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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bait of Satan

Bait of Satan

Taking offence can trap you. Learn how to not be ensnared in victim mentality and walk in forgiveness. Satan is laying traps for you, and his most deceptive snare is attacks on your person. Learn how to respond to hurts and insults in a godly way.

OFFENCE (OFFENSE) 1. skandalon ^4625^ originally was "the name of the part of a trap to which the bait is attached, hence, the trap or snare itself. "In NT skandalon is always used metaphorically, and ordinarily of anything that arouses prejudice, or becomes a hindrance to others, or causes them to fall by the way. Sometimes the hindrance is in itself good, and those stumbled by it are the wicked. (from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)
(Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
The Readers Digest Universal Dictionary defines " to take offence" as a) to become angered, b) displeased, c) resentful, d) even to feel hurt. " To offend as to a) create or excite anger, b) resentment or annoyance, c) or hurt the feelings of, d) to be displeasing or disagreeable to.

Have you been trapped? This book exposes one of Satan's most deceptive snares used to pull believers out of God's will. It is the trap of offence. Jesus said, "It is impossible that offences will not come" (Luke 17:1). Nevertheless, most people who are ensnared by the bait of Satan don't even realise it. So don't be fooled! You Will encounter offence, and it's up to you how you're going to let it affect your relationship with God. Your response will determine your future. You can be delivered from the bait of Satan, stay free from offence and escape the victim mentality. Don't let another's sin or mistake affect your relationship with God!

Contents:1. Me, Offended
2. Massive Offensive
3. How Could This Happen to Me
4. My Father, My Father!
5. How Spiritual Vagabonds Are Born
6. Hiding From Reality
7. The Sure Foundation
8. All That Can Be Shaken Will Be Shaken
9. The Rock of Offence
10. Lest We Offend Them
11. Forgiveness: You Don't Give - You Don't Get
12. Revenge: The Trap
13. Escaping the Trap
14. Objective: Reconciliation

Many who were involved with Shekinah Fellowship left because they were offended. Some were harshly treated and wrongly accused.

When offence comes upon us we must deal with it or become ensnared. If ensnared, and not properly delt with, the offence leads to bitterness. Bitterness destroys.

Hebrews 12:15looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

Ever run across people who have been offended and have not forgiven the offender? There is such bitterness towards the offender. Paul tells us that it is a 'root' of bitterness that springs up and causes trouble. The net result is that many become 'defiled' by it.

John Bevere goes into depth with this topic in his excellent book. I am not pitching his book, that is not my intention here. I do regard his book as a resource that covers the ground with grace to counter the roots of bitterness. If anyone were to look deep within their soul and honestly assess that they have not released the offender by which offence entered their life, they may, by the grace of God, realize that they have roots of bitterness choking out blessing.

John takes the reader through, in detail, how offence can occur and what to do about it from a biblical perspective.

Thousands Urged to Throw Out Pre-Conceived Notions of Christianity


Thousands Urged to Throw Out Pre-Conceived Notions of Christianity


"I want you to throw out your pre-conceived notions about Christianity for a moment and think about what Jesus said," a national evangelist told thousands seated at the Amphitheater at California State University Stanislaus.

Some 48,000 people flocked to the Harvest Crusade with thousands more watching top Christian artists perform and Laurie preach via live webcasts. The evangelistic crusade has been months in the making, involving around 150 churches and 3,000 local volunteers.

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20070827/29077_Thousands_Urged_to_Throw_Out_Pre-Conceived_Notions_of_Christianity.htm

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Revival


By Pastor Brant Baker

The world wants and must see something so spectacular and so beyond all comprehension for it to believe, or it won't believe at all. The world must see Jesus Christ, "The same yesterday, today, and forever, "You must pray with everything you have, for God has made a requirement of you and He still has yet to be inquired of for this revival. A thousand people could rock the face of the earth in one day; and just as on Pentecost, there would be one of the greatest explosions of the Glory of God.

"So shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men." (Ezekiel 37:38) The churches are empty buildings with empty people and with pulpits devoid of the Word of God and of the truth of Spirit and worship. Chuck Smith, Pastor of Calvary Chapel, and his wife Kay, would spend hours in prayer before the Lord, begging for the revival of souls and for those (later to become known as Jesus People) who would be coming to their church. It didn't just happen! They sought the Lord with everything within them. Before this mass of people came into this Foursquare Church, the church members shephered by Pastor Adams prayed before the Lord that He would do something in this church. If you never have another thing to come before His throne about- you have a need concerning souls.

God said He would be inquired of for this one thing, and as long as there is one sinner that does not have salvation and yet will receive it from Almighty God, God will yet be inquired of. Now, let's find those so we may inquire of Him for their salvation. "And they shall know that I am the Lord." (Ezekiel)

The world today laughs at a dead and superficial Church. Many ministers are scared tp preach the Word of God. Spurgeon, the great commentator on the Word of God, would have burned our ears right off our heads.

Finney would have humbled us to the place where we would slide from our chairs and beg the mercy og God Almighty for our hatred of ourselves and of others that would not seek Him in prayer.

Moody and Aimee Semple McPherson would be saddened to see what has happened today. They knew and saw the utter desolation of souls. At the beginning of their ministries thay shared and preached the basic truths only to their families. The result has been resounding throughout eternity to this day.

I pray that God will wake us up, too. Revive us again, Oh Lord! Fill the empty cities with the flocks of the Lord and those empty churches with the praises of men. Fill what is left to be filled, with Christ, and come and take us. Jesus, have mercy on us and we thank You for Your grace- that You have not erased us for our slothfulness. But Lord, You have borne with us which proves to us that You love us and will never leave us or forsake us, even when we are being so ineffective because of our selfish, cold hearts and our lack of faith and love.
This first appeared in the Shekinah Fellowship magazine Vol. 1, No. 2, Summer 1975, page 21

Bob Laidlaw


Bob Laidlaw


Bob Laidlaw was a deacon in a Southern Baptist church for eight years. 


He not only has recently been filled with the Holy Spirit but he has also received a wonderful eye healing.

 Bob feels that his eyes have been opened both spiritually and physically.

 He loves to share with others about the love and power of God.

When Bob was nine years old, he watched an eclipse of the sun without a covering for his eyes.

 As a result, his right eye became partially blind.

 He couldn't pinpoint objects, and he could see only a very small area with his bad eye.

 He's been suffering with this problem for 28 years.

Bob came to the Shekinah service in Long Beach CA for the second time on January 12, 1974.

 He was very skeptical of healings' but he felt that the Lord wanted him to go forward for prayer.

One of the workers prayed with him as he was standing in the prayer line.

He looked up and realized that he could see!

His eye had opened!

As pastor Brant Baker approached him and prayed for him, Bob was filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit.

 

He sensed the presence of God in a powerful new way.


Bob is no longer a skeptic.

He knows that Jesus is still healing people.

He has restored eyesight to prove it.

Bob shares the new life that he's found in Christ like this, "I was never able to love anybody, and now I love everyone. It's hard to love people or yourself, without Christ."

This testimony first appeared in the Shekinah Fellowship magazine Vol. 1, No. 2, Summer 1975, page 11

Barbara Dixon


Barbara Dixon

Barbara Dixon is grateful to the Lord that she is alive today. One year ago, she was told that she had one month to live. Today she can tell the amazing story of her instant healing.

In December of 1970, Barbara had surgery for a back injury, four years later, in 1974, her back still was not healing properly and had not improved. This caused her doctor to send her to a neurologist. The neurologist discovered that Barbara had myasthenia gravis, a neuro-muscular disease, which is incurable and fatal. The disease causes the muscles of the body to collapse and deteriorate.

The very same day that Barbara was healed, June 14, 1974, her doctor told her she had one month to live. That night, Barbara came to Shekinah Fellowship's miracle healing service in San Diego CA. She could barely walk into the service. Her facial muscles had fallen and were separated. Her vision was double and blurry. Her voice almost gone. Her head hung because she had no strength in her neck. Barbara puts it, "I was a mess!"

During the healing service, Brant said that a muscle disease was being healed. Barbara felt the Lord touch her, but could not tell no physical diffrence right then. About thirty minutes after Barbara left the service, her friend Shirley, began to see a change in Barbara.

Within two hours after the service, Barbara's facial muscles had lifted, her strength had returned and she was literally running up and down the street of her neighborhood, completely healed! Her doctor was amazed at the healing. He's never seen anything like it.

