Sunday, March 01, 2015

The Word And The Spirit

Balance of teaching the Word of God and Moving in the Holy Spirit

Do Not Move

"Sir I said Do Not Move While We are In Motion...or we will tip over and get no where at all."

THE BALANCE TRAIN

It is a very delicate activity

It has been said that a meeting where the gifts of the Holy Spirit are allowed to be freely exercised is a balancing act.

Think of it as if a circle of people are carefully passing around a tray with glasses of water upon it. They are trying very carefully not to spill the water as they pass the tray from one to another.

One speaks out in tongues, another gives an interpretation, while another sings out in an inspirational spiritual song. Another gives a word of knowledge while another gives a prophecy in song.

This is what it is like. Each and every member of the meeting being sensitive to the Holy Spirit's direction and orchestration. The meeting moves forward and accomplishes God's goals when it is conducted decently and in order. Things run along smoothly with no crash and burns.

 I have been in large meetings where everyone was singing in the Spirit (singing in tongues) altogether at the same time. 

When suddenly, without anyone other than the Holy Spirit giving direction, everyone stops singing except for one person. 

Then just as suddenly someone else joins them in a sort of a duet.

 And then the whole room full of people gently joins in a chorus. And then an absolutely amazing thing would take place.

 I would hear gentle rain pouring upon the roof when it is a very dry evening with no rain outside, and yet rain could be heard coming down on the roof. 

Angelic voices could be faintly heard singing a counter part harmony along with the whole congregation. 

And finally every voice would go silent as if a conductor had given a hand signal to taper off to silence.

It was at this point that there would be manifested the most powerful spiritual atmosphere where you felt as if you should be taking off your shoes because it was Holy ground that you were standing upon.

The Shekinah glory was being manifested.

There is a church experience beyond the stimulation of the intellect with Bible study. 

There is a church dimension that few ever get the opportunity to experience. 

True heart felt worship with Christians who are not afraid of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and know what balance is in their operation.

I have had the wonderful pleasure of being in meetings like this.

And

I have been in carnal meetings masquerading as spiritual meetings, when in reality flesh was at work pretending that the Holy Spirit was moving in their midst.

 Nothing quenches the Holy Spirit faster then flesh acting as if He were
behind their antics.

Holy reverence dictates that we be sensitive and truly worshipful to insure balance for forward momentum or we will get no where...few make it through the straight and narrow gate.


David Sloane

12,03,08
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I wanted to add some thoughts that I had while working today, 12,04,08. 

Over so many years I have noticed that teachers of the Word always like to down play and marginalize those of us who love the moving of the Holy Spirit.

Why just today my son mentioned hearing John Courson saying on the radio something about not validating those of us who desire the Spirit's moving. 

He said that if we just stay in the Word that would be enough Spirit moving for us.

I humbly beg to differ. 

Why?

I had this conversation about this topic out in the parking lot of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa in 1973 with the then assistant pastor Lavern Romaine.

 Romaine told me that there has to be 'balance.' 

His very words to me on this topic were, "David, too much of the Word and we will dry up, too much of the Spirit and we will blow up, a correct balance of both and we grow up."

I never forgot that conversation with the man of God.

 I have noted over the years that churches that marginalize any operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit while lifting the Word of God high over everything else, (almost to the point of 'Bibliolatry,') can become some what dry in a sense for me personally.

Ok, so you never heard the term Bibliolatry. Years ago all of us who would go out to the desert to seek the Lord came up with this term on our own. Today it is in common usage. Bibliolatry is the worship of the Bible or any other text over God Himself.

I have been in churches that minimize the teaching of the Word of God and maximize the exercise of the spiritual gifts. Man what a mess! People looking like Funky chickens doing that bouncing up and down thing and others shaking their hands and others shouting like lunatics.

I have spiritual discernment and in some of those places the Holy Spirit wasn't moving at all, but they did their thing any way while insisting that the Holy Spirit was doing those strange things and goings on.

 Now that is not to say that such things can not happen, I have seen them happen where the Spirit of God is indeed moving in the midst.

When a church teaches the Word of God in it's entirety and allows the balancing exercise of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, there can be such a sweet manifested presence of God. 

The sheep need this inspiration of both activities in perfect balance to one another.

