Let this message encourage your faith in receiving the blessings God has already provided for you in Jesus.
Let this message encourage your faith in receiving the blessings God has already provided for you in Jesus.
This interview with Pastor Joseph Prince from Singapore gives wonderful insight into God’s way of believing Him for complete salvation and victory through Jesus’ totally finished work. The truths he shares here are not new at all, but, unfortunately, they are often misunderstood or even totally left out of the Gospel that is being preached in many churches in the world today. But those who have learned to take God at His Word and rely on the work that has already been accomplished by Jesus on our behalf have found that victory over sin and the evil influences of this world is a whole lot easier than the enemy wants us to believe. I pray that this short interview will increase your faith and your joy in your own salvation.
For the Introduction and Chapter 1 of the book, click on “The Lord Giveth; The Devil Taketh Away” in the menu.
THE LORD GIVETH; THE DEVIL TAKETH AWAY: Looking at Job Through Jesus
© 2010 by Sandra Conner
CHAPTER TWO: WHAT’S IN A WORD?
What’s in a word? A lot, apparently. Words have the ability to identify things, relate facts and feelings, affect ideas and emotions, quiet a troubled child, or stir up a revolution. In fact, according to the scripture, words are so important and powerful that Jesus said people will be “justified” or “condemned” by their words. (Matthew 12:37). He also said that the words He spoke while on earth were “spirit and life.” (John 6:63). And Proverbs 18:21 says clearly that the very “power of life and death is in the tongue” (the words people speak). Wow! It seems that choosing the “right” word each time one speaks or writes is indeed crucial.
So what happens – with an ancient book like Job – as with many other ancient manuscripts — if a truth revealed centuries ago must be translated into another language, and new words have to be found that will relate that truth correctly? Well, if there is only one definition of a word, that task is relatively easy. But if a word in one language has multiple definitions, the translators have to be very careful to select the definition that abides by the original author’s intent and purpose.
Bible readers frequently wonder why, once in a while, they come across a verse or passage that sounds as though God has acted out of character or as though the writer of one book is directly contradicting the writer of another. The Book of Job abounds with those kinds of problems, but a few other scriptures frequently cause concern as well. However, the original Author of the book has the answer to that question. His answer is to point the reader to the person of Jesus Christ. How wonderful to realize that all of the answers human beings need are still in Jesus – always have been – always will be.
Now, it’s a simple fact that in order to reach the highest level of faith in God’s Word, people need to understand it. God Himself gave the key to doing that, but unfortunately, so much of the world – even a large portion of the church – has lost sight of the simple technique prescribed by the Author Himself.
If Christians want to fully comprehend God’s Word to them – including the book of Job — so that they can put it to work effectively in their lives and in the world around them, the first principle that they need to know and understand is this: all scripture — all scripture — must be interpreted and understood through Jesus Christ. There is no other way. Every word in the book must be understood through Jesus Christ. This formula for interpreting all scripture sets people free from nagging doubts and fears that they can’t understand God’s Word for themselves — or that someone else can lead them astray by false teaching.
Anointed Bible teachers can help people understand meanings of words and phrases by taking them back to the original languages and correctly defining words for them. But even without ever looking at a word or passage of Greek or Hebrew, the Bible reader can tell for himself if the point made or the picture portrayed in a passage of scripture matches Jesus Christ.
The Old Testament, of course, must be interpreted and understood through The New. But even the New must be interpreted and understood through Jesus and what He showed mankind while He was on the earth. It makes understanding God very simple, and it helps the Bible student clear up some things that may have seemed like discrepancies or disagreements between scriptures.
There are multiple scriptures that will verify this foundational point. John, chapter one, verses 1-3, (NAS): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” Verse 9: “There was the true light, which coming into the world enlightens every man.”
There’s a part of a verse in the Christmas carol “O Holy Night” that says, “Long lay the world in sin and error, pining, till He appeared, and the soul felt its worth.” That’s so very true. When Jesus came, the soul of the human race finally recognized its value and its worth. They had fallen into sin and its curse, and had lost the correct perception of God and themselves. Their awareness was of their own sinful, fallen state, and they were in misery. Jesus brought light and revelation because He came to show just how far God would go to restore mankind.
The fallen human race had had a covenant with their Creator, but until Jesus came, bringing that covenant to fullness and bringing that light, humanity did not truly realize what they were worth — not until they saw Him and the sacrifice He was making for them.
“Long lay the world in sin and error … pining” … until Jesus came … and then God’s creation realized what they were all about and how valuable they were.
But go on to verse 14: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” V. 16: “For of His fullness, we have all received, and grace upon grace, For the law was given through Moses. Grace and Truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No man has seen God at any time. The only-begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. “
The Amplified Bible says in verse 18 of this passage: “No man has ever seen God at any time. The only unique Son, the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. He has revealed Him, brought Him out where He can be seen. He has interpreted Him, and He has made Him known.”
Now, if a person wants to know what God’s like, and wants to know what the Godhead is like, there’s only one person to look at to find out: The One who brought God out; the one who interpreted Him. The Only-begotten Son has brought Him out where He may be seen.
The gospels are full of confirmation of this fact. Jesus Himself kept saying throughout His earthly ministry that it was not He who was working, but the Father. He said whoever had seen Him had seen the Father.