Barbara also received a complete spiritual renewal. She said, "Of all that God has done, the personal grace and the personal faithfulness of Christ brings me on my knees every day. I've never found words to express what is in my soul."

This testimony first appeared in the Shekinah Fellowship magazine Vol. 1, No. 2, Summer 1975, page 6

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Harry Atlas

Harry Atlas

Harry Atlas is a completed Jew.

Harry and his wife Ruth both found Jesus as their Messiah in July of 1973.

They are now living a new life with Christ being the center and Lord of their lives.

Harry recently received a healing of his punctured eardrum.

While on active duty in World War II, a bomb exploded near Harry, killing two of his companions and putting him in the hospital.

While in the hospital, the doctors told Harry that one of his eardrums had been punctured from the blast and he would always have problems with it.

 Since that time, he is unable to go swimming because of water getting into his inner ear, this would cause pain.

On April 19th, Harry was at the Long Beach miracle service of Shekinah Fellowship and "punctured eardrum" was being called out over and over again during the healing service.

Claiming his healing, Harry went to his doctor for a physical and his doctor couldn't even tell which ear had been injured!

 Now that his ear is healed, Harry wants to be baptized, which is something he could never have done before.

In August of 1973, Harry was also healed of arthritis that he suffered with for two years.

 X~rays had shown that he had calcium deposits on his bones, and a pinched nerve.

 After his healing, more X~rays were taken and he was completely healed.

Harry and Ruth both give God all the glory for what He has done in their lives, and they pray that you will, too.

This testimony first appeared in the Shekinah Fellowship magazine Vol.1, No.2, Summer of 1975, page 9.

Lena Bennink

Lena Bennink

Lena Bennink of Sterling, Alberta, Canada, will never be the same now that Jesus has touched her both physically and spiritually.

Lena has had a bad back for 26 years. The condition started when she had rheumatic fever as a youngster. Fifteen years ago her doctor put her in a body cast to try to improve the condition. She wore the cast for six months, but it did not improve her condition.

Through the years, her condition worsened. Finally, three years ago she had major surgery done on her back. A fusion was performed. The operation consists of taking a 2 by 4 inch piece of bone out of her hip, cutting it in the shape of an "H" and replacing the disc. Because of the poor condition of her bones, the doctor said the chances of success were limited. She wore a brace for eight months.

By November of last year her condition had worsened to the point that she could no longer get out of bed, and she was taking up to 50 pain pills a day. Her doctor had taken new X-rays and discovered that the surgery had failed and the bone had collapsed. Lean was told that she would end up in a wheel chair.

Lena's mother came to visit Lena's brother, Jerry, for Christmas. They came to our service in Angelus Temple on January 25, 1975. During the healing service, word of knowledge went out for back healings. Brant told everyone with back problems to stand up. Before they knew what they were doing, Jerry and his mother stood up. A worker came to pray with them for Lena.

The next day, Lena, who was in Canada asleep in bed, woke up startled when she heard the bedroom windows rattle. Suddenly, she realized she was standing in the middle of the floor, three feet from her bed. Usually, she would have to pull herself up using her dresser for support, and here she was free from pain. It took three weeks for her to come to the realization of what happened and tell her family about her healing.

She went bact to her doctor and he was amazed at the vast improvement in mobility of her back. She has absolutely no pain and is off medication. She also has thalassemia, a blood disease similar to bone cancer. Last time she went to the doctor, he said it was much improved.

Lena is so grateful to the Lord for her beautiful healing, and for the spiritual change and unity brought about in her family. Before, she relates, they didn't know Jesus in a personal way, and they were involved in the cares of this life. Now, Lena sums it up with a beaming smile and says, "Now all that matters is Jesus!"

This testimony first appeared in the Shekinah Fellowship magazine Vol.1, No.2, Summer of 1975, page 7.

Connie Clement

Connie Clement

Connie Clement, like so many others who come to Shekinah Fellowship, came as a skeptic of God's ability to move in supernatural ways but left knowing that God is just as real and powerful today as He's always been in the past.

For 15 years, Connie had been suffering with a back injury sustained while dancing, when she twisted her ankle and fell. As a result of the injury, certain movements would make her back "catch," causing such intense pain that she would usually scream and cry. It would take about 10 to 15 minutes to move her into a position where the pain would be relieved. This happened two or three times a week, especially while sleeping. The doctors told her that she would have to learn to live with it.

One Saturday night, she and her sister came to Shekinah, notebooks in hand, with the intent of writing down all the tricks which were causing people to believe that what was happening was of God. Then they were going to go back and explain to her nephew and his friends, who believed in the healings done at Shekinah, so they would not be a part of it any longer. She didn't even sing because she didn't want to get caught up in participating, she just wanted to observe. She enjoyed the music though, and thought the Word of God was fantastic. As the healing service began, they got out their notebooks but something unexpected happened to Connie. The power of the Holy Spirit came upon her and she couldn't move. She described it as being consious but totally helpless.

After a while, she was able to give her full attention to Brant and heard him saying that someone was being healed of a spinal condition. She knew it had to be her because another "jolt" of the Holy Spirit went through her body and she also began shaking so bad that her teeth were chattering. When she went up for prayer, the Lord continued to touch her but in a more important way~ in the innermost depths of her spirit. She began filling up with peace, love, and joy and became aware He is real and that "Jesus is alive! He really did rise out of that tomb!"

Before, she didn't like people that well but now she had a love for everyone she saw.

Not only has her whole life been changed through her physical and spiritual healing, but many others have been affected also. Shortly after this her husband, who was against "religion" and would not go to church, noticed such a change in Connie, that he opened his heart to Jesus and accepted Him as Lord and Saviour. Others in her family have also been touched by this miracle of God.

The Lord is so merciful. Even when we doubt His ability to move in supernatural ways, He still shows His love by going out of His way to let us know that He is Almighty God.

This testimony first appeared in the Shekinah Fellowship magazine Vol. 1, No. 2, Summer 1975, page 6

Willie And Johannas Rudolph

Willie And Johannas Rudolph

"This is fantastic!"
These are the exact words of Willie Rudolph's physician confirming her healing by God of coronary heart condition. Last May, during a service, word of knowledge was called out that a coronary heart condition was being healed. Willie knew who it was because she was trembling and hot and cold chills flowed through her body. God gave her a like~new heart, a complete healing.

God did not stop there. In 1967 Willie had fallen from a diving board and injured her back. A nerve was pinched causing intense pain.

Again, He touched her. This was in July at Angelus Temple. A week later she was healed of a tumor on her uterus.

Johannas Rudolph (Willie's husband) had an illness that medicine today can only control- diabetes. He had this for five years.

On July 13, 1974, God healed Johannas of this illness.

"I waited several months before I testified in a service," confessed Johannas. He wanted to "test" the healing out.

Doctors tested him also. It is confirmed that the diabetes is gone. Johannas has had no medication since that day.

As a result of Willie and Johannas healings from God, even greater miracles have been given...mainly that many of their family have received the Lord Jesus as Savior.

He lives.

This testimony first appeared in the Shekinah Fellowship magazine Vol. 1, No 1, Page 15, Spring of 1975

Jonny Peck

Jonny Peck

As this summer approaches Jonny Peck, age 5, can look forward with glee to frolicking with friends out back. Not so true in four summers prior to his marvelous healing.

Jonny entered this world two months early. Before being sent home, doctors gave him a blood transfusion. For Judy, his mother, many anxious days would prevail concerning Johnny's health before God touched his body and healed him.

At six months, both of Jonny's ear drums ruptured. Not hearing, he didn't start speaking until age three. These were only sounds like grunts and gurgles. He didn't respond when spoken to, indicating to Judy that he had a loss of hearing.

In May, 1974, Jonny was given a hearing test...he had only fifty percent capability. The doctor's diagnosed it as a birth defect and not correctable. They recomended hearing aids. Concerned, Judy turned it over to God and expected a miracle.

At a service in Angelus Temple, Los Angeles, January 1, 1975, Judy and Jonny heard word of knowledge called out for a healing of ears.

Judy turned to her son and asked him how his ears felt. Jonny said, "They hurt." Judy knew in her heart that God was healing.

Upon return to the doctor, Jonny's new tests were normal hearing. Doctors said he would need no hearing aids.