1 Corinthians 14:4He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

The sheep need to be edified. Above we see two ways this can be accomplished. One is by speaking in tongues. The other is by being exposed to prophecy. There are many other ways.

When was the last time that you spoke in tongues? 

When was the last time that you heard someone give prophecy in a gathering of Christians?

Apostle Paul understood this all too well:

1 Timothy 4:14Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

Prophecy is declaring the mind and heart of God.

 It is making known God's will.

 The laying on of hands is the impartation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 

Some would teach today that such things have ceased since we now have the written Word of God. 

They are in serious error and are teaching others to be impotent and powerless as witnesses for Jesus Christ by their false concepts.

2 Peter 1:19We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

They quote the above verse as if it declares the cessation of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ would have stayed upon the earth and lived out the full extent of His natural life if this were true. 

But He had to leave this earth so that the Holy Spirit could come. 

Apparently for some reason, unknown to us at this time, only one person of the trinity can be in resident here on earth at one time.

Although we see all of them present at the immersion of Jesus by John the immerser.

Luke 3:22And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

We see the Holy Spirit descending and the Father declaring and Jesus the Son in the above verse. The Holy Trinity.

 With in the one Godhead there are three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is not a force or an energy or an essence, He is a person.

We want this person of the Holy Spirit in our midst. 

Why?

Because it is He who manifest the presence of Almighty God to us.

 And anyone who has ever truly been in a service where the Holy Spirit comes and manifest Almighty God, never ever forgets that experience, never! 

Spiritual growth!

Once you taste of the 'real' of God you can never be satisfied with less then that.

 You search and search, looking for that church that 'gets it.' 

But you never can seem to find it.

 You leave disappointed until eventual you give up.

Satan steps in and tries his best to convince you that it was all a dream.

 He gets you to chalk it up to your youthful exuberance or just an emotional period of your life.

No! 

It was a genuine manifestation of Almighty God that you were ever so blessed to have experienced.

Years and years of Bible study can never do for you what just one simple touch of the Holy Spirit can do for you. 

It can change your life for the rest of your days.

The mind listening to teaching is important, but the human spirit being touched by the Holy Spirit is just as important.

John 4:24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Worship Him in your spirit!

The mind.

Ephesians 4:23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

Philippians 2:5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Feed your mind on the Word of God.

Ephesians 5:26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Titus 3:5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Washing of regeneration?

In biology, an organism is said to regenerate a lost or damaged part if the part regrows so that the original function is restored. 

Restoration. 

Regeneration.

Renewing of the Holy Spirit. 

We need this experience that comes of the Holy Spirit.

 Therefore this is why I desire the moving of the Holy Spirit as well as teaching from the Word of God!

P.S.
 John Courson is one of my favorite Bible teachers after Chuck Smith. 

David Sloane

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12/13/2013

I wanted to add a few things to update the above.

There is a very correct balance between the Word of God teaching and the moving of the Holy Spirit in a healthy Church environment. Jesus Christ was known as a "prophet, powerful in Word and deed before God and all the people"
Luke 24:19

Jesus said,"The Words I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life."
John 6:63

God works through His Word and His Spirit in perfect balance.


Any church that only teaches the Word and any church that only operates in signs and wonders is an "Ishmael" a half son.

 Abraham acted in the flesh in an attempt to fulfill a promise of God for a son and only produced a half son of the promise.

 A son today that conflicts with the true son of the promise, "Isaac" who was the full son of Abraham. 

The fulfillment of Gods promise to Abraham.

Word only churches conflict with Spirit only churches and vise versa.

 This is an obstacle to a healthy New Testament Church.

It is an act of the flesh to only teach the Word and doctrine.

 It is an act of the flesh to only operate in signs and wonders of the Holy Spirit.

 It is an act of true spirituality to operate in both signs and wonders of the Holy Spirit and the teaching of the Word of God and doctrine together in a delicate balance.

What will it be Church?

 Ishmael, the flesh?

 Or Isaac, the promise of God fulfilled?

If the Church heeds this message it will operate in true power and purity, teaching the Word and moving in the Spirit.

Jesus said to the Sadducees, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God."
Matthew 22:29

Paul the apostle said:

"Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction."
1 Thessalonians 1:5

Paul also said:

"My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power."
1 Corinthians 2:4

Paul combined the Scriptures with a demonstration of the power of God in perfect delicate balance!

