Pt. 13: Seven Churches – (D) What the Spirit is Saying to the Church

We are talking about the seven churches in Revelation 1-3.  The admonitions and promises given to the seven churches apply to the Church today.  God has not changed and His message is still the same.

The question may be asked, “What is the Spirit saying to the Church today?”  Out of many things He is speaking, seven themes stand out in particular:

  1. Return to your first love and do the first works
  2. Repent from allowing false doctrines and carnality to remain in the Church
  3. Seek a relationship with Jesus Christ, as opposed to just being religious
  4. Put on your spiritual garments and guard against getting them soiled
  5. Repent from spiritual lukewarmness
  6. God is restoring the Tabernacle of David and the Key of David today
  7. God is looking for overcomers and has many blessings for them

The Spirit is saying that the Church is to put on their spiritual garments.  Galatians 3:27 says, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (NIV).

We are also to keep our garments clean – by staying in close relationship with the Lord, obeying His Word, letting Him do a work of purification in our lives.  If our robes should become soiled, they can be washed clean in the Blood of Jesus.

In the natural, garments keep us warm, protect us from exposure to the elements, and cover our nakedness.  In the spiritual, the garments God provides for us acts as warmth to our soul and spirit, and protects us from the wiles of the enemy.

Examples of spiritual garments include:

  1. Salvation (Isaiah 61:10, Ephesians 6:17)
  2. Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
  3. Joy and Gladness (Psalm 30:11)
  4. Praise (Isaiah 61:3)
  5. Name and Blood of Jesus (covered by the Blood; Atonement)
  6. Cloak of Zeal (Isaiah 59:17)

In Ephesians 6:11 we are told to put on the whole armor of God.  The garment, or loin belt, of truth binds and encircles us.  As the loin belt held the other pieces of armor in place, the truth holds everything together.  When the truth is missing, everything begins to unravel at the seams and fall apart.

The garment or breastplate of righteousness guards our hearts and emotions.  This garment represents holiness, purity, uprightness and integrity.

The shoes of the Gospel of peace represent our daily walk with Christ.  As we live out what we share with others, the world will be drawn to hear the message of the Gospel – which is peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The garment of faith acts as a shield, repelling the fiery darts of Satan.  These fiery darts come in the form of lies, accusations, words of doubt, verbal abuse, gossip, fear and intimidation, and curses spoken against us.  The shield of faith causes these fiery darts, that would otherwise wound us severely, to fall to the ground extinguished and powerless.

The garment of salvation is like a helmet which protects our spirit, our minds, our intellect, and our thought processes.

The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is both a defensive and offensive weapon used against the devil.  When the enemy comes at us with all his lies and tricks, we can declare like Jesus did:  “It is written …” (and confess those Scriptures from the Word) and the devil will flee eventually.

(The devil knows the Scriptures better than many Christians and will use it against you to control and manipulate you, or to whip you and keep you in bondage and guilt.  However, the enemy will distort and twist the Scriptures, or tell you partial truth but not quote the entire passage or give you the whole counsel of God about a particular matter.  That’s why it’s so important to study the Word and to rightly divide it, so that you are on guard against the devil’s schemes.)

As we look into the Word of God, we will be changed into His likeness.  2 Corinthians 3:18 says that we are transformed into His image, from glory to glory (one level of glory to the next level of glory).

And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the Glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.  2 Corinthians 3:18 AMP

It is possible for us to remove our spiritual garments.  We lay aside our garments when we are out of fellowship with God, or in total or partial disobedience.  If our clothes are missing, then we are vulnerable and exposed.  We are wide open to being wounded by the attacks of the enemy.

Our garments can become soiled through any kind of sin, sexual immorality, corruption or spiritual adultery (referring to idolatry and witchcraft/occultic practices).  Our garments are soiled when we refuse to repent of areas of sin that the Holy Spirit has pointed out to us.

The Greek definition of “repent” means to change one’s thinking.  As a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).  Before our actions can change, our minds and thinking must first be transformed.  We must begin to think differently.  As we begin to change the way we think, then the course of our life will begin to go in a different direction.  The Word of God has the power to renew the mind (Romans 12:2).