To God be the Glory.
This testimony first appeared in the Shekinah Fellowship magazine Vol. 1, No 1, Page 15, Spring of 1975

Chibi Ikeada Testimony

Chibi Ikeada Testimony


To hear her testimony. Chibi Ikeada's realitives and friends in Tokyo, Japan must think she just flies to the United States to attend Shekinah.

Each time she has visited, God has healed her in a miraculous way.

For seven years, Chibi suffered with kidney stones and liver ailments. She was in and out of hospitals for treatments. July, 1974, Chibi flew to the United States to visit a friend, Florence Hayashida. The next day, the twentieth, Florence brought her to a divine healing service.

During the service, several sisters and a brother minister approached Chibi to pray with her for God to heal her. And He did.

Usually suffering from insomnia, Chibi slept soundly that night, she recalls. Swelling on her face and fingers, associated with her illness, completely dissappeared. Later, when she removed her contact lenses, she realized God healed her near sightedness also.

She returned to her home in Japan to testify and validate her healings with physicians.

Returning later on August 3rd, Chibi brought with her letters confirming her miracles. Again God touched her at the service and took away her enlarged tailbone condition, which often kept her bedridden. The greatest healing of all also occurred. "God saved me," she proclaims, "And I became filled with the Holy Spirit." Again she returned to Japan.

Chibi returned a third time, December, 1974. Again, God touched her. This time He healed her spinal affliction. "I felt a chill, then I became very hot," she recalls, describing the feeling. Friends near her attest to the radiant glow about Chibi during her healing.

In all her trips, it is estimated Chibi Ikeada has flown about 25,000 miles from Japan to Califiornia to testify of God's grace.

This testimony first appeared in the Shekinah Fellowship magazine Vol. 1, No 1, Page 14, Spring of 1975

Editors note:
One does not take the time, expense, and effort to fly 25,000 miles to bare false witness of healings that never happened. Think about it...what would be the point?

God Heals


God Heals

God Heals common colds, and He heals, just as easily afflictions like cerebrum embolism.

Mike Levi, from Long Beach CA, suffered from cerebrum embolism for over a year and a half. It mainly affects the frontal lobe of one's brain causing periods of blindness, back pains, intense headaches and a numbing of the five senses.

Mike was under the care of a physician. One treatment being considered was acupuncture, to be administered as a type of therapy.

In November, 1974, Mike was invited to attend a Saturday evening service of Shekinah in Long Beach. During the service, Mike said, "I really began to earnestly seek the Lord."

"All of a sudden my mind seemed to tune out," he describes the time, "It is like a radio being turned off."

When he regained his concious awareness, Mike was giving his name to one of the "word of knowledge" sisters. As the service was ending he recalls feeling tired and weak.

While at a resturant afterwards, Mike realized the full impact of his healing, "Everything seemed more real," he proclaimed, "My senses were back to normal and my back pains and headaches were completly gone."

To Mike, God is real, to his friends in Christ, God has the glory. Unfortunately, Mike said, his unsaved friends are skeptical.

Rejoice in Jesus always.

This testimony first appeared in the Shekinah Fellowship magazine Vol. 1, No 1, Page 14, Spring of 1975

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Current Day Daniels

Current Day Daniels

HARARE, ZIMBABWE (BosNewsLife)-- The fate of at least 15 Christian leaders in Zimbabwe remained uncertain Friday, August 24, after they were detained for attending a prayer meeting near the capital Harare without permission from police, opposition sources confirmed.

I heard about a man one day who wasted not his time away
He prayed to God every morning noon and night
He cared not for the things of man he trusted one who would not fail
Oh, Daniel prayed every morning, noon, and night
Oh, Daniel served the living God while here upon this earth he trod
He prayed to God every morning noon and night
He cared not for the kings decree he trusted God to set him free
And he prayed to God every morning, noon, and night
They cast him in the lion's den because he would not honor men
He prayed to God every morning noon and night
The jaws were locked and it made him shout, and God soon got them safely out
Oh, Daniel prayed every morning, noon, and night
Now brother, let us watch and pray like Daniel did from day to day
He prayed to God every morning noon and night
We too can gladly daring do the things that God will take us through
Oh, Daniel prayed every morning, noon, and night

Friday, August 24, 2007

Is faith under attack?

Is faith under attack?

"I believe our country was founded on Christianity and now we live in an anti-Christian country. Morals, faith, and family values have been pushed aside for materialism and "what feels good" antics. We can give freedom to other religions to worship; but prayer and any talks of Christ have been taken out of our schools. I say this because I am a teacher and it is heartbreaking to see what our children go through due to the lack of faith that America was founded upon. I do not have any pictures of how I worship -- I just close my eyes and pray wherever I am and as often as I can."

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Sanhedrin Was Unlawfully Assembled Day 9


Day Nine
The Illegal Trial Of Jesus Christ
The Sanhedrin Was Unlawfully Assembled

Location:

People's Court

Shekinah Fellowship

Room 101

Ms Suzy, Jurist in this court room:

Jewish tradition holds that the Sanhedrin was established with the 70 elders that were appointed by God through Moses (Numbers 11:16), while the Israelites were on their wilderness journey between Egypt and the Promised Land, about two years after the Exodus (Numbers 10:11). There is no record that the council operated then as it did in apostolic times however. For this reason, some believe that the Sanhedrin actually began some time during the three or four centuries between the Testaments, when the land of Israel was under the Syrian kings in the time of the Maccabees.

The Hebrew laws were very strict in the matter of specifying the time during which a criminal, capital case, involving the penalty of death, could be lawfully tried. In no event could such a trial be heard upon either of the following:

Upon a day before the Sabbath. The Sabbath was, in these days, celebrated on Saturday.

During the Feast of the Passover, or any festival day.
Never in the night.

"Let a capital offence be tried during the day, but suspended at night."

"They shall not judge on the eve of the Sabbath (Friday), nor on that of any festival."

By reference to Biblical history we know that, when Jesus was conducting His great ministry, the Jews celebrated Saturday as the Sabbath. The "eve of the Sabbath" was, therefore, on a Friday.

It has already been pointed out, very definitely, and beyond dispute, that Jesus was arrested shortly after midnight hour, as He was leaving the Garden of Gethsemane; and that He was first taken before Annas, and then His trial began before the Great Sanhedrin about an hour later. The best available records show that the Sanhedrin assembled some time near two o’clock on that Friday morning.

When the members of the Great Sanhedrin assembled that court, to try the Christ, they knowingly held the session at night, on a day before the Sabbath, and during the feast of Passover. Uncounted thousands had alredy reached the great city of Jerusalem, to begin the celebrations. Jesus, in anticipation of the Great Feast, had, on the Thursday night before, partaken of the "Last supper" with His disciples, in the upper chamber, near Jerusalem.

The Jews had what they considered a valid reason for prohibiting the trial of a capital offense at night. Here was why:

"The reason why the trial of a capital offense could not be held at night is because, as oral tradition says, the examination of such a charge is like diagnosing of a wound- in either case a more thorough and searching examination can be made by daylight."

Moreover, it will be realized that, back in those early days, they had very little light of any kind which might be used at night. And the prohibition respecting nocturnal trials was for the benefit of any person accused of crime who, otherwise, would be subjected to appearing before the courts in virtual darkness.

One might naturally inquire: "Why did the Sanhedrin in violation of the laws, conduct the sessions at night?"

The answer may be found in the realization that those evil-minded enemies of the Christ were afraid to try Him in the daytime. They knew that hundreds of His friends were already assembled in the City of Jerusalem to celebrate the great Feast of Passover. Also, that, among His many friends were Joseph of Aramathea and Nicodemus- both being members of the Sanhedrin, and men of wide influence. Those two staunch friends of the Master were known as secret disciples of Jesus; and they would have most assuredly intervened in His behalf. Knowing this, Annas and Caiaphas purposely left them off the list of the twenty-three members of the Sanhedrin who were summoned to be there that night for the so-called "trial" of Jesus.

It was Nicodemus who came to Jesus, after darkness had set in, seeking to learn more of the plan of salvation and eternal life. He undoubtedly looked upon Jesus as the Son of God, for he went to no other in search of the answer to that longing of the soul. And, we recall, it was Joseph of Aramathea who, when Jesus had died on Calvary’s hill, obtained permission from Pilate to bury the Christ in the personal tomb which he, Joseph, had been saving for his own use.

