Were you on the freeway when the deluge of rain poured out as we were all going home from church? I could not see a thing in front of me, so I turned on my lights and prayed hard. Then I saw some flashing tail lights which I followed. I quickly turned on my flashing lights because I observed that the flashing lights were the only thing visible during this deluge, tail lights were not enough. Another car with no lights at all dangerously pushed his way right between us. Now that car was able to follow the flashing lights but had no lights of its own to help it from being hit from behind and that driver was of no help to anybody else either! I could not follow this car and again I could not see a thing. I prayed that they would turn on their lights. Then they moved into another lane and I was again following the flashing tail lights. I thanked God for the driver of this truck that had put on his flashers. Then all of a sudden all 3 lanes were filled with vehicles with their flashing lights on. We all followed each others flashing lights and made it safely to our destinations.
My car is white and when it rains, it is a great detector for how dirty the roads are! We had such a deluge of rain that the roads were washed clean of the grime and dirt so that my car shows no signs of black dirt because the major dirt on the road was washed clean by the rain and therefore it did not stain my car like it does after a light shower. Do you all hear what I'm saying? Have your lights burning (fullness of the Holy Ghost/Christ in us) and to overflowing (tail lights were not enough, flashing lights were needed). Follow the light only, Jesus Christ (truck with flashing lights). Following anything else is too dangerous (car with no lights on) and will lead you into danger. When you are in a tough situation, pray. When you see another person headed into trouble (no lights on) pray for them, but continue to follow the light. As the church body (all vehicles in three lanes with flashers on), let each of your lights surround the one in danger (car with no lights) so they can steer clear of danger and learn the way of Jesus (filled with the Holy Ghost/flashing lights on). Stay clean by the washing of the water of the Word, let the Holy Ghost (white car as a detector) convict you of sin (black grime from road) and be washed by the water of the Word (deluge of rain). This way we will all make it safely to our destination, heaven (home).
Now onto the message that was given to us today at GWOD! I feel washed by the water of the Word, don't you? Let's stay clean and follow the instructions to clean out the clutter in our homes too. I can't wait to start throwing away some things (papers, books, old things not used); anything that clutters, but sparing antiques or things of value. Thank you Pastor Crowder. The garbage dump will be full of our unneeded clutter. Leave it there and don't go digging through other peoples clutter either, leave it all at the garbage dump. Many of us have a hard time throwing things out because they have spirits connected to them that keep us attached to them. Get rid of the clutter and the spirits that are attached to the clutter. Hoarding is a demonic spirit. Get those spirits out of your home and away from you.
We continued our study on Spiritual gifts, "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now are they many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way" 1 Cor 12:12-31.
Minister Lucretia pointed out that it takes the faithfulness of each member to keep the Body alive. She encouraged us to ask ourselves "What is my part in the Body of Christ?" She explained that some feel unworthy and are judging others' gifts and hindering their own gifts based on this presumption of unworthiness. Then Co Pastor Lane asked the question, "How do we evaluate or determine our value?" Many answered that question by stating that our value is in being a child of God and by what we do. This was quickly corrected by Co Pastor Lane as she emphasized that being a child of God all by itself is what gives us our value! Our value is not in what we do, what we have done, who we know, or what kind of education we have had, it is in being a child of God only. God determines our value and the gifts are added because of the Holy Ghost. Co Pastor Lane gave us the following Scriptures and explanations:
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day" Genesis 1:26-31. Adam's sin had separated us from God but now, because we have the Holy Ghost, we have it all back. We are not striving for "value" because we already have it in the Holy Ghost! Praise God everybody. Thank you Jesus! That is why it is so important to be born again (see John 3:1-21). Your value was worth the "life of God." This is your value. May I add that without Jesus (Christ in us) we are still separated from God and our value will come from every fleshly thing imaginable.
We are the children of God, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure" 1 John 3:1-3. Co Pastor Lane went on to explain that if we are shy or bold it is due to the way our parents dealt with us growing up, but God deals with us in love. Jesus taught and motivated Peter like this: "So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep" John 21:15-17. May I add that when we love God, we will love and serve others out of our love for Him.
Co Pastor Lane exhorted that when we are not motivated, we have lost our "first love" and lost our love for others. "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent" Rev 2:4-5. When we love God we will be about His work. We cannot "work" to be like God, we instead have to just "be" and we learn and understand how to "be" from the Word. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" John 14:6. Our value is in Him, we just have to "be" the way for somebody, to "be" the truth for somebody, to "be" the life for somebody. You just love and forgive to "be" like God. It is not a "work" it is a "be." Covet earnestly the gifts and seek God, all in love. He will respond. "But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way" 1 Cor 12:31. Please study again the next chapter, 1 Cor 13 on love, the more excellent way. Move toward Glory, your value is in God. This is how you evaluate your worth. It will stir up the gifts in you. It is God's presence (the anointing that is in you) that blesses somebody else. Let the Spirit of God break through to your soul (mind, will, and emotions). God loves us and intends for us to "be" like Him. He is creative, loving, giving, mighty in strength, protection (pillar of cloud by day), fire (pillar of fire by night), water when you are thirsty and much more. "Be" like your God.
Pastor Crowder said that we are valued from birth. Gold tarnishes and we have to polish it. Many of us have two or three minds and we cannot connect to God. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" Phil 2:5. We must have one mind only, the mind of Christ. If you know you are valuable in Christ you will draw people in. He increases you, "That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" 1 Cor 1:5-7. We will either be full of "religion" (yourself/flesh) or full of Salvation (Christ in you). A church dies when you do not use your gifts or when you are absent. It is similar to a plank falling off of the building or taking a light out of the building. Pastor Crowder said that she has always believed that she has something to offer. "Put on the mind of Christ. Your 'value' (Christ in you) will deliver. Do not walk away from what God says and do not go off into seclusion, we need to be end time warriors."
Definition of valuable: having considerable monetary worth; costing or bringing a high price; having qualities worthy of respect, admiration, or esteem; of considerable use, service, or importance. Pastor Crowder stated that when we don't believe we have "value" we are walking as a "coward." You are important and God will use you according to His will. Your friend is Jesus and you cannot make flesh your friend. Walk with Jesus. Do not compromise but instead get in a place where you don't care what others are doing because many are backsliding and you cannot walk with hypocrites. Ask God to purify your heart, it is an individual salvation. Pastor mentioned that the people of Judah and Jerusalem had been warned over and over by the prophets but they did not listen. They were rebuked for not obeying the calls to repentance. Their captivity for seventy years had been prophesied and God's wrath and judgment was declared upon them (read Jeremiah 25). This is apostasy and it is the same today. Don't do half of your work. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" 2 Tim 2:15. She continued by saying that we are slothful and can backslide overnight. Without the anointing of Christ you have nothing to keep you from cursing, whoremongering, lying, etc. We have been instructed to pray for the afflictions but we are slacking. Get up from where you are and ask God to forgive you. Follow God's instructions and it will spare other people's souls as well as your own. Don't run away from your work for God but instead get dedicated to your work for God.
This was a strong Word and we must obey. As you are cleaning out your physical house this week and in the weeks to come, clean out your Spiritual house too. We must get rid of the clutter, spirits, etc., and stay pure and clean, washed by the water of the Word and filled with the Holy Ghost. I'm excited to see the clutter go along with the fear and any other spirits that are lingering. Be Blessed and worship God as you are obeying. Keep each other in prayer as we are cleaning out our homes, our bodies, our souls (mind, will, and emotions), and our spirits. Fill yourselves with the Word and walk by faith in the Spirit; in truth and in love, all by the power of the Holy Ghost. You are valuable and necessary in the Body of Christ. I love you.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it" Matt 13:45-46.