The Blood of Jesus can wash us, remove every stain, and give us clean white garments to wear.  1 John 2:1 says, “If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.”  And 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

White garments (or robes of righteousness) in the Scriptures is talking about the righteousness of the saints.

And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.  Revelation 19:8 NKJV

The Spirit is saying to put on our spiritual garments, to keep them from becoming spotted and soiled, to live holy lives, to obey the Lord and His Word, and to allow Him to cleanse and purify us.

Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil (the anointing of the Holy Spirit and also the oil of joy).  Ecclesiastes 9:8 NIV

These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Revelation 7:14 NKJV

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  Isaiah 61:10 NKJV

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Three Levels of the Anointing in the Life of the Believer

Benny Hinn Conference Notes

Jubilee Christian Center, San Jose, California

January 24-25, 2008

Three Levels of the Anointing in the Life of the Believer

  1. Salvation

At the point of initial salvation, all believers are filled with the Holy Spirit when we invite Jesus to come into our heart.  God anoints all believers to hear from God for themselves, to discern between truth and error and to successfully live the Christian life.

The next step after initial salvation is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is to be “endued with power” from on High (Luke 24:49).

Salvation = filled with the Spirit

Baptism of the Holy Spirit = endued with the Spirit

Both salvation and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit involve being filled with God’s Spirit, although the Baptism is a deeper infilling or level of the Spirit.  A believer who does not believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues is still saved, loves God and has His presence living on the inside of them.  But they could have so much more of God by receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The Baptism is an enduement of power and is the door or entrance to operating in the Gifts of the Spirit.  The Baptism of the Spirit enables the believer to walk in greater victory in their Christian life, to live a life where healings, miracles and the supernatural is a common part of life, and to enter into deeper levels in God in worship, the Word and communion with the Holy Spirit.

  1. Ministry

The second level of anointing is when God anoints the believer for the particular ministry that God has called him or her to do.  Everyone in the Body of Christ is called to be in ministry.  There is to be no competition or jealousies, or comparisons among believers, as each of us is given an assignment from the Master (Jesus) to fulfill.  Not all are called to clergy ministry, but all are called to fulfill a specific ministry assignment that God has given each of us to do.

The believer does not have to go in their own strength to minister, but goes in the Name of the Lord and is endued with the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit to carry out their particular ministry assignment.  God’s anointing for ministry equips them with the skill, ability, wisdom and favor to function in their area of ministry.  God’s anointing for ministry will bring about fruitfulness.

Often times a person called to a ministry involving speaking before an audience literally feels an anointing descend upon them as they begin to minister, and they may even be a changed person full of boldness and authority while under the influence of that anointing if normally they are shy and quiet.  Then after 2 or 3 hours after ministering, the anointing may lift.

The same example could hold true of those anointed to prophesy.  Normally they may be reserved and quiet, but when the anointing comes on them for ministry, they are a completely different person until the anointing lifts after they are finished ministering.

People called to the healing ministry, while under the influence of the anointing for ministry, may feel literal heat, electricity and power coming out of their hands, or may operate in words of knowledge, and be unusually bold.

  1. Authority

Being anointed with authority in the Spirit is the 3rd level that is higher and deeper than ministry alone.  When flowing in this anointing, your words have the power to plant or uproot.  Your words carry weight, and none of your words fall to the ground.  Your words have the power to decree and command (as led by the Spirit and coming into agreement with and repeating what the Spirit is saying, and speaking under the influence of the Holy Spirit. (It’s not from the flesh commanding or decreeing things.  If it’s just the flesh, it will produce no fruit.) When you decree and command, then God backs up what you say.

The anointing for authority also involves the area of declaring deliverance to the captives, and the captives are delivered and chains are broken.

The anointing for authority involves creative miracles – decreeing and speaking things that are not as though they were, commanding them to be, and it happens just as you say.

The anointing for authority involves an anointing for breakthrough.

Authority is the kingly anointing – to rule and reign with Christ and know who you are in Christ.  To make decrees in the heavenly realms, and it comes to pass.  To have authority over demons and satan, and all powers of wickedness.  To cast out devils.  To raise the dead.