The Jews had been taught to never question, for a moment, any act of their high priest. He, like the kings of old, was supposedly incapable of doing a wrong! But how do you suppose they had felt down in their hearts on that eve of their Sabbath, and on the great festival day of Passover, when they witnessed the procession following Jesus to His crucifixion- in full knowledge that their sacred laws had been ruthlessly violated by the very men whose sworn duty it was to uphold them? This is an example of the powerful influence which Annas and Caiaphas and Pilate had on the masses of the Jewish society. Already, they had broken five separate laws: the unlawful arrest; the unlawful examination by Annas; holdind the session at night; on the eve of the Sabbath, and during the Passover! And we shall note that virtually every act which followed was likewise in deliberate disregard for the Jewish statutes!

When Judas Iscariot made his bargain with Annas and Caiaphas to betray the Master, it was a part of the unholy conspiracy for Judas to put the Christ into their custody at a time when Jesus friends would be unaware of His plight. We recall Judas’ statement that he "sought to gain opportunity whereby he would betray Jesus in the absence of the multitude." Those vile conspirators were rightly afraid of the multitudes who were avid followers of the Christ- until His condemnation by the Sanhedrin, when he was left friendless.

It was Caiaphas who "sought how they might take Him by craft, and put Him to death." And they planned the nighttime trials, in secret, "Lest there be an uproar of the people."

Under the Jewish criminal procedure the court was not permitted to adjourn its session for a longer period than a single night. Therefore, they had the wise provision that a trial must not be started in the Sanhedrin on the eve of the Sabbath. For if not concluded on a single day, it would have to be adjourned over to the Sabbath. Then, too, as will be later shown, a capital case could not be concluded in a single day!

Having clearly established that the trials were conducted at night and on the eve of the Sabbath, we now give brief consideration to the error of conducting them during the feast of Passover:

All four of the Gospel writers tell us, beyond question, that, when the Christ was tried, the Feast of Unleavened Bread had already begun, and the great Feast of the Passover was then at hand. Except for His arrest, Jesus would have proceeded into Jerusalem that same night, in order to be there for the Feast of Passover. The City, as stated, was packed to capacity on that Thursday night, preparing for the Passover Feast.

Referring back to that statement of the high priest, Caiaphas, who said that they "sought how they might take Him by craft, and put Him to death," we make this further observation:

Standard dictionaries define the word "craft" to be the same as "deciet, slyness or trickery."

What a sordid and vile group of law-violators! There they were, supposedly members of a court of justice and impartiality, deliberately resorting to deceit, slyness and trickery to take human life- under the guise of legal procedure! No wonder they appeared apprehensive as to the reaction of the people, in the event they had attempted to conduct those trials like they did, but in daytime! No wonder they had decided to cover up their vile deeds while the friends of Jesus were asleep, and while the moon was hidden behind the clouds! Typical conduct of cowardly men!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Camo Bibles

Camo BiblesHere in southern California there is a love for all things camo. I have cargo shorts and pants that are in diffrent camo patterns.


Now I can buy bibles in camo patterns from an outdoors company. Waterproof Bibles. "Water, ice or condensation will not damage this durable word of God," proclaims the online sales pitch.

This is so kewl! I remember all the newly saved Hippies covering their bibles in animal hides of leather and fur during the late sixties.

THE OUTDOOR BIBLE® is printed on 100% plastic material, which makes it a fully waterproof Bible. It can be rained on, snowed on, or fully submerged in a body of water – with no damage.


THE OUTDOOR BIBLE® is made to withstand the rigors of the outdoors – whether used on a backcountry trail, a boating trip, or at a park with your family – THE OUTDOOR BIBLE® will endure your chosen adventure.

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http://www.christianoutdoorsman.com/catalog/Camo_Bibles/c25/index.html?osCsid=c93a368743505257d6e7f160eb1dbcf5


Saturday, August 18, 2007

LIGHT VISION


LIGHT VISION

I have come to understand that when light emanates from the throne of God, it takes on a variety of shades and colors. There must be a billion shades of every color and even colors that are completely unknown to man.

When people encounter the same color or shade of light a kindred spirit is born. When those of the same light ray become dispersed there is almost nowhere to fellowship.

As a result, many of the greatest Christians of our day remain dormant, or have detoured into the world for lack of fulfillment. They are desperately searching for someone out there who walks in a similar dimension of light; someone who has been exposed to the same light ray in shade or color.

Jesus, who is the light of the world, said that we are the light of the world. All Christians are partakers of that same light, but within that light there are diversities of anointing.

When a Christian receives the baptism of the Holy Ghost they walk in a new dimension of the same light that it took for any of us to be saved.

If Christians do not move on with the Holy Ghost in that light they become color blind, and will interpret everything spiritual in black and white__the letter of the law.

An experience with the Holy Ghost is an exposure to light that will develop your pictures in living color. Once you see in color it’s hard to return to black and white. Black and white is nice, it’s nostalgic and traditional, but color is a dimension of the Christian reality that is available to anyone hungry enough to receive it.

Pastor Tilson

Annas Was Without Jurisdiction Day Eight


Day Eight
The Illegal Trial Of Jesus Christ
Annas Was Without Jurisdiction

Location:

People's Court

Shekinah Fellowship

Room 101

Ms Suzy, Jurist in this court room:

Having taken the Christ into custody, they immediately led Him to the house of His bitterest enemy, Annas, who was the dominating influence over not only the Sadducees but the Sanhedrin as well- and whose son-in-law, Caiaphas, was the presiding judge.

"And led Him away to Annas first."

Why was He taken there? In order that Annas might have personal knowledge of His arrest, so that he could then contact his disreputable son-in-law, and have him call the nighttime session of a select group of the Sanhedrin, while the friends of Jesus were still asleep.

The private examination of Jesus by old man Annas was illegal for three reasons: (1) It was conducted at night, in violation of the Hebrew laws; (2) no individual, not even a judge, had the right to question the accused judicially; (3) private examinations of anyone charged with crime were not permitted by the Hebrew law.

Here is a question from the Jewish law, applicable to the situation:

"An accused man shall never be subjected to private or secret examination, lest, in his perplexity, he furnish testimony against himself."

Can it be said that Annas, who, with his five sons had served in the high office of high priest for about fifty years, was not familiar with that law, which, incidentally, had been in force for over two hundred years? Certainly he was acquainted with that and all of the other laws of the Hebrew society; but, in his desperation to be rid of the Christ, he trampled upon the law, in the hope of obtaining some kind of incriminating statement from the lips of Jesus, and thereby have some basis for the filing of criminal charges. Knowledge of the law, followed by a deliberate breach of it, is the best evidence of willfulness!

No judge, sitting alone, could conduct an examination of the accused. The lowest Hebrew court was known as the court of three- consisting of three judges, who sat as a group. Moreover, we know that Annas was not a judge, but a former high priest, with no authority whatever.

This was a good and wise law for judges, for the full protection of anyone against whom some criminal charge had been filed. It served to protect him from making some incriminating statement, which could be used against him on the trial of his case.

When Annas had Jesus before him, we note that he inquired as to His disciples and His doctrine. And Jesus answered and said:

"I spake openly to the world; I even taught in the synagogue, and in the Temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why asketh thou Me? Ask them which heard Me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said."

Jesus was certainly well within his legal rights to make such a reply. In effect He was merely calling attention to the fact that, without exception, His teachings were all made public, which many heard.

It was then that one of the petty officers, in the home of Annas, violated the Hebrew law by striking the Christ in the face! And this corrupt, political boss merely smiled in approval at such unlawful conduct. And Jesus did not complain, but made this pertinent remark:

"If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil, but if well, why smitest thou Me?"

This was perfect illustraction of courage, as well as logic and truth.

Biblical history reveals that, at the times referred to herein, Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod all lived just a short distance apart from each other- hence the convenience of being in close contact with the situation, with a minimum of effort or loss of time. And the time element was to be a factor- since they were in a great hurry to have Jesus condemned before His friends became aware of His plight.

Annas was smart enough to know, whatever might be the nature of the Kingdom which Jesus was advocating, there would be certainly no position therein for him or his colleagues. Kings do not mix with swine!

