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murjahel

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GRASP the Vision

in 2012

 

As we grasp and feed upon truth, and as we yield to God seeking God’s will for our lives, we will find there are things that God wants us to ‘GRASP’. This is the word that the Lord has given me for this year of 2012. Last year, God illustrated to us that we need to EMERGE into and out of many things. We have all experienced many ‘emergings’ in 2011. Certainly these can continue to come, but this year of 2012, we will also be seeing that God will set things before us to GRASP.

The measureless love of our Lord Jesus, has brought us to a place now, wherein He has blessings and benefits for us to GRASP. Not only to grasp the good. The power of the endless work of God in each of our lives, should give us a great expectation for Him to continue the work He has started in us.

Philippians 1:5-6 (KJV)

5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;

6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Let us seek to grasp this truth. We need to personally acknowledge that the Lord is going to work through the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, and that He will also remind us of the sure promise of the Spirit to do the work He wants done in our lives.

A Choice of in Whose GRASP to Be

The devils and sin want to grasp us.

Mark 3:29 (KJV)

29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

The word ‘in danger of’ is the Greek word en-ok-os, and means ‘in danger of’, ‘in subjection to’, or ‘in the grasp of’. Those that choose sin and rebellion toward God are in the grasp of damnation, in the grasp of the devil.

Yet, God wants to ‘grasp’ us.

1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 (KJV)

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

The Greek word ‘caught up’, is the word ‘harpadzo. It can be translated ‘pluck’ (John 10:28-29); or "catcheth" (Matt. 13:19; John 10:12); or "caught up" (1 Thess. 4:17); or "pulling" (Jude 23). The idea of the word in the Greek speaks of a ‘robbery’, a snatching away, a grasping from danger. The Lord wants to ‘GRASP’ us, and bring us up to Himself, to heaven, and there to receive our eternal rewards. God wants to GRASP US.

God now asks us to GRASP.

At times, people fail to grasp what the Lord is saying. In the gospels, many times, Jesus made it clear, but the hearers did not have ears to hear.

Luke 18:34 (KJV)

34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.

                                                                               

It is vital we GRASP His message to us this year, and begin to ‘GRASP’ The things we need to grasp.

Hebrews 6:18-19 (KJV)

18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

We must ‘lay hold upon’ the ‘hope set before us’. The word ‘to lay hold upon’ is the Greek word ‘krat-eh-o’ meaning "to GRASP, to lay hand on, to take, to hold." We have a ‘hope’ that God is putting before us, and that ‘hope’, that ‘vision’, that ‘calling’ that we have is made for us to GRASP. The word ‘hope’ is the Greek word ‘el-pis’ meaning ‘that which we expect, that which we anticipate, that which we have vision for, that for which we hope.’

God, in this year, is instructing us to ‘GRASP THE VISION’, even though we may need to fight for this vision.

Ephesians 6:17 (KJV)

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

The Greek word for ‘take’ is dek-o-mai’ meaning ‘to receive into one’s hand, to grasp.’ The ‘sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God’ needs to be grasped into our hand for this year. The devils will fight us, and our first grasp in preparation for a year of grasping, is to ‘GRASP’ the rhema Word of the Lord, with which we will fight the devils who would want us not to receive what God wants us to receive. Surely, wherever we will be triumphant, the ‘sword of the Spirit’ will be there speaking forth the promises, the blessings, the assurances of God. Like a sword in our grasp, the blessings of God will be given.

Jacob grasped the heel of Esau in their time of birth. God had wanted Jacob to be the first born, but Esau, even in infancy of the womb, had a nature of taking what was not to be his. Jacob’s name means ‘heel catcher’, for in his birth, he was ‘grasping’ the heel of Esau. Jacob knew a life of ‘grasping’. We need to learn from this. There are many who would take from us the promised blessings of God. God never condemned Jacob for this grasping, and in fact, the first born blessings were promised to Jacob, and he finally received them, despite the efforts of the devil and of Esau.

Later, at the brook Jabbok, Jacob grasped the Angel (i.e. Jesus), and after a long night of grasping, his blessing was secure. We need to grasp, hold on, though the night be long, claim the Word of the Lord, swing that sword that is in our grasp. We can grasp the ‘Angel’, Who is our Lord. Jacob’s hip was disjointed in the struggle, for the old human nature struggles in this. The Lord is our main ONE to GRASP. With Him in our GRASP, all other grasps will be securely certain.

THE VISION

In the Bible, the word ‘vision’ is from the Hebrew ‘Horama’ or the Greek ‘optasia’.

Mankind has been made to be ‘eye-minded’. Mankind, even in the wakened moments, tends to think and imagine in terms of vision. Dreaming is mostly visual, our thinking is mostly visual. God chooses to give us pictures of what He wants for us too. We think and aspire in God in visual ways. God gives us ‘vision’, a mental picture, of things He wants to do for us, to us, and through us. We get visions of ourselves doing ministries, of being representatives of God in this wicked world. We need to see what the vision is in this year, and GRASP that vision.

In our waking moments, when alone with God, speaking praises of His mercy and love to us, we can let sense God giving us direction, hope, expectation, and we can aspire to have those things from God. It is time to ‘GRASP’ those things, and hold on.

Paul saw a man in Macedonia calling him to come (Acts 16:9). This vision was given by God. We all have visions of wanting to serve the Lord, help the afflicted, win the lost, intercede for the troubled, and to minister for the Lord.

So, how do we GRASP those things?                        

Our visions are not limited to spiritual matters. We have visions of what we want to accomplish career wise. Family and home life may requires some grasping of what we desire to see them to be. Our finances may need some grasping that would be pleasing to our Lord. Our life may need a lot of grasping in this year. God has plans for us, we need to see the vision of what God wants, and grasp those things.

       

The vision is also found to be a ‘calling’. The word for ‘calling’ in Greek is ‘klesis’. Our ‘vision’ is our calling. We can be sure that God gives all of us these visions, these callings.

Romans 11:29 (KJV)

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

God does not revoke our calling. It is there, still able to be aspired to, still there to be grasped.

Philippians 3:12-14 (KJV)

12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

God wants us to reach forth to grasp, and to press toward that we want to grasp. The prize we can grasp is the ‘high calling’ of God. God, since before the world was created, has planned for us to be ‘grasping’ certain things that are His plan.

2 Timothy 1:9 (KJV)

9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

It is vital that we make this calling to be sure. This is not a game, not optional, not something which makes little matter if chosen or not. We must make this ‘calling’, this vision, to be sure.

2 Peter 1:10 (KJV)

10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

GRASP Acrostic

The ‘GRASP’ acrostic is a method of spelling out what we should expect God to show us in regards of how to GRASP the visions. Each letter of the word ‘GRASP’ will have meaning. We shall discuss these in following sessions.

G

Grow

Ephesians 5:27

"That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish."

God is working during this latter rain revival to purify His church. He wants the "glory of God" in us, and the purity to be so great, that He can revive and bless us as never before.

We need to grow into the ministry, be ready to grasp what God wants us to claim in Him. There is a ministry into which the Lord wants us to grow.

R

Revive

Revival is not a permanent blessing. It can be lost. It does not happen in a vacuum, but it occurs in an atmosphere of faith and eagerness. When a congregation is listless, bored, apathetic, non-expectant, revival is destroyed.

Acts 2:42

"...they continued steadfastly..."

Grasp the revival that the Lord has for you. Grasp the vision He has given you. Grasp the calling of God.

A        

Aspire

A powerful, perfect saint must be an intercessor, a person of the Word, a person who fasts, a person who has genuine Christian love, and a person who exercises the gifts of the Spirit. Powerful, perfects Christians have many such ingredients. Yet, they may differ one from another in many ways. Though they should all have some ingredients alike, there are some things that may vary greatly between them. Paul differed from Peter, Elijah differed from John the beloved. Job was much different from Moses.

God knows how to take those who come to Him, and make them into His perfect, powerful, and victorious saints. He has an agenda for us, and we must go personally to Him for His plan for our development. It will vary, and we must submit to His conception of perfection for us. Grasp God’s vision for you.

S

Sing

The true vocation of the congregations includes WORSHIP.

I Peter 2:5,9

"...to offer up spiritual sacrifices... that ye should shew forth the praises of Him..."

God meant for us to learn to worship, then learn to work. On the isle of Patmos, John was shown the future rapture day. In his vision, he saw the saints singing:

Revelation 4:8-11 "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power..."

Worship delights in the sheer glory of God. Worship revels in His Person, His Nature, and His being. Worship recognizes what He has done.

 

P

Proclaim

Acts 1:8

"...ye shall be witnesses unto Me..."

The revival church cannot be "witness" without having witnessed a personal encounter with the One Whom we witness.