Then in Hebrews 1:1-3 (Amp.) the Lord gives another confirmation: “In many separate revelations, each of which set forth a portion of the truth, and in different ways, God spoke of old to our forefathers in and by the prophets. But in the last days, He has spoken to us in the person of His Son, whom He appointed heir and lawful owner of all things. …He is the sole expression of the glory of God; the lightbeing; the outraying of the Divine, and He is the perfect imprint and very image of God’s nature.” New American Standard says, He is “the express image of God.”
So Jesus alone is the total perfect imprint — the very image of God’s nature. To know what God is like, one must look at Jesus Christ.
Now in John, where it says the law was given through Moses and “grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ,” that statement represents a huge leap forward for man’s understanding of his supernatural God. The word truth that is used here is from the Greek and it’s precise definition is “reality.”
So what John is saying, as well as Hebrews, is that through all of the Old Covenant, God was always trying to give His people some idea of what He was like and what he had in store for them. He tried to give them an idea of what His plan was to work out their salvation so that they could be brought back into the bosom of the Father. So that they could start over as the family that God originally wanted. So He spoke to them in what the Bible refers to as types and shadows, and that’s what they had in the Old Testament. Here in Hebrews it says He spoke to them in many separate revelations, which set forth a portion of the truth, and spoke to them through symbols and types of Jesus Christ and shadows of what was going to come to pass.
God set up the Old Covenant so that they could understand sin and understand the sacrifice that was necessary to pay for sin. They saw that a lamb had to be given to take away the sin and atone for what they had done. And God continued trying to help them understand. He set up the tabernacle in the wilderness so that He could explain through various parts of that tabernacle what the relationship was between God and His people, and what He wanted that relationship to be.
But when Jesus Christ came – in the fullness of time as Galatians describes it — when Jesus came on the scene, mankind no longer needed types and shadows. The human race no longer needed symbols. They didn’t need somebody to draw them a picture anymore, because here He was! WILL THE REAL GOD PLEASE STAND UP?
He has. The real God stood up and made a spectacle of Himself for all of the world to see and understand. The real God stood up in Jesus Christ. There is no other picture. There’s no need for any other picture. The real God stood up in Jesus Christ, and said, “Now, beloved, you don’t need symbols , or animal sacrifices, or the tabernacle, or any of this other stuff. Now you can get to know the “real” Me, because now I’m able to get up close and personal.”
And that’s what Jesus came to do. He was “reality.” Grace and reality came with Jesus Christ. The world didn’t have to wonder anymore what God was like. Jesus said when you’ve seen me you’ve see the Father. In other words: “What you see is what you get.”
Why elaborate so much on that point? Because the church at large accepts that idea mentally, but not in actual fact. So often, when people get to where the rubber meets the road – actually applying God’s Word to specific circumstances; knowing what they have faith for; knowing what they can stand against; knowing how long they can stand and fight the battle and not give up; knowing for sure what God’s will is and what it isn’t — in the hard places — the church, for the most part, fails to stick with what they see in Jesus.
They let go of the fact that Jesus is the “real” God and that what we see in Him is the final word. And even though they say they believe – and do believe at the level of their minds — they don’t really believe deeply enough to live their lives according to that fact. In the times of serious trouble, they tend to revert to the traditional teachings based on well-worn scriptures – poorly translated scriptures – that seemingly don’t line up with what Jesus demonstrates in His life. And because most of those scriptures have been accepted by the majority of Christians and handed down for generations, they somehow seem true and even holy. So most Christians base their faith on those passages rather than choosing to hold tight to what they see in Jesus.
So what does one do about those passages that seem to portray a God unlike Jesus? How does the average Bible reader get to the real truth in those scriptures? There is a simple method. In fact, it’s the method used in this study of Job, but it applies throughout the Word:
Step 1: Recognize that every passage of scripture must be understood through Jesus Christ, who is the only true picture of God.
Step 2: Recognize that any scripture that appears to be contrary to something Jesus exemplified in His life on this earth, has a problem, either with the translation or the interpretation of that scripture.
Does that mean the Bible’s wrong in certain places? No. The Bible is not “wrong.” However, some passages have been incorrectly translated to say something that the original Bible manuscripts did not say.
When the reader comes across passages that seem to show God saying something, doing something, or handling things in a way that doesn’t line up with exactly what Jesus did or refrained from doing in His life, a closer look at the words of that passage in the original language will bring the solution to light. Sometimes the problem lies in the fact that punctuation was not included in so much of the original work, and each translator’s own choice of usage can easily alter meanings. However, most of the time the problem lies in the definitions of words.
In the vast majority of cases involving those questionable passages, the reader will come across at least a word or two that, in the original language, has two or three different definitions. In other words, that word – and therefore that passage – could have been translated several different ways.
When the translators changed those passages to English, they chose one of those several definitions. Sometimes that method can work out just fine. But occasionally there’s enough difference in those definitions that it changes the picture completely. And when that happens, the reader has to look at those definitions and ask himself which one of them lines up with what Jesus showed the world in His life. It should go without saying that the definition that matches Jesus is the only one that can be correct.