Authority also involves taking charge of distractions and people who would mock or cause interruptions in services, which weaken the flow of the Spirit and thus grieves the Holy Spirit.  You must take charge of distractions from people who try to prevent others from hearing the Word, from distractions that hinder people from hearing the Gospel of Salvation and receiving Christ as Savior, from distractions that make it difficult for people to receive their healing and miracle, and distractions that discourage others in regards to receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit or distract the flow of the operation of the Gifts of the Spirit.

Taking authority in this type of situation would involve stopping ministering for a minute and openly telling the troublemakers [those are my words not what Benny said] to either be quiet or leave, and if need be, having the ushers escort them out.  It also involves making it clear that there are to be no cell phones ringing and people talking, no constant talking to your neighbor, whispering, goofing off, constantly going in and out of the sanctuary during the worship and the preaching of the Word unless it’s a dire medical emergency.

The anointing for authority involves situations in which Satanic plants are sent to churches and meetings to try to cause distractions and the demise of the pastors and leadership.

Sometimes people who cause distractions are not a Satanic plant, it’s just that they can be rude, inconsiderate, immature, disrespectful and have not been taught to keep quiet and not talk to their neighbor, or on the cell phone, during the worship and preaching. I’m talking about people who are in the habit of talking during most of the service, and they do this all the time. When I was a child we were taught to not talk or goof off during the worship and the Word. If we got restless we could color in a coloring book or read a book. It seems like today so many parents don’t teach their children to be quiet during the services, and they let them talk and run around.

Sometimes distractions are caused by demons manifesting in people. There’s a time to cast out demons (as Jesus demonstrated in His ministry). Then there is a time when you are to command the demons to be silent (as Jesus also did in His ministry).

On rare occasions, the anointing for authority involves, when directed by the Spirit, pronouncing judgment on those who rise up to try to destroy the work of God, and the Lord backs up your words and He carries out the judgment.

An example is Ananias and Sapphira.  The apostle Peter and other apostles pronounced a judgment on them for not only lying to them, but for also lying to the Holy Ghost.

Another example is when Elijah pronounced a judgment on the young boys who mocked him because of his baldness.  He probably was literally bald, but the Scriptures imply that the mocking was deeper than just making fun of his lack of hair, but mocking the anointing on his life.

In the ministry of William Branham, there was a situation that arose in one of the meetings in which he pronounced a judgment (by the leading of the Spirit) upon a certain man.  This man had come up to the stage in the healing line, claiming that he had cancer and for William Branham to lay hands on him so that he would be healed.

The man lied – he did not have cancer.  His intent was to make a false claim about having cancer, in order to “expose” Branham as being a false prophet (because he didn’t believe that God reveals things to His prophets by the words of knowledge).  The man was out to prove that Branham just “made up” all those words of knowledge about people.  When the man claimed to be sick with cancer, the Holy Spirit told Branham that the man was a fake and was lying, and then Branham told the man in front of everyone there that he lied about having cancer.

Then Branham pronounced a judgment on the man for lying not only to him, but to the Holy Ghost, and told him that since he lied about having cancer, that cancer would come on his body immediately and he would be dead by the next day.  It happened exactly as what Branham pronounced.

A curse and a judgment are two different things.

A curse is a prayer or verbal words intending injury, harm or misfortune to come to someone (usually based on hate, jealousy, and wicked intents of the heart).  We are not called to curse.

A judgment is the discernment between good and evil, what is right and what is wrong, and based on the evidence and situation, making a judicial decision and pronouncing a verdict and the consequence/punishment (if applicable) according to the laws established by God.

The authority to pronounce a judgment is granted to you from a Higher Authority (God). It applies to true God ordained Apostles who walk in greater levels of authority.

The anointing to pronounce a judgment is not the same thing as Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”  In Matthew 7:1, it’s not referring to a judicial decision based on right and wrong, but to be critical and despise someone and their shortcomings, and to be very condemning of others, while you yourself are not perfect.  This type of judging involves pride – of pointing out the faults of others, while ignoring the plank in your own eye.  This type of judgment involves judging others for their actions when you don’t know all the facts and have not heard all sides of the story, nor have been in their shoes.

This differs from a judgment made by a judge and jury in a courtroom, based on discerning and separating the facts and reaching a verdict.