John 3:11

"We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen..."

I John 1:1-3

"that... Whom we have heard, and Whom we have seen with our eyes, Whom we have looked upon, and our hands have handled... declare we unto you."

 

We shall study what and how to grasp as we look at each of the letters in the acrostic.   Stay tuned...


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GRASP2012

GROW

God has much for us to GRASP. We are in a year of grasping that which the Lord has for us. We are not to sit back and relax, we are not to be apathetic, nor patient in accepting what God puts forth for us to grasp. We have emerged from the cocoons of life, and are now ready to grasp.

During this time, the manifest presence of God will be strong. The revival of the early church time, and the revival of this last day revival will have - a very strong, close, and powerful presence of the Lord. Whenever God's presence is near, He will judge the rebellious and abundantly bless those yielded. If sin is present, He must judge it. As He maintains a holiness of separation to His presence, He will be presenting us things to grasp for His name’s sake.

As the High Priest stepping into the Holy of Holies on the day of Atonement, would fall dead if there was un-repented sin in the camp, we will find that the Lord will be harsh on sin, but for a reason. He must be harsh on sin, so that the blessings He wants us to grasp, are available.

Likewise, if the priests were doing temple service (as lighting the golden lamp stand or offering sacrifices), and they noticed that their hands or feet were dirty, they would need to immediately wash at the laver. If they neglected to do so, they were smitten dead by the Lord. The man who reached out to steady the ark of the covenant, fell dead when he touched it.

God is not going to strike us dead physically, but the Lord’s presence will depart the sinful places. God's Presence will bring blessing or judgment, depending upon our own standing with Him. If we are in sin, and God's Presence visits us, we are judged. If we are justified of our sins, and in right standing with God, His manifest Presence will cause revival and blessing. In His mercy, God will not give us His Presence today, until we have come in repentance to Him. Thereby, we may feel the lack of revival blessing, but if we humbly repent, the Presence - and blessing - of God will come. If He simply chose to visit our services next Lord's Day, there would perhaps be many who would be stricken dead at such a visitation. So God withholds His Presence, patiently (or impatiently) awaiting our repentant reconciliation to Him.

During the early days of any great revival, God is trying therefore to purify His people. He can thereby bring more and more revival to them as they are purified.

Ananias and Sapphira were judged for the lie they spoke in the presence of God during the former rain revival. They were not judged for not giving all of the money from the sale of the land, for this was not of necessity they were giving. But, they lied in God's Presence.

Attempting to emulate Barnabas' gift of chapter 4, Ananias gave but did not have the faith or the generosity of Barnabas. He was being hypocritical. God does not tolerate hypocrites during the former or the latter rain revival. This is why many congregations do not have much revival yet, in this latter rain revival. If God's Presence did come down in manifest revival, He would need to strike many hypocrites dead.

This may seem strange that this 'God of love', 'God of mercy', and 'God of tolerance' that many of us have grown so accustomed, would strike someone dead. The God we see in the revival periods (for instance, at the tabernacle in the wilderness, or at the time of recovery of the Ark in the days of King David, or during the former rain revival) was adamant in His insistence upon purity. Likewise, during this GRASPING time, this same God of love will again insist upon purity, holiness, and will judge those who are not.

Sin is present during the latter rain revival. This has been predicted for thousands of years, and we who now live in that age, can attest to the presence of sin in the midst of those that God wants to revive.

I Timothy 4:1-2

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing         spirits, and doctrines of devils, ...speaking lies in hypocrisy."

We have seen God judge sin in some high places of Christianity in the last number of years. A number of people in high positions of the Christian world have been judged. There has been sin in congregations, in ministers, in evangelists, in denominations, in deacons, etc. Not in all, but in "some". God has only done so far, as He has done in all ages, purifying His people.

Yet, in these last days, there will be a special purification, that surpasses all that He has ever done in any age. Jesus is soon to return for His church, and He therefore is seeking a purity above any ever demanded by the Lord.

Ephesians 5:27

"That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish."

God is working during this latter rain revival to purify His church. He wants the "glory of God" in us, and the purity to be so great, that He can revive and bless us as never before. There is therefore coming a growth into purification upon the church. This growth time is now here, so that we need not be judged by the Lord. The people of Noah's day were shocked by the judgment that came upon the earth in those days. The five foolish virgins were shocked at being shut out of the wedding chamber in the story of the ten virgins. Ananias and Sapphira did not expect judgment either.

Jeremiah 8:7

"Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane, and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord."

"Tares" will be removed from the "wheat" first (before the harvest of the "wheat", which is the rapture of the church). These tares will be severed by a miraculous judgment of God in the time of the latter rain revival.

Matthew 13:36-42

"Then Jesus sent the multitudes away (this message was not for all - even in that day), and went into the house, and His disciples came and said, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field... He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man, the field is the world. The good seed are the children of the kingdom. But the tares are the children of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world (age). The reapers are the angels... The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things (or persons) that offend, and them that do iniquity, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire. There shall be weeping and wailing of teeth."

Matthew 13:49-50

"So shall it be at the end of the world (age), the angels shall come forth and sever (Greek = aphorizo = to separate from) the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire."

The judgment is pre-rapture, for the wicked are severed from amidst the believers. After the rapture, this would be unnecessary, for the believers will already be removed from this world. The Bible has often warned us of a judgment of the church.

I Peter 4:17-18

"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of         God, and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of those that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"

Jesus wants a pure church when He comes to rapture it. He finds it far from that purity at the moment. The revival cannot even get progressing as He would like to see it progress, until a new purity is found. We need revival, but we need a purifying purge of the church to remove the "tares" sown there by the devil.

II Timothy 3:1-14

"in the last days perilous times shall come..."

The perilous times are now present. We are needing to GRASP the hand of the Lord, GRASP the provision that He has for us, and GRASP the VISION we have from God. The time is not to be ‘frightful’ to us, it is to be a time of GRASPING His hand, and walking in victory with Him.

Right now, the Lord is offering the VISION OF GROWTH.

We are to GROW into the saints that God wants to use in this vision He has given us. Some only want a ‘form’ of faith, and they are not seeing any VISION of more than that to GRASP. These ‘perilous times’ that Paul foretold are times when many people have a "form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." These "perilous times" are times when a judgment comes from the Lord upon the church. Many have hopefully assumed that the "perilous times" mentioned, are times for the world, and not for the church. This is not in keeping with the context of the passage. We need to look for the vision that God has given us, a many faceted vision, one that will continue to be unfolded before us, and we need to GRASP the GROWTH into that VISION.

There are hypocrites, troublemakers in most every church. The word "hypocrisy" comes from the Greek word - "hypokrinomai". This word means "to play a part in a play." God will not tolerate those in the congregations of the latter rain revival that simply are play-acting. The hypocrites in every age are in trouble with God, but the ones in the latter rain revival are in grave, perilous danger. God has made it plain in Scripture, but mankind tries to ignore it, and look for the revival, the mercy... We will have revival, but the kind of revival that God wants us to have will not come until God removes those who play-act their faith.

Ananias and Sapphira coveted and lied to cover their covetousness. Whenever the presence of the Lord is near, as in that revival, God will judge sin as surely as He will fill the hungry. At the former rain revival, God's presence filled the upper room when they were all in one place, and in one accord. The Spirit descended, they were filled, and 3000 were saved. When God's presence filled the place where Ananias and Sapphira came to present their offering, and a lie was told, judgment caused two to die immediately.

Just as quickly can God do the opposite. As we ‘grasp’ the vision, and allow God’s presence to overwhelm us, we will find, not judgment, but GROWTH.

What do we do? We must be ready, prepared, and the best way to be ready is to often "examine" ourselves. This is the purpose of the communion we share. We are to be sure that we are ready "till He come". This demands a purity, and oft-cleansing of our souls.

Luke 21:34-36

"...take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (over-indulgence) and drunkenness (intoxication) and the cares of this life, so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare, shall it come         upon all them that dwell upon the earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray, always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these thing that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

THE GROWING PALM TREES

Psalm 92:12 (KJV)

12 The righteous shall flourish like the

palm tree.

The tree of life was a kind of the palm tree with a special flowered fruit, according to ancient Jewish and rabbinical writings. The palm tree is a symbol of life and nourishment, esp. to a weary traveler in the desert. So the priesthood is to be a symbol of life and nourishment to the world.

Carvings of the palm tree were made in the Temple. (I Kings 6:29-7:36; II Chronicles 3:5; Ezekiel 40:16-41:26) The walls around the inner and outer rooms, the walls of the Holy Place of the Temple, the wall of the Holy of Holies, were carved with figures of cherubim and palm trees with open flowers. The bases of the ten lavers of the Temple were carved with cherubim and palm trees. The millennial Temple, as described by Ezekiel, has palm trees and cherubim carved on the posts of gates, on the doors of the Holy of Holies, and on the floors and walls.