Not being able to obtain any sort of incriminating statement from Jesus, at that secret, after~midnight examination, Annas directed the group of men to take the Christ before Caiaphas for trial. And, far from being a trustful individual, he personally led them to the palace of the high priest. Moreover, he remained there at the palace of his son-in-law, giving directions and orders as to the proceedings before the Greater Sanhedrin. Indeed, this cheep, weather~beaten Annas was not going to miss an opportunity to supervise the cowardly "Trials" of the Lowly Nazarene.

Annas had been before the selected group of the Sanhedrin but a very few moments when he began to engage in a whispered conference with Caiaphas. "Was the stage all set?" "Had any details been over-looked?" "Had Caiaphas summoned only the known enemies of Jesus?" He was demanding an affirmative answer to each inquiry! And, it must be admitted, he had no occasion to be dissappointed with the answers which fell upon his obnoxious ears!

Yes, everyone was ready- even the Christ- although He was all alone; friendless but unafraid!

Caiaphas, in considering the plight of Jesus, had said: "It is expedient for us that one man should die for his people." And by that statement he conveyed the idea that it was thought best to take the life of the Christ, for the sake of the people whom he represented.

It was ironical that Jesus, in quite a different and more reverent sense, likewise felt it was, indeed, "expedient that one men should die for His people:"- and He would be that Man; ready to die, all alone, for a sin-cursed world, whose only redemption could be found in the precious blood of a crucified Christ.

Another observation can here be made, respecting the series of unlawful acts which were done by those evil enemies of the Christ:

The Hebrew law expressly prohibited the condition of "any proceedings, involving a capital case, at night." A capital case is one wherein the penalty of death may be imposed.

We have already pointed out, beyond question that, after the arrest of Jesus, beyond the midnight hour, He was immediately taken to Annas for the examination. Therefore, the unlawful examination was had in the nighttime, contrary to existing laws on the subject! So, we find Annas deliberately, knowingly and willfully trampling upon the solemn laws of his own society. With men of that calibre in Judea, there is little wonder that a sense of unrest and turmoil could be observed everywhere.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Arrest Was Without Authority Day Seven


Day Seven
The Illegal Trial Of Jesus Christ
The Arrest Was Without Authority

Location:

People's Court

Shekinah Fellowship

Room 101

Ms Suzy, Jurist in this court room:

"Then the band and captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus and bound Him."

Jesus had just left the garden of Gethsemane, at the foot of the Mount of Olives, near Jerusalem, shortly after the midnight hour, when His arrest was effected. They had no warrant, nor authority of arrest whatsoever. And the seizing and binding of the Christ was not done, as was customary, by two or three representatives of justice; for Matthew tells us:

"Judas, one of the twelve, came , and with him a great multitude, with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people."

The "great multitude" consisted not only of a large group of Roman soldiers, with drawn swords and staves, but several hundred members of the Levitical police, as well as members of the Great Sanhedrin- carrying lanterns and torches clearly establishing the fact that the arrest was made at night; and they evidently thought that they might have to search for Jesus among the orchards of the Garden of Gethsemane, where Judas had told them He probably would be found at that time, in prayer to His Heavenly Father.

Little did it matter to the arch rival traitor that he was guiding the crowd to the hallowed santuary of the Son of God. Nor was he the least concerned over his deliberately profaning the passover, which, to the Jews, was the most sacred Season of the whole year! Judas had to earn his fee- had to seal the deal- in order to retain the filthy pieces of silver. And, apparently, nothing else mattered with him.

Why the large group of soldiers and the captain and officers, and others, with drawn swords and staves? Were they expecting to engage in battle? Or that the Christ would resist their efforts and flee?

After having effected the arrest, in absolute violation of law, because of the absence of a warrant therefore (not unlike USA in this our time), they did not even tell the Christ for what He had been apprehended, This, of necessity, was true because there had not been preferred any charge of any kind against Jesus before the Jewish court.

Was a warrant, or some kind of written authority required, before making a lawful arrest?

When Saul of Tarsus, the great convert, was on his way to Damascus to arrest and take back to Jerusalem any Christians he might find, that he might persecute them, we note that he had to first get his authority for their arrest by applying to the high priest.

"And Saul, yet breathing out 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 the way, (followers of Christ), whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem."

Again, in Scripture, we note this:

"I went to Damascus with the authority and commission from the high priest."

Before Saul could arrest those early Christians, that they might be bound and brought to Jerusalem, for persecution, he had to first obtain the "authority and commission" from the high priest.

Why, then, was no authority for the arrest of Jesus issued by the high priest? Simply because none could lawfully issue until, and only until, some criminal charge had been made before the Sanhedrin. Never has there been an exception to this basic rule concerning the issuance of a writ for one’s arrest. Had the Christ been seen in the act of committing some crime, then the arrest could have been made without a warrant- but, as it will be admitted, He was certainly no law-violator, and was merely leaving the Garden of Gethsemane when the Roman soldiers took Him and bound Him like a common criminal!

And their coming to apprehend Him was no surprise to Jesus. He had, several days before, related to His disciples just what would happen, and how- and even told them that they would leave Him, all alone, at the time of His arrest by that mob of men. This was in keeping with the prophesy. So, instead of displaying any kind of resistence, Jesus quietly turned to His disciples and said:

"Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners."

Then, like the brave Character that He was, we see Him standing erect, His countenance aglow in the moonlight, as He made the inquiry: "Whom seek ye?" And when they replied that they sought Jesus of Nazareth, He said: "I am HE."

Immediately as Jesus identified Himself as the one Whom they sought, we are told that they everyone fell to the ground on their faces. This, no doubt, was the shock which came to them when conscious of being in the personal presence of the Son of God! Overpowered by the Spirit of God! And after a moment, regaining composure, they arose, and Jesus once more asked them the same question:

"Whom seek ye?" And they said: "Jesus of Nazareth." Then the Master said: "I have told you that I am He. If therefore you seek Me, let these go their way."

Being completely unafraid, the christ was perfectly willing to bear His cross, alone. Hence He requested that His disciples not be apprehended. And then what happened to those disciples?

"And they all forsook Him and fled!"

And, as we shall later note, the Christ was thereafter left alone, in so far as humankind is concerned- but He was never left alone by His Heavenly Father, Whose will He was determined to fulfill, without counting the cost nor the pain!

As we get a mental picture of the hasty flight of those eleven disciples- the men who had been so intimately associated with Jesus for those three years of His ministry- we are reminded of a present-day truth: that the crowds will follow, like blind men, their hero in his days of great triumph, but will leave Him at the first clear sign of adversity.

If the enemies of Jesus had intended to conduct a legal trial, giving unto their prisoner all of the substantial rights guaranteed by the Hebrew laws, then there would have been some specific charge made against the Christ; and a warrant for His arrest would have issued.

But we must conclude that it was more of a capture than an arrest. It was a matter of seizing one in the nighttime for the sole purpose of doing away with Him. It was the beginning of a dastardly scheme, born of a cowardly conspiracy, entered into by corrupt and evil men. Indeed, the judgment of condemnation of the Christ was agreed to long before His apprehension by the mob. Therefore, the illegal arrest as will be seen, was the least of the many sins committed by those individuals who were referred to by Jesus as "Sinful men". Truly He placed them in the right category!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Entire Proceedings were unlawful Day Six (Continues)


Day Six (Continues)
The Illegal Trial Of Jesus Christ
The Entire Proceedings were unlawful

Location:

People's Court

Shekinah Fellowship

Room 101

Ms Suzy, Jurist in this court room:

A careful analysis of the New Testament narratives, respecting the so-called "trials" of Jesus, coupled with a through reference to and examination of the existing Jewish laws relating to criminal proceedings, should convince anyone, with an open mind, that the entire proceedings, from the moment of His arrest to the actual crucifixion, were wholly void and unlawful.

Consideration , in a judicial manner, will now be given to the numerous errors which were spitefully and illegally committed by the enemies of the Christ:

1. The arrest was without authority of law, and therefore, illegal.

2. Annas, before whom Jesus was first taken for examination, was a mere politician without jurisdiction whatsoever.

3. The Sanhedrin was unlawfully assembled for these reasons: The Hebrew laws prohibited such a meeting in the nightime, or on a Friday, or during the great Feast of the Passover.

4. He was first accused of blasphemy, but when before Pilate, the charge was changed to sedition, without notice to the Prisoner, or anyone.