On very rare occasions is a judgment pronounced.  The church, as a whole, is not ready for things to go back to the way it was in the early Church in Acts. The glory of the Lord has the power to heal and bring about miracles.  Yet one can also perish in the Glory by things such as irreverence, profaning the holy things of God, lying to the Holy Ghost, and trying to destroy someone’s ministry or discredit them.

Part 1 – Benny Hinn Conference Notes (www.kathleendeniseriley.blogspot.com)

The Promises of God are YES and AMEN!

The Promises of God are YES and AMEN!

Are you believing God for a baby or to get married? Are you believing for a promotion or breakthrough? This message will encourage you.

Habakkuk 2:2-3  Write down the vision and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”

Numbers 23:19  “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?”

God’s Word is filled with many promises for our lives. Have you asked the Lord to do something specific in your life and you know deep in your heart that He said “yes” and made a promise to you that He would do it?

He may have quickened a Scripture that pertains to your situation or maybe He dropped a promise into your heart. Perhaps a prophetic message was spoken over you and it bore witness in your spirit that it was of God, and was a confirmation of what the Lord had been speaking to your heart.

What is your circumstance?  What are you believing God for?

When God first promises something to us there’s the feeling of being overjoyed and a sense of expectancy. It seems like the promise will come to pass right away. In some cases it does, but in most instances a period of time elapses between the time God first shows us something and the time it comes to fulfillment.

Many times months and years go by and it still hasn’t happened. And have you ever experienced that feeling of disappointment that just when it seemed like the promise was finally going to come to pass, there was a sudden turn in the road?

Joseph is an example of having been given a promise and yet seeing a reverse in his situation. At a young age God speaks to Joseph in dreams and reveals to him that one day he would be a ruler and his family would bow down to him. Because of the evil actions of his brothers, he ends up in Potiphar’s house in Egypt. He’s been snatched away from his home and family and is made a slave in a foreign land. Then while at Potiphar’s house, he is falsely accused of attempted rape and is thrown into prison for a crime he did not commit. Joseph was a pure man, and now his reputation is damaged. After all of these negative events, he might have questioned God or perhaps thought that somehow he had missed God.

Then there’s the story of Sarah. She had no children because she was barren. God spoke to Abraham and told him he would have a son and would become the father of many nations. Months went by and then years went by and still Sarah did not conceive. She prayed and waited, and prayed and waited but it seemed like nothing was happening. She yearned and longed for a child from her own womb yet was faced with reality being the opposite. As time passed, now she’s not only faced with the fact that she cannot reproduce, but even if she could, now she’s too old and now Abraham is also too old. The Bible says that his body was as good as dead and Sarah’s womb was dead (Hebrews 11:11-12).

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”

What do you do during times like these when you’ve taken appropriate action on your part and done all you know to do, because James 2:20 says that faith without works is dead, yet it still seems like nothing is happening?

And the reality of your situation seems to be a contradiction to the promise or what you’re believing for?

The devil uses these opportune times in our lives to taunt us with words like: “It will never happen” … “Did God really say that?” … “It’s too late for you”.

God’s delay in answering prayer doesn’t necessarily mean denial. God’s promises are “Yes” and “Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Though the promise tarry it will surely come to pass and not prove false. God wants us to have faith and to trust him.

Romans 4:17 says that God calls those things that are not as though they already were.

Many times God uses the waiting process to refine us. The fire of delayed answers is one of the hottest fires to go through and tests our faith like nothing else can. Depending on the situation, sometimes God needs to work some things out first before He brings a promise to pass. The waiting process develops patience, humility, and a deeper level of trust in God. James 1:4 says, “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect [Greek: complete, mature], and entire [Greek: whole], wanting [Greek: lacking] nothing.”

For some, they have been in the mode of delayed promises for 5, 10, 20 or more years. The sands of time have brought about a withering away of hope, and dreams seem to be dead or have little life. But God is a God of resurrection, and in His perfect timing, He will resurrect old dreams and fulfill promises He spoke long ago. Where there were years of disappointment, many tears, and lost hope, He will restore with a double portion of joy.

At the time appointed by God, He woke up Sarah’s dead womb and put life back into Abraham’s body. They named their son Isaac, meaning “laughter”. What joy they must have felt! Now all the years of shame and humiliation was finally removed.