The two together, the Bible, God's inerrant and infallible Word, the Scriptures, and the supernatural, powerful signs and wonders of the Holy Spirit. 

Balance.

Jesus said that the Sadducees were ignorant of both of these.

 In most of our modern day churches it has been one or the other and not both together. 

Recently a couple of great men of God passed away who missed this completely in their churches. 

God took these men home early because I believe the time of imbalance is over.

To only emphasize one aspect of the correct balance, like these men of God did in their churches was very wrong.

 God had to remove these influential men from the scene in order to start to correct a great wrong in the Church in the land today.

It is wrong to emphasize only one side of the equation but it is right to have a balance of both in equality.

Do you want to see God moving in your midst in power and mighty majesty?

 Do you want to see the Holy Spirit rain down in your midst in magnificent revival?

The Scriptures and the Power of Almighty God together will accomplish this.

Has the modern day church been deceived into thinking that it could operate in a lopsided fashion and accomplish anything?

 A true New Testament Church will operate in a balance of the Word and in Power of the Holy Spirit if it wants to impact this our world in this day and age.

Some Christians have been taught for years that their knowledge of the Scriptures was enough, that their emphasis of correct doctrines was enough.

 They believed sincerely that it was enough and the only way to conduct "church." 

Anything else was totally irrelevant and unnecessary to them. 

The Power of God moving in signs and wonders was only something that happens on the pages of their Bibles and not really for today.

To think like that is to be imbalanced. 

The Word and the Spirit, balance.

The New Testament Church is not complete without signs and wonders!

Jesus said to our early Church founders, "Stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high...You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you."
Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8.

The apostle Paul warned us against "having a form of godliness but denying its power."
2 Tim 3:5

Balance is the basis upon which God will grant spiritual power to His New Testament Church.


The truly emergent church of today will be a church of balance, a true restoration of a New Testament Church in the Land.

 Not a powerless, boring church but a Church in revival where souls are being saved on a daily basis in Almighty God power of the Holy Spirit and in in the doctrines and teaching of the Word of God!

BALANCE!

I have fought to bring this message to others my entire walk with God. 

Fighting to bring about balance.

 I have been asked to go away because of my message at times. 

But my prophetic calling in the Lord requires me to bring this message to others in the Body of Christ. 

You can plainly see why.

We will see the restoration of the New Testament Church! 

And then, and only then will there be the greatest out pouring of God's Holy Spirit in the land like never before in the Church.

Church are you listening?

 Are you beginning to get it? 

Do you want to walk in perfect balance?

There is coming a birthing of the promises of God, the Isaac of God.

 The Ishmael church is falling apart without their leadership that God has now removed. 

We will begin to see in the land a restoration of the New Testament Church of balance. 

This is the promised Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ represented in the land that will shine brightly before all the eyes of the earth in this our time...

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Update 3/1/2015

I discovered that there is a book by the controversial prophet Paul Cain.

Paul is a man who once ministered in a traveling tent ministry, along with pastor Chuck Smith in the days of their youth.

In this book Cain and Kendall share what I have been saying about the balance of the Word and the Spirit.


You can get it now on Kindle. ( I have no affiliation or monetary connection to the sale of this book, I am only sharing it because it goes into detail about what I have been teaching here.)

The Restoration of The New Testament Church is one of balance!

David Sloane

Freedom Or Subterfuge? Depends How You Look At It.

There Is A New Oblique, Invisible, Free Internet Project That Is Better Than "TOR" some believe.

This is going to upset the private contractor watchers for sure!

The coders have been at it again.

There is a new player in town called 12P. 

 All communication is end-to-end encrypted (in total there are four layers of encryption used when sending a message), and even the end points ("destinations") are cryptographic identifiers (essentially a pair of public keys), so that neither sender nor recipient of a message need to reveal their IP address to the other side or to third-party observers.

 Although both Tor and I2P are anonymity networks, there are some key differences. One of those differences is the greater degree of decentralization that I2P offers.

 If you're not using Tor, your location and activity is constantly being tracked. With Tor, the pitch goes, you're basically invisible.