The palm tree is the closest likeness of trees to the tree of life in the garden of Eden, and since then, has been used as a symbol of the priesthood of believers. In the New Testament period, we do not have a separate priesthood, as did the Hebrews of the Old Testament period. We, the saints of the Lord, are all in the priesthood now. We are to be like palm trees, GROWING in this dry world, but able to offer a place of shade and nourishment from the harsh world.

I Peter 1:9

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness unto His marvelous light."

The Jews never fully accepted the calling and vision from God to GROW into this to be this "priesthood" of palm trees for the world. Most of them missed that calling. Most Christians have missed the true nature of their calling also. We are to be like palm trees to a dry and dying world. This takes GROWTH in the Lord.

This teaching is one of the most neglected, and ignored, subjects in Christianity. The Levitical priesthood of the Old Testament was only a shadow of the substance of the priesthood that God intended to make of all believers. A "shadow" is only an indication of the proximity of the substance, and not the substance itself. Therefore, the priesthood of believers completes and supersedes the Levitical priesthood, just as Jesus completed and superseded Aaron as the High Priest. The altar of burnt offering foreshadowed the cross, and in the same way, the priesthood of the Old Testament was a shadow and type of what God was going to make of the real priesthood. We are now to grow into the palm trees of supply for the world that the Lord wants us to be in these last days. All believers, of all ages since Adam, are a part of the priesthood of believers.

Exodus 19:6

"And ye shall be unto Me, a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation..."

I Peter 2:5-9

"Ye also as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."

Revelation 20:6

"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God, and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years."

It may take until they reach heaven for some to realize that they are part of a priesthood. In heaven, on the rapture day, all saints will finally acknowledge and know that they are part of a great priesthood. Yet, we can GRASP this VISION now, and grow into the palm trees that the Lord wants us to be in this time.

Revelation 1:6, 5:10

"And hath made us kings and priests (literally 'a kingdom of priests') unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.

Amen". And hast made us unto our God kings and priests (literally 'a kingdom of priests'), and we shall reign on the earth."

       

A priest is one who ministers to God and man, a holy worshipper who gives glory to the Lord, and one who mediates between a holy God, and sinful mankind. As priests, or as palm trees, to this world, we will grow into ones who can give nourishment, quench spiritual thirst, of those in this dry world.

We are palm trees as we bring the Word of God to people, and bring such people to the Lord. As we conduct our private worship, we are palm trees. As we testify of Jesus, and represent God before the world, we are palm trees. As we intercede for the unsaved and backslidden, we are palm trees. As we lead others to the salvation in the Lord, we are palm trees. The Lord is seeking for such persons to stand in the gap for the sinful world. He is looking for those who recognize their palm tree ministry.

Grasp the vision of the palm tree. Grow into the ministry the Lord has wanted for all of us to have. We will be doing this throughout eternity.

Many wonder, or should wonder, what will we be doing during eternity?

Sitting on a throne is no more acceptable to God then, than pew sitters in church are now. He will have us doing something. We will be working, ruling and reigning with Him. Like the trees of life growing along the rivers of the New Jerusalem, we will be growing still, as palm trees to the ones over whom we rule and reign. The humans who survive the tribulation, pass the judgment of sheep and goats as described in Matthew 25, and make it into the millennium, and those who pass the final test at its end, will be on the new earth for us to be like unto palm trees. Many will be born then, and the population of humans over which we rule will increase. We will be priests to teach those many, preparing them for that test, getting them to know why they should serve and love Jesus. The new earth will then be the new heaven, for God, Christ, the Spirit all dwell on it with us. While the humans there multiply and become more and more, we will be as priests to them, to be like that palm tree is, a symbol of a Source of life and refreshing.

That is our eternal job into which we are now to start growing. As in a desert, a parched, dry, thirsty person, walking for miles, seeing only sand and rocks, suddenly sees a palm tree, and knows that there must be water nearby, so each of us are to be a sign that near-by us is the Water of life, and the One Who is the Life. We are 'palm trees' to this world. We are to GRASP THAT VISION, AND GROW INTO IT.

We are to minister to others in the wilderness. We are palm trees in the desert, a sign that water is nearby, a sign of hope, in a hopeless, wilderness. Grow into a palm tree.


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GRASP2012

REVIVE

We are supposed to GRASP much in this year. It is a year in which we grow into the palm trees of the priesthood, and can now grasp many blessings the Lord has for us. The second letter of the word ‘GRASP’ is R, and it refers to ‘revive’.

Nehemiah 4:2 (KJV)

2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?

The Jewish nation had been in slavery to Babylon and to Persia. Having returned, they began to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The inhabitants of the land began to mock them, for how could they do such, for the walls were flattened, the rubbish of the people, the overgrowth of plants, had over the years made it look like an impossible task.

Yet, the stones were ‘revived’, were made useful again. The rubbish was removed, the trash of the years was taken off, and beneath that were the stones with which they could build the walls.

In this year, there is a plan the Lord has, to rebuild, to bring back, to give us victory in our grasp, and we need to rebuild the walls spiritually. The trash may be upon what the Lord wants us to grasp, but it can all be removed.

Psalm 138:6-7 (KJV)

6 Though the LORD be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly: but the proud He knoweth afar off.

7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me: Thou shalt stretch Thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and Thy right hand shall save me.

Troubles have come to most all of us. Our enemy, the devil, has tried to hinder us with attack, with temptations to sin, and we are in need of ‘reviving’ again.

WHAT IS IN YOUR GRASP NOW?

We are to grasp REVIVAL. Yet, we cannot grasp revival while sins, and other pursuits are in our grasp. What is in your GRASP now? To what have you been clinging. In the passage above, it seems that ‘pride’ had been in the grasp of those to whom God is speaking. Pride brings trouble, and we need revived.

Ephesus lost its grasp on ‘love’. Even though that congregation had been born within the fires of Pentecostal revival, within a few years, it had lost its grasp on its first love.

The congregation at Sardis had a reputation for being a live church, but it became spiritually dead. Sardis lost its grasp on the spiritual life and exuberance of their faith.

The congregation at Laodicea became spiritually bankrupt, and Jesus stood outside that church waiting for an invitation. They had grasped earthly riches, and had lost their grasp on Jesus. He stood outside the door knocking.

The same can happen today. We can become so accustomed to blessings that we cease to value them. The blessings can become commonplace. As the people who live within sight of the Statue of Liberty, that they finally neglect to even notice it.

Substitutes for revival can creep in upon a congregation. We must beware of substituting the natural for the spiritual. If we want blessings, we need to grasp them, and let go of our grasp of other things.

Paul asked the Galatians:

Galatians 3:3        

"Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?"

Substitutes for revival are like substituting pictures of a sunset for the real thing. There is no comparison. Some try to substitute a form for the real move of God. Some try impressive ceremonies, gorgeous music, eloquent preaching, modern techniques, etc. for the real moving of the Holy Spirit. Nothing can replace the Spirit-filled moves of God in a congregation.

Spiritual liberty, as we now know it, means responsibility to properly use the liberty that we have been given. So many avoid the possibility of real liberty in a worship service. The form of "three songs, announcements, offering and finally a sermon..." can be followed by almost anyone. However, to let the Spirit move, and to allow spontaneous change and freedom of the Spirit to change our plans, takes more prayer, more Bible study, and more faith. If we want to be revived, we need to let go of our grasp of the form, of the substitutes of the devil. Grasp the revival, but first, let go of your grasp of form and tradition. God may speak in many ways, and if we try to limit His move, by grasping form, tradition, and the ‘way we always do it’, we will be unable to grasp His real desires for us.

It is easy to slack in this prayer, Bible study, and faith, and then to try to follow a form. The moving of the Spirit cannot be created by any form, or emotional ranting. We cannot force the Spirit to move, and singing the same verse over 100 times will not create a real move of the Spirit. If we grasp that form, that tradition, we will be unable to grasp the real move of the Lord. The grasp of form and tradition are not even close in glory to the what we should be grasping.

An enemy of revival is the willingness to grasp form. The concept that we can live off the blessings of others, or the blessings of a past move of God, destroys real revival. Some want to be spectators, and come to watch others go through a form. They want to observe the move of the Spirit come. They criticize the pastor, if the Spirit does not move, but they claim spiritual greatness if they can soak up a few blessings of another who truly has revival.

Revival is not a permanent blessing. It can be lost. It does not happen in a vacuum, but it occurs in an atmosphere of faith and eagerness. When a congregation grasps listlessness, boredom, apathy, and are non-expectant, the real blessings of God are lost.