Why were alternate definitions chosen at times? Often it was because certain words actually meant something different hundreds of years ago, when so many of the translations were being written. The meanings, especially the connotative meanings, have changed considerably. Other times, there was a space problem to be dealt with. One definition may have been available in a single English word, while the others would have required three or four words to render the meaning clearly.
One classic example of such a need to use multiple English words when translating from Hebrew is with Psalm 23. In the original Hebrew, that psalm contains only 55 words, whereas, the English translation, in order to be completely accurate, contains 115.
There may have been other reasons for choosing one definition over another, but discovering all of them is not the purpose of this teaching. It will suffice to say that Jesus Himself made it clear that unless what people believe lines up with Him, they are not believing the truth about God.
So, returning to the story of Job, the Bible student must ask himself if the picture he sees of God looks like the picture Jesus exemplified when He was here in the flesh. If it does not match Jesus, then it is time to look deeply into the original language and find the true meaning of the words – the meaning that does match Jesus Christ. The correct words are there – within the original language. The reader just has to want the truth enough to find them.
This fact is worth repeating: the correct words are there. That’s the beautiful thing about God’s desire to reveal Himself. He always provides the right words to do so.
In the following chapters, two specific examples of this problem in the book of Job will come under scrutiny, along with some other seriously misunderstood aspects of the life and experiences of this ancient believer.
Look for Chapter 3 on Friday
As we enter the Easter season, I thought I’d share a look at Jesus’ sacrifice from the perspective of the murderer whose life was spared because if Him.
My heart pounded
As they dragged me out.
They stood me close beside Him,
And I looked about.
The crowd was frenzied:
With rage and raw disgust.
I wasn’t sure the real cause —
Why they fumed and cussed.
I glanced beside me
To catch a glimpse of Him,
But what my eyes saw in His
Convicted me within.
When the guards shouted,
“Who’s it going to be?”
Then I understood they’d choose
To set one free.
“We want Barabbas!
Set Barabbas free!”
I could not believe my ears:
They chose, not Him, but me.
“But what of Jesus?”
Pilate asked the crowd.
“Crucify Him! Crucify Him!
He is not our God.
My shackles fell off:
By law a free man.
Pilate called for water then
And there he washed his hands.
The day grew darker
As He was hanging there,
Upon a cross with thieves each side;
Then He said a prayer.
He prayed, “Forgive them.”
Did that include me?
Then He cried, “It is finished!”
I thought, how can this be?
For suddenly I knew —
He’d died to save me too —
Even me — Barabbas.
(Scripture Reference: Matthew 27)
Many years ago, a great friend of mine in ministry wrote a beautiful worship song. Well, I say he wrote it, but actually the Lord gave it to him. It blessed me when I first heard it, and it still blesses me to this day. The first line says, “I hear the Spirit saying come up higher; come up higher where the river is flowing free.”
At one point, as I was hearing these words rolling through my mind and heart, I felt the Lord spoke this to me: “Where I am, the river of My life flows completely unhindered. There is no boulder, no dam, no hindrance of any kind that holds it back or slows its progress. If you will seek Me completely and continually – if you will focus on Me fully so that you settle down and abide permanently in the depths of Me and My presence – you will find that My river will flow unhindered through you and through your life as well. There will be no barrier — no circumstance, no problem, no blockage, no sin – that can dam it up or slow down its cleansing, healing, life-giving progress through you and your life.”
I just want to share that word with all my readers, because I believe this word – like the scriptures below – is a word from our Father God’s heart for everyone of us. He who has ears to hear, let him hear and receive.
“There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God ….” (Ps.46:4).
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Rev. 22:1).
“And everything shall live wherever the river goes.” (Ezekiel 47:9).
In my country, November is the month of “Thanksgiving.” But since harvest season lasts in many countries from September through November, a lot of people around the world focus on expressing their gratitude for the blessings they have received throughout the year.
One of the things I’m most grateful for is excellent health. It’s probably the most important thing for me personally of all the blessings I enjoy. And the main reason I’m able to enjoy excellent health is because the Lord Jesus Christ has offered me His own health and well-being to take the place of sickness and infirmity in my body — just the way He offers me His own righteousness to take the place of my sinfulness.
I’ve studied God’s Word diligently throughout my lifetime, and I’ve particularly studied what He has to tell us about healing, because the Lord called me into a healing ministry many years ago. As a result of what I’ve learned from His Word — and from 40 years of ministering His healing power to people with all kinds of bodily and mental afflictions — I wrote the book Healing Is For You! Although I originally wrote it almost 18 years ago, I have updated it three times in the past few years. The book is now in its third edition, and has been purchased and used by churches, Christian schools, and individuals to help stir and strengthen the faith of the sick and help them receive the healing they need from the merciful God who created their bodies and wants them well.
I’ve been blessed many times over by the testimonies of people who have read this book and received their faith so strengthened that they were able to reach out and receive from the Lord miraculous changes in their bodies and another chance at a life of health and wholeness. As a way of expressing my gratitude for my own health and for the health of the many who have received through the ministry of this book, I decided to offer it at a significant sale price throughout the month of November.
So from today, November 3, 2016, through November 30, 2016, Healing Is For You! will be on sale in its e-book format at the Amazon Kindle store for $1.99. That’s a savings of $2.00. You can follow the link to the Kindle store and learn more about the book. It answers a lot of the most common questions concerning healing and how to receive it from the Lord. And it includes many personal testimonies as well as a thorough study of God’s own Word on the subject.
