in a real and personal way. But I have learned that it must be His way and not ours.

So let this be a summer you won’t forget as you allow Christ to satisfy your deepest need and fill you with His Presence.

In Christ,

Pr. Steve

Conditions To Christ’s Return


Act 3:21 (KJV) “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.”

There are at least 5 basic conditions for the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. All of these were lost in the Garden and await their ultimate restoration:

1. Close communion with God

2. Intimacy with each other

3. Authority to rule over the earth

4. Spirit power and communication

5. Purity of the earth

1. CLOSE COMMUNION WITH GOD: (Genesis 3:8-10) Adam and Eve had no problem hearing and understanding God. Genesis 1:28 & 2:16 declare to us that God spoke clearly to the man. This communion is what made God decide to allow Adam to name all the animals (vrs.20). But after the fall took place, things radically changed; Adam and Eve hid from the Lord’s voice. How many of us today are hiding from God’s voice? Today, we have selective hearing. In order for the Lord to return to the earth He must have a people who can clearly commune with Him one on one. The Spirit of God is rebirthing in our spirits this hunger and desire to know God’s voice like never before and to make our fellowship sweet.

2. INTIMACY WITH EACH OTHER: After God created Eve there was a transparency of life. Adam and Eve’s spirits so ruled them that they showed no shame, even in their nakedness. Today, people do not want to be transparent. They do not know how to look beyond the faults to see who the real person is. We have hidden agendas of why we don’t like other people, races, or groups. Many today are seeking to have true intimacy with Christ, but they lack the ability to have true relationship with one another. When sin came in, Adam blamed Eve and she blamed the serpent. We don’t even know the conversation that must have taken place as Adam and Eve were banned from the Garden. Something happened to begin to break communication between fellow beings. Yes, we know how to forgive, to confess our wrongs; but we don’t want the close relationships with one another that God requires. Today’s circumstances are such that we are being forced to reach out one to another. God is restoring that which was lost, a respect for one another to the point of needing one another and no longer wanting to run away when things get tough. [NOTE: Intimacy with Christ is not sexual – it is being with someone. It is time for a new pure mind-set for the Kingdom of God. To be intimate is to be transparent with no hidden motives. The dictionary tells us that intimacy is to have “nearness in friendship.”]

3. AUTHORITY TO RULE OVER THE EARTH: Before Adam blew it, he ruled over the earth and over all the creatures. But according to Genesis 3:17-19 he lost his ability to rule and the earth became a curse to man. But Jesus Christ has broken that curse and is willing to give us His authority to once again rule over the earth and take possession. Are we? The elements are against us, but we must not allow the hardships of life to cause us to give up our rightful places in creation.

4. SPIRIT POWER & COMMUNICATION: At creation, God breathed into Adam the very life of God Himself. But at the fall, the spirit within him was separated from the Spirit of God. A spiritual death took place. Once we are born-again, the spirit is restored and reconnected with God, but not in a mature way. In fact, that spirit-man is just beginning to take control so we can learn how to live by the Spirit and not by the soul. God placed His Spirit within man to be the control panel of life. But without the maturity of the Spirit, our MIND, WILL, AND EMOTIONS rule us in our souls. The reason people have such a hard time growing up in Christ is that they continue to feed their soul but not their spirit. Our soulish man wants to live by intellect or knowledge. We believe the lie that if our minds are educated then our wills and emotions will be controlled and we can live victoriously. Being controlled by one’s soul was never the intent of God; and when a person begins to walk in the Spirit of God, he begins to realize there is a greater power and more satisfying communication through the spirit. [With today’s increased emphasis on feminism men are leaving the church. In fact, men make up only 28% of the church, a sharp decline from 40% during the 90’s. To increase men’s attendance, many churches teach sports instead of the Word. The pastors are not true men. Men can only be taught how to be men through other men. Nevertheless, God is restoring fatherhood.]

5. PURITY OF THE EARTH: Mankind’s sin affected every person in the human race and every form of life on the earth. Because that sin keeps multiplying, turmoil is increasing. The whole of the earth is subject to disaster and disease. We are supposed to be masters and protectors of God’s creation, but we gave up our authority to the enemy and all he can do is destroy. Isa 51:6 “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.”

Paul tells us the whole earth is groaning in pain for restoration and deliverance from corruption. The more of Christ we have operating in us, the quicker the purity of the earth will take place.

Why is it so important for this generation to come to the understanding and talk of what is happening today? Even now we see that great tribulation is bringing great distress upon the people of the earth. Daniel’s prophesy tells us that the coming tribulation during the time of Jacob’s trouble will be unequalled. Yet God promises that it will be a time of great purification for the Church out of which she will be saved (Jer.30:7).

At present we are experiencing some difficulties that make us want to give up; but if we understand the goal and what takes place during this time, we can endure to the end. We need to learn the lesson from Job that everything that happens to us is for our benefit and is meant to perfect that which concerns us. Remember: Job 42:12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning…

As wickedness increases around you, allow righteousness within you to increase. Study and take your tests in life with confidence. It is a Biblical fact that the world will continue to grow worse and worse, but it is also a Biblical fact that God’s people will become more powerful because of purity. Yet your reward will not come until your righteousness is ripe. You must shine like the brightness of the heavens and lead others to righteousness (Dan.12:3).

Knowledge will continue to increase, but many will be purified and made spotless and refined. Which will you seek after?