And also suddenly (sometimes God acts suddenly), God intervened in Joseph’s situation and gave him the interpretation to Pharoah’s dream. All at once he was set free from prison, was placed as second in command over all Egypt and was given a wife, and she bore him two sons. God restored to Joseph many times over for all the turmoil and pain he had gone through. God turned Joseph’s affliction into joy—so much to the point that when his first son was born he called him “Manassah”, meaning “He has made me to forget my toil”. He named his second son “Ephraim”, meaning “God has made me double fruitful”.

God wants to do something in our life that’s bigger than us. He wants us to believe for the impossible. He’s able to do miracles, even creative miracles.

Jeremiah 32:27 says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for Me?” In verse 17 Jeremiah declares, “Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee.”

God is doing creative miracles even now, but in the days ahead creative miracles will increase (as our faith level increases to see God do more creative miracles). We will see or hear more testimonies about God restoring bodily parts that are damaged or not even there.

When Zerubbabel (mentioned in Haggai and Ezra) had faced opposition to restoring the temple in Jersualem and work had been suspended for several years, the situation looked bleak. But God spoke through the prophet saying, “Not by [your] might, nor by [your] power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a [level] plain” (Zech 4:6-7).

We can personalize this for our own lives. Replace the name Zerubbabel with your name or that of a loved one. Declare outloud: “The Word of the Lord comes to _________ saying, ‘It’s not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? Before _________ thou shalt become a leveled plain.’”

Matthew 21:21 says that if we speak to our mountain and tell it to move out of our way, and do not doubt in our hearts, that it would obey us. What is the mountain in your life that stands in your way and tries to intimidate or taunt you?

Luke 3:5 speaks of Jesus, saying that He would cause every valley to be filled and exalted, every mountain to be made low, every crooked path to be made straight, and every rough way to be made smooth.

God wants us to keep our focus on Him, and see Him as powerful and mighty and awesome. Who else is like unto Him? Who else can do what only He can do? There is none like Him!

Hebrews 11:11 says that Sarah received the promise because she considered Him faithful who had promised. Like Sarah, we need to believe that God is faithful to fulfill everything He said He would do even before we see it happen.

In Psalms 37:4, God promises to grant us the desires of our hearts. Even though there may be a delay in those desires coming to pass, the Lord wants us to keep delighting ourselves in Him.

The Hebrew word translated “delight” in Psalms 37:4 is “anag”. Although the definition of the word “delight” is inclusive of “taking pleasure in”, or “enjoying His Presence”, in this particular passage, the word “anag” is used. It is defined as: “being soft and pliable” (or in other words, allowing the Lord to be the Potter and mold us and have His way in our lives; keeping a soft heart). In the next verse, vs. 5, God promises that if we commit our way to Him and trust in Him, then He would bring our desires to pass.

In God’s way and in His timing, He will fulfill every promise. This is a year when many of God’s prophets and ministers are hearing the Holy Spirit say that this is a season when God is going to fulfill many promises He spoke to people long ago. It’s a season of leaving the wilderness and crossing over into our promised land. There are giants there (new challenges and new devils to contend with), but God will conquer every giant. Although the old can be miserable, it’s familiar. The new seems scary because it’s a place of the unknown.

God has a “promised land” for each of our lives (a place of blessings, joy, abundance and fulfilled dreams). The Lord will lead us there if we take His hand, and be willing to leave the past behind.

Luke 1:45 “Blessed is she [he] that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her [him] of the Lord.”

The Promises of God are YES and AMEN!

 

Part 2 – Zerubbabel – Set Free From Bondage and Captivity

Zerubbabel – Set Free From Bondage & Captivity (Part 2)

Therefore, the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads. They shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away (Isaiah 51:11, xref Isaiah 35:10).

The first siege of Jerusalem occurred under the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar. His successors after him also attacked Jerusalem, carrying away captives to Babylon, and finally destroying the temple.

Seventy years had passed since the first siege of Jerusalem. The prophet Jeremiah prophesied that the captivity would last for seventy years and then the Jews would return to their homeland.

God moved upon the heart of King Cyrus of Persia to grant favor to Zerubbabel, Prince of Judah, to lead the exiles out of Babylon back to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. Approximately 50,000 people left Babylon on the first exodus out of captivity under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Jeshua, the high priest.