Hope all of you are having a wonderful Mother's day. We have all been touched by our mothers and I thank God that He has put each one of us in the family of His choosing, all for our good and for His purposes. Some of you are mothers right now. Does this mean that you will be the perfect mother? No, you will make mistakes. None of us can say that we have not made any mistakes! So if you have an offense toward your own mother, forgive her, love her, and honor her and remember that you are not perfect either! "Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth" Eph 6:2-3. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee" Exodus 20:12. Any situation that you are in right now, or for that matter, have grown up in, God has ordained it for your life and He will perfect that which concerns you. He will equip you in handling each of the situations including healing the residue from the past, and also helping you at this present time and in the future. So with God's help we can overcome any situation and rest safely in this assured hope, by faith, because we know that He is in control. Let's thank God for our mothers that birthed us and for our mothers that adopted us and for our church mothers! It goes even further than that, thank him for your grandmothers, great grandmothers, great great grandmothers...! Tell them how much you love them, not just on Mother's day but every day.
Today at GWOD, once again, we were Blessed to have the gifts of the Spirit working and we were encouraged to let God have His way in us. It is important to remember that if Pastor Crowder has seated us for any number of reasons then we are not free to use these gifts until God has released us and it is confirmed by her approval and instructions to us, then everything will be done decently and in order "Let all things be done decently and in order" 1 Cor 14:40. That being said God has equipped the church body with every perfect Gift that comes from above. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" James 1:17. We must have the Holy Ghost to receive the gifts of the Spirit. Every gift of the Spirit is the Holy Ghost working in and through us. We do not pick and choose which gifts we will have, instead they are given to us by God and according to His pleasure. For example, He may use you in all nine gifts mentioned in 1 Cor 12 or He may have you operating in one gift at one time and in several other gifts at another time, it is up to Him not us!
We studied 1 Cor 12:1-11, go ahead read it again. Meditate on it and get an understanding so you can move in the Spirit as led by the Holy Ghost: "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will" 1 Cor 12:1-11.
Minister Cynthia explained these nine gifts beautifully and then summed it up by saying, "Every gift works by love because God is love. The gifts come from the Lord for the purpose of helping someone else (see 1 Cor 12:7). The Spirit will let you know when souls are asking for help. They may say it differently (such as by hinting), but you will discern by the Spirit what they are asking." She said, "When you go through something it is to help someone else, so encourage people with your testimony and help others. If you are weary when doing God's work then you are doing it wrong. Go out and get a soul." Somebody else added that when we work too hard, we are not trusting God.
Co Pastor Lane asked, "Why aren't the gifts stirred up in some of us?" She continued by saying that our focus is not in the right place and we are instead focusing on trying to "get perfect." The disciples were with Jesus and learning from Him and they became apostles after first being disciples. We all have our own set of issues but just say, "Lord, here am I" and let Him use you. We are the clay and He is the potter. You were already formed into something, but He will put you on the wheel and break you in order to re-form you into a vessel fit to His liking so He can use you. She explained that everybody has natural gifts and those with the Holy Ghost have spiritual gifts too. God will use all of them. If you have the Holy Ghost even your natural gifts will be enhanced. Many of us are "in pride" and will not move out because we might make a mistake. She explained that God has whom He wants here at GWOD for His purposes, just like He had whom He wanted in the upper room there on the day of Pentecost even with their frailties, doubts, and errors; all for His purposes of spreading the gospel, building the church, ministering to the people, etc. They received power to do God's work after the Holy Ghost came upon them (read Acts 1 and 2). All you have to do is to be ready, wanting and be filled with the Holy Ghost daily. Don't let trial defeat you or set you back. Trial motivated the Disciples, why doesn't it motivate us? Elder Robert Lane pointed out that many are looking for the natural and not for the Spirit. "Dirt attracts dirt but the Spirit attracts Spirit. Leave the dirt alone, don't hang unto the dirt."
Eldress Pam made clear the whole lesson by explaining that when we are given a gift in the natural, you keep it because it is yours, but this is not so with God's gifts. God's gifts are given to you to give back to Him and to help others. "It was given to you to give it away. It is not given to you to make you feel above or superior to somebody else or to make you feel good about yourself! Nor was it given to you to sit on it and not use it. The Spiritual gift empowers you above your regular capacity and it moves through you by the Holy Ghost onto others, causing a change in them. One reason we don't use the gift is because when corrected we carry an offense, so we either draw up or run ahead of God. If you aren't connected to God you won't have the flow." She continued by saying that God is to be glorified by the gifts, not you! We all need the gifts that you have and many things can cause one to be stifled, but stir up the Holy Ghost and let Him use you. The gifts are not yours they are His and they are to be given away. Think in the Spiritual and have trust and faith in God, not in yourself. God is in control.
Well, this was wonderful today but we definitely are not finished studying about the gifts of the Spirit. There is so much more to learn and understand so that we can minister effectively as the Holy Ghost leads. It takes a deeper prayer life, seeking God daily through the Word, listening to Him and being filled to overflowing daily; in other words, walking in the Spirit! As I said earlier, some of us are seated down and in training and do not have permission yet to use the gifts God has given us, but hold on because it won't be long and God will have His way in each of us. So stay in the Word, in prayer, in worship and be obedient to God and to the Leaders He has put over us. Be blessed and may I suggest that we all read and get an understanding of 1 Cor 12, 13, 14; Rom 12; 1 Pet 4:7-11; Eph 4 and Isaiah 11:1-3. In these Scriptures we can see many of the gifts and how to use them: Word of wisdom, Word of knowledge, Prophecy, Tongues, Interpretation, Healings, Miracles, Discerning of spirits, Faith, Ruling (Leadership), Mercy, Giving, Helps, Exhortation, Ministering/Serving, Hospitality, Teaching, Administrations, Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors/Shepherds, Teachers and more. In Isaiah 11:2-3, we see the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, Counsel and Might, Knowledge and the Fear of the Lord; all of which we must have active through the Holy Ghost. And don't forget to have the fruit of the Spirit active too: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" Gal 5:22-23.
I see other Godly characteristics that go along with these gifts such as: cheerfulness, simplicity, brotherly love, fervency in Spirit, rejoicing in hope, prayerfulness and much more! Here it is, this is too good to leave out, but don't forget to read 1 Cor 12-14 and Eph 4 on your own! "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceable with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good" Rom 12:1-21.
"But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" 1 Pet 4:7-11.
"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD" Isaiah 11:1-3. In closing, only through the Holy Ghost is it possible to minister as God would have us do. I love all of you dearly.
All of us must get into a place of prayer with the Lord as led by the Spirit, along with studying the Word and praising and worshipping our God. Prepare your hearts everybody because nobody else can do it for you, it is an individual salvation and it is time to seek the Lord concerning our hearts. Co Pastor Lane had a dream that was very significant for our church body. She dreamt that she was cleaning the church and sweeping it with a broom. The church was bigger than our building here at GWOD having many more rooms. She was sweeping under a table and noticed a lot of fuzz or hair. She kept sweeping under this table to clean it up, but the fuzz and hair just seemed to multiply so she poked the broom at this mess under the table at it formed into the body of a fox with a rooster's head. Pastor Crowder was there with instructions and Co Pastor Lane and Co Pastor McCarty were to get that fox with the rooster's head out of the church. This fox/rooster rose up to fight as Co Pastor Lane continued to poke at it, laboriously trying to sweep it out of the church. Co Pastor McCarty was helping and He opened the door as Co Pastor Lane swept it out with the broom and he closed the door. I will further explain Pastor Crowder's interpretation of this dream below.
We studied 3 John 1:1-14 and Minister Lucretia discussed how John, in his third letter, was commending and encouraging Gaius and Demetrius who were co-workers with him in the truth and were living Godly lives. The letter also contained a warning to them about Diotrephes, a worker of evil who was hindering the work of Christ. John urged them not to follow this evil example. Go ahead and read this passage again: "The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 5 Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; 6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: 7 Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. 8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth. 9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. 11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. 12 Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true. 13 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: 14 But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name" 3 John 1:1-14.