 “Tor takes the directory-based approach - providing a centralized point to manage the overall 'view' of the network, as well as gather and report statistics, as opposed to I2P's distributed netwo​rk database and peer selection,” according to the I2P website

 Whereas Tor relies on a set of relays run by volunteers, and then people use their computer to connect to the network, I2P takes a peer-to-peer approach, and makes every user's computer a node in the network itself. “Essentially all peers participate in routing for others,” the I2P​ site reads.

 The “about” section of the I2P website reads very similarly to that of the Tor Project's.

 “I2P is used by many people who care about their privacy,” the site reads, “activists, oppressed people, journalists and whistelblowers, as well as the average person.”

This anonymous swarming is called 12P.

We don't recommend it. 

Tor has had more developers and more funding while 12P is new and has fewer developers and less funding.


And as always, nefarious types will utilize this technology to their advantage. 

So the cat and mouse syndrome continues as law enforcement has another layer to deal with in their never ending efforts to bring law and order. 

The best way to use TOR is by using "Tails."

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Powerful Explosive Series Of Solid Compact Biblically Correct Sermonettes By Pastor Jim Ewing

Today I believe the Lord had me bring up this series of sermonettes by Pastor Jim Ewing.

Though they are short, they pack a wallop.

Pastor Jim has a way of presenting to us Biblical truths in such a way that it is very powerful and straight to the point.

Biblically correct truths shot from the bow of a man of God who knows were of he speaks.

It is rare to find such a man these days.

But we have been blessed to have found him and that which he produces through the Holy Spirit.

I am certain that you too will agree with me after you read these short amazingly relevant and powerfully timeless words from the man of God!

David Sloane

***


2 Corinthians 4:10,11- "Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh." 
...verse 16, " For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day".

The life of the apostle Paul absolutely amazes me! Over and over again in his epistles, you cannot help but see his utter selflessness and devotion to Christ, and his God-given love for people.

 Today as I read through 2 Corinthians, I was again struck by his accepting- with joy- the pain and extremely rough circumstances in which he found himself.
No complaining, no self-pity, no pining for physical comfort or better days. He had one focus, and that focus was Christ.

I pray that God will cause us to see- with our spiritual eyes- this incredible devotion, and that in seeing this, He will cause us to yearn for Him, to desire Him, to covet Him in such a way that it in turn causes a life-changing passion in our hearts that nothing on earth can quench!

Read Paul's epistles- any of them- and in every verse you can feel the pain, the agony, the anguish of soul that brought him to this deep love for his Savior.

He never regretted any of what his Lord had brought him through to get him to the point of absolute surrender because he adored Jesus Christ so much that he did not regard his own life.....

Very different than so much of what passes for 'ministry' these days, isn't it? You don't hear any 'prosperity' or 'comfort' or 'your own rights', or even legalistic teachings coming from Paul, and you shouldn't be hearing these things from those who preach the Gospel today!

Why do we so desire comfort? Why do we covet 'respectability', or eloquence, or admiration? Why do we want to please man rather than God?

We Christians are to preach and teach Christ- crucified and risen-NOW, while there's breath left in us.
 Please understand that my aim here is not to look for faults or to castigate ministers of today, but rather to contrast much of what we hear today with the truth of the actual Gospel of Christ, and in so doing, I fervently pray that God would take hold of the hearts of His people and move them back to Him.
The apostle Paul would not tolerate error or false teaching concerning the things of God- His life was thoroughly Christ's, and he always pointed people to the cross. May we all imitate his example. 
Pastor Jim Ewing
En Agape,

***

Philippians 3:10..."That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death..."

How about that?
We can understand Paul's passion to 'know Him, and the power of His resurrection', but to honestly desire the fellowship of His sufferings?
 Most people prefer to flee suffering, yet the apostle actually YEARNS for it, because he knows that in it, he more perfectly identifies with his Lord, and the suffering that he refers to is all the direct result of his overt and aggressive stand for Jesus Christ.

What exactly is the secret to Paul's overwhelming devotion to Christ? We've seen that he had an uncommon passion for his Savior, and a sincere love that most Christians wish that THEY had.
Well, the 'secret' (and the truth) is that every single believer who desires this passion, this devotion, this love- may have it, may experience it, may receive it and give it out freely to others (the natural outflow of receiving), but how?

I've already mentioned how greatly I admire the apostle Paul, but the truth is that the apostle himself was not the author of the divine love in his own heart!
 Let's look at Acts 9:1-6..."And Saul (the name he was then known by), yet breathing threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way (followers of Christ), whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven; and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 
And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. An d he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do."

