Monday, April 17, 2017

God's works in your life shall prevail!

While I was immersing myself in reading the four gospels recently, the Lord spoke:
"The works of men shall be as dead, but the works of God shall prevail! No matter how men may try to undermine you, look to Me, and trust in Me, for My works in your life shall prevail!"

'To undermine', according to the Oxford Dictionary, is 'to weaken (something/somebody) gradually and insidiously'. And that was exactly what the works of flesh and the power of the enemy did against Jesus during the crucial period leading to, during, and even after His crucifixion!

Let's look now at Matthew 27:62-66, and see what happened after Jesus was crucified and buried, 'On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, "Sir, we remember while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise.' Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, 'He has risen from the dead.' So the last deception will be worse than the first." Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how." So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard'.

Note: 'The Day of Preparation' mentioned above, in our time and day, is Friday. Mark 15:42 says the Day of Preparation is the day before the onset of Sabbath. It is a day to prepare in advance for Sabbath (rest day), e.g. food being prepared in advance, because cooking on Sabbath day is prohibited by the Jewish Law.

Let's move on to Matthew 28:1-4, 'Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week (i.e. our Sunday) began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men'.

Notice the statement 'And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men'! In other words, the guards were so 'shaken' by what they saw, that they 'froze' and became as dead men! And behold, the works of God shook the works of men right to the core on that day! Jesus has risen, and He has triumphed over every power of the enemy! He has prevailed against every work of darkness that tried to undermine Him!

Indeed, as the Lord has spoken loud and clear for this time and season, "The works of men shall be as dead, but the works of God shall prevail!" Yes, proclaim it even from the rooftops! Proclaim it over every area of your life! Proclaim it over whatever you put your hands on!

So, rejoice, because He lives in you, and His works in your life shall prevail! The Bible says 'He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world' (1 John 4:4). Know that He is not dead, but He is very much alive in your life right now! And no matter what situation you may be facing at the moment, or how men (or the works of flesh) may try to undermine the works of God in your life, 'no weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment, you shall condemn'! (Isaiah 54:17)

People of God, this is a time to declare the works of darkness shall NOT prevail against you, but they shall be as dead before you! Just as happened in Matthew 28:1-4! The power of God is at hand! He is the same today as He was on that Resurrection Sunday! And as the apostle Paul wrote, 'being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you, He shall also bring it to full completion, till the day of our Lord Jesus Christ' (Philippians 1:6). Hallelujah! Amen!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Let Him make a triumphal entry into your heart!

John 12:12-13 (NKJV): The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: "Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' The King of Israel!"

The word 'Hosanna' is 'yasha-na' in Hebrew, coming from two words, 'yasha' meaning 'save, help', and 'na' meaning 'I pray, I beseech'. It was sung as a welcome, a greeting or shout of praise, but it actually means "Save now, I pray!" In Psalm 118:25-26, the psalmist wrote, "Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, grant us success. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed You from the house of the Lord."

When news of Jesus coming into Jerusalem began to spread, and as He was getting ready to attend the Feast of Passover, the people came out in droves to meet Him, thinking that He would be their political leader (political savior/deliverer) who would deliver them from the Roman occupiers. They saw Jesus as their 'political messiah', their hope and help. That was why they raised and spread 'branches of palm trees' to honor Him, and called Him 'The King of Israel'. These 'branches of palm trees' those days were symbolic of 'goodness, well-being, victory'.

For the record, Jesus' entry into Jerusalem as King of Israel also marked the shift from private setting to public setting of His ministry on earth. It was to be a new stage in His ministry, and by openly entering the city where He was a marked man, He took the first step towards an open confrontation with those who wanted to kill Him.

John 12:14-15 says, 'Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: "Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt."'

You might ask, "Why did Jesus ride on a donkey? Why not horse?"
Because 'donkey' speaks of 'peace', whereas 'horse' speaks of 'war'.

To understand the contrast above, let's look now at the prophecy written in Zechariah 9:9-10, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem; the battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth."
By the way, 'chariot' and 'horse' here are symbolic of 'the might of men, or the power of men'. Psalm 20:7 says, 'Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God'.

As you can see here, Jesus did not come as a great and powerful earthly king and warrior-politician, much to the disappointment of many in those days. And within less than a week, many who welcomed Him and praised Him with shouts of 'Hosanna' ended up turning their backs on Him! Because they were expecting a political war-horse, someone whom they could call 'hero'. But instead, He came as a lowly servant riding on a donkey! Not as they have expected! And not just that, He came ready to die, as a lamb prepared to be slain!

It's an irony many who claimed to know the Law and the Prophets those days missed out on who He was and why He came for, and how they missed out the prophecies in Zechariah 9:9-10 entirely! As Jesus put it, they 'had eyes but could not see'.

People of God, let's not make that same mistake again. As we celebrate and commemorate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, may the Lord also open our spiritual eyes to 'see' that Jesus is now here making a triumphal entry right into our hearts!

He wants to see His 'goodness, well-being, victory' live in you (remember 'branches of palm trees'?), and as you shout 'Hosanna', He is here to reign and triumph through you! He wants to set you free from the yoke of slavery, and restore double to you! And that's exactly what Zechariah 9:11-12 says (right after Zechariah 9:9-10), "As for you also, because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Return to the stronghold (fortress), you prisoners of hope. Even today I declare that I will restore double to you."