So Diotrephes was a self-exalted, prideful and evil worker who was prating against John and other preachers of truth, spreading malicious gossip against them. He refused to receive these traveling preachers who ministered God's Word in truth and he also tried to lead the other members of the church astray by forbidding them also the joy of sharing their homes as a place of rest for these co-workers of truth. He usurped John's ordained authority and would not accept his instructions, even to the point of casting out church members that had accepted John's authority. This was because he loved preeminence and wanted to dominate the church. Gaius and Demetrius on the other hand had a good report from John. This is what we should all desire, a good report from our Godly authorities, which means a good report from God. Let's pray one for another that we would each fulfill our calling, refusing to be distracted by evil workers that would hinder us or lead us astray and that we will give God our very best in all that we do. Diotrephes in his deceived state of mind may have assumed he was helping the church, so it is very important that we stand firm in the Word and recognize and "sweep out" any deceitful, self-seeking, prideful, or controlling spirits that could rise up in any one of us." Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you" Heb 13:17. Diotrephes fell into deceit by not submitting to God's ordained authority over His soul and was hindering other Godly co-workers and church members by his actions.
Minister Lucretia explained that we too must take the Word seriously and stand firm in the Word as co-workers of the truth in God's Kingdom. "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love" Eph 4:11-16. She asked some important questions,"How do we see one another in the ministry? What is your report? Do you have a good report of all men and of the truth itself, confirmed by our Godly leaders? If you are not yet ready to minister, Pastor will sit you down until you are ready, respect that. There will be a blessing in following the instructions."
Pastor Crowder asked, "How many of you know your own heart? Do you want to know your own heart?" She explained that you have to know the Word by your heart." Diotrephes was a self-centered man who changed the truth; even putting people of truth out of the church. Apostasy is very prevalent today and even Holiness is turning over because the leaders are "tired of being without!" She continued,"We have a lot of hypocrites in authority now, but the Holy Ghost has not changed. We hear many saying, 'But I'm prospering!' You are not prospering if you have left the truth and are headed to hell. Stand with the truth and don't let anything or anybody separate you from the love of God and God's truth. Holiness is not 'old school or old fashioned' as some would say, but rather let's speak out and let them know that the Holy Ghost (Christ in us) is Ancient and He has not changed" (see Dan 7:9-14, and 7:22 speaking of Jesus). "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever" Heb 13:8. Jesus existed before days were even created and He is from everlasting to everlasting. Praise God everybody!
Pastor explained that our flesh is at war with the Lord. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God" Rom 8:7-8. If we are walking in the flesh we are not obeying God; the flesh is not subject to anything God says. We have to mortify the flesh. Trial is necessary to break down the will of the flesh. It brings you to a place of trusting the Lord. Don't ask Him, "Why am I going through this?" Instead thank Him for it. Don't be over religious like Diotrephes who ruled the church in his own way regardless of what John said. There are some preachers who we cannot "eat" with. Love them but don't go their way. Jesus ate with publicans and sinners to draw them to Him. Don't let anybody "walk over" your Holiness. Let the Lord word your mouth when you are talking to them.
Minister Lucretia mentioned that hearts can be seared. People can run off from God with different interpretations of the Word, not realizing that there is only one truth and the truth will show itself out! Diotrephes didn't want to help preachers, so he had a "little cult" working there. He put himself in the place of God and cut off those that were teaching the truth. This is how cults are formed. Ananias and Sapphira were also deceitful workers. Their hearts were not right and they agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord (read Acts 5:1-11). Some say, "You need to cut off the Old Testament and just use the New Testament." This is blasphemy and if you have cut off the Old Testament you have cut off God. Jesus Himself said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven" Matt 5:17-20. We can see from this passage that only through Jesus do we have righteousness, but the law shows us God's standard and points out our sin. "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin" Rom 3:20.
Pastor Crowder said, "You have to have the Old to know the New because it shows you how to clean up." For example, "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God" Deut 22:5. Jeremiah prophesied this concerning painting the face: "And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life" Jer 4:30. He was prophesying to Jerusalem concerning their waywardness and spiritual harlotry; Jerusalem trying to allure her lovers (Egyptians, or other foreigners) to assist them against the Chaldeans, but in vain because those very allies they were seducing would join with their enemies. Jeremiah went about prophesying truth and they beat him and threw him in prison. It is necessary to "eat the whole scroll." Stay in the Word. We want to avoid even the appearance of evil. "Abstain from all appearance of evil" 1 Thess 5:22. Don't paint your face or eyes and do not dress like someone who is trying to seduce another. A smile will dress up your face beautifully and a clean heart will make your face shine and your eyes sparkle, this is all you need. A clean heart will let you know what clothes are appropriate to wear. The Holy Ghost in us will not allow us to cheapen ourselves. By the way, men that want to see women with painted faces and eyes and walking around in inappropriate lustful clothing have the same "prostitute" spirit as the woman that is dressing that way! This must be "swept out" of the church. Men watch what you are wearing too, what do you want to show to allure women? Kill that spirit now!
Co Pastor Lane added that you are like a "cult of one" if you are battling against the Word in your heart and secretly too! If you are disagreeing with the Word then you are a "cult of one." If you are offended by instructions from the Word or from your leaders who are being led by the Holy Ghost, then you are a "cult of one." We must be co-workers in the truth, so examine your life and see what part of your life is not lined up with the Word and pray for God to deliver you and help you overcome in that area. Co Pastor Lane spoke of the dream that God gave her. Here is the dream once again. She was cleaning the church and sweeping it with a broom. The church was bigger than our building here at GWOD having many more rooms. She was sweeping under a table and noticed a lot of fuzz or hair. She kept sweeping under this table to clean it up, but the fuzz and hair just seemed to multiply so she poked the broom at this mess under the table at it formed into the body of a fox with a rooster's head. Pastor Crowder was there with instructions and Co Pastor Lane and Co Pastor McCarty were to get that fox with the rooster's head out of the church. This fox/rooster rose up to fight as Co Pastor Lane continued to poke at it, laboriously trying to sweep it out of the church. Co Pastor McCarty was helping and He opened the door as Co Pastor Lane swept it out with the broom and he closed the door. She explained that this was a demon of retaliation, stubbornness, cunningness, and slyness that was hiding in the church. We must ask ourselves these questions: What part of me is not letting go of the world? What part of me is not delivered? Where am I coming against the Lord? Search your hearts right now and present yourself to God. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" Rom 12:1-2.
Pastor Crowder made clear the interpretation of the dream by saying: "Everybody has their own mind (many rooms, different rooms, different places). The broom represents a besom (a long-handled brush of bristles or twigs used for sweeping); in the Spirit a besom is a rod of correction. "All the kings of the nation, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. 19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. 20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. 21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities. 22 For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD. 23 I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts" Isaiah 14:18-23. God is not pleased with preachers that are not lined up with Him. He is not going to bless us until we get right. He is going to cut out everything not like Him.
Pastor Crowder explained that this fox/rooster was hiding under the table and was molting or shedding. These are spirits and they are trying to hide: The fox represents anything deceiving and destructive that is trying to disrupt the church. This spirit doesn't mind deceiving you. "Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall" Nehemiah 4:3. "O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts" Ezekiel 13:4. May I add that these prophets accelerated the ruin of their people. "Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes" Song of Solomon 2:15. Again these foxes were being removed early on to prevent any destruction to the vines, teaching us to immediately remove any errors and heresies right from the beginning. "And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected" Luke13:32. Jesus was calling Herod a fox. Herod had beheaded John the Baptist to gratify a wanton request from his wife, Herodias. She was trying to kill John the Baptist because he had spoken the truth to Herod saying that it was not lawful for him to have his brother Philip's wife; this truth made her angry. Don't forget that Herod's flesh was being seduced by a dance by Herodias' daughter, which lured him into making a wrong offer (see Mark 6:14-29). Definition of fox: a carnivorous mammal of the dog family with a pointed muzzle and bushy tail, proverbial for its cunning; a cunning or sly person; a sexually attractive woman or man; a clever crafty person.