Here Paul (Saul) is spending much of his time and energy attempting to destroy all the Christians he can, yet in a second, he is on the ground asking Jesus what He would have him do!

It was the Lord Himself who simply but powerfully intervened, and Paul was changed- forever changed- from that moment on- transformed from an enemy of God to a powerfully used apostle of that same Almighty God!

You see, only God Himself can truly change a heart and life by His Spirit, and He is able to take the lowest, the most selfish, the meanest, the most unlikely of people, and not only make him or her His child, but to give that believer a love that that one has never before known, or even thought possible!

Christian, do you want to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength? Do you want a Paul-like passion for Jesus that is genuine?
Then understand that it is the Holy Spirit in you, drawing you to that desire for Him, and simply surrender to Him.
You are not the author of this wonderful love, but you may have as much of it as you will, and as you receive it, you'll find that you're also giving it out to others, and THIS is true ministry! There is no telling what God will do in and through you- just ask the apostle Paul!

En Agape,
Pastor Jim Ewing

***

Galatians 6:12-14 "As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 
For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. 
23
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."


The old testament, with the law and the prophets, the animal sacrifices, and all that they entail, points FORWARD to the cross of Christ.
The new testament points BACK to the cross, but the entire Word of God does indeed point TO that cross.

To the lost, Christ's death on the cross makes no sense, and is even ridiculed- 1 Corinthians 1:18 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."

Sadly, even in some Christian circles, the cross is minimized, with the preaching of the Gospel, in all of its power and glory, giving way to more pleasant, costless, self-gratifying teachings...

Oh, and don't forget the coffee, and the 'I'm OK, You're OK' pat on the back as you leave the church! I'll tell you, the world will never see the need for the cross unless and until WE see the need for it!
The crucifixion of our Lord is not only a painful yet wonderful event which took place 2000 years in the past- it is a God-ordained way of life for the believer. The cross experience is something that every single believer will go through- God sees to that as the Orchestrator of all of our circumstances. No one escapes it, as our God loves us too much to let us.
The cross in our lives brings us to maturity in Christ, causes to see life as we should and as it is (in reality, not mere fancy or opinion), and brings EVERYTHING that happens in this world into perspective.

The apostle Paul spoke so much of the cross- both the historical event and its work in his own life, because he was intimately acquainted with it. Are we?
God have mercy on us, we MUST be! When we truly know the cross in our own lives, it will guard us from doctrines of demons and every false teaching that may be thrown at us, because it is what God uses to check us.
Our emotions, our feelings, our intentions, our ambitions- they all must be put at the foot of the cross of Christ, and as they are, we experience life as we were intended to.

Listen to Paul, and listen intently- "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me."
He knew that the wonderful relationship which he had with his Savior was due to Christ's death on that cross, and he knew that the cross worked in his life DAILY.....

Lord Jesus, let us see this precious truth for ourselves, that we may submit to it and therefore more passionately follow You!

Pastor Jim Ewing

***

Romans 8:11 "If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you."
 

We have previously taken a look at the cross, both in terms of the historical event and of its continual work in the believer's life as we walk with Christ.
Now we will take a look at the resurrection of Christ, for without the resurrection, the cross would have been incomplete- and God never does anything in an incomplete manner.
We must always remember that the cross and the resurrection go together. Both were necessary to secure our salvation.
God sent His Beloved Son to a cross to take away all of our sins, and three days later raised Him up from the dead, guaranteeing our own resurrection from death's ugly, but now temporary grip. Because of this, praise God, we now have eternal life.

In the garden of Eden, man died- remember? Genesis 2:17- "In the day that you eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall surely DIE."
So the DEATH of Christ took away our sins, and the RESURRECTION of our Savior gave us back what man had lost way back in Genesis- LIFE. Give God praise for His unfathomable love! Catch a glimpse of that love and you will never be the same...

Just as the cross has both historical and constant, practical meaning in the life of the Christian, so also does the resurrection. God uses the cross in our lives to break us of our self-will, ordering our circumstances to bring us to a place of total surrender. He will not let up until we relent, so great is His love for us.