When we grasp revival, we are utterly dependent upon the Spirit. We may have education, a fantastic building of worship, money, programs, talents, and enthusiasm, but without the power of the Spirit -- we are helpless.

Acts 2:42

"...they continued steadfastly..."

Unless we "continue steadfastly" in the Spirit, we should write "ICHABOD" over the door and go home. "ICHABOD" means "the glory has departed." In too many revivals, the glory of God has departed, and only a form, a substitute of the real thing, remains. They may try to sing with the same enthusiasm, preach with the same thunder, and shout, clap, and wave arms as they did when the revival was real, but there is something missing.

The grasp on revival needs restored, the grasp of other things needs released. Open the spiritual grasp on things, on ideas, on forms, on traditions, on sins, and grasp instead the blessing of God.

What substitutes for revival are being grasped?

 

1. Ingratitude for God's blessings can be in the grasp of many. Like the nine lepers who did not return to thank Jesus for their healings, many today treat the blessings of God as deserved, and therefore not grace, unmerited favors, that demand gratefulness. Grasping ingratitude to God for what He has done for you, keeps one unable to grasp revival. What has God done for us? Have we complained about it, that it was not enough? Have we ‘gloried’ in everything, as Paul said he did? If we learn to glory in what God is doing, and let go of grasping ingratitude, the revival of grasping God’s plan for us will happen.

2. Study and attention to other things rather than the Word of God can be our grasp. The neglect of the Bible quenches the fires of revival. We are commanded to "study to shew" ourselves "approved". And yet many think revival will continue without obedience to that command. Some think now that they are in revival, they can depend totally on what the Lord speaks to their hearts, and neglect what He has already spoken within the Word of God. This is foolish, and has often proven deadly to revival fires.

Famine of the Word of God is a dreadful catastrophe. The Bible predicts that in the last days, many will have a famine for "hearing the Word of God."

Amos 8:1-12

"...send a famine... not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the Words of the Lord... shall run to and fro to seek the Word of the Lord, and shall not find it..."

Many today are "running to and fro" seeking for real revival, and are not finding it anywhere. It is not because revival does not exist, but because they are not "hearing". They are deaf to true revival blessings. God is speaking and moving, but they are totally unaware of it. The silence from heaven is in their ears only. True revival is occurring in these same last days.

Habakkuk 2:14

"For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the water cover the sea."

 

3. Unbelief can be in our grasp, and it will dampen the fires of revival.

We are commanded in James 1:6-7 to not waver as "a wave of the sea". Yet, many want to have revival on Sundays, and live as before on Monday to Saturday. This wavering in unbelief will kill real revival. We are told in that passage in James to "let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord." That would include "revival". We need to grasp revival, not our ‘unbelief’. Yet, I often find people who have unbelief, and they cling to it, refuse to let it out of their grasp. If they just would ‘grasp’ their faith, like they grasp their unbelief, there would be mountains moved spiritually.

4. Neglecting prayer and intercession, and clinging to all the other pursuits the devil offers in substitute, will stop revival fires. We are commanded to "Pray without ceasing." And to think that we can periodically come into the presence of God with great power, and not have spent time in intercessory prayer, repentant cries for mercy, and incessant asking for God's moving is utterly foolish. Those other things that were grasped, instead of a consistent and meaningful prayer life. Get that prayer and intercession into your grasp.

5. Disunity is often enjoyed. It is grasped by many to show they have power, to infer they have superior intelligence. They start debates over minor issues. They attack anyone with a minor doctrinal difference. They love and grasp disunity. Lack of unity among the congregation will extinguish revival fires. Revival cannot be grasped, while disunity is in one’s grasp. Grudges, hard feelings, superior attitudes are often grasped. We are told to allow "brotherly love continue." When brotherly love ceases, so will the moving of the Spirit.

6. Exclusiveness can be grasped. Self centered living can replace the grasp of evangelism. This lack of love and concern for others, for the unsaved, will destroy revival. Many a revival congregation has decided to close the doors and simply enjoy the move of God by themselves. They want to shut out the others and act especially blessed of God. They can feel a superiority to the others who are outside the doors, and do not have the same "revival." Revival is given to fill us with the power of God so we may win the world. If we neglect to grasp the power for that purpose, God will drain out from us what we have been given, and we will stagnate as a dead congregation within those closed doors of exclusiveness.

7. Unchristian behavior before the world can be grasped, and will grieve the Spirit's moving. The Spirit will withdraw until we repent and achieve harmony once again. Revival cannot be real, if we are grasping misbehavior. We cannot be berate the youth, physically abuse the children in Sunday School, lie one to another about our faults, cover up sins of a relative or friend, attack others for petty differences, argue over carpet color, judge others for things done or not done, etc. and still expect revival to continue. Slander, lying, cheating, etc., within a congregation, destroys revival. The hypocrisy of Ananias and Sapphira not only destroyed their revival, but in order to continue the revival within the congregation, the Spirit had to strike them dead.

8. Worldly-mindedness can be grasped, and it will destroy revival. Some in our day have thought of revival as a time when God will give us all prosperity. They have ceased to seek God, and began to seek money, possessions, and financial gain. This prosperity movement that takes the eyes of the recipients of revival off God, and onto a checking account balance is grieving to the Holy Spirit. The early church experienced poverty more and more as the revival continued. They went from comfort to poverty in Jerusalem. In Rome, they went from "financially secure" to the lion's, or to the beheading block. Revival is not measured by the financial security of its recipients. Grasp Jesus, and His approval, don’t seek to grasp fame, carnal prosperity, and possessions. Grasp the Lord, He is our Inheritance.

9. Pride can be grasped, in replacement for the humility that we should be grasping. Pride will remove revival. The Holy Spirit is the most humble and self-effacing of personalities. He speaks of God and of Jesus, but never draws attention to Himself. Yet, so many who experience         His power try to build themselves up in pride, and boast of their own gifts, blessings, and power. The evangelist or preacher who tries to bring attention to "his or her gift" of power will soon find the humble Holy Spirit withdrawing from the grasp for attention.

10. Censoriousness, or criticism of other saints, or spiritual leaders who may differ in some insignificant aspect can be grasped. This will grieve the love of the Holy Spirit, and cause Him to remove His powerful blessings.

Diotrephes sought to hinder John the apostle from attending "his" church. What he lost was the power of the Spirit, not the presence of John. Diotrephes allowed envy to destroy revival in his soul.

 

Those are the ‘wrong’ grasps to have. We need to grasp what God wants for us. He gave Solomon a choice of many things, and Solomon wisely chose wisdom and knowledge. His grasp was a good one.

Peter said to Jesus, ‘we have forsaken all and followed You..." The disciples had grasped Jesus, and could have had successful fishing businesses, but instead chose to grasp their chance to walk with the Messiah.

Anna and Simeon could have been resting with the family in the comforts of home, but knew the Messiah would soon be carried in as a babe to the Temple. They waited in discomfort, they grasped a vision rather than grasping for comfort and rest. They were blessed for that grasp.

What do you want to be in your ‘grasp’? Will you grasp true revival, - or will the cares of life; the demands for financial, rather than spiritual blessings; the attempts to make revival a form, rather than spontaneous moving of the Spirit, the pride of life and its comforts be in your grasp, and remove you from God's blessings?

TO CHANGE OUR GRASP TO WHAT GOD WANTS FOR US, WE MUST:

We must face our wrong grasping honestly. We are told in the observance of the Lord's supper to "Let a man examine himself..." As we remove the "pretty" names of our sins that have extinguished the fires of revival, we will see afresh the ugliness of those sins.

Then, we must humble ourselves before the Lord. In II Chronicles 7:14, we are told "If My people will humble themselves..." The humbling before the Lord will bring back His miraculous intervention in our lives.

We must recognize God as the Source of all things we should be grasping. God has a plan for us to have great blessings. He has much for us to grasp.

Then we must consciously separate ourselves from anything that tries to break that grasp on things given by God. We must reprove things that have come into our lives and have come between us and God.

Ephesians 5:11

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."

OUR GRASPS MAKE US SEEM PECULIAR.

Deuteronomy 14:2

"For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto Himself."

The right grasps will be in obedience to the Word of God. Obedience to the Word, following the leading of the Lord, and shunning all that would come between us and God, ignites revival afresh. Forget then, the idea that an "overflow" of another's revival is enough. We must get revival flowing from within our own being. We can never have enough revival. When real revival comes, it will be flowing from within your being to the others about you. When you are only experiencing the overflow of others, you will find yourself to be dry far too soon. Some "ecclesiastical- transmandicant - mendicants" go from church to church to soak up the revival flowing of others. Don't be satisfied with that! Get your own revival flowing.