The rooster represents a spirit or attitude of arrogance or conceit that brings in rebellion. Definition of rooster: a male domestic fowl; an adult male chicken; a cock; a person regarded as cocky or pugnacious; a cocky or vain person. "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. 33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. 34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me" Luke 22:31-34. May I add that we need to be careful not to be self-confident (flesh) or you will surely fall. "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" Proverbs 16:18. It is interesting that Jesus used a rooster's crow to remind Peter of his sin of self-confident words spoken earlier, but then cursing and denying having known Jesus when he was questioned three times (see Matt 26:69-75). Jesus had told Peter that he was going to be sifted as wheat, but that He had prayed for him that his faith would not fail and when he was converted (the promise of salvation!) he would strengthen the brethren. It happened just as Jesus had said. Thank you Jesus for salvation and for being our intercessor!
We cannot drag our feet or be slothful any more. Sweep out these rebellious spirits of deception, apathy, cockiness, argumentativeness, slyness, craftiness, lying, lust and anything else not like God. We have been warned, so let's sweep it out now so that God will not have to raise up a besom of destruction to sweep it out. We must have the fullness of the Holy Ghost in our lives and be in prayer at all times. Ask God to fill you once again with His Spirit so that your cup is overflowing. Let's get in a place of prayer and seek His face and that means your children too, teach them to pray and seek God. Start by praising Him and thanking Him for who He is and then get into deep soul searching prayer. "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" Psalm 139:23-24. Let's keep our hearts clean and we will be very effective and blessed as co-workers of the truth in the Body of Christ, having the light of Christ shining in us. The Holy Ghost will keep us and His mighty power working in us will draw others to Christ. I love all of you dearly.
We had a strong Word of warning today at GWOD, an exhortation on making sure that we are neither being deceived nor following any deceivers or deceiving spirits. We must avoid these deceptions by being filled with the Spirit, studying the Word, and fellowshipping among true Holy Ghost filled believers of truth so that we will not fall into any sly deception. We studied 2 John 1:1-13, go ahead and read it again. "The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; 2 For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever. 3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. 4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. 7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. 12 Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. 13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen."
Minister Evelyn pointed out that religion today is merely a "fad" with churches gathering numbers, tithes and offerings but not caring for the souls. They cannot care for the souls because their own souls are deceived and in danger too. This is what Jesus calls the blind leading the blind. "But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch" Matt 15:13-14. A Pastor's heart should be one of loving God and not wanting anyone to be lost. Thank God we have Pastors and leaders with the Shepherd's heart here at GWOD teaching the Word by the Spirit, using Scripture to interpret Scripture. Deceivers are being led either by their own hearts, a deceiving spirit, the world, or other deceived leaders. They themselves are deceived and they are out and about deceiving others. Deceive means: to mislead by a false appearance or statement; delude; to be false; fail to fulfill; to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid. 2 Cor 11:13-15 warns us, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." It is necessary to test every spirit and all teachings to see if they are truly from God or if it is a lie from Satan and his servants. All must line up with the Word of God.
Here is another scripture warning us not to believe every spirit, but instead to test that spirit. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us: he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error" 1 John 4:1-6.
Again, we cannot just take one scripture alone, but must interpret it with all other Scriptures in the Bible. Many profess Christ but are not living like Christ and are very deceived. Jesus said, "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils: and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" Matt 7:18-23. These are strong words right from Jesus' mouth. How can we do the will of the Father which is in heaven? By receiving the Holy Ghost, adhering to the Word of God at all times, doing God's will for each of our lives and not following our own agendas. As Minister Evelyn put it, "We must line ourselves up with the Word and we must not compromise or deviate from the Word." Many churches are trying to please the world and the people's flesh and have compromised the truth in order to appease the masses. We should neither listen to them nor entertain any of their ideas because that would be partaking of their evil deeds (see 2 John 1:11). So if it does not line up with the Word of God, flee from it! Study the Word and know the Word for yourself.
We were reminded that Christian love is based on God's truth revealed in Christ. When truth dwells in is (Christ in us) our character changes and we become Christlike. Yes, you can come to God as you are but you have to know that you won't stay that way! Christ will change you completely! When we walk in truth we will walk after His commandments; loving God and loving one another. We are to carry out God's love and at the same time realize that it does not include accepting false teachers, false doctrines, or the world's ideologies. We are to stand firm in God's truth, discerning those in error so as not to allow ourselves or others around us to be swept away in the strong current of philosophies, vain deceit, and humanistic thinking that is so prevalent today. "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" Col 2:8. "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" 2 Tim 3:13. "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many" Matt 24:4-5. "And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved" Matt 24:10-13. "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" Matt 24:23-24.
There are many defectors who once believed but now reject the truth of God's Word. The Spirit of God does not dwell in them, but rather the spirit of the antichrist. We have been warned to be alert and not to let these false prophets or teachers persuade or ensnare us. Do not listen to them. Our perfection comes from Christ alone. When we live in truth, we are preserved by God's grace, mercy and peace that comes from Him alone. Praise God! God has warned us and yet many will be carried away believing a lie rather than receiving the love of the truth, "Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. 16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, 17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work" 2 Thess 2:9-17.
In closing let's remember not to compromise with our family members or children either. Minister Evelyn eloquently explained, "God's yes is yes and His no is no; He is not concerned about our opinions! Don't worry about whether they will love you or not, stand firm on God's Word; God will work it out." Be Blessed everybody and continue to pray for all of our family members that are in need of a mighty touch from God. Continue to live in faithfulness to God's revealed truth and walk in the Spirit so that you will not be deceived, nor will you cause others to stumble who happen to be observing your contrary behavior in the flesh! Instead, act in Love and Truth being led by the Spirit. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" 1 John 1:8-9. "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise" 1 Cor 3:18. True born again believers will not stay deceived, because if they are sincerely seeking God, the Spirit of truth will guide them into all truth eventually. I know this was "tough" encouragement but very necessary for all who read this. God loves us so much that He doesn't want us to be deceived in any way concerning His truth. Pray for all Pastors world wide who call on the Name of Jesus that they will be guided into all truth and not lead their sheep astray. Pray that all souls will come to Jesus. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" 2 Pet 3:9. I love you all very much.
God loves us and wants us to comprehend His love for us, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" John 3:16. His love is so great and empowering that it cannot be measured or contained. His love for us is so wide, deep, long, and high that it surpasses knowledge! Because His love surpasses knowledge we cannot fully understand it with our minds. It is necessary to learn about Jesus and receive Him; to be born again (read John 3). We must get an understanding and learn as much as we can of God's love through His Word and be filled with the Holy Ghost (Christ in us); and then walk out that love by serving Christ, by serving others. We must live by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" Gal 2:20. Do you know and believe God's love for you personally? "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him" I John 4:16. My, what power packed words! Ask yourself these questions: Are you dwelling in love? Is God in you (Christ in you)? Are you filled to overflowing, having the fullness of Christ in you? Today at GWOD we continued learning about God's perfect love, the receiving of His love by being filled with the Holy Ghost, the giving of ourselves to others and loving them through the power of the Holy Ghost. We learned about several different facets of God's love.
Let's begin by reading the following scriptures and asking God for a greater understanding and comprehension of His love. 1 John 4:13-5:5, "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. 5 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?"
Deaconess Crumbley pointed out how believing is key to receiving God's love and living an overcoming life. 1 John 5:5 says, "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" He fills us with the Holy Ghost so we can carry out His love here on this earth. As believers in Christ, we have an obligation to live out what we are speaking, teaching, writing or preaching. The Holy Ghost enables us to do this and we are His living epistles read of all men! That means that you are on display wherever you go and whatever you do, and people are watching! "Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart" 2 Cor 3:2-3. Sis. Crumbley asked the question, "What does love look like to you?" If you didn't get a chance to answer that question this morning, go ahead and answer it right now. Is your answer based on God's Word? This love must be measured by the Word or it will manifest itself as some other kind of feeling or counterfeit love and not true love. It is necessary to believe and trust God's love. This includes trusting His love in you and also trusting His love in others who are filled with the Holy Ghost. Are you demonstrating God's love in everything you do? If not, you will have to get on your knees or lie prostrate before God and seek His face. Ask Him to fill you with the Holy Ghost, ask for wisdom and understanding, ask for His strength and power, and ask Him to show you how to love, bless, and serve others. He will show you His will for your life. Get into His Word and Praise Him! He will respond.