The resurrection experience, on the other hand, is what God gives us to overcome and be victorious in our circumstances. You will find yourself reacting, not out of your flesh, but with the power of God, and then wonder how you did that.
That is the resurrection of Christ working in your life. Slowly but surely, you will find yourself looking THROUGH the painful experiences on to the complete victory, because you will tend to (more and more) see the whole picture, rather than just the momentary suffering.
 2 Corinthians 4:17 & 18 - "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."

The apostle Paul went through incredible and protracted suffering, yet he sees the hand of God in it so clearly that he refers to all of it as 'light affliction'! Can anyone say RESURRECTION POWER?
 I am humbled when I see the degree of the workings of both the cross and resurrection in Paul's life....Let us thank God now- for the historical reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and for its daily, moment by moment practical power in our own lives!

En Agape,
Pastor Jim Ewing

***

Matthew 28:20 "...and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." ...
Beloved of the Lord, I am about to delve into a subject that few believers even ponder, yet we all know the reality of it.
I can remember listening to a taped recording of the rev. R. Brant Baker, original pastor of Shekinah Fellowship, just over thirty years ago as he said very simply, We forget that Jesus is always with us...".

Now, those words were so elementary, so simple, weren't they?
I'm sure that they got a few 'amen's from the congregation to whom he was speaking at the time, but they caught my own attention to the point that my mind was absolutely fixed, as it were, on those words, and despite the fact that his message continued on, I could only keep hearing those words over and over again, "We forget that Jesus is always with us."

The reality of it all hit me that night- It is an absolute spiritual fact that our Savior is with us always...every moment of the day and night, and that fact will continue to be so until we either breathe our last and then die, or He returns to the earth, abolishing the ugly spectacle of death once and for all....

Did you just feel your spirit jump within you as you read those words?
Christian, this is a fact which can never be taken from the believer, and it is as real as the cross of Christ and His resurrection from the dead!

 If you are in Christ, then His Presence never leaves you. Hebrews 13:5 says,"I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

This fact was very real to the early, persecuted Church- real enough that they were willing to die for their testimony of the Beloved Savior. We've forgotten that, haven't we?
 We have gotten so comfortable in our faith that we forget that many of those who went on before us suffered greatly for the Gospel 's sake, even to the point of death.

But they were never dissuaded from the truth that their Lord was WITH them unto the very end of their earthly existence, because they knew that His Presence was a fact, not as a principle, but as a total reality, one that they GLADLY staked their very lives upon.....

Jesus, when He was teaching His disciples, did not speak from the position of doctrine (we believers disagree on much of what we call doctrine, don't we?), rather, He spoke TRUTH, and He never spoke anything BUT the truth.

He always lived the truth, and in fact, He WAS and IS the Truth- John 14:6- "I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life..."
His very Presence, just after telling Peter to "launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught" following an unsuccessful night of fishing, was enough to prompt the fisherman to entreat Him, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." (Luke 5:8)...

My point in all of this is that we as believers must see that, regardless of what we endure, no matter what or how we may feel at the present time (and times may indeed be extremely rough), He is, in absolute reality, our constant Companion.
We needn't try to imagine that this is so, we mustn't merely hope that it's true, we must reckon it so, and act upon that fact- FACT.
As we do this, He will burn the reality of His Presence deep within our souls. It will never be because we try to 'visualize' it, it cannot be because we wish it into being, or because we believe that we've been good and faithful to Him.

 He is with us always, because He said He would be, and He is faithful to His Word, and to His people.....

Believe Him, move in that truth, Christian, and you will never be satisfied with 'wishin' and hoping'' ever again. You have His word on it!

En Agape,
Pastor Jim Ewing

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Luke 9:62- "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

Sobering words, aren't they?

 But our Savior has brought us into new life, and He intends for us to walk continuously IN that life, from the moment that He wonderfully apprehends us, to the very last breath that we take.

The believer was never meant to be static in this faith that God has so graciously given us- rather, we are to constantly press forward, as the apostle Paul said- "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).

Notice that I often quote Paul? It is because he realized that he was 'plucked from the fire', as it were, by the Lord- and he didn't want to waste one moment of the new life that God had given him. He was always grateful to Jesus Christ for having saved him, and it was so apparent in everything that he wrote, from the first of his epistles to the last.