Have the spiritual determination to keep revival, and not to simply periodically receive. Rather, we should receive daily from the Spirit. Socrates was asked by a student when he would be as brilliant as Socrates. Socrates took the boy to the stream, and pushed the boy's head under the water. He held it there as the young boy struggled to get free from his grasp. Finally, as the boy pushed to the surface, he demanded to know why Socrates had done that. Socrates told him, that when he determined to learn, as much as he determined to save his life from drowning there in the stream, he would achieve it. We need spiritual determination to have revival. We need to grasp what God wants to bestow upon us, with a desperate, sincere, enthusiastic grasp.

GRASP A REAL REVIVAL

Zechariah 10:1

"Ask ye of the Lord rain, in the time of the latter rain."

Psalms 85:6

"Wilt Thou not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?"

Psalms 138:7

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me."

Habakkuk 3:2

"Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years..."

 

There are too many "frozen" Christians. They have not been warmed with the revival fires, and have not stirred from their frozen position for years. Over a century ago, a vessel was discovered among the icebergs of the Arctic ocean. The Captain was frozen as he was making an entry in a log book. The crew was frozen, some in hammocks, some in their cabin. The last entry in the log showed that the crew had been frozen for thirteen years. For that long the crew had been a drifting sepulchre.

Yad Mala, THE HANDS FULL GRASP

Mala, is the Hebrew word H4390 meaning ‘full’, replenished satisfied.’ Yad is the Hebrew H3027, meaning ‘hand’. It is often translated ‘consecrated’. When we get our grasp on what all God wants us to have, we are consecrated, and in the work God wants us to be

Grasp, and fill your hands with what God wants for you. Revival is one thing He wants for you, and as you grasp revival, you will find many other things that will fill your hands, they will be hands full of the blessings of God. Grasp and fill your hands. The result of the filling of the hands grasping what God wants for you, will be a consecrated life.


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GRASP 2012

ASPIRE

In 2012, we need to ASPIRE. This sounds easy, it sounds like a mental decision to desire more. The ‘aspiring’ that God wants us to do is far more than that. God has great plans for us to GRASP many things this year, and move into a greater vision than we have had previously.

We are in the last days. Jesus will come soon. We know He has great desires for the church, and we are to be ‘grasping’ for what the Lord is wanting to do.

The Bible says we are to be ‘perfect’.

Matthew 5:48

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."

The word ‘perfect’, in the Greek, is telios, meaning "complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, completeness, of full age, man, perfect." (Strong's).

We are told to grow up mentally and morally. We see many Christians who are not ‘grown up’, not complete in their mental thinking, in their morality. Some feel so secure in their salvation, that they live sinfully, are apathetic in their study and search to please their Lord that saved them. They can lie, abuse, hate, have grudges, be unforgiving, etc and still call themselves "Christian", i.e. "Christ-like." They do not ASPIRE to any more growth than that. It is shameful and not what God wants for His redeemed to be.

God lists some great heroes of faith in the Book of Hebrews, and tells us that for their maturity and growth in the faith, He is ‘not ashamed to be called their God.’ Yet, there are so many that I am sure He is ‘ashamed’ to be called the God they claim to serve. We need to strive for growth in morality, growth in mental completeness. We need to ‘study to show ourselves approved’, inferring those who don’t study are not ‘approved’.

Hebrews 11:15-16 (KJV)

15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Christians are to ASPIRE toward being morally, ethically, mentally, Christ-like. The aspiring to perfection has not led to any totally perfect ones yet, however. Christ alone has been the only perfect, righteous example. The striving for completeness in morality, in mental faith, has often degenerated into legalism, judgmentalism, and pride. The church is full of judgmental, bitter, and proud aspirants. That is not to what we were supposed to ‘aspire’.

How do we aspire such a goal?

The methodology used in the past has been seriously flawed, and many have just resigned themselves to remain weak, defeated, and apathetic Christians. This is not acceptable in any age, and much less tolerable in the latter rain revival, wherein we should be nearing the best that Christianity can produce.

There is a story told of "the mad scientist and Igor." They both were saved, and then attended Bible school. After graduation, they took a church to pastor. Pastor Mad backslid a bit, and opened a laboratory in the basement of the church. He began to create the "perfect Christian." Mannequin parts began disappearing all over town. Electricity was seen shooting from the chimney of the church on dark nights. Finally, Pastor Mad felt that he had finally succeeded in creating a "perfect Christian." He called for his assistant pastor, Igor, to come to the church. Pastor Mad asked Igor to approach the communion table, which had sheets spread over it. Removing the sheets, Pastor Mad revealed an image of a perfect man. There was a large Bible in its hand. A smile was upon its face. In its head was a slot for putting computer programming with all sorts of Biblical knowledge. "What if he fails?" asked Igor. "Oh, we don't have to love it, we just take it apart and reassemble it, if we can." answered Pastor Mad.

 

There are many Christians like Pastor Mad. There have been far too many who are either trying to manufacture "perfect Christians", or are trying to "take apart" the imperfect ones. The lack of love is evident in both groups. We need to improve our striving for "perfect Christians" to something more in line with God's plan revealed in the Scriptures. An unloving, cold, and systematic approach as was Pastor Mad's, will never work. Love is the most essential ingredient to the plan.

What is a "perfect Christian" like?

If we don't even know what one is, how can we ever hope to produce one? The problem is that we all have different ideas on the subject. We vary in our description of even the goal we seek.

It is much like the story of the blind men who were trying to describe an elephant. They approached the animal, and the one blind man came to the leg of the elephant, and said that the elephant is like a tree trunk. The second one came to the tail of the elephant, and decided the elephant was like a rope, or snake. The third discovered the trunk of the elephant, and decided that the elephant was like a cable. The last one came to the side of the elephant, and therefore believed the elephant to be like a wall. All were right, and all were wrong. The ideas of what a "perfect Christian" is like, similarly, are both right and wrong.

A powerful, perfect saint must be an intercessor, a person of the Word, a person who fasts, a person who has genuine Christian love, and a person who exercises the gifts of the Spirit. Powerful, perfects Christians have many such ingredients. Yet, they may differ one from another in many ways. Though they should all have some ingredients alike, there are some things that may vary greatly between them. Paul differed from Peter, Elijah differed from John the beloved. Job was much different from Moses.

God knows how to take those who come to Him, and make them into His perfect, powerful, and victorious saints. He has an agenda for us, and we must go personally to Him for His plan for our development. It will vary, and we must submit to His conception of perfection for us.

There is a plan for our lives, and we do have a part in its implementation in our lives. It is much like the way we take care of ourselves physically.

We need to get 6 to 8 hours of sleep for our physical well-being.

We cannot skip a night's sleep.

We need to eat two or three meals a day on a regular basis.

We must get enough liquid each day.

We wash and cleanse our body regularly.

We use grooming aids to make ourselves presentable to others.

We make sure we dress in clothes that are updated and laundered.

Spiritually, we also need to take proper care to make ourselves presentable to the Lord. With proper spiritual care, our lives can develop into the powerful and perfect condition that the Lord desires.

Daily we need to get into the presence of the Lord.

We must never miss a day of prayer. There needs to be regular times of daily prayer.

We need to experience God's blessing daily.

There should also be daily repentance for our failures, and mercy sought for the defilements that affect us regularly.

We need to allow God to use us daily.

God deserves to be thanked daily for His goodness and blessings to us.

Like the normal hygienic care for our bodies, this spiritual care for our souls will allow the Spirit to help us mature into the powerful, perfect, victorious saints that we should be. Step by step, we grow from "glory to glory." Little by little, Christ produces in us a spiritual work that astounds the world.

Colossians 1:28-29

"...we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. Whereunto I also labor, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily."

Thus, let us not be forgetful of the fact that it is the Lord working this maturing process in us. It is our part to present Him with a body, soul, and spirit that is yielded to His working.

Romans 12:1-2

"I beseech ye therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present yourselves a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable, unto God, which is your reasonable service. 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."

 

HOW TO ASPIRE !

How does Christ and the Holy Spirit work in us? There is a process which varies in specific content from one of us to another. Yet, there are some similarities that are alike for all of us.

ACCEPT THE SEED

First, accept the blessings that God gives in "seed" form. Just as He gives us children to raise, not adults. He gives acorns to plant, not full grown oak trees. He likewise gives us blessings in seed form, and we are matured by learning how to plant the seed, and water, tend, and see the bountiful harvest come.

We do not start out mentally and morally perfect. We are to ‘work out our own salvation’. This is a process though that starts with the great work God has done for us in salvation, and now we add our efforts. He did the work to save us, we now must do some work in making Him ‘not ashamed’ of us. He loves us all, but He has desires for us to choose to be like Jesus.