Php 1:21-24 (KJV) “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (22) But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. (23) For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: (24) Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”

There is a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on from the grandstands. Jesus is interceding for us and since we are a part of His body, I believe He wants us to make it. Remember, there is still much to be done. Find your place and stand and work, for the Kingdom of God is coming into its fullness.

-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 August 2009

Aug. 4: Who can ascend the hill of the Lord? The one who does not keep his mind on what is false. (Psm 24)

Aug. 6: I will meet the need for Richmond Academy and for Chad.

Aug. 7: You have become a peacemaker. You shall be called a son of God.

Aug. 8: What you have heard will be revealed. My Word will come to pass. Do not doubt Me and you will experience much of what I say.

Aug. 15: There is another level of anointing that is coming. You are going to know Me more. You have cried out for more of Me and I have heard your heart’s cry. Now you will see and experience Me on this level of glory.

Aug. 18: You have been given My strength to carry out My plan for these days. It is sufficient to sustain you and keep you going.

Aug. 20: The lighthouse is shining so that you can see how to bring the ship to shore through the storm. You will be safe and come through victorious.

Aug. 22: You must, through much tribulation, enter the Kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22)

Aug. 24: Stay on the burning coals until the purification process is complete. Then you will come forth in My beauty.

Aug. 27: I lift my eyes to You, anointed one in heaven. My eyes are on You until You show us favor. Show us favor, Lord, show us favor, for we’ve had enough contempt. (Psm 123)

All the ways of a man seem right to him, but the Lord evaluates the motives.

Aug. 28: “How many days must your servant wait?” (Psa 119.84) Your days of waiting are just about up.

Aug. 29: I will write on the Victor the name of My God, the name of the City of God, and My new name. (Rev. 3:12)

Spiritual Maturity = Set aside my agenda for His.

Aug. 31: In due time, You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.

Action & Reaction


Webster’s dictionary defines “action” as a moving; exertion of power, and the effect of power exerted by the will of a living being, spontaneous or voluntary. Actions are not always rightly motivated; and though it is humanly possible to do many things, those things done would be meaningless without love as the reason for action.

1Co 13:1-7 (MSG) “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. (2) If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. (3) If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. (4) Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head, (5) Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first," Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, (6) Doesn't revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, (7) Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.”

No one understands the importance of love as well as the Lord does, and we all should keep that in mind as we consider His commands and desires for our lives.

Deu 30:16-18 (MSG) “And I command you today: Love GOD, your God. Walk in his ways. Keep his commandments, regulations, and rules so that you will live, really live, live exuberantly, blessed by GOD, your God, in the land you are about to enter and possess. (17) But I warn you: If you have a change of heart, refuse to listen obediently, and willfully go off to serve and worship other gods, (18) you will most certainly die. You won't last long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.”

Following God has always had loving Him as the prerequisite. If we look closely we can see that love is the motivation for every instruction that we receive from God. He does not have some secret bad side that is waiting for or wanting our destruction. His actions are motivated by love, and His desire is that our reaction will be motivated by love as well.

Joh 4:23-24 (KJV) “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. (24) God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

Do we worship God because we love Him? When we sing songs to Him, are our heart, mind, and soul pouring forth passionate appreciation, with a longing to experience more of Him? Do we really love Him? To love someone you must first know that person. So do we love God? If we know Him, we can truly love and worship Him. That does not mean that we will automatically worship and love Him in truth, because it is still possible to go through the physical motions even when our hearts are diverted. So do we stop worshiping God if we don’t feel like we love Him today? Absolutely not! As with any relationship, there will be times when love will grow; and it will be love that initiates the desire to cry out for the changes that must come to allow that to happen.

1Pe 1:22-25 (KJV) “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: (23) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (24) For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: (25) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

Feigned love is pretended love. But our love will be real as we continue to seek and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Through His word and His Spirit we will live and grow in righteous love because His word is alive and driven by the power of His love. Remember the woman who came to Simon’s house with the alabaster box and poured out the best of everything she had on the feet of Jesus, and then proceeded to dry His feet with her hair, and kiss His feet? She exhibited real love with her actions. He had not even died for her yet, but you know her reaction was because He had forgiven her, and she realized Gods love. So we need to think about how we are to love God: With our hands, our abilities -- how are we touching Him? And with our hearts -- how are we loving Him? In our actions and reactions -- how are we loving?

-Kurt Thurston

Smart Father


A teenage boy had just passed his driving test and inquired of his father as to when they could discuss his use of the car. His father said he'd make a deal with his son: 'You bring your grades up from a C to a B average, study your Bible a little, and get your hair cut. Then we'll talk about the car.'

The boy thought about that for a moment, decided he'd settle for the offer, and they agreed on it.

After about six weeks his father said, 'Son, you've brought your grades up and I've observed that you have been studying your Bible, but I'm disappointed you haven't had your hair cut.'

The boy said, 'You know, Dad, I've been thinking about that, and I've noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair...and there's even strong evidence that Jesus had long hair.'

You're going to love the Dad's reply:

'Did you also notice they all walked everywhere they went?'

-author unknown

Quote


Frank Bartleman (of the Azusa Street Revival) wrote: "Many are willing to seek 'power' from every battery they can lay their hands on, in order to perform miracles... A true 'Pentecost' will produce a mighty conviction for sin, a turning to God. False manifestations produce only excitement and wonder... Any work that exalts the Holy Ghost or the 'gifts' above Jesus will finally land up in fanaticism."