5. Jesus was denied an opportunity to obtain His witnesses who would have testified in His behalf.

6. No person could be found guilty upon his own confession of guilt, alone.

7. There must have been at least two witnesses to testify in support of the charge against the accused; and their testimony must agree as to all the material facts involved.

8. The trial could not lawfully have been concluded in a single day.

9. The Roman conquerors had long before taken from the Sanhedrin its authority to sentence anyone to suffer the death penalty.

10. A unanimous verdict of guilty rendered by the Jewish court, has the effect of an acquittal.

11. The mambers of the Sanhedrin were definitely disqualified to try Jesus, because of enmity toward the accused.

12. The merits of Jesus’ defense were completely ignored by the Sanhedrin.

13. Pilate, as the Roman Governor, having stated four times that Jesus was not guilty of any wrong, should have released Him, instead of delivering Him over to the mob for cricifixion.

14. The condemnation of the Christ, resulting in His death on the cross, was permitted to be done without a lawful judgment of conviction.

15. The members of the Great Sanhedrin, though learned in the law, deliberately and spitefully ignored every existing Hebrew law which had been enacted for the protection of the innocent.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rather than clutter this review with repeated source authorities, by referring to foot-notes, which is usually rather cumbersome and certainly unattractive, the following statement is made:

All of the factual refrences, pertaining to the Passion of the Christ, were taken from the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; the Acts of the Apostles. Quotations from the several provisions of the Hebrew laws, respecting the trials of the Christ, came from and are amply supported by the following authorities:

Leviticus; Numbers; Deuteronomy; Talmud; Mishna, etc…

Innes, "The Trial of Jesus Christ"; Edersheim, "Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah"; Mendelsohn, "Criminal Jurisprudence of Ancient Hebrews"; Maimonides, "Sanhedrin IV"; Simon Greenleaf., "Law of Evidence"; Benny, "Criminal Code of the Jews"; Josephus, the eminent writer of the Life of Christ.

Monday, August 13, 2007

To all the dear people


To all the dear people

...who are writing and taking time to express there feelings and memories of Shekinah.
Greetings.
For many years of being a part of the ministry, I will never have negative memories, even though things where not perfect. Who can say before the Lord "I'am perfect". It is Christ in us who is perfect.

I knew Brant and his kindness. He was a gentle man who loved the Lord. I travelled with the ministry 5 days a week at times for yrs and knew how much Brant loved God. The power and Glory of God was everywhere. God was in these services, even using Brant, a weak vessel, to his Glory, in order to save the lost. I will always miss Brant and continue to hold his memory close to my heart. I wish others who I knew would respond to this post. Is Meg or Lesa reading this ? Please respond.

Rev Hannelore Tepper

(Lori)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The "official" version of the history of Shekinah Fellowship


The "official" version of the history of Shekinah Fellowship of Long Beach California, as told in the spring of 1975.

During the summer of 1971 the Jesus People Movement was at it's peak. Evangelism pulsated in every major southern California city. Churches were shocked, baffled or delighted to find hundreds of thousands of young people interested in attending worship services. Magazines were printing feature articles from various viewpoints of the phenomenal revival of Christianity among the youth.

As the Jesus People Movement increased, home Bible study groups began to spring up. Having forsaken old habits and aquaintances, many of the kids who had given their lives to Jesus found themselves friendless. There was a need for intimate fellowship coupled with the desire for thorough Biblical training. Informal meetings where believers could worship and learn the Word of God together became common.

One such group was meeting in Long Beach. Each of the Long Beach high schools had been exposed to the preaching of the Gospel through MARANATHA concert guest speakers during school assemblies, or personal witnessing from the students within the schools. Many students responded to the call of Christ.

Every conceivable type of background was represented- drug pushers, athletes, actors, cheerleaders, gang leaders, band leaders, boy chasers, homosexuals, doctor's sons, un-wed mothers, the "somebodies" and the "nobodies" from Long Beach gathered together in Jesus name.

Without fear of exaggeration it could have been described as a melting pot made up of every human circumstance and need. Backgrounds were generally forgotten and it was agreed that,"If any man be in Christ he is a new creation." So on this basis, the concept of Christian fellowship was introduced and established.

Brant Baker

Leading the group was twenty-three year old Brant Baker. Brant had forsaken a chaotic Hollywood existence after re-dedicating his life to Jesus.
Why certain men are chosen and others are not remains God's business. However, a brief view of Brant's former way of living helps to understand his compassion for young people.
Being the son of a wealthy business woman and of a father active in politics, Brant was well acquainted with the affluent society. He was raised with religious convictions but the lack of fundamental Biblical training left him without proper spiritual nourishment. He received Jesus Christ at the age of sixteen, while attending a Billy Graham Crusade in San Diego CA, but the relationship between him and his Lord never really progressed.

While still young, Brant accepted a job working for Desilu Studios in Hollywood. He was brought into regular contact with some of the top celebrities of that time and life, as Brant described it, seemed to consist of a series of parties and engagements that never stopped.

Tired of it all, he returned to his home in Newport Beach CA where he and his mother opened a men's clothing store on Seventeenth Street in Costa Mesa CA. During this time, a small church in Costa Mesa was beginning to experience an unusual growth in attendance. It was recommended to Brant and soon it became his regular church home. There he fervently studied to learn the Word of God.

This small church, Calvary Chapel, soon became not only Brant's church home, but also a place of regular worship for over three thousand young Christians.

Under the ministry of Pastor Chuck Smith, Brant became thoroughly versed in the basic teachings of the Bible. The teachings would later serve as a foundation for his own ministry.
Along with learning the scriptures, Brant was beginning to aquire a deep hunger to serve. His goal was to be used of God. It inspired him into a deeper study of the Word and the things of God.

Personal acquaintances with several of the leading ministers enabled Brant to be exposed to the workings of the ministry. The call to full time service became more apparent to him and his desire increased to respond to that call. An opportunity to teach a small group opened up at one of the churches in Long Beach.

At this time, Brant acquired a close friend and spiritual companion, Linda Torre. Together he and Linda drove from Costa Mesa to minister in Long Beach.
Things did not work out though. As more and more personal and financial problems developed, it was obvious that Brant was to wait a little longer. During this time of waiting he learned the meaning of the Lord's instruction to, "Let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me."

A most difficult trial arose when Brant's grandmother suffered a serious stroke and was hospitalized. Brant knew the shock and sense of personal loss both he and his family would suffer if she died. He began to pray for her healing.
Then one evening, while alone with her in the intensive care unit of the hospital, Brant laid his hands on her and began interceding. What he now describes as the Shekinah glory filled the room and his grandmother's miraculous healing began! Her recovery is still a mystery to several of the attending doctors.
An opportunity to teach in Long Beach again opened up, in the home of one of Brant's previous acquaintances.

Each Saturday evening a handful of teenagers gathered to hear Brant teach lengthy Bible studies. A time of worship followed and special prayer was made for those desiring healing or baptism in the Holy Spirit. Miraculous recoveries from a variety of illnesses became a common part of these meetings.

As the group expanded, new facilities were set up in a local church's Sunday School room. There, the name "Shekinah Fellowship" was conceived.
Emphasis had always been placed upon the presence of God at each gathering. So the name "Shekinah," the presence and glory of God seemed appropriate.
The growth continued and shortly another move was made to a larger church where Brant continued to minister for over a year. It was during this time that he was ordained by the State of California as a licensed minister of the Gospel, and Shekinah Fellowship was incorporated by the State as a recognized church organization.

Services were held Saturday night, Sunday afternoon, to avoid conflicts with other church services, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
Approximately two hundred young people were a regular part of Shekinah Fellowship, so it became necessary to appoint elders and deacons to assist Brant in the feeding of the flock.
As other young men began to take the responsibility of spiritual oversight, an amazing thing began to happen. Several of the "kids," who were regularly attending Shekinah, were now becoming involved as ministers. No one had attended a seminary or received a degree, yet somehow teenagers, who had previously known next to nothing about spiritual matters, were now vital instruments in the hands of God. Singers, musicians, evangelists, teachers, counselors and an infinite variety of personal ministries were being developed. This has been the case ever since.

The attendance on Saturday evenings had increased until Shekinah had again outgrown it's meeting place. So the decision was made to build a santuary with whatever materials God provided.