If you do not own a Kindle, that is no problem, because right on the page where you purchase the book, Amazon offers the download of a free Kindle app for any device that you want to use.
If you’re facing illness in your own life, or you have a loved one who is, think about getting a copy of Healing Is For You! Because God’s healing really is for you, and He wants to help you receive it from Him today.
The whole book of Colossians is focused on the revelation that Jesus Christ Himself lives inside of us. In fact, if we could summarize the truths of the entire collection of all the epistles together and distill them into one overriding truth, it would be that Jesus Christ, Lord of the universe, NOW LIVES IN EACH ONE OF US who believes.
Colossians 1:26-27 tells us this fact clearly: “Even the mystery which hath been hidden from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” And Colossians 2:2-3 adds, “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God and of the Father, and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Do you realize that there is nothing you cannot learn? I don’t care how old you are — how long you’ve been out of school — how low your IQ is — once Jesus Christ comes in — assuming God’s Word is true, and it is — you have within you all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Couple that truth with 1 Corinthians 2:16, which assures us that once we are born again, we have the mind of Christ, and we are ready to learn anything we need — or desire — to learn.
So what is it you’ve been called to do? What is it that your heart longs to accomplish? Is there something you must learn before you can do it? Then roll up your sleeves and get started. Expect to learn it completely. Don’t hold back, and don’t let the volume of the material involved overwhelm you. It is no match for the mind of Christ.
The human mind is a truly powerful and amazing instrument. All the scientists and doctors who have studied it in depth are constantly amazed at its capacity and its abilities. But no matter how well-developed a human mind becomes, it is still finite. It has limits to what it can accomplish. But, dear one, the mind of Jesus Christ — never ages, never gets tired, never gets stressed, never gets overworked. He is simply fullness of life in all of its forms. And His wisdom and knowledge are available to us without reservation and without charge.
Now, the fact that we have His wisdom and knowledge inside of us does not mean that we do not have to put forth the effort to assimilate it, process it, and put it into operation. We do have a part to play in bringing these gifts (which reside in our spirits) into the natural realm, where they manifest in our physical bodies and minds. We must apply ourselves to the Word of God, first of all. We do that through studying His Word and spending much time with Him in prayer. Then taking hold of the promise that we have the wisdom and knowledge working inside of us, we begin to tackle the physical aspects of the material we need to absorb, or the equipment/machinery/systems that we need to master. We have the responsibility to study, to practice, to work. But the ability to absorb and understand and apply the knowledge comes from Him.
Do you need to understand computers better? Do you realize that absolutely everything that goes on inside a computer — and in the minds of the people who created computers and computer software — was first in the mind of God? Hey, if that’s true, then you have living inside of you the One who passed on that knowledge to these inventors and technicians in the first place. So start drawing on that Original Source of knowledge and glean what you need.
Maybe your need for knowledge and wisdom has nothing to do with technology. Maybe you need to understand children much better so that you can be a better parent or a better teacher. Maybe you need to comprehend the world of economics in order to fulfill your life’s dream. The laws of mathematics didn’t just pop into existence one day centuries ago. They are the result of — part and parcel of — this orderly universe that was created and put into operation — and is kept in operation — by the same One who created our bodies and minds. The same is true concerning the laws of physics and all other sciences. He has within Him all you need to be able to comprehend the laws of mathematics or physics and use them successfully.
It doesn’t matter what you need to learn or understand. The Lord gave Daniel and his three best friends so much knowledge, wisdom, and skill in learning when they were in slavery in Babylon that they out-performed and out-classed all the other men in the nation. (Daniel, chapter 1). He’s still the same God. He’s still ready to pass on skill in learning. Maybe you never did well in school before now. But now you have inside you the One who actually gives you the skill — the ability — to learn better than ever before.
Take Him at His Word then. What do you need to learn? What do you need to understand? What do you need to make wise decisions about? Spend hours in His Word and let it renew your mind. Pray and let His Spirit quicken your mental agility. Those of you who pray in tongues will find that you have an extra advantage as well. The Word tells us that praying in tongues allows us to speak mysteries with God, and that’s a wide open door to delving into the depths of what God knows.
But whether you pray in tongues or not, you can pray and speak the Word of God over your own body and mind. And you can download His wisdom and knowledge from your spirit, where Christ lives, into your physical body and mind where it will go to work bringing you into the realization of your goals and dreams.
There is a doctrine that flows through parts of the Body of Christ that says God sends or brings problems, trouble, and painful events into our lives to “test” us or to “try our faith.” Supposedly, those tests are made up of sickness, handicaps, financial problems, natural disasters, and any number of other destructive things. We have plenty of scripture to nullify that teaching, yet it persists throughout many groups of believers.
The truth is that God’s Word clearly says in Galatians 3:13-14 that all the things included in the curse of the broken law (Deuteronomy 28:15-68) have been laid on Jesus Christ in our stead, and that we have been redeemed from all of them. Now, to be sure, the enemy tries to lay them on us still yet, but when we know the Word and live our lives daily in faithfulness to it, we can throw off those attacks and walk free the way the Lord intends for us to do. Whatever the Lord already laid on Jesus, He is not bringing upon us now — nor is He giving the devil “permission” to bring those things on us. For God to deliberately cause or allow those things to be placed on us now would be a slap in the face of Jesus and a rebuttal of all that He suffered in our place.