Zerubbabel’s task was the rebuild the foundations of the temple, restoring the Altar and the daily sacrifices and worship.

Based on the true events that Zerubbabel and the exiles encountered, there is spiritual and prophetic application to our lives today.

SPIRITUAL AND PROPHETIC APPLICATION

Kingdoms of This World

Babylon is not only a literal geographical place, but it represents the kingdoms of this world. We live in a Babylonian society, with anti-Christ spirits and agendas that war against righteousness.

Jerusalem represents the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve sinned, the world was taken into captivity by Satan. Ever since that time, everyone has been born into captivity (sin). We live in a world filled with ungodliness and evil all around us.

Sin brought captivity—such as disease and sickness, poverty, oppression, etc.

The ultimate captivity, which sin leads to, is eternal captivity in hell.

The great news is that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came to earth to become the Lamb of God that would take away the sins of the whole world. Animal sacrifices temporarily covered sins, but sacrifices had to be repeated over and over again. Jesus shed His blood in order to redeem us back from the devil and sin. He saved us from everlasting imprisonment and torment in hell, and He is the door to Heaven. He is everlasting life to all who will receive Him.

Even though we live in a Babylonian society, we have been redeemed out of darkness and into light. We live in a different kingdom than that of the world. The principles of God’s kingdom is based on the precepts in His Word. God’s kingdom is at constant war with the kingdom of Babylon.

Babylon Represents Areas of Captivity in the Life of the Believer

I wish that I could say that as soon as a person accepts Christ as their Savior, then everything in their life is perfect from that day forward. However, that is not how it is. For one thing, now we have a ruthless adversary (the devil), and we continually have to be on guard to resist his attacks.

Second, our spirits were saved at the point of salvation, but our bodies and souls are in the process of being sanctified and redeemed. Most attacks against Christians are in the areas of the soul (mind, will, emotions), the physical body and finances.

Opponents came against Zerubbabel and the Jews when they began to make progress in rebuilding the Temple. That’s a picture of how the enemy tries to make attempts to sabotage, hinder and stop our progress in what God has called us to do. However, the positive news is that we have the Greater One (the Holy Ghost) living on the inside of us, and He is greater than he that is of the world. We have been given power and authority over all the wiles of the enemy, and given armor to wear, faith as a shield, and the Word of God has an offensive sword.

Many Christians are in captivity, suffering with physical sickness and disease. God wants you completely well. By His stripes (scourging of 39 lashes), you WERE healed (according to 1 Peter 2:24). Our healing is already paid for in full. We just have to receive it by faith.

Many Christians are in chains of captivity in the area of unhealed memories and damaged emotions. Many suffer from oppression and depression. Many battle with a spirit of rejection and ongoing mourning. Many believers are bound to their past, or to guilt and shame. Jesus came to set us free from all these bondages.

Many believers are in bondage to various addictions and vice, ranging from alcohol to pornography to compulsive gambling. An addiction has control over a person. It drives a person to the point where the person cannot live without it.

A believer could be held in captivity to rage and anger, being abusive, filled with jealousy, envy, hatred, bitterness and strife.

Fear is a debilitating bondage that God wants to set us free from. He wants to fill us with His perfect love. Faith cannot operate properly when fear is present. Fear causes doubt and unbelief, and faith and unbelief are two opposites.

Many Christian men and women are bound in sexual immorality (lust, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, pornography) and have a struggle getting free. Christ does not condemn, but He does convict because He wants people free and He is a holy God and is looking for holiness. The Bible says that no immoral person can enter into Heaven or inherit the Kingdom of God (Galations 5:19-21, Jude 7, Revelation 21:8), unless one repents with God’s help and grace.

Sometimes believers are not in bondage to sin issues necessarily, but their experience of captivity could be in the form of enduring very difficult situations, or remaining in unhappy, troubled relationships in which they feel entrapment.

In some situations (such as marriage when there are no Biblical grounds for divorce except for adultery and abuse), the Biblical thing is to stay and not leave. Other situations (such as unhealthy friendships) may call for the Lord leading you to cut off unhealthy soul ties. In situations where there is no way out, God can free you on the inside and give you grace to endure, filling you with His peace.