The santuary was provided in the form of a vacated health spa in the middle of a Long Beach shopping center. After acquiring the building, Shekinah was faced with the problem of reconstruction and interior decoration. There was little experience in such areas but prayers were said and work began.

Help came, seemingly, from the far ends of the earth. It came in strange forms; a thousand dollar check in the offering, volunteer assistance from a licensed carpenter and donated building materials which could have cost hundreds of dollars. No individual could take the credit because everyone was involved. As the members of Shekinah Fellowship built their own sanctuary, they found themselves also building a bond of fellowship and partnership which would endure for years to come.

Growth increased and the Saturday night services were becoming more structured, as people from various age groups, and back grounds, began to attend. The healing service, which by itself lasted an hour, became an increasingly amazing part of the ministry. Originally, conditions such as minor colds, back problems and even sunburns characterized the healings which occured.
As the attendance increased, so did the miracles. Through the gift of the word of knowledge, Brant would begin calling out the names of various illnesses which were present in the congregation. Those were either healed or in need of healing would begin to come forward for prayer and then would testify to the miracle God had performed in their body.
Instant recoveries of arthritis, deafness, and crippling diseases were reported during the time of testimonies.

The building, which had been reconstructed in October, 1972, held a maximun capacity of three hundred. By December, it was overcrowed. Legally, services could no longer be held there because it was too hazardous.
A hugh Foursquare Church existed only a few blocks away from Shekinah's building. It was obvious that growth was going to continue, so the next building used for services should logically be one with ample room for expansion.

On several occasions, ministers from Shekinah would drive by the large, white, Foursquare santuary and consider possibilites, but it all seemed too fantastic to even consider. The pastor of the church had never attended a Shekinah service and perhaps knew nothing of them.
The need was pressing, so finally a meeting was arranged between Steven Boyd, Shekinah's associate pastor, and Rev. Billy Adams, pastor of the Long Beach Neighborhood Foursquare Church.

Rev. Adams had been personally acquainted with Aimee Semple Mcpherson, founder of the Foursquare denomination. He had preached to capacity crowds at Angelus Temple, headquaters of the Foursquare organization, and had traveled around the world as an evangelist and missionary. Thousands attended his meetings in cities throughout the United States.
To the suprise of perhaps every church in Long Beach, Pastor Adams gave Shekinah permission to use his sanctuary for weekly services. It had the capacity to seat a thousand people. So in January 1973, Shekinah Fellowship met at the Foursquare Church and continues to do so.
(Editors Note: this was written in 1975)

The Expansion

Once the move to the Foursquare Church was made, expansion took on almost unbelievable proportions. Pastor Adams had a fatherly concern for the young ministers of Shekinah fellowship and his guidance and advice proved to be the very thing needed for the ministry's growth.
The month of June marked two inportant steps for Shekinah- the very first outreach service was held in San Diego and the beginning of a weekly radio program, "The Shekinah Fellowship Hour."

Meanwhile, the services in Long Beach continued to grow. As the ministry became more widely known, new opportunities to minister in various churches developed.
The next city Shekinah began to visit was Bakersfield. It was at this time that the first television program was produced. "Shekinah Fellowship Presents A Very Special Special" was taped in Santa Ana and has been shown in cities both on the east and west coasts. The radio program also increased in scope and popularity. "The Shekinah Fellowship Hour" was now being heard in various states such as Washington and Arizona.

By December 1973, the Saturday night meetings in the Long Beach Foursquare Church were filled to capacity. Eleven months had passed since Brant Baker had begun services in the new facilities and approximately one thousand people attended each week. A 90 voice choir became a part of the ministry, along with an orchestra and two singing groups. Miracles of healing had increased tremendously, with some cases of cancer, blindness and similarly hopeless diseases and conditions being cured instantly during the meetings.

A vision of unity among the many members of the Body of Christ inspired the members of Shekinah Fellowship. As more people from nearly every church denomination continued to attend, it was soon evident that Shekinah Fellowship was a meeting ground in which any man or woman, naming the name of Christ, would be welcomed.

A show of hands revealed the various denominations as Brant called them out. A surprising number of Catholics, Baptists and Presbyterians were seated in the midst of Pentacostals and Full Gospel believers.
Clearly, it was understood that they had come to Shekinah, not the organiation, but litarally, "the presence of God," who knows no denominationl boundary.

The Easter Gathering

The next major step the ministry took occured in April, 1974. A few months earlier, Brant announced a plan which he felt God had laid upon his heart- a four-day series of Easter services to be held in the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium. The auditorium seated over three thousand people, requiring more ushers and assisting ministers than Shekinah had.

The real test of faith was the cost. Over fifteen thousand dollars would be needed for expenses.
There is a motto both common and dear to Shekinah, "When God guides, God provides." So plans for the Shekinah Fellowship Easter Ingathering began.
The Fellowship wasn't really that well known and word-of-mouth would not have been sufficient.

Advertisements were placed in various newspapers and periodicals. Television spots were scheduled. Radio commercials were recorded and played on several stations. Young artists produced hugh posters which the Long Beach Public Transportation System carried throughout the main streets of the city spreading the word that a divine healing service was to be held downtown.

The interior of the Municipal Auditorium was bleak and dingy. It was hardly suitable for the joyous services to be conducted there. Decorations were clearly needed, yet it was impossible to purchase expensive decorative objects. Hugh flowers were constructed out of cardboard and tin foil, flanked with multicolored petals and leaves. Signs were designed to be placed at strategic points to encourage those who read them to "Look to Jesus."

The support from the local churches was essential for success of the ingathering. Untold personal sacrifices had to be made by each individual and no man was without his particular difficulty. Long hours, last minute changes and personal conflicts combined to force each minister to seriously consider his willingness to fullfill his calling.
The valuable lessons learned during the months of planning and preparation made it all worthwhile.

True to His word, God blessed the services. The first night special guests, Dino Kartsonakis and Madame Bilquis Sheikh, appeared.
Dino, world famous pianist with the Kathryn Kuhlman ministry, performed for a half hour giving breif testimonies and comments between numbers. Madame Sheikh, former assistant to the President of Pakistan, gave har glourious testimony. She told of her conversion from the Moslem faith to Christianity.

On Friday evening a special musical presentation, "Glory To God," was presented by the choir, orchestra and various soloists. The Saturday evening meeting drew the largest crowd and a divine healing service highlighted the evening. Sunday afternoon the final service was conducted. Rev. Billy Adams testimony had become indescribably dear to the hearts of all those involved with Shekinah Fellowship who had come to know him so well. He represented the fatherly care and concern which every young person so desperately needed.

The exposure the ministry received during the Ingathering opened new doors in several southern California cities. Regular services began in Canoga Park, Palm Springs and Escondido. More television shows were also produced and shown on major network stations. Services in the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium continued to be held monthly. However, the auditorium was scheduled for reconstruction within a few months and no other Long Beach building was adequate for the monthly Shekinah Fellowship services. But, God had a blessing in store for Shekinah.

Angelus Temple

It came when Dr. Rolf McPhearson and the Board of Directors invited Brant and the ministry to conduct the evening service at Angelus Temple on the Fourth of July.
The invitation was a direct fulfillment of the promise God had made to Brant a year earlier when he had visited AngelusTemple. When he had come down to the front platform after the service, suddenly, he had a portend that someday, somehow, he would be ministering on the very platform.

Along with the excitment of ministering at Angelus Temple, there arose an interest in the background of the Foursquare denomination and it's founder, Aimee Semple McPhearson. Several of the ministers of Shekinah, including Brant, began reading the accounts of Mrs. McPhearson's campaigns. It became more evident then ever that revival was desperately needed.

The night before the Fourth of July service was to be held, a special service was conducted in Long Beach. Brant read aloud to the entire congregation excerpts from Mrs. McPhearson's book, "This is That." Then a lengthy prayer meeting was conducted. The entire ministry and congregation of Shekinah Fellowship beseeched God for an outpouring of His Spirit and power such as the world had never seen.

On July 4, 1974, the all-day Holy Ghost Rally at Angelus Temple was concluded with a divine healing service conducted by Rev. Baker and Shekinah Fellowship. The same group which had began two years earlier in a living room was now ministering in the headquaters of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

The evening was glourious! Within weeks it was decided that Shekinah should begin holding monthly services at the temple.
Monthly services are being held at Angelus Temple. The support and co-operation of the Angelus Temple Board of Directors, along with Pastor Holland and Dr. and Mrs. Rolf McPherson, have been of great help to the ministry.