We gave the devil permission to act on this planet when we chose to believe Him rather than God in the Garden of Eden, and he is free to act against us if we will let him get away with it. The Lord tells us repeatedly in His Word that we are the ones who open the door to the enemy or close the door to Him, and we can tie God’s own hands by not staying in obedience and faith. We can actually keep Him from being able to help us. Even Jesus could not do what He wanted to do in His own home town to deliver and heal people because the people were in rebellion and unbelief. (Matthew 13, Mark 6). So Christians need to stop blaming God for the evil things that come into their lives and stop copping out of their own responsibility to take a stand in faith against the attacks of the enemy.
A careful reading of God’s Word will show that the Lord used only two methods of “trying” or “proving” the faith of His people. He either offered them something of great value or power and waited on them to decide how they would respond to it (as He did with Solomon) or He calls them to take a great step of faith and move onto another level spiritually (as He did when He “tested” His disciples by telling them to feed the 5,000 + people.) He never puts things that are from the curse of the law (sickness, plague, pestilence, defeat by enemies, natural disasters, etc) on us to test or try or prove our faith.
We have further evidence of that in Jesus’ own words to us in John 10:10. He tells us clearly that He is the Good Shepherd, who came in by the legal door (being born as a human being into the earth). He also identifies Satan as the thief who has come in illegally because he was not born into the human race. Then Jesus lays the facts on the table and states emphatically that it is the thief who “kills, steals, and destroys.” But it is God who “gives life, and not just life — but abundant life.”
We get another confirmation of that fact in the epistle of James, chapter 1, verses 13-17. The Lord tells us here not to say when we are tempted (and that word is also translated tested — it’s exactly the same word.) that the temptation or the test is from God. This fact is true when we are talking about being tempted to sin, but it is just as true when we are talking about being in a battle with any kind of evil, hurtful thing, because that kind of battle is always a “temptation” to turn from God. None of those things comes from His hand. Jesus has already said so. If it kills something in your life, if it steals something from you, if it destroys something good in you or your life — brothers and sisters — it is NOT from God. We have His Word for it.
But there’s even more good news. Not only does God not send things our way that will tempt us to turn from Him or to be disobedient to His Word and His will. But even when the enemy brings those things against us, God will always provide a way for us to overcome them and escape them without being defeated by them. He will give us the victory every time, if we will follow His Word and His Spirit. (1 Corinthians 10:13).
So the next time you find yourself in the midst of a trial of your faith, dear one, grab hold of these promises and stand your ground until you have the victory. Let these words live big inside of you and renew y our mind with them. Remember: it’s the enemy who brings the tests. It is God who brings you the victory.
Below are several confessions from God’s Word concerning us and the truth about who and what we are now that Jesus has finished His work on our behalf. I’ve included the scripture references so that we can go back to the original text and verify all of these truths.
And although all of these words are true concerning us, the Lord has made it clear that we must agree with them and speak them out of our own mouths if we would see them manifested. He tells us in Romans 10:10 that we believe in our hearts, but we need to speak with our mouths in order to get the job completed, and He tells us in Proverbs 18:21 that death and life are in the power of our own tongues.
As we make these confessions from God’s Word daily, He works to bring these Words into manifestation in us and in our lives. He is faithful, and He will do it.
I am in Jesus Christ; therefore, I am a brand new species: a God-man, conceived and born out of the incorruptible seed of God Himself. I am supernatural, and through Jesus, I bring the supernatural into my natural world every day.
(1 Corinthians 5:17, 1 John 3:9, 1 Peter 1:23)
I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. My Father God loves me exactly the way He loves Jesus, and He is rejoicing over me with singing.
(2 Corinthians 5:21, John 1:23, Zephaniah 3:17)
Because I am in Jesus Christ, there is no condemnation imputed to me. If I do sin, I run to my Father in repentance, and He is faithful to forgive my sin and cleanse me of all unrighteousness.
However, because God makes a way out of every temptation that comes to me, I choose not to sin.
(Romans 8:1, 1 John 1:9, 1 Corinthians 10:13)
I am a righteous man in Jesus Christ, and my earnest prayers are effective, making tremendous power available, dynamic in its working, bringing God’s Kingdom into manifestation on this earth.
God is for me; therefore, no one can be against me successfully. I overcome every enemy by speaking God’s Word out of my mouth and by applying the blood of Jesus Christ.
(Romans 8:21, Revelation 12:11)
I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. As I wait upon Him, He gives me more and more of His own strength. So by Him I can run through a troop, leap over a wall, and skip about like a calf from the stall. In Him I live and move and have my being.
(Ephesians 6:10, Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 18:29, Malachi 4:2, Acts 17:28)
I dwell in the secret place of the Most High; therefore, no evil can befall me; neither shall any plague or calamity come near me or my dwelling.
(Psalm91: 1, 10)
In Jesus, I have power to tread on all demonic spirits, and no weapon formed against me can prosper. Neither shall anything harm me.