 He actually desired to 'depart and be with Christ', rather than to go on living in this world (Philippians 1:23-24), thou he knew that it was more beneficial to the young body of believers in Philippi (and no doubt to the rest of the early Church) if he remained for awhile......

There is nothing more unattractive than a static believer, especially when God has given us so much to do!

 There are Divine appointments that God places in every believer's life, yet some of us live as though we think that we were called to sit back, relax, sing hymns, and wait for the Lord to 'rapture' us out of our Cadillac on the way to the church picnic!

 How sad. Where is the passion? Where is the 'fire' that seems to characterize so few of us, when it is the same Savior who calls ALL of His people from EVERY age and time to an INTIMATE relationship with Him?

Well, the blame certainly d does not fall on Christ! He has not changed (Hebrews 13:8- "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.") He still constantly woos us by His Spirit, but we must respond. Please RESPOND!.....

Now this is going to be a crude illustration, but it'll help get my point across. Back in the summer of '76, I worked in some wheat fields in eastern Washington.

The farm that this man lives on had a bunch of chickens inside a short fence.

 One of my co-workers showed me something that amazed me- he climbed over the fence and grabbed one of the chickens, putting it's left wing over it's head (covering it's eyes), and moved that chicken in a circular, clockwise motion for just a few seconds- that's all it took.

 The chicken fell fast asleep, and when my friend put it back on the ground, it just lay there in a slumber. I was shown this a number of times, and even did it myself, grabbing one of the chickens, and putting it to sleep.

The most fascinating thing about it though, was that every single time a slumbering chicken was placed back on the ground, one of the other chickens would see that it was sleeping, run over to it and 'peck' it awake!

It was as if the other chickens were saying, "Hey, wake up! It's not evening- what do you think you're doing? It is daytime. You need to be awake!" ....

Well, I warned you that it would be a crude illustration, but I tell ya'- Sometimes I want to go and 'peck' certain believers awake, "Hey, wake up! It's still daytime- the night has not yet arrived...

God has work for you to do!

 You still have breath in you- use it to pant after the Lord and to reach others while there's still time!

Pursue this dynamic relationship that Christ draws you to, NOW!

C'mon- wake up! For the love of our Savior, WAKE UP!"

Pastor Jim Ewing

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John 4:24- "God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth."
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Now, here is a verse that we all know and can easily quote, but so few believers seem to know just what it means.

I want to cut to the chase on the subject of idolatry, not because it is a characteristic of a lost and dying world, but because the Church herself is presently so involved in it.
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I do not want you think that I like 'picking' at faults among the Body of Christ, because I don't, and I do not believe in seeking out problems just to have something to write about.

The fact is, though, that many, many of today's Christians have such misconceptions of the nature of God, that they do not realize that we require the leading of the Holy Spirit- even in terms of how to worship our Lord.

 Because of these misconceptions, believers (and non-believers as well) will often reach for 'tangible' objects to worship in place of our Holy God. Sometimes this is done with the best of intentions, but it is idolatry nonetheless, and must be thoroughly avoided.
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There is absolutely no substitute for the living God in the lives of believers, and we must see that. Not our own ideas of God, not 'images' of Him, but Almighty God Himself- as He IS, not as we would have Him.....

The Israelites had such a tough time just being without Moses for a few days that they managed to convince Aaron to "make us gods, which will go before us" (Exodus 32:1-6).

A golden calf was the pathetic result. What an insult to our Holy, Righteous God!

You would think we'd have learned over the years that only God could satisfy our spiritual hunger, yet history is replete with examples and stories of people attempting to reach God in their 'own way', completely ignoring the fact that "God is Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth".

I believe that the Lord has hidden the arc of the covenant purposely, for He knew that if it had been found, generations of people would have worshipped IT instead of HIM...

The shroud of Turin is a prime example of believers worshipping something other than Christ. So what if it is genuine?

He's not there! He's not in the empty tomb either, and there's nothing sacred about a tomb, no matter who was laid in it.....

Did you know that Adolf Hitler searched for years for the spear that pierced Jesus' side?

Why?

Did he think that it would somehow bless or protect him?

It was a stinkin' spear, for goodness sakes! ...

Do you remember the big movie, "The Robe"?

If not, you can probably guess what it was about. But the robe that Jesus wore had no power- HE had power. Why has that always been so difficult for the Church to understand?