We may pray for revival, and He tells us to intercede. We may pray for our enemies to cease their attacks, and He tells us to love them. We may ask for financial blessings, and He provides us a new job. We may ask for a great ministry, and He gives us one gift to begin to use.

As we use the "seed" blessing, the Lord develops great things in and through us. We must learn to cooperate in this plan, and not to demand the final form of the blessing to start. I recall while attending Bible school, many of the ministerial grads sought the Lord to give them a full time ministry as their first church. They thought they had paid their dues in Bible school, and now deserved to take over a congregation of several hundred. Most found that they had just begun in the education of the Spirit, and a small "seed" blessing of a ministry awaited them. The huge congregation, that they assumed they were ready to pastor, awaited the completion of the growth of the "seed" that they were given.

Many in the church have corrupted the ‘seed’ concept, and watered it down to the idea of planting money in their back pocket and that would make the giver to be blessed and righteous. That is not what God is desperate for in our lives. He wants us to take the ‘seed’ blessing of salvation, and let it bear a ‘fruitful’ life of morality, of faith, of righteousness, of sanctification.

ACCEPT THE FUTURE TARGET

Matthew 19:21 (KJV)

21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me.

Secondly, accept the "targets" that God gives us. If our lives revolve about a past event, we are miserable. If life revolves about a future goal, we are happy. This is why God made one third of the Bible to be prophetic. We would be miserable if we did not have a future resurrection, a future reunion with the Lord, a future heavenly reward to anticipate. The Christians who ignore, or are ignorant of, the prophetic Word, are miserable Christians.

The rich man was to unload the cares he had already in life, and take up the life of serving His new Master, i.e. Jesus. He was unwilling, and perhaps never became ‘perfect’, unless he later changed his mind.

Thus, in our development to be perfect, powerful, and victorious Christians, we are given future "targets" at which to aim. We must therefore learn to take our eyes off of the past failures, defeats, and burdens of life.

We may have passed through "desert experiences" as did Moses.

We may have had enemies chasing us about in anger, as did David.

We may have suffered ill health, loss of children, loss of possessions, or betrayal of friends, as did Job.

We may have been disliked by our family, or imprisoned, or forgotten by those we helped, as was Joseph.

The secret of moving toward perfection and power with God, is to not get our eyes upon those problems, but to put our eyes on the future goals provided by the Lord. If we put our eyes on the problems, and fill our selves with self pity, thoughts of misery, or depression, we will hinder the Spirit's work of development within us.

Consider the facts that:

If Moses had pouted about his 40 years in the backside of the desert, or if David had grown angry at the fact that Saul sought to kill him, or if Job had blamed and cursed God and died as his wife suggested, or if Joseph had sought revenge against his brothers they would not be heroes of faith to us, or to God.

Find the goals that God has for you. Then push on toward them. Push aside every suggestion of the devil, or the suggestions of those he may use, to cause us to dwell on past hurts, sins, failures, or problems. Let Jesus work in you to develop a perfect, powerful, and victorious saint.

BE POSITIVE, NOT NEGATIVE

Luke 13:31-32 (KJV)

31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.

32 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.

Jesus came to His ‘perfect’ plan, in dedicating Himself to the life of giving Himself for us. He died, and was resurrected, to be able to give to us eternal life. His life had purpose for the plan. He was morally, ethically, mentally completing this plan. We are to get into God’s plan, and positively more forward toward the goals God gives us.

We need to get rid of the "take apart, and concentrate on the evil - syndrome." Like Dr. Mad in the story, too many Christians become distracted by the tendency to "take apart" other Christians who are imperfect. These type of saints are on the attack, they are critical, they are judgmental. This type of Christian never gets near "perfection." This critical attitude keeps God from even forgiving them their own sins, let alone for Him to be able to perfect them toward the powerful and victorious kind of saint that He desires them to be.

There are two circles of saints. Some in this latter rain revival talk of miracles, healings, and salvation. Some others talk of backsliding, sin, failings, judgment, and how hard it is to witness. Both of these extremes are present in this latter rain revival. The Lord can do little with the second group, but the first group who see the "silver lining", instead of the "dark clouds" are more easily moved by God toward perfection, power, and victory.

Two can look out of the same window, and one can see the "muddy ground," another will see the "starry sky." In churches today, one may find both types of saints. In twenty years, return to such a church, and you will find the one who saw the "starry sky" will possess more perfection, power, and victory than the other. The one who saw the "muddy ground" may not even be still saved. That one will move more and more toward discouragement and failure.

The former rain revival had miracles, healings, salvations of multitudes. Church congregations were started, people experienced the miraculous gifts of the Spirit. Yet, that is not all that happened in the former rain revival. There were stonings, beatings, imprisonments. Some were crucified, burnt at the stake, thrown to lions, beheaded. There were bickering congregations, backsliders, persecutions, poverty. Some of the saints in Jerusalem were starving, some of the saints were sitting in prison.

Did Paul pout and complain? Did those saints stay home from church until the Lord changed their troubles to victories? Did they stay in the dumps? Probably -- some of them did. But the ones who moved toward perfection, power, and victory did not keep their eyes on such problems. Paul gloried in his troubles. He rejoiced in the weaknesses and afflictions. He became one of the most admired of saints, for he kept his eyes on the miracles, healings, power. God had to give him a "thorn in the flesh" to remind him that he was to not be too heavenly minded.

Paul could have appropriated the "take apart, and concentrate on evil - syndrome". Paul could have attacked the other so-called "saints" who were instigators of the problems. Rather, he did explain what the problems were, but then moved on to glory in the answers provided by the Lord for such problems.

We all face both trials and victories. We all see both "saints," and "aints". We all have both brothers and sisters in Christ, and those who would spiritually abuse us. On which are your eyes? Upon which group do you tend to think most?

When someone asks you how you have been, do you give:

a list of complaints?

a list of trials?

a list of defeats?

a list of aches and pains?

...or do you tell of:

your latest spiritual victory?

the wondrous presence of God that you have felt within your trial?

the souls that you are seeing being saved?

the joys of the Christian life?

and the expectation of the return of Jesus?

Peter, Paul, and John faced greater trials than most of us have faced. If they would have pouted, complained, etc. do you think they would have had their books of such included in the New Testament? Imagine, if you will, the epistles of Paul, if he would have written of anger at God allowing him to suffer shipwreck, imprisonment, beatings, shunnings, misunderstandings, etc!

Nor can we put our eyes on trials, problems, hypocritical church persons, and still be acceptable, or available to God for the maturing process into perfect, powerful, and victorious saints.

Surely, there is death, persecution, and the wrath of the sinners to come in attack against the saints. Yet, there is also the double portion of the latter rain revival, the rapture of the church, the judgment seat of Christ, and the joys of heaven also soon to come. On which do you contemplate?

Christians will soon be more persecuted, more attacked, more hated than ever before. Don't pout or fear. Look for the broken-hearted, the hopeless, and the hurting. Lead them to Jesus.

When we must speak of judgment, remember that God judges with the expectation that many will turn to Him during the judgment.

Hosea 5:15

"...in their affliction, they will seek Me early..."

If we must speak of trials, let us also speak that:

Romans 8:28

"...all things work together for good..."

When we must speak of the great sins of the day, let us also add:

Romans 5:20

"Where sin abounded, grace did the much more abound..."

At times when we speak of being beat down, let us not forget to add:

Romans 8:37

"...we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us..."

Let us quit "taking apart" the imperfect saints, and begin letting Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit make us to be the perfect, powerful, and victorious saints. Who are we to judge Another's servant? Let us remove the beam from our own eyes, before we attempt to remove splinters from the eyes of others.

A farmer knows that you do not go to the barn, kick the cow, and demand it to give more milk. If the farmer does do that, he will find that the production will be down, not up. The cows will begin to secrete fluids into the milk that will make it of poorer quality.

If the farmer comes to the barn, and handles the cows gently, speaks kindly, the production will be increased. The milk will be of better quality. This is the same way with people. Too many ministries attempt to berate saints, to nit-pick at details of Christian living. These may measure skirt lengths, hair lengths, and adornments. They may major in outward appearances, instead of inward graces. These kind of ministries end in judgmentalism, bickerings, anger, depression, and loss of souls from the kingdom.

CEASE YOUR DEMANDS

Let us not demand "strokes" The story is told of a man who saw a little girl on top of the hill stroking a dog. She kept stroking and stroking. He sensed that something was wrong, so he approached. He found she had bite marks all over her arms. Every time she tried to stop stroking the dog, the dog bit her. This is like too many church congregations. Some demand strokes from others.

If we want to allow the Lord to develop us into perfect, powerful, and victorious saints, we must cease such demands of others. Forget how others see you. Don't expect or seek attention, praise, and pats upon the back. Seek only the approval of the Lord.