Co Pastor Lane spoke about the fears and torments that we experience when we feel we have not pleased God due to sin or disobedience. This is where faith comes into action. There is no fear in love and perfect love casts out fear (read again 1 John 4:17-19). The Holy Ghost will give us the protection we need against these fears and torments. It is important to get an understanding of why you are doing these behaviors. Why is it a sin? Why is it against the will of God? We live in fear because we don't know God and that is why there is no peace or joy. Spend time with God and get to know Him. We are all made differently, so it is important to walk after the instructions He gives you and then you will not be wondering if you are pleasing Him. Remember "As He is, so are we in this world," so walk in the Holy Ghost. It was explained to us that when you are scared of someone, it means you have a hatred toward them based on your perception of how they have treated you. Think on this for a moment. Have you ever had a fear of your boss, your mother, your Pastor, your father, or even a dog or cat? Yes, we all have and because of how you have perceived their treatment toward you, this fear persists. It could even be someone who is in a position like theirs and you are still associating that previous pain with this new person. Co Pastor Lane explained that there is no love in this. When you have fear, other things come up with it: a bad attitude, procrastination, withdrawal, laziness and irresponsibility, etc.; basically you shut down because you don't have perfect love.
In order to understand God's love you have to realize that God does not love the same way people love. He loves regardless of who you are and what you do. God's love transcends all of the things that you have ever done. The more we come to know Him through His Word and prayer, the more He fills us with the Holy Ghost. We will see evidence of His love and we will no longer be angry, fearful, or lack confidence, etc., because the Holy Ghost has come in and changed that. Let's take a break and praise Him right now! Praise God and thank Him!
Pastor Crowder added that God's love does not always look good or sound good in correction. His love corrects sin and correction is painful at times. Also God's love will be evident in how one looks or acts, for example, you can see patience and kindness in another's actions. Read 1 Cor 13 once again to gain a better understanding of what God's love looks like. Love covers a multitude of sins. "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins" 1 Pet 4:8. Cover means to put something such as a cloth or lid on top of or in front of something in order to protect it or conceal it. Love sets things in order. Love will keep you out of trouble. Love will get in front of what you are trying to do (preventing you from going any further) because it is not the right thing for you to do. Love can hide you and cover you. Love takes over everything.
Pastor Crowder continued with these scriptures and explanations:
1 Pet 1:22-23 "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." Get purified! If you are in a living in a neighborhood or household that you want to get out of, let God purify you first in truth. God has you there to clean you up. Don't upset where God has put you, you're there to learn how to love. Love is working some faults out of you. Unfeigned love is where nothing is in the way. It is a sincere, genuine, real, true, honest, unaffected, unforced, heartfelt, and wholehearted love.
1 John 4:21"And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also." You have to love the brethren and your family also. God's love doesn't always look good here! You must endure with them, God is showing you your own hearts response in your actions toward them (are you impatient, mean, or selfish? etc.). "And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no" Deut 8:2.
1 John 4:9-11 "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." Loving one another is a response to God's love. Others will see Christ in you. Our love is faulty when we want to avoid those "bad folk!"; you must endure with those that mistreat you. Moses couldn't put all of those "bad folk!" out at one time (Numbers 14). It was God's love that took him out into the back side of the desert for 40 years (Exodus 2, 3 and Acts 7:30) working with sheep until the "Egypt" was out of his life. Get the "Egypt" out of your life! We want more prestige but have no love. Moses was 80 years old when God sent him back to Egypt to talk with Pharaoh (Exodus 7:7). The love of God put Joseph in prison (Genesis 39) in order to exalt him. God's love doesn't always look or feel good! So stay in place and endure until God takes you out. You have to be purged. Even if you are not acting out your thoughts you are still thinking them and you are out from under God's love. Are you going to get God's love right? Right love will make you go up and hug and kiss them. The love of God purifies you and you can endure.
Rom 12:9-10 "Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;" Put evil away and be kind to your enemy. You will be able to look them in the face, bless them and hug them. You have to practice it daily and it will become true. If others are acting out against you, don't put your mouth or attitude to it, instead get out of the way and let God handle it. Don't provoke the soul. If you are in peace they will get in peace. It is a test for your spirit: Will you get angry? Will you be selfish? Ask God to sanctify you. If God blots out sin and remembers it no more, we have to do the same. "I, even, I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins" Isaiah 43:25.
Praise God! Well, this was another stirring message concerning unfeigned love and being perfected in Christ. I hope you are as encouraged as I am in learning to love as God loves. Let's put this powerful Word into action. I will close with this prayer from the Word. Pray it out loud with me and watch how God will respond, it is for all of us. "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." Eph 3:14-21.
Continue to pray for the sick and those who are suffering and in need of our Saviour, that God would manifest Himself strong in their lives, heal, save and deliver. The Lord bless you, and keep you, and make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you, and lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. I love you.
How's your heart right now? Do you feel God's peace? Is God's love shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Ghost? Just talk to Jesus and meditate on His word and He will strengthen you in any area of concern or weakness; His grace is sufficient for you and His power is made perfect in your weakness. Are you going through a trial or running low on peace and love? Well, don't worry, just get into prayer to stir up the Holy Ghost in you. Rom 5:1-5 says,"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."There now, don't you feel better already? I know I do! God's love was displayed on the cross; a love that was willing to die for mankind lost in sin, so that we could have eternal life in Him. Love encompasses the giving of ourselves and this means not just talking about God's love or feeling His love, but also the actions of giving out His love through us (by the Holy Ghost) to others, forgiving others, praying for those that persecute you, helping others (saved and unsaved) in their need and pointing them to Jesus. This is a love that is willing to die for another. Let's pray together right now this prayer: Lord God, perfect your love in each of us by the power of the Holy Ghost, Amen.
Today at GWOD, in 1 John 3:11-24, we were reminded to love one another. Go ahead and read it again! Meditate on God's Word and let it get deep into your heart. "For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother, And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. 13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. and hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us."
Sis. Mary asked, "What was Cain's love like?" Able's works were righteous and Cain's were evil. Heb 11:4 says, "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh." Able's obedience in his excellent sacrifice is speaking to us even today. God accepted Abel's offering but did not accept Cain's offering (read Gen 4). Cain got angry at this and God spoke to him letting him know, "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him" Gen 4:7. Cain had a choice (a chance to repent), but chose not to obey God's words and in his anger he chose to murder his brother, Able. God spoke to him again but Cain felt his punishment was to great to bear and he went out from the presence of the LORD. Wow, an example NOT to follow; it is so necessary to obey God's voice from the beginning and to stay in his presence. You might be saying, "I have never murdered anybody, thank God," but we can and do commit murder in our hearts. Jesus explained it deeper for us in 1 John 3:15, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." Jesus said, "Ye have heard that is was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" Matt 5:21-22. Today through Jesus Christ, no matter what we have done, if we come to Jesus by faith and stay in His presence, we will be saved.
Concerning love, Sis. Ollie brought up FTT (failure to thrive), a medical term referring to abnormal growth in babies or children. When babies are rejected by their mothers, they do not thrive. She explained that we are created to be loved. When babies don't receive the cuddling, rocking, and the needed attention that is so necessary, they do not grow and they can die. To prevent this from happening, other people are brought in to love these babies and they begin to thrive and grow. The mothers are sent to parenting classes to be taught how to care for their child. We all need love and we must learn to give love to others and receive love, only through God can we do this properly. Those who have not been loved as a child must be taught by other Godly people and more importantly by God, how to love and how to receive love.