I'm so glad that there were no cameras in the days when Jesus walked the earth, for if t here had been, then photos of the Savior would have been worshipped, sold, looked to for help, and put in peoples' tunics for good luck- and you know that!

I've previously mentioned that there are people in certain countries who actually whip and even allow themselves to be nailed to a cross for a while during 'special' times of the year in order to get closer to the Lord.

What a ridiculous display of unbelief! Why is it so hard to believe that HE took our punishment, and that none of our own efforts are of any value whatsoever?

We believe the Gospel, yet we feel that we must add this or that to it, don't we?

 It's so difficult and so cutting to our pride to simply believe and receive what our blessed Savior has done for us, so we look to other things to make us 'spiritual' IN ADDITION to the cross and resurrection. How can you truly adore Him when you can't even believe Him?....

2 Corinthians 5:19 "...God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."

Now, what does He desire that our response be? The next verse tells us- "Be ye reconciled to God."

So simple, right? Then why do we insist on adding to His wonderful work?

 When you attempt to add to the cross and resurrection, you take away from them. When you try adding to God's grace (and there are so many ways that we try), then you take away His grace, because you refuse to see that HIS work is complete and quite sufficient to have dealt with your sin FOREVER.

That refusal, beloved, is IDOLATRY, and it is a stench in the nostrils of God! Stop trying- start believing. Seek HIS face. Worship HIM in Spirit and in truth. Adore Him and only Him.......

I'm going to leave you with a beautiful scripture from the psalms.

 "When thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek." (Psalm 27:8)...

Make that your prayer as you worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

God bless you,
Pastor Jim Ewing


***


Psalm 139:7- "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your Presence?"  
Proverbs 20:7- "The Lamp of the Lord searches the spirit of a man; It searches out his inmost being." 
Luke 24:49- "I am going to send you what My Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.".....


Who is the Holy Spirit?
 He is nothing less than God Almighty.
We see from these verses that He is everywhere at all times and that we can never escape His Presence, that He searches the spirit of man and knows us to the very core, and that He desires that His people wait upon Him.
He knows that we absolutely require His constant Presence and makes Himself known to us, but do we allow Him to move as He would in every detail in our lives? We believe Him, yes- but do we allow Him to be what He intends to be in our lives?

Remember that He always points to Christ, always testifies of Christ, always draws people, by His power, to Christ (John 15:26).
 He enables believers to be passionate witnesses for our Savior- and the power is HIS. 
Why then, do we act as if we we're ashamed of Him? Many of God's own children treat the Holy Spirit like the proverbial 'ugly stepchild'.
We want to intellectualize everything spiritual and make the Holy Spirit fit into our nice, 'tidy', 'respectable' idea of our own churchianity- and then we have the gall to wonder why He doesn't move in and through us as we know He desires to!....

God have mercy on us, we must stop trying to be 'gate keepers' for the Spirit of God!
We cannot use Him (remember, He is God)- rather, we have the incredible privilege of being open, willing, yielded vessels through whom He can move, yet we want to relegate Him to the back room for fear that He may do something among us which brings us out of our comfort zone- after all, what would we do if lives were actually touched and changed?
What do we do if He steps out of the 'box' that we try to put Him into?....

Let's look directly into the mirror and ask ourselves, "How much of God do I really want in my life? Do I desire 'rivers of Living Water' gushing through my soul, as God would love to pour into me, or am I satisfied with an intermittent drip?
We're the ones who limit Him- it is He who would do so much more in and through us, if we were only willing!
Remember that as we receive, we also give out. We are the Body of Christ, and we were never meant to be stingy, either in receiving, or in giving out- that's simply not God's way of doing things. 
He is always robust, always so generous in His love, mercy and life changing power, and He would have us be the same- after all, we are HIS children!....

I urge every believer who senses a 'dryness' in his or her life to begin seeking- earnestly- the very heart of God.

 Allow His Spirit to move in you, first individually, then as a body, in a totally yielded and open manner, and ask Him to do all of the wonderful things in and through your life that He would. He will not lead you into anything silly or ridiculous, and He will never violate His Word.

 He WILL begin to move POWERFULLY in you, and He WILL give you a new-found adoration of Him, though. Are you up for it?


En Agape'
Pastor Jim Ewing