Jesus was treated with disrespect, with persecution, attempts on His life, and bitter attacks. He did not seek to get the approval of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the scribes, the wicked. He humbled Himself to suffer the bitter attacks of these people. In Philippians we are told to "let this same mind be in you, as was in Christ Jesus."

QUIT FEARING THE DEVIL

Quit fearing the devil. We are victorious in Christ Jesus, and we are on the winning side. There is a story told of a bee, buzzing and buzzing about a boy. The father came to help, and he swatted at the bee also. The bee finally stung the father. The son kept frantically swatting. The father said, "RELAX, SON! THE BEE LEFT HIS STINGER IN ME!"

The devil keeps buzzing about us also. Yet, he has lost his stinger at the cross. He has been defeated and is no longer a threat to us. Laugh at the foolish devil. We are told to "resist the devil, and he will flee." Too many marvel at the deeds of the devil, when they should be glorying in God's deeds. Too many fear the devil, when he would be fearing them, if they ever discovered the power they have through Jesus.

The writer of the book of Hebrews preached this same sermon in Hebrews 12:1-3:

"Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us. Let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith... consider Him ...lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."

       

Here the writer shows us that we need to have the goals of the Lord in our minds ("the race that is set before us"), and we need to look unto Jesus Who is the "Author" (that is, the Instigator of the process of faith development), and He is the "Finisher" (that is the One who will complete this task of making us into perfect, powerful, and victorious saints). If we do not keep our eyes onto Jesus, we will become "wearied" and begin to "faint" (or give up).

There is a plan of God to make us perfect, powerful, and victorious saints during this later rain revival. Let us carefully attend to our part of the process! Move toward that state of being complete in morality, in mental thinking, in following the goals that God has given you. ASPIRE that completeness in the Lord.  So, GRASP the goal to ASPIRE.


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GRASP   2012

SING

This word ‘sing’ was a bit confusing to me when God spoke it to me as the S in the word GRASP. Of course, we sing, of course it is a wonderful form of worship. But, how does this fit into the ‘grasp’ revelation of God for 2012?

Singing in Bethlehem

When Jesus came the first time, angels gathered around Bethlehem, and a chorus of them were singing ‘Glory to God in the Highest, Peace on earth, good will toward men." They had come to joy in singing at the coming of Jesus.

Singing in heaven

Revelation 14:3. And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders; and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, who were redeemed from the earth.

Notice, that in heaven, we often see ‘harpers’, musicians, singers, music. Music is an integral part of heaven, and its worship of God. God loves music, and has provided instruments for us to use when we get there, to accompany our singing. Angels use instruments, sing and worship too.

Singing throughout the Bible times

Singing was quite accepted and loved in Bible times. David had a troupe of singing men and women at Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 19:35 (KJV)

"...can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women?"

In Ezra, we see a group of 200 men and women who were singers at banquets and festivals in Jerusalem.

Ezra 2:65 (KJV)

65 ..and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women.

The Temple choir consisted of Levites. They were chosen if they were of good voice. Some of the songs that they sang, are found, but the music to which these songs were sung is long lost. It perhaps was similar to the music of the Arabs at this time. While the Temple music was more elaborate, both in notes and expression of feeling, the music of that time was a few notes repeated over and over in long recitations. This kind of music is found even amidst Arab minstrels of our time.

Prophets ministered in song before their prophetic words. Perhaps the words of the song were the prophetic words, for many of them are in poetic form.

Look in the Old Testament at how the prophets ministered:

I Samuel 10:5
"...thou shalt meet a company of prophets, coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them, and they shall prophesy; And the Spirit of the Lord shall come upon thee..."

The music of a meeting of prophets was awesome, for they were taught in the schools of the prophets of that day, to begin their worship and prophesying times with music and worship to the Lord. The Lord wants worship, music, singing, instrumental praise, to be given; and wants this to precede times of His speaking to His people.

During the ages, if you will look to the music, and the time of its writing by the writers, you will find that the prophetic message about to be announced by speaking prophets, was always preceded by songs about such same message. Musicians, singers, are supposed to be in prophetic ministry also;. it is a form of prophetic ministry, not just a preliminary of a service. Songs get the hearts of the congregation in tune with the moving of the Spirit. Before an anointing comes to the prophet to speak words of prophecy, the music will reveal the message of the Lord.

Music is a vital part of prophetic ministry, and a vital part of true worship. When God is about to share some new revelations to the church, He wants more worship, more instrumental praise, more words of His message put to worship and praise, and then will come new revelation of a prophetic nature.

When a new moon came each month, the people were taught to gather at the feet of a prophet, and the prophet would begin with worship, music, instrumental, and singing. The messages of God would be sung, hymns, psalms, etc. Then came the anointing to the prophet, and a prophetic word was spoken. That is how things were done. Today, people have lost that concept, except we have kept the form, but denied the power of what God is wanting to do in our singing.

 

Musicians, and singers should have a prophetic calling, for God wants to speak through their music, their writing of songs. In every age, the music that preceded the prophetic words, was always a preparatory word from the Lord. Before God revealed His message for that age, He sent musicians to sing of it, and then the prophets spoke of it.


I Chronicles 25:1-7
"Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals."

David used music to cause a demon to leave Saul. (I Samuel 16:16-23). When we sing spiritual songs, demons tremble and leave yet in our days. We are to be a singing people. Especially in these last days.

David was a 'man after God's own heart", we are told, and to know the 'heart of God' means to know the mind of God and what He is thinking. As we sing and worship, we will find the gifts of revelation, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, discernment of spirits will be more abundant than ever before. We will sense and know the feelings and thoughts of God, like as what David had found in his time. If you read the Psalms, you will find that the psalms are filled with the feelings and thoughts of God.

for instance,

Psalms 22 reveals prophetically what Jesus would think, as He hung on the cross...

Psalm 2 shows what God was thinking as the world rejected Jesus...
Psalms 9 shows God's thoughts at the white throne judgment...

Psalms 16 shows the thoughts of Jesus while in paradise, just before His resurrection...

I could go on, and show how the psalms are more prophetic than people ever imagined. Many, many psalms can be identified as revealing God's thoughts, long before He would think them. It is beautiful to study such.

So, remember that musicians, and singers are supposed to be prophets. For how did the psalmists know the thoughts of Jesus, and the Father, so long before such occurrences? It was prophetic revelation. God speaks through song writers yet today. God reveals Himself and His thoughts to musicians, who are prophets. Those that sing to the Lord will find more and more that God will be revealing prophetic truths. We want to know, but we open the doors of prophetic revelation from heaven, as we will sing.

Prophetic revelation is encouragement, rebuke, correction, and future event revelation. Much prophecy is simply revealing the thoughts of God for a time. What is God feeling, thinking, wanting? We would like to know, and as God wanted to reveal to David, He wants to reveal to us.

Some in our day reject musical instruments in the church. They see them in the O.T., but say they are not in the New Testament. They see them in heaven in Revelation, but say that is for then, now we are not to have them. They are wrong, God uses musical instruments in our time, and can anoint players of such, as they worship. The anointing can flow through their musical expression.

Ephesians 5:19 says...
"Speaking to yourselves in psalms

 [psalms were sacred songs accompanied by musical instruments](from the Song book of the Bible, called the book of Psalms),

and in hymns

(these are written songs of the day and age meant for worship to God)

and spiritual songs

(these are songs of the Spirit, sung out of an anointing, the words being supplied as a prophetic message is given in speaking...)

singing and making melody

(psallo, to play a stringed instrument with the fingers, to strike a chord, to sing to the music of a harp)

in your heart to the Lord.

(this means that the song and worship should be coming from the inner person, not just mouthed or played skill or talent, but actual worship in song and instrumental playing.)

That verse shows instruction in the N.T. to have vocal and instrumental music. So we are to sing, play instruments to God. In these last days, as we GRASP the blessings of God, we will find them, as we sing.

James 5:13
"Is any merry, let him sing psalms (psallo, to play a stringed instrument, to sing to the music of a harp)."

So, we are instructed to do so, and anytime we have two or more people together to worship the Lord, we are in 'church', we are to have musical instruments and singing in our worship of the Lord.

Colossians 3:16
"Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

That settles it, that God wants musical instruments, and vocal singing to the Lord, in the church. It should come from the 'hearts', not just form or preliminary parts of a service.

We are in the Last days, and events are soon to come that will shake the carnal church, upset the sleeping, apathetic Laodicean saints. To be ready for such things, to be prepared to speak prophetically for the Lord in such times, the Lord is calling for us to spend more time in vocal singing, playing instruments of worship to Him, getting our hearts in tune with His Spirit... We should sing, worship, play (if you can), tap on a log with a stick if you cannot, clap your hands, dance before the Lord, tap your feet, shout and sing. The Lord is coming, and we have a final message to bring!!!!!