In Long Beach, the services in the Foursquare Church draw capacity crowds every Saturday night. Oftentimes, the building located next to the santuary serves as an overflow room. Those who are unable to find a seat in the main building watch the service over closed circuit television.

Four days of almost every week are spent traveling. Shekinah holds monthly services in Los Angelus, San Marcos, Riverside and semi-regular services in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Santa Monica, Burbank and Brea.

New churches are visited nearly every week. You may find a Shekinah Fellowship service in a municipal auditorium or a church building which seats a little over a hundred. Services are now being held in Catholic santuaries, Baptist seminaries, three thousand saet Temples, bowling alleys or dining rooms. It is Brant's firm conviction that God is equally present in each place.
The Shekinah Fellowship television program is now seen weekly on KCOP Channel 13 Sunday morning at 7:30 and Sunday afternoon at 1200, in addition to broadcast at various times over UHF stations. The ministry's radio program currently airs over countless numbers of stations throughout the country.

In Long Beach, Bible classes are available, without cost, Monday through Friday from 1:00-4:00 PM. Every night of the week Bible studies are given during a time of intimate, informal worship.
Since Shekinah Fellowship's beginning in 1971, eight young men have been ordained as licensed ministers of the Gospel. The ministry is composed of up to two hundred young people who perform their specific functions simultaneously during the services.

The choir consists of 125 members. Over fifty workers assist Brant during the healing service by ministering to and praying for those who come seeking healing. Ushers, counselors, technicians and many other areas of ministry are available to anyone desiring to donate his service.

The Vision.

In the Old Testament days, it was common for God to send prophets to heathen nations predicting their doom if they failed to repent. He also sent prophets to His own people pointing out their failures and warning them not to continue in rebellion or indiffrence toward their God. Shekinah Fellowship feels the burden for souls, especially in these evil days. Their is a special commision to awaken the Church, the entire Body of Christ.

It does not take a great deal of insight to notice the contrast between the early Church of the New Testament days and the present Church. The commision to preach the Gospel seems to have either been forgotten or ignored.

What would be the effect if churches everywhere united their efforts to seek for the salvation of souls? Within the Body of Christ, is there not enough material, finance, manpower and energy to turn the world upside down?

Whenever Shekinah begins holding services in a new city, the support and co-operation of the churches in that area, regardless of denomination, is enlisted. Hopefully, such offer of assistance will encourage the churches of that town to work together on a regular basis, whether Shekinah is there or not.

The aim is to bring people into an awareness of the love and nearness of Jesus, while encouraging them to bring others into that same awareness. The world has yet to see what can be done along these lines.

When Brant began to realize the call of God and the plans He had for him, he was deeply concerned with the need for more people to respond to this call. The opportunities to minister with Shekinah are numerous. But more than that, the exhortations to "Give yourself to God and let Him do with you as He pleases," are constant.

This is Brant's continual plea- that all those who have been "born again" into the family of God would realize the anointing and power they have as a Christian.

(End of story. Or is it?)

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I just wanted to say that I was awakened at three this morning (Sunday AM). I sensed an urgency to put this here as soon as possible. So in my own two finger hen ~pecking way I did my best to plow through the task of typing the data. I didn't get the task completed until after 7:00 AM, at which time I uploaded it to here.

I honestly think that someone needed to read this. And that God is urging this reader to move forward in ministry. I believe there is a call upon this person's life to accept the task at hand.

God has been calling you to something that is bigger then your own vision, something that has nothing whatsoever to do with your resources. Yield and trust while believing that God has all that you need to fullfill your calling.

Realize that God never calls the capable, He makes people whom He calls capable...

He is faithful. He is the rock of our salvation upon which we stand. A nail driven in a sure place to hang upon.

The Master Creator has called you to service. I bless you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Assistant Pastor David Sloane
Shekinah Fellowship

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tammy Faye Was A Hope Broker


Tammy Faye Was A Hope Broker

By Anonymous author...

Tammy Faye was a hope broker. She is a hero and a role model for me. I can only dream that I could help as many people as she has with her (to quote the Charlotte Observer obituary) "can-do Christian cheer."

A lot of Christians made her life miserable and left her when she was down. But she seemed to move right past it. It was interesting to me that when she died her family contacted Larry King. He had an awful lot of respect for her and let her talk freely about anything she wanted to talk about.

I have to admit that at one time I almost became a Tammy Faye detractor myself, until it occurred to me that I WAS Tammy Faye. Male perhaps, but Tammy Faye nevertheless. It also occurred to me that it wouldn't be hard to imagine having someone like Tammy Faye as part of your own family. I'm willing to go out on a limb and say most families have someone like Tammy Faye in their extended circle. Somebody that speaks their mind, but embraces all people. Somebody that is brash but loves everybody and loves them all the same. Somebody that wears outrageous clothes, hairdos and styles. Somebody that loves to laugh and goes to the extremes. Somebody that loves life and lived it!

A few years ago I read an interview with Tammy's son Jamie (who goes by Jay,) who heads up a wild ministry to folks on the extreme edge. Jamie is on the edge himself (videos are not working). At the time his mom was involved in some pretty peculiar work for the former wife of one of television's best known evangelists. She was on the WB reality show "The Surreal Life" with Vanilla Ice and former adult porn star Ron Jeremy. Her son Jamie - who was embarrassed by his mom - told of trying to convince her that people were watching the show and laughing at her. She told him she didn't care, that she loved these people, that they were her friends, and that Jesus loved them and she wanted to be the one to tell them. Jamie Bakker said after listening to his mom explain it all to him she went from being an embarrassment to him to being his hero. That's when she became a hero to me as well.

Around the same time and after the release of the documentary "The Eyes of Tammy Faye" which chronicled her life, she became a sensation in the gay community. That raised my eyebrows, so I started to read about what her role was there. Turns out they were inviting her to preach! But mostly she just loved on them. She preached at AIDS events and became loved by gay men across the nation. I read one of her sermons to these gatherings and it could have just as easily come across Billy Graham's pulpit. She reinforced how much she loved these guys, how much Jesus loved them, how much God despised sin, and how she was pleased to give a kiss and a motherly pull on the cheek to everyone of them. You go girl! I cried after reading the accounts and asked God to help me love everybody as much as Tammy Faye did. Maybe someday I'll love people with the fervency Tammy Faye had for people. Maybe someday. Maybe.

Tammy Faye grew up in northern Michigan in a family of eight kids in a house without running water. Her and Jim were Assembly of God kids that met in Bible College and wanted to share the message of Jesus far and wide. They started out doing puppets, which they eventually did for a budding television program that would become known as the 700 Club. They started out small and grew huge.

It might be fair to say that success became their downfall, except that they didn't stay down. Both Tammy Faye and Jim bounced back with a love for people and a message of hope for the ordinary person.

I had the privilege of meeting Jim Bakker a few years ago right after he got out of jail and wrote a book called, "I Was Wrong." He was broken, sincere, kind, gentle and had all the time in the world for me. I was embarrassed, humiliated and felt a degree of self-scorn for not being a person that had the same outflow of love as he had. I wish I would have met Tammy Faye.
Tammy Faye was at one of the local casinos not too long ago making an appearance and signing her book. She did an interview with a local radio station, they loved it and said she was a blast, and the local newspaper made it sound like a not to be missed event. Lots of hugs, people thanking her, lots of tears, lots of encouragement, lots of talk about Jesus. People loved her and she loved people.

Tammy Faye was a hope broker. People with broken lives were drawn to her. Gay men listened as she spoke about sin. Larry King leaned over and listened to her every word over and over. After almost every Tammy Faye interview, he would say, "Amazing!" She was a hero to her son. A broken lady that loved Jesus and moved through every difficulty in her life, while she continued to try and draw people closer to God.

If at the end of your life the Charlotte Observer - which was harsh to the Bakkers at many junctures in their life - says of you that you carried a message of "can-do Christian cheer" than we'll be able to say that was a life well lived. You go sis! I love you and am proud to be your brother!!

P.S. I am so glad I didn't do post number 100 on the midnight release of the new Harry Potter book - which I originally planned to do. This is SO much more important than Harry Potter could ever hope to be!

Cool slide show of her life click here

Watch her on Larry King by clicking here