Pastor Crowder made it clear that those who have had no love at home, look for love from other people at church, but they may not find it at church because many of us are still growing in love too! That is why it is so important to go to God first; read His Word to learn of His love and receive His love as you talk with Him in prayer. Also if you have not had hugging and kissing at home and someone in church comes up to you with hugs and kisses, well, it will be uncomfortable for you. They must understand that you are growing in God and you will be taught by Him the right way to receive their love and also how to express your love back to them. The one giving the hugs and kisses must understand this and not be offended, but instead be patient and continue to love the other that doesn't know how to love; with lovingkindness will you draw them. "The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee" Jer 31:3. Husbands and wives, if you have stopped speaking to each other, your love is not real. Go back to the altar and let God fill that place. If any of us here at GWOD have stopped speaking to one another, our love is not pure. We must all go back to Christ in prayer on the altar and pray through.
By the power of the Holy Ghost in us we can love the prostitute, the drunkard, the thief, the lost and bring them on in. They don't want to be in the condition they are in, they need Jesus. Co Pastor Lane said, "Sometimes it is necessary to sacrifice our lives for others. It is important to be a faithful witness and to give of ourselves to others. Don't shut yourselves up in your home! We have to know what God has put us here to do. Stir up the gift in you and God will respond to every word that you speak to a soul. Be patient and loving and at the same time God will build you up."
Eldress Pam preached a strong word on loving others and loving those that talk against you. She began with Psalm 27:1-4 "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. 3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. 4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple." Don't be afraid of what comes your way or rises up against you, God is bringing us into the perfection of His likeness.
John 3:16-21 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." Eldress Pam explained that we must love those in and out of the church. When someone speaks falsely against you or does something to harm you, just say, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" Luke 23:34. Speak it with your heart and not just with your lips. Don't fall by the wayside when you are talked about, instead stay strong in the Lord. Sometimes you can fall into condemnation because you have listened to what others have said and not to what God has said. Believing God as you are going through a trial causes God's love to take root. To overcome condemnation begin to look for the good and don't concentrate on what is wrong; cast your burden on Jesus and He will sustain you. Read His promise here, "Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee; he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved" Psalm 55:22. Are you feeling condemned? Come to the light, God is greater than our hearts and knows all things. Stop looking around at the circumstances and just obey the instructions God has given you; he will give you the next step. Get rid of anything not like God. Good will come out of this. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" Rom 8:1. Say out loud, "I will not sway, I will wait patiently, I will be of good courage." If you are in Christ, you are being made more like Him. Be of good courage.
We ended with 1 Cor 13 which sums up everything concerning love. Prayerfully meditate on every Word and then go and be a doer of God's Word! "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."
Remember to pray for one another and stand strong in God's Word. I love you all very much.
Resurrection Sunday is an everyday occurrence for all of us here at GWOD, go ahead and shout out Amen! Christ is alive and moving in and through each of us that have dedicated our lives to Him. No matter what comes our way, God picks us up and gives us new life in Him for the mastery of each situation. When things are going great, well, He continues to Bless us and He directs every new step as we grow in Him. We had a wonderful Resurrection service today with family, friends, and guests including a special time for all of the children and youth to proclaim the wonders of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. They all spoke beautifully, magnifying our Lord Jesus Christ and Chrischien honored Him beautifully on the saxophone. We know that God was pleased with all of them and He will bless them as they continue to learn of Him. We love our children, teenagers, and young adults and God was showering His love upon them today as they spoke out giving Him Glory. His love swept over all of us, young and old, and not one of us was left out! Praise God.
Sister Crumbley asked us these two important question, "How sure are you of what you believe? Are you in Adam or in Christ? We studied 1 Cor 15:1-11, 20-22, "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed... 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
These scriptures say it all. If we are a true believer, we are in Christ. Jesus is with us and in us at all times, and we have this promise, Christ in us, the hope of glory both now in our earthly perishable bodies through the Holy Ghost and also forever when we receive our glorified imperishable bodies (read 1 Cor 15:35-58 and Col 1). Look at the recorded number of eye witnesses that saw Jesus after His resurrection. He also showed himself alive to the apostles for over a 40 day period and spoke of the Kingdom of God. "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 Until the day in which he was taken up after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence...8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" Acts 1:1-5, 8. We must believe by faith and receive the Holy Ghost; blessed are they that have not seen but yet believe.
On the third day, Christ rose from the dead and He is the "firstfruits" of those that rise from the dead. May I say, He was the first to rise from the dead, never to die again. All the others in the Bible that were raised from the dead (for instance Lazarus, the son of the widow of Zarephath, the son of the Shunammite, and the daughter of Jairus) all died in later years. Christ is truly "the firstborn from the dead" (see Col 1:18). Only Jesus has truly conquered death. Those who are in Christ will rise at His coming. The Feast of Firstfruits was a Jewish feast held at the beginning of the grain harvest. It was observed on the third day after the Passover. The people were to bring a sheaf of grain to the priest, who would then wave it before the Lord as an offering. No grain was to be eaten until the firstfruits offering was offered unto God. A burnt offering, a meal offering, and a drink offering were also required at this time (read Lev 23:9-14 and Deut 26:1-10). Jesus is the fulfillment of the firstfruits offering. He had no sin yet, because of His love for us He died on the cross (the Passover Lamb), was buried (the Unleavened Bread), and rose from the dead on the third day (the Firstfruits demonstrating the future resurrection of the church). He is the perfect lamb that was slain for our sins. We have forgiveness of sins and eternal life only through Jesus, because of His sacrifice. His resurrection paves the way for our resurrection. As Co Pastor Lane said, "He is our guarantee that our sins have been washed and purged. He is our guarantee of opportunity of oneness in God. Sin no longer has dominion over us!" Are you in Christ? If you are struggling with the answer to that question, then get on you knees and ask Jesus to save you. He will do it and He will fill you with the Holy Ghost. He loves us and died for us so that we could have new life in Him.
Minister Lane encouraged us to reach out to the lost and to keep our light burning to witness for Christ. "Don't be the one who accepts Barabbas to get rid of Jesus." Wow, I never thought of Barabbas in that manner, but that is exactly what the people did and we can easily do that today too. Are you still in Adam or are you in Christ? Receive Christ now and live, let Him fill you with His mighty resurrection power.
Co Pastor McCarty preached a quick, powerful, and right to the point word today on Victory in Christ. John 20:24-29 "But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."
Co Pastor McCarty exhorted us to get rid of fear. Jesus didn't use the door, but he stepped into their situation. Fear causes terror and because of past experiences that didn't go well, many people won't taste of life for fear of being hurt again. He encouraged us to open up to the Lord and let Him bring back life and joy. Some are hurt and don't feel loved and some are doubting. Do we have any believers? Isaiah 53:1 "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?" Who has believed? Revelation is coming unto you today. God won't come like you want Him to come. He will work on you in His way and in His time. Co Pastor McCarty explained that some of us are like Thomas and we say, "Until the Lord delivers me, I won't believe." Jesus bled, suffered and sacrificed Himself just so we could come in. "You have to understand, your resurrection has been guaranteed. It is a sure thing. Be filled with the Holy Ghost and fire! Get the fire going." 1 John 4:4 "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." You have overcome "them." The "them" can be anything: laziness, disobedience, hard head, stubbornness, high blood pressure, etc. This is the victory that we have in Christ. It is not based on how much you pray, it is based on what Jesus did.
Rom 8:31"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" Co Pastor McCarty said, "The devil comes in and messes with your minds, but God has assured you that Victory is yours. Victory is similar to a husband working hard all day. Then he comes home and puts the check in his wife's hand. She just has to receive it. You just have to receive the Victory, Jesus has cancelled the debt. You are no longer what you used to be, now you are in Christ." 2 Cor 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
When our life is hid in Christ we operate in Christ. I will close with Col 3:1-4 "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and you life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." Be blessed and let's continue to pray as we have been instructed. Wasn't that a sweet little baby that was dedicated and blessed today. Pastor Crowder's prayer for the baby's mother was powerful too, including that God would bless her with wisdom and knowledge in raising the baby. Keep them in your prayers. Pray one for another. I love all of you dearly.