(Luke 10:19, Isaiah 54:17)
I bless the Lord every day, with everything in me, because He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He also renews my youth like the eagle. I will still yield fruit in old age.
(Psalm 103:1, 3, 5; Psalm 92:14)
Jesus has born all my griefs, sickness, weakness, distress, mutilation, and disfigurement. He has carried away my sorrows and pains. He was wounded for my sins and beaten to pay for my peace and well-being. And by the stripes that wounded Him, I am healed and made whole.
(Isaiah 53:4-5, Amp)
My God gives me power to make wealth. When I give, He causes my gifts to come back to me, good measure and running over. When I give liberally, He causes me to be enriched in all things, and I will not be in want of any good thing.
(Deuteronomy 8:18, Luke 6:38, 2 Corinthians 9:8-11)
God fights for my children and delivers them from the hand of the enemy and from all demonic bondage.
I have received God’s Word and His Holy Spirit, and I have His promise that His Word and His Spirit shall never depart from me or from my children or my grandchildren. His Word and His Spirit are working in my children and grandchildren every day.
Jesus has given me His own peace, wholeness, and completeness. I live and walk in His peace every day, and I am not afraid of anything. I live in untroubled, undisturbed well-being.
(John 14:27 – definition of ‘peace’ from original Hebrew)
Because I am in Jesus Christ, the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, and He has anointed me to preach the Gospel, and to bring release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and deliverance to the brokenhearted. He has sent me to proclaim the year of God’s salvation and free favors to everyone in the world.
(Luke 4:18-19, John 14:12, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
Did you ever face a situation as a kid where one of your antagonists drew a line in the sand and said that line represented a boundary you were not to cross? You were required to stay on your own side of the line, and if you didn’t, there would be serious negative repercussions? “Don’t cross that line, or I’ll beat you up.”
Well, you know what? That’s still happening to the Body of Christ in this world. The devil is consistently drawing lines in the sand, and we’re afraid to cross over them. To use a more Biblical analogy, we can say that the enemy establishes his gates of authority in our lives, and we’re afraid to break through them.
During the time of Jesus’ ministry, the gates of a city represented, not only the places of entrance and exit, but also the place of legal authority. Major decisions and legal transactions were commonly made at the “gates of the city.” And certainly the gates, being part of a protective wall, were the main elements in the security of the city.
When the devil sets up his “gates” – his places of entrance into our lives — he does so in order to set up his own “seat of authority” and to try to be in control of those areas. The gates may be in the form of disease in our bodies, drug addiction in our children, pornography in a spouse, loss of a job or source of income, unsaved loved ones. Those gates may be political or legal actions that change the tenets of our cities or nations. They may be roots of strife and jealously that spring up in the midst of a congregation of believers.
But whatever form those “gates” take, the Lord has instructed us that we are to overrun those gates and demolish them in His name. His intention is very clear when He speaks in Matthew 16:18 : “Upon this rock, I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” That promise actually goes all the way back to Abraham. And just as Jesus came to fulfill all the rest of the Old Covenant – ushering in the New – so He fulfilled that part of the covenant promise as well. God told Abraham that he would “possess the gates of his enemies.” (Genesis 22:17 ). He repeated that promise to Isaac as well, because the promise is part and parcel of the Covenant as a whole.
Jesus came to provide the avenue through which all those promises would be passed down to everyone who would follow Him. And under this new Covenant, now that we have been born again into a new species and are actively members of the Kingdom of God, the power to execute those promises is far superior to what Abraham had. He was constrained to the natural world, with intermittent help from the spirit realm. We, on the other hand, have our life in the spirit Kingdom of God on a constant basis and can make use of the powers from that realm at will.
So how do we find ourselves so often in the position of standing there looking at a line drawn in the sand (disease, addiction, poverty, etc), feeling that we are imprisoned by that line and required to suffer behind it – not being able to cross over it into victory? The Word of God provides the answer. First of all, it tells us clearly that we can submit to God and resist the devil, and he will most assuredly flee from us. The Word also tells us that “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the word. It further guarantees that faith overcomes the world (and all the world throws at us.) The word “salvation” alone covers every possible need we could have, and Jesus has already done all the work of providing that complete salvation for every man, woman, and child on the earth who will believe.
But right there is the root of the problem, beloved: it’s with that word “believe.” The simple truth is that we – the Church – do not truly believe God’s Word. And one of the main reasons we don’t believe it is that we don’t know what it says – because we don’t read and study it for ourselves. We don’t spend hours reading, meditation, and praying over the Word to receive revelation. If we did, and we truly believed what it says, we would speak and act accordingly. And our first action would be to step across that line the devil has drawn at our feet.
Are you tired of living in the prison behind that line? Most of us are facing a number of those lines in our lives. It’s past time we got fed up with being in prison and, instead, got “fed-up” (filled) with God’s Word. Once we get enough Word activated in us that we are willing to pick up our feet and march over those lines, we will live our lives in victory on every level. Because after crossing one of the devil’s lines and realizing that we really are free, and he truly is defeated, we will find that crossing over the rest of those lines is much easier.