This is a time to return to Him, and put all your trust in Him, instead of the 'chariots' and 'horses' of this world. This is a time to meet Him face to face, just as the people who came out to meet Him (see John 12:12-13 again), but this time with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18).

I released these words from the Lord to the congregation on April 9, 2017 (Palm Sunday):
"Prepare yourselves for My glory and My triumphal entry into your hearts! Let Me meet with you and let Me live in you! Let Me reign and triumph in your lives in this new season! Behold, I make all things new! This is a time to believe for a brand new encounter with Me in your lives!"

Indeed, this is a time to let Him meet with you in a fresh new way and let Him live in you! This is especially so for you who have wanted to go deeper, and into a new level of intimacy with Him. You are not satisfied with your current state of spiritual life, and you may even be so tired of 'playing church', but without a true encounter with Him. You do not want to be a 'fake' anymore. You want the 'real deal'.

If you are one of those, this is a time to prepare yourself for a brand new encounter with Him, because He is in the midst of visiting many who humble themselves and cry out to Him. As you let go of the 'old', or whatever in the past that has 'imprisoned' you, let Him have a free hand in your life, and let Him take over every area of your life. He will make all things new for you, and He will even 'make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert' for you (Isaiah 43:18-19). Amen.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Fear not! He will strengthen you and help you!

I heard these words from the Lord for this time and season:
"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Cry out to Me and look to Me, for I am your Answer. I will hear from heaven, and I will help you."

Let's go to Isaiah 41 now. This is a key chapter to read in this time and season, and it is about God's assurance of help. In Isaiah 41:10, the Lord says, "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

In Isaiah 41:11-13, the Lord says further, "Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; They shall be as nothing. And those who strive with you shall perish. You shall seek them and not find them. Those who contended with you, those who war against you shall be as nothing, as a nonexistent thing. For I, the Lord your God will hold your right hand, saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you'."

What a promise and assurance from the Lord!

The word 'help' here is 'azar' in Hebrew, and it can mean 'to aid, to protect, to surround you (with goodness)'. Notice one meaning of 'azar' is 'to surround you (with goodness)'.

So, people of God, no matter what issue, problem, or challenge you may be facing at the moment, take heart and take courage in what the Lord is saying to you right now, "Fear not, I will surround you (with My goodness)"!

The word 'incensed' here speaks of 'any work of darkness that comes against you', and it includes 'plans of evil against you', 'conspiracy/plot against you at workplace', or even any disease that has been plaguing you. Whatever it may be, this is a time to BELIEVE and DECLARE that all these 'shall be as nothing, as a nonexistent thing'!

Some of you might ask, "Will the Lord ever help me? After all those sinful things and stupid things I've done in my life?"

Yes! He is here to help you, if you turn to Him and look to Him. And because of what Jesus has done for you on the cross, your Father in heaven is not looking at those sins and those past of yours anymore! Instead, He sees you forgiven, cleansed, accepted, and righteous through Christ! The Bible says so! (see Romans 8:1, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Ephesians 1:6-7) In fact, not only does He want to help you, it brings pleasure to Him that you 'taste and see that He is good'! (Psalm 34:8)

You might ask further, "But why are so many Christians not tasting and seeing it?"

Because deep inside them, they still feel they have not been forgiven yet! In other words, they still have a 'guilt conscience' in them, and they still think God is 'punishing' them!

But that's not what God says for those who are in Christ!

Hebrews 10:21-23 says, '... having a High Priest (i.e. Jesus) over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water, let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful'.

The word 'sprinkled' here can be translated as 'washed, showered, cleansed'. And what does the phrase 'evil conscience' mean here? This word 'evil' is 'poneros' in Greek, and it can mean 'guilt, condemnation'. It means to say you (who have Christ Jesus in your life) have been cleansed from any guilt conscience. Therefore, you can now draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.

And what is that promise written in Hebrews 10:23? It is found in Hebrews 10:12-18 that says, 'But this Man (Jesus), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God... For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified... "This is the covenant (promise) that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them," then He adds, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."'

People of God, your part is to believe and receive all that He has promised you, and that's how you'll begin walking according to what He says you are - forgiven, cleansed, accepted, and righteous through Christ!

In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." You see? He is always here 'standing at the door and knock', ready to help you! And His grace (i.e. His supply of His goodness, and His ability to help you) is more than enough for you in a time of need (Hebrews 4:16). But you've got to open the door for Him to come in!

Let me give you a simple illustration, so you can understand better the correlation between 'His grace' and 'your faith':
His grace is like the sunshine. It exists, whether you want it or not. And just as sunshine is always available for you while it is day, His grace is always available for you who are in Christ Jesus.
Your faith (i.e. a believing heart) is like the door. If you open the door, the sunshine will enter your room (to light up, brighten, and give warmth to your room), and when this happens, every form of darkness and dampness in your room will have to disappear - and 'shall be as nothing, as a nonexistent thing'! Hallelujah!