We have been led by the Spirit into a time of prayer and fasting here at GWOD concerning this plague of affliction. We have commanded these demons of affliction to leave in Jesus Name. As we continue to pray and fast, EVERYTHING that is not like God will also come to the forefront, in order to be swept away from us. We will not allow demons, the world, or our own flesh to take control or even try to take control of any of us here at GWOD. God is moving in a mighty way and the enemy is a defeated foe. Everything is being swept clean and put in order and we will keep it that way through obedience to the Word, by the Spirit. We must be filled with the Holy Ghost daily. 2 Cor 10:3-6 says, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled."
When a temptation or trial comes our way, we must refuse to compromise or to have a pity party and we must stand firmly on the Word of God, all the while praising Him. Don't you know that the enemy and our flesh will try very hard to fight back and that is why we must mortify the flesh and also command the devil to get behind us. We will be tempted with the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life (read 1 John 2). Rom 8:13 says, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." Let's again remember how Jesus handled temptation and the devil, and do the same! "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him" Matt 4:1-11.
All right, there you have it, so let's speak the Word in each situation and not give the flesh and/or the devil a foothold. Continue to praise Him in each trial or temptation, speak the Word, walk in the Spirit and you will not give in or be discouraged. Remember obedience is better than sacrifice. If discouragement creeps in, get rid of it quickly and get your mind back on Jesus. Worship God with a song about how great He is, and watch self pity and discouragement flee. How many of you went through something this week? Did you feel the heavy weight it produced? Pastor Crowder encouraged someone today with Matt 11:28, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." This is a good Word for all of us also, because many of us labor in the flesh trying to "fix it" by ourselves. God's yoke is easy; learn of Him, it isn't hard to live Holy. He is telling us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. The devil presses down on you, but Jesus gives you rest. His way is light and easy.
Co Pastor McCarty preached an encouraging word from Psalm 34:1, "I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth." We were encouraged to praise God even when we are "going through." He went on to Psalm 34:19, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all." He explained that afflictions cause pain and suffering and that they were abounding here at GWOD. This is why we went into prayer, but "God, through prayer has delivered us."
In 1 Samuel 21, David (fearing Saul) fled to King Achish and overheard the servants of King Achish asking if this was David, the king of the land, the one whom the people honor with singing saying, 'Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.' So David being afraid of what King Achish might do to him, changed his behavior before them and pretended to be a mad man, drooling and fumbling! Co Pastor McCarty related this to some of us, saying, "Some of you have changed your behavior because of your problem or affliction; your smile is not the same, it is crooked, your praise dance has a twitch, your face doesn't look the same, and you are faking it!" Afflictions can include: malady (disease), ailment (minor illness), handicap (a condition that restricts a person's ability to function physically, mentally, or socially), heartache (emotional anguish or grief, typically caused by the loss or absence of something and/or someone loved), impediment (hinderance or obstruction), and baggage (past experiences or long-held ideas regarded as burdens and impediments). He said, "Any affliction that God didn't send, return it to the sender! Afflictions can cause distress and anxiety and this anxiety can become extreme and turn into torment. The physical afflictions can affect you mentally causing double afflictions. Don't let your mind go back and hook up with the emotional grief that you have experienced in the past. Let it go!"
We were asked, "What are you going to do when your time of suffering comes?" Our answer is, "We will bless the Lord at all times. We will praise Him continually with our mouths!" The more of God we have in our lives, the bigger target we become for the enemy. We will have more enemies after us, but with God's power one can chase a thousand and two can put ten thousand to flight! "One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the LORD your God. he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you" Joshua 23:10. "O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! 30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up? 31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges" Deut 32:29-31. Say it out loud church, "God, through prayer has delivered us!" His promise is that He delivers us out of all of our afflictions and all equals 100%. If you have been delivered or healed and a little symptom remains there or tries to come back, rebuke it in Jesus' Name. Tell the devil to get behind you. "What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time" Nahum 1:9. Praise God everybody and worship Him right now!
Be Blessed and continue to pray and fast, as we have been instructed. I will leave you with this, "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams" 1 Sam 15:22. Obedience is better than sacrifice. So let's continue to seek Him, to listen to Him, to love Him, to obey Him, to worship Him and to love our neighbors as ourselves; all by faith, trusting in God and walking in the Spirit. "And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices" Mark 12:33. I love all of you very much.
God breathed on us in a very special way today. He desires that we ALL receive the Holy Ghost. We studied John 20:19-23. Here it is, read it again and while you are reading go ahead and receive His Blessing for you, the Holy Ghost. "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." I can feel His breath right now and a greater filling even as I am writing. Thank you Jesus! His Word is alive right now, He is the Word, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever" (Heb 13:8). Do you feel His breath? Do you hear Him? Do you feel His Peace? Let Him fill you. These are not just words from the past, He is saying these words to you right now, "Peace be unto you, receive ye the Holy Ghost." Believe Him. If you don't have the Holy Ghost, just ask for the Holy Ghost right now and let Him fill you. If you have the Holy Ghost, keep asking Him for more. Just like eating, it is not a one time thing! We must eat several times a day and so too must we be filled with the Holy Ghost, even the more; just ask Him. That is why reading the Word, praying (talking to Him and listening to Him), and worshipping Him are so important. Let Him permeate your whole body, soul, and spirit. When He takes over, fear and doubt leave. He is perfect love and perfect love casts out fear. If you are in doubt about receiving the Holy Ghost, just say, "Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief" (read Mark 9:14-29). He will do it.
Minister Lucretia spoke the word very clearly. The disciples were assembled behind locked doors in fear for their own lives. Jesus did not leave them in that condition, but came in and said "Peace be unto you." He had to dispel their fears and show them that He was alive and in a resurrected body with flesh and bones. He then gave them some instructions and breathed on them saying, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost." He was sending them out and instructing them for their ministry. He is doing the same for us today. I would like it to be said of all of us here at GWOD that which was said of the disciples, "These that have turned the world upside down..." Acts 17:6. God desires that we each get busy in His Kingdom obeying His will for our lives to bring in the lost.
Minister Lucretia pointed out that we at GWOD, are being trained as leaders and not followers. So we are followers of Jesus Christ and followers of our leaders and we are at the same time being trained to be leaders. May I say it this way, we are not just one of the "crowd" but we are in there, close and personal with Jesus and with our leaders. The "crowd" always looked for what they could get from Jesus, but there were only about 120 in the upper room praying in one accord on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:15). Go ahead and read Acts, chapters 1-2. If you find yourself as being just one of the "crowd," please come to GWOD and let God work on you! Jesus said in Luke 9:23-24, "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." Sis. Lucretia mentioned how we each need to be sensitive to the Holy Ghost. God equips us for every job He calls us to do and we each have our own calling that is distinct from each other, yet all working together as the Body of Christ, by the Spirit.
God used Pastor Crowder to prophesy a profound word to us today, causing all of us to seek the Holy Ghost (some for the first time and the rest of us for more fullness of the Holy Ghost). She asked us if we had peace. Peace calms the mind and produces in us the mind to do the Lord's will. She began with Ezekiel 37:9-10, "Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army." She explained that God had already spoken to each of our spirits through the words that Sis. Lucretia had breathed out unto us and all we needed to do was receive the Holy Ghost right now. Pastor Crowder said, "Those that don't have the Holy Ghost have been 'slain.' You can receive the Holy Ghost right now so that you can 'live.' Today is your day to receive the Holy Ghost. The disciples received orders, obedience, and peace. Just believe that He is speaking to you (even right now through the words that you are reading). The Holy Ghost will make you strong in the Lord and in the power of His might; you will come 'alive' testifying and praising Him. Just open your mouth and say what you hear, speak the tongues that God gives you. All you have to do is want the Holy Ghost. Make up your mind to not want the world and when you don't want the world any more, you will want Jesus." Amen. It is one or the other. I'm reminded of John 17 and 1 John 2:15.