Are you ready? Here’s the battle plan:
1. Fill up on God’s Word. Toss out everything that contradicts it.
2. Concentrate on that Word until it is the most real thing in your life.
3. Then Step Over the Line into your victory through the name of Jesus Christ.
” If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind (and affections) on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4)
Walking in the likeness of Christ on this earth stops being some vague, mysterious idea to us when this passage of Scripture becomes real to us. I like the translation of verse 3 in the Living Bible. Although the Living Bible is actually a paraphrase, and, in some places, lacks accuracy, on this verse, it hits the bull’s eye in translating God’s intention in these words. Verse 3 in that translation says, “You should have as little desire for this world as a dead person does.”
Brothers and sisters, when we move into complete surrender to Jesus, we truly recognize that we have been crucified with Him — we have died to this world, to sin, to the pull of our flesh. And we have been raised, but not given our own life to live. Rather, we are raised with Jesus in us, prepared to live out His life, His plans, His purposes, His goals through our bodies and minds. According to this passage of Scripture, our own life is hidden away safely in God. When Jesus comes again in glory, then our life will be released to us so that we may live it out in glory and perfection with Him. But in the meantime, we are not our own.
Let me use myself as an example. Since Sandra Conner is dead, and her life is no longer to be lived out on earth, but rather is tucked away in God for the time being, the only life she is to live here is Jesus’ life. Sandra no longer has rights and privileges for herself personally. Rather, Jesus, in her, has all the rights and privileges. Sandra no longer calls the shots in making plans or determining how she will act or react in any situation. Jesus does. Sandra no longer has the say in how she spends her time, her energy, or her money, because she isn’t living out Sandra’s life any longer. Jesus is using Sandra’s body, mind, and heart to continue to live out His life here on earth, so that His love, His truth, and His power can be offered to all the people Sandra comes into contact with.
Needless to say, Sandra Conner no longer has a right to indulge in offense, hurt feelings, self-defense, self-indulgence, or self-promotion. Jesus has all the rights, and if He does not have His feelings hurt, Sandra certainly can’t express hurt feelings, because she is dead, and her new life is tucked away in God. If Jesus doesn’t give in to the temptation to indulge the flesh instead of spending time in the Word and prayer, Sandra certainly can’t, because she isn’t the one living now.
Do you see how it works, dear believer? Now, please don’t misunderstand: Sandra Conner is NOT perfected in this walk by any means. But by using myself as a real-life example, I can better explain what our understanding and attitude should be.
When we truly see that it is to be Jesus living His life His way through us — that we’re just the carriers, so to speak — then our perspective of life will change dramatically. We will see life from an eternal perspective. Our goals will become eternal goals. We will begin to judge everything we do and say on its ability to accomplish something lasting for God’s kingdom. And we will set our priorities accordingly.
So how do we live this out practically? We will talk more about the how-to’s in Part 2.
(Gordon P. Gardiner, Radiant Glory, p. 290.)
I’m actually fudging a little (well, okay, a lot) on this “two-word” Tuesday post. I do want to highlight the two words “Jehovah Saves,” but it’s going to take a few more words to say what the Lord has put on my heart this Tuesday. It’s about that word “saves,” or “salvation.” I’ve written about the meaning of that word previously, but we can never be reminded enough of just how complete and all-encompassing the Lord has made the finished work of Jesus.
The word salvation, as it is used in both the Old and New Testament, means much more than just the forgiveness of sins so that we can someday live with the Lord in Heaven. There are two main Hebrew roots from which the word is taken in Old Testament scriptures, and there is one main Greek root that is translated “salvation” or “save” in the New Testament. In both the Hebrew roots and the Greek root, the word “salvation” includes the following definitions:
To set free, deliver, aid, heal, prosper, protect, make whole, provide for one’s welfare.
The name “Jesus” is actually derived from a Hebrew root (and is sometimes translated as Joshua as well as Jesus.) But to be more specific, the name is derived from a combination of two Hebrew words that mean “Jehovah Saves” (heals, delivers, sets free, etc). And when we read the word “salvation” in a passage of scripture, we need to think much bigger than some vague concept of being free from guilt and condemnation so “someday” we can reach Heaven.
We need to take advantage of everything that word means because our Father God — and our Lord Jesus Christ — have paid an indescribable price to give us the whole package. Let’s remember every time we see that word that we can — and should — correctly include every part of what the Lord gives us in “salvation” — healing, deliverance, freedom, protection, prosperity, welfare — and know that Jesus’ finished work provides it all.
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation. Therefore, with joy you shall draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day you shall say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst.
In this chapter of Isaiah, the Lord is encouraging Israel — and the church (by virtue of our Jewish lineage through Jesus Christ.) The promises in this particular chapter look forward to Jesus and all that He would bring to earth for the human race. Although the Lord is referring to a specific day of deliverance for Israel from her physical enemies, this passage, like so many in the Old Covenant, also foresees the ultimate deliverance of God’s people through the finished work of Jesus Christ.
What this passage offers one nation — on a small scale — it also offers the heirs of that nation (the church of Jesus Christ) on a much larger scale. So if behooves us to look very closely at exactly what is being promised and offered here, so that we know what God has made available to us through our Lord’s finished work.