Being in the midst of confusion and chaos is a form of captivity. The definition of Babylon means “confusion”. Sometimes there is chaos all around us—at home, at work, etc. But God can step in and bring peace and clarity to the situation. God has given us authority to speak to the winds of confusion and chaos, and say “Peace, Be still!”

Jesus Christ wants us free from every bondage in our life. The Blood Atonement of Jesus is not only for our salvation (which is the greatest gift), but the Atonement is also for the here and now on this earth. There is healing in the Blood Atonement (healing for the body, mind and emotions). There is provision in the area of finances, for Jesus’ blood redeemed us from the curse of poverty and lack. Christ’s blood paid for freedom from any kind of addiction, sin or bondage. His Blood breaks all generational curses. The Blood of Jesus contains power to heal, restore and deliver. Satan is afraid of the Name and Blood of Jesus, because of the power in that Name and Blood.

Jesus, our Mighty Deliverer, wants to set us free and lead us out of our exile. He wants to set people free from the tormentors (demons that harass, oppress and afflict). He wants to restore the foundations of our lives. He wants to give us freedom in areas of our lives where we have been bound in chains.

Psalms 146:7-8 says of the Lord, “Who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord looses the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord raises them that are bowed down. The Lord loves the righteous.”

The anointing of the Spirit of God lifts burdens and removes yokes. Isaiah 10:27 says, “In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders, their yoke from your neck; the yoke will be broken because of the Anointing.”

Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”

Part 2 – Zerubbabel – Set Free From Bondage and Captivity (www.kathleendeniseriley.blogspot.com)

 

The Potter’s Wheel

Jeremiah 18:1-7 (NKJV)

1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying:

2 “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.”

3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel.

4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!”

 

Verse 4 says that the clay was marred, so the Potter had to re-make the clay vessel. The Amplified version renders the word marred for “spoiled”. The Adam Clarke’s Commentary says that some gravel or a small stone was found embedded into the clay, thus causing a breach. The Potter had to begin again with fresh clay.

This parable of the Potter and Clay shows Israel’s dependence on God. As He is the Master and Creator, He can shape our destinies how He sees fit.

The Lord wants to make us into a better person. He wants you to be a better individual, wife, husband, mother, father, son, daughter, business person, minister, employee. He is not trying to take from us, but to add to our lives His goodness. He wants to refine us, so as to remove the dross, so that we come out as pure gold and silver vessels, which are vessels of honor fit for the Master’s use (2 Timothy 2:20-21).

Don’t be afraid to let Jesus be the Lord over all the kingdoms of your heart and life. Don’t resist the Holy Spirit’s dealings in your life. Just yield to the Lord and allow Him to have His way in your life. He wants to bring greater levels of peace and joy, and abundant life, to your life.

The Lord wants us to come into deeper levels of consecration and to walk in holiness. This is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit.

There is an old song we used to sing, called “Have Thine Own Way”. It goes:

 

Have Thine own way Lord

Have Thine own way

Thou art the Potter

I am the Clay.

Mold me and make me

After Thy will

While I am waiting

Yielded and still.

Text: Adelaide A. Pollard, 1862-1934
Music: George C. Stebbins, 1846-1945 

 

As we wait on the Lord and have an open heart before Him, then He can begin to move in our lives. He wants to do great things in and through us, if we will get in sync with Him.

The Lord is asking you today the question: “Can I have My way in your life, and mold you into My image and into the person I destined for You to become?” The Lord has good plans for our lives, to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

All vessels that the Potter makes are equally important, and all have a useful purpose and function. There are fancy vases, and there are dinner plates and water pitchers. What seems to be considered to be the lesser vessels (eating/drinking ware) is even more useful for day to day living.

In Heaven, everyone will have an assignment to do, but it will be what you enjoy doing and what you are naturally skilled and talented at doing. Some will be florists, some ministers, some musicians and singers, some that work in the court room of Heaven, and others who take care of children. All of these things are equally important, as we all have our placement in the Body of Christ. Everyone has at least one talent that they are gifted at.

Also, in Heaven our net worth is not based on dollars and cents, but on how many souls we have and will impact for the kingdom of God.

If we, the Clay, would allow the Potter (the Lord) to work on us, developing us into the vessel He ordained for us to be, then we will be able to be used by God more, and make a greater impact for the kingdom of God.