Several people cried out for the Holy Ghost. Pastor went on to John 6:63-64, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him." Pastor explained that the devil has deceived some that are seeking and is making them question, "Is this just me or is this God?" She continued, "It has nothing to do with you, it is the Lord that you hear in your mind. The Spirit of God is doing it and He is saying, 'Will you let me in?' You are crying and quaking, this is not your flesh, it is the Holy Ghost speaking to you. The Holy Ghost will take away everything that is not like God and give you peace." The Word that you heard today was Spirit and life and was poured out on everybody at GWOD and is being poured out on you even right now as you are reading this. God will move whatever is in the way, out of the way! Ask Him now for the Holy Ghost right where you are. Believe and receive! Let God remove any doubt.
Pastor prophesied that if you don't receive the Holy Ghost, you have 'betrayed him.'Now that cuts deep doesn't it? (see John 6:64). It is that serious. Don't say, "Well, I'm not ready yet." She went on to say that when somebody dies without the Holy Ghost, that spirit (demon) that held them bound leaves their body and searches out another body to inhabit. Another nugget of truth that she spoke was concerning John the Baptist's head being cut off, symbolizing that repentance and water baptism (which John did) will not suffice by itself, you must also believe and receive Jesus Christ by being filled with the Holy Ghost. John prepared the way, and Jesus is the fulfillment, the perfect Lamb that was slain for our sins, our Redeemer. Thank you Jesus. Receive the Holy Ghost and live. Pastor mentioned Cornelius (read Acts 10) stating that what God cleanses let no man call common or unclean. Cornelius and his household received the Holy Ghost and were cleansed (Acts 10:44-48).
The reason Pastor Crowder is so straight forward with us in correction, is that she is looking out for our souls as a Pastor should. Heb 13:17 says, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." She explained that if you are "great in the Lord," Satan can also use you to that same magnitude of being "great in him (the devil)," if you are walking in the flesh. That is why she has to be so strong in the "cutting and pruning" of some of us! She said, "The devil pulls out his sword, but she pulls out her sword (God's sword) and it is Bigger!" Praise God. So please realize that Pastor Crowder is "terrible" against the devil, not against you. Do not get offended when correction comes. It comes sharp and cutting, but it is for our good.
Many gave wonderful testimonies today of what God had done in their lives this past week and many were encouraged. Continue to pray for the sick, we are going to whip that snake (plague) of affliction with prayer and fasting. That snake has had its head in our midst for too long and we have crushed its head already just by speaking the Word. That enemy of plague is a defeated foe in Jesus' name. We will pray and fast because this kind likes to return with 7 more stronger that it and we refuse to let these snakes in our midst any more in Jesus' Name. Be Blessed and be filled with the Holy Ghost; receive your free Gift now, He is waiting on you. I love you and don't forget to tear down (in the Spirit) all of Baal's altars that you come across. Read about how these two men did it: Gideon (Judges 6) and Josiah (2 Chronicles 34, 35 and 2 Kings 22, 23). Today we can tear down these altars in the Spirit and better yet we can witness to the lost that they be saved ("terrible" against the devil, not against the person!) by the power of the Holy Ghost in us. 2 Cor 3:5-6 "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." I love you and remember to show God's love and mercy to others; mercy rejoices against judgement.
God was here today at GWOD, Mighty and Strong in Spirit with a Powerful demonstration of Truth, proving once again that it is He that sets the standard and nobody else! He is the Spirit of Truth. He is the Comforter, Strong and Mighty. We are not to passively accept a "No" from the world or passively accept "something less" than what He has given us the desire for, because if we are trusting in the Lord and delighting ourselves also in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart and they will be His desires. So if you are living right with God, don't just give up or give in by settling for a "No" from the world or for "something less" than what God has put on your heart, because God desires to give it to you and to Bless you as you dwell in this land, and He will bring it to pass. Psalm 37:3-5 "Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." He lifts up the standard, not man! All it took was for us to read John 16:4-15 and in came the Comforter. God sent the "Helper, the Comforter." He opened our eyes and touched our hearts with His Truth and at the same time helped us to elevate our minds to His standard. He is God Almighty and we are His sons and daughters. We have our inheritance in Him. Praise Him now everybody!
Sis. Mayes opened with Psalm 23:1 "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want." Pastor Crowder sang a song with these words, "What you do for me, Jesus, I'll be satisfied." Then we all read John 16:4-15. Here it is, go ahead and read it again. "But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? 6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
The minute we read these scriptures, in came the Comforter, Praise God. Eldress Sorrell began to teach about the Spirit of truth, the Comforter by saying, "The only thing that drives out a lie is Truth." She mentioned that the more she learns about God, the more she knows the strategy to fight the enemy. A couple of us testified and then immediately the Spirit of truth stepped in to guide us into all truth concerning His standard. God moved on Pastor Crowder to give us a Word concerning the desires of our hearts. If we are living right and obedient to God, He will give us the desires of His Heart. Pastor Crowder made it clear that God is in charge and He can do anything; He can change the minds of the people making the decisions, if necessary. We have been instructed to keep looking to God and to trust Him and as we continue to obey Him and obey the "laws of the land," God will bring our desires to fruition. He has it worked out already! So we are not to give up when we receive a "No" and we are not to lower God's standard of what He has put in our hearts, but instead we are to keep trusting God and He will make a way. He has put the desires in our hearts and He will make a way where there seems to be no way! We don't have to beg, we just have to ask God. God is saying, "You've asked me and I have heard you, now go and believe. I will bring it to pass."
Pastor Crowder exhorted us to "elevate our minds" to God's standard of truth using the following scriptures and explanations:
Psalm 50:15 "And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." Man says, "No" but God says, "Magnify Me in the day of trouble. I will give you what you ask for, I will supply your need." Ask Him for it. His Word is Truth.
Psalm 28:7-8 "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. 8 The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed."Pastor Crowder said singing is calling on the Lord. He will move in the midst of your praise when you are raising your hands up to Him. Leave this place feeling like you've got it (peace, healing, overcoming, house, etc., whatever desire God has given you). Say by faith,"It's mine, it's mine; I am helped because I have believed. It is done, it is fixed, and I have it. I am not giving up."
Isaiah 49:14-18 "But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my LORD hath forgotten me. 15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet I will not forget thee. 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. 17 Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee. 18 Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth." We say, "I can't get it, I can't get this..." but God has heard you and He will turn it around. He will not forget you even if you are still on milk and not understanding some things yet! He will have compassion on you because you are birthed in Him and calling upon His Name. Every time you raise your hand it is God's hand, it is authority; where I am, you are also. See John 14:3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
Pastor explained that we are continually before Him and whatever we put our hands to, it is His and therefore ours. She prophesied, "Everything that has come to hinder you is getting out of the way and leaving! Our children are coming in. As surely as God lives, rest assured that you are covered in His Blessings. You walk in blessings, deliverance, peace, etc., at all times, always; not just when you ask for it. The Gate is open. The Comforter has come in, just ask, you don't have to beg, let God Bless you. Open that Gate back up, you've been begging, when are you going to believe? You asked Me, now go and believe. The enemy says you can't have it, but I have set a table in the presence of your enemy (Psalm 23:5). Lift up your eyes and quit looking sad. Clap, sing, and magnify the Lord like you have it."
Psalm 73:23-25 "Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. 24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee." Everywhere you go, He has your right hand. Right hand = honor, authority. What you speak down here on earth, He speaks up there in heaven. He will guide you with His right hand. See Psalm 139:10 "Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me." Who do we have but Him. Thank you Jesus!
I'm in Awe of Him right now! Don't you feel His Presence. We love you God. We love you Pastor Crowder. Thank you for being his Prophet, Apostle, Overseer, and our Pastor. We love you Co Pastor McCarty and Minister Alvina, as was shown to you today in excellence. We love you Co Pastor Lane and Minister Lane and we miss you. I love all of you and I know you love me too! Be Blessed and don't forget to pray for Natashia and Alvin, they are the next two to come in. Praise God. To all those that are sick in body or mind, we love you and miss you. Be healed and renewed in Jesus' Name and we look forward to your return. The Gate is Open, step in everybody. I would like to leave you with this Promise: "So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him." Isaiah 59:19.