The most important word in this entire passage is “salvation.” Now, unfortunately, to English-speaking people, that word tends to turn our minds to a very limited, somewhat atrophied definition. For many, “salvation” represents some rather vague state of being resulting from the fact that God has forgiven our sins and that we are now in a position to be able to go to Heaven when we die. And, of course, it does mean that, but that simple definition is so far from the true meaning of the word in the original texts of Scripture that it leaves us in ignorance of all that Jesus has done for us.
The word which we translate “salvation” in the Old Testament comes from two Hebrew words — each of them used in different O. T. passages, but both of them having the exact same definition. The really interesting thing is that the word we translate “salvation” in the New Testament comes from one Greek word which also has exactly the same definition as the two Hebrew words used in the O. T.
Every one of those root words means the following:
“To set free, deliver, aid, heal, prosper, protect, make whole, provide for one’s welfare.”
Now, if you are reading this article and you did not know that definition previously, you need to read through it again — maybe two or three times — because until we have all of those parts clearly embedded into our mind, we do not understand the word “salvation.” We also need to understand that when the Scriptures use other forms of that word (such as “save” or “saved”) they are still using the same root word with the same definition.
So what Scripture really tells us is that when Jesus took our sin and the curse for sin upon Himself, died with it, and rose from the grave with all the debt paid in full, He bought, not only forgiveness for the sin, but also deliverance from all the aspects of the curse that was in effect for breaking God’s laws. (For a quick list of the things included in the curse of the broken law, you can read Deuteronomy chapter 28. The first 14 verses list the blessings for walking in covenant and obedience with God, and the whole rest of the chapter lists the punishments for disobedience.) Galatians chapter 3 explains how Jesus took that whole curse for us and left us free to inherit the promises given to our forefather in the faith – Abraham.
So when we read that word “salvation,” we need to stop and include all the words in the definition of that word. If we never give correct meaning to it, we will never be able to appropriate the wonderful things it offers us, and we will not be grateful to the Lord for having bought those blessings for us with His own suffering and death.
Just begin with this passage in Isaiah and when you come to the word “salvation,” stop and read “freedom from sin, deliverance, aid, healing, prosperity, protection, wholeness, and welfare.” If you’ve never done it, you will find that it will change your life — and your relationship with God.
Let’s go one step farther into the New Covenant. The name “Jesus’ is actually derived from a Hebrew root (and is sometimes translated Joshua as well as Jesus.) But the point we need to zero in on is the fact that the name is derived from a combination of the Hebrew words that mean “Jehovah saves — heals, delivers, sets free, prospers, protects, etc.” Wow! No wonder there was unqualified joy in Heaven and among groups of people who were looking for the Messiah when word came that “Jesus” had been born.
Now, let’s return to Isaiah 12 for one more thought. In the last sentence of that chapter, we are told that the inhabitants of Zion are to shout for joy because the Holy One of Israel is great in her midst. Now, this “Holy One of Israel” is the same God who came down in fire and burned up Elijah’s sacrifice, along with his altar, and then licked up the water. He’s the same God who slew Goliath when David through his rock. He’s also the same God who went before the army of Jehoshaphat and destroyed three whole armies without Israel even having to get sweaty. If that God is in the midst of Zion, she has nothing at all to fear.
It’s interesting to note that Zion is also used in Scripture to look forward to the church, and in the New Testament book of Hebrews we are told that believers have come to Mt. Zion, to the Heavenly Jerusalem, to the general assembly and church of Jesus Christ. Does that mean that the “Holy One of Israel” is also in our midst? Well, let’s take a look at 1 John 4:4 — a letter written strictly to the born-again believers who make up the church of Jesus Christ: “You are of God, little children and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
And not only is HE (the Holy One of Israel) in us, but so is His Kingdom. Jesus said the Kingdom does not come with outward observation, but that it comes to us internally. (Luke 17:21). He also insisted that it is our Father’s good pleasure to give us His Kingdom. (Luke 12:32). And how does Jesus describe the Kingdom of God? Well, it includes God’s righteousness, of course (Matt. 6:33) but it also includes healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, and giving out the things of God freely. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus tells people that when He or His disciples minister the delivering and healing power of God, the Kingdom of God has come to those people. All of those things are inside of our born-again spirit.
So, dear believers, it’s time we stirred ourselves up to go draw the water of life that we need from the wells of God’s “salvation” — the wells of “Jesus” — the wells of “freedom, deliverance, healing, prosperity, protection, and welfare.”
It’s time to cry out and shout for joy — regardless of how things look or feel in the natural. Because those things that have come against you — those enemies — those giants that threaten your survival — those multiple armies of deadly problems that have encamped against you — all of them have one thing in common: they are no match for the Holy One of Israel — for Jesus, who forgives, delivers, heals, prospers, and protects you. Great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel. Believe Him and let Him work for you.
There is sunshine in my heart,
A bubbling river gently flowing,
Soft, sweet-scented breezes blowing
From the Spirit of the Lord.
There is laughter in my soul;
Merry melodies are singing;
Joy bells through my mind are ringing
From the Spirit of the Lord.
Troubles cannot quench the laughter.
Storm clouds can’t put out the sun.
All that threatens to defeat me
Will be gone, no more to haunt me:
The Spirit of the Lord will overcome.
So if the fig tree shows no blossom,
If no flock is in the fold,
I’ll yet rejoice in my salvation:
The Word that brought forth all creation
Is still True. And my faith glistens as pure gold.