 

God's glory comes down when instruments are used with singing

.

II Chronicles 5:11-14
"...and the Levites who were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun with their sons and brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals, and psalteries and harps, ... with them 120 priests sounding trumpets....... it came to pass as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord... when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord.... saying...'For He is good; for His mercy endureth forever; that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord. So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God."

That was a powerful song service there. That was in the O.T. and we in the New Testament period should have more of the glory, more of the presence of God. However, we have let down on the singing, the worship, the heart sourced praise of God. When we do sing unto the Lord, as we are called to, we will find the 'cloud' of His presence fills the place again. Let His presence come down and fill you. Then, you, like the many priests in the verses above, will find you cannot 'stand' either, and will fall at His feet, as He joins you in that place from our hearts.

THE MUSIC WILL NOT BE ENDING, WE ARE AT THE BEGINNING OF A NEW TIME OF GREATER MUSIC THAN EVER.


The 24 elders, and the four 'zoa' angels about the throne play harps in heaven. In Revelation 14, we find the 144,000 with harps and praising God in music. In Rev. 15:2, all the tribulation saints in heaven play harps. Therefore, it sounds as though we will be given more musical talent in heaven. (Down here, all I play is the radio, tape player, and cd player, LOL). The Lord will want musical, vocal and instrumental music so much in heaven, He will pass out the talents on such instruments without hesitation.

In some of the visions that God has given me, I took notice of some of the instruments in the hands of the angels. They were awesome, and the sound from them was awesome too. The sounds reverberated through heaven. It has to be heard, it is too hard to explain, but God loves instrumental music. The voices of the saints and angels in heaven, harmonized with the instrumental music. Wow, I get blessed just thinking of what I heard there.

So, in this time of GRASPING, get ready, tune up, and sing. For we are going on a soon to come trip there.

When saints in heaven would begin to worship in song, I noticed manyangels suddenly surrounded them, and with instruments playing accompanied the groups of saints. I imagine it is hard on the angels who join us in our services here, to not literally appear and join in, for worship and playing of instruments is so common in heaven, and down here, they likely have a hard time resisting the urge to join our worship.

If you cannot play an instrument, as you sing vocally, begin to toe tap, hand clap, take a stick and beat it on something. Get involved instrumentally too. We used to call the 'hands' to be 'ten stringed instruments' to the Lord, when we clapped hands to songs in the earlier days of Pentecostal worship. Lets get our 'ten stringed instruments' out of the moth balls, even if it is only in your private worship places, and times.

IF WE WANT TO GRASP, WE NEED TO SING. GOD WILL REVEAL WHAT TO GRASP, HE WILL SHOW HIS WAY FOR US TO GRASP THOSE THINGS

.

                       

Psalms 100:4

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise."

I Thessalonians 5:18

"In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus, concerning you."

Our singing is to be praise to our Lord and our God.

What are we to sing

?

If we are to enter into God’s presence with praise, if we are to praise God in every situation, we ought to know what in the world praise is!!!! Do you praise God in every circumstance? In plenty and in want? In good times and in bad?

To fail to do so, is to fail God.

James 4:17

"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, it is sin.

Matthew Henry, who wrote a famous commentary on the Bible, was once attacked and robbed, in his diary he wrote, "Let me be thankful first, that I was never robbed before, Second, because though the thieves took my money, they did not take my life, third, because although they took all, it was not much. Fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not who robbed."

A.G. Ward, said, "Our Lord is desirous that His people should be rejoicing Christians. I am certain that if Christians were more joyful, they would set sinners’ mouths a’watering for the dainties of true religion."

Praise is vocal expression. Therefore, our vocal expression should have much singing.

Psalms 84:4

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord."

Psalms 105:1

"Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the people. I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth."

Singing our praise is a needed release of our inner feelings of love for the Lord. We praise manufacturers of products we like. We praise our parents, our children. We praise our favorite teams. Some even find a way to praise politicians? But then if we truly love Jesus, there will spill out of our inner being, words of praise. And God not only wants this praise, but He wants us to sing them to Him.

If we sit at a concert of wonderful musicians, and singers, it is not so much that they need to hear our applause and praise, as we have to stand and applaud the wonderful music, it boils up within us to praise.

No one has to force fans to cheer their team win the Super bowl. Just try to make them be silent, when the last second, winning touchdown is scored.

Praise to Jesus, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Almighty conqueror of sin and death, and the One Who has provided forgiveness and salvation for us, is natural for the saint. It spills out all over our conversations.

Anyone who can be near God, and His love, even if in prison like Paul and Silas, has to praise, if they are healthy Christians. They were singing praises. The singing lifted them out of self-centeredness, into God-centeredness.

Singing our praises will force us to quit the ‘give me’s" and begin to say "make me". Singing our praises will take us from the negative to the positive. Singing will bring pleasure to God.

Ps. 149:4

"The Lord taketh pleasure in His people."

Psalms 104:1 says "Bless the Lord, O my soul." It does not say ‘bless, my soul, O Lord". We bless the Lord with our singing.

Rev. 4:11

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, for Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."

The last verse, is part of a song the redeemed will sing to God on rapture day. We can practice that same song today. We need to realize its truth now, and not need a class in praise, before we can join in that song!!!!

Singing our praises will purify our souls.

Proverbs 27:21

"As the refining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold, so is a man to his praise."

God "inhabits the praises", but He withdraws from those who praise Him not.

Let us GRASP this year, but do it in singing our praises to the Lord. Let Him come so near, we feel Him inhabiting our singing. Let us there, learn what to GRASP, how to GRASP. And then to GRASP IT WITH HIM.

Sing to yourself, when alone.

Ephesians 5:19-20 (KJV)

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

We do not need to wait for church services to sing praises. We can sing in our homes, in our cars, whenever alone. We can sing while we walk in the park, or down the sidewalk. If some notice you singing to the Lord, you will be a testimony of the greatness of the One to Whom you sing.

The spiritual songs we sing are lyric poetry, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit inspired the Bible, and is still inspiring songs. When we sing these spiritual songs, we are singing rhema words from the Holy Spirit.


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GRASP 2012

PROCLAIM

 

POWER IS TO PRECEDE THE PROCLAIMING

Acts 1:8 (KJV)

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.

We have been told to GRASP, and to do it by GROWING, REVIVING, ASPIRING, SINGING... Which then brings us to PROCLAIMING. The first steps bring us maturity, restoration, vision, and joy. We find the direction we are to be going, we find the means with which we are to journey, and we receive the revelation of our goals. Grasping these things, now we must PROCLAIM His message.

Proclamation of His Word, evangelism, and discipling are key ingredients of real revival. God will manifest His power during the proclamation of His message. In the former rain revival, we see men become "pricked in their hearts" (Acts 3:7), and "fear came on every soul" (Acts 2:43). The salvation message found great power of God to make men conscious of their sinful states, and to turn to Jesus as the Answer.

In this last day period, in 2012, we will find the proclaiming of the message will result in God’s powerful rhema to be effective in new ways.

The people saved during the former rain revival did not leave the services glorifying themselves, or praising the preachers, or uplifting the denomination, or admiring the beautiful sanctuary. No! They left the service, enthralled with JESUS! The early church was busy glorifying this same Jesus.        

When the early church was ordered to be silent, its leaders replied:

Acts 4:20

"We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."

The church has an inescapable commitment to proclaim.

All four gospels show an emphasis of its proclamations.

Matthew 28:19

"Go ye therefore and teach all nations."

Mark 16:15

"Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."

Luke 24:47-48

"And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations... and ye are witnesses of these things."

John 20:21

"As My Father hath sent Me, so send I you..."

The church, in the early church revival, expected a tremendous force of God to aid them in their outreach. They had been promised power to do miracles beyond what Jesus had done, and power to speak with new tongues, cast out devils, etc. The Pentecostal power was a force linked to its proclamations.

Acts 1:8

"And ye shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you... ye shall be witnesses unto Me..."

The power and miraculous power of the Spirit should always be linked to proclamation of the message of God. We have no right to seek the power of the Spirit, and then not proclaim what God has for us to say. The Spirit's power was given to us, so we could more effectively proclaim. It takes nerve to be given a gift as that, and not to declare it.

IF we really believe what we say we do, we must proclaim it.

IF Jesus is really Savior, Healer, Baptizer in the Spirit, and coming King, the world should be told.

IF the gospel is really the power of God unto salvation, the sinners need to be so informed.

IF our message is the ONLY key that will unlock the gate of heaven, to -fail to share it is criminal.

The basics of the message in the New Testament was, of course, Jesus.

On the day of Pentecost, Peter quickly got to a detailed description of Jesus (Acts 2:1-36).

When Philip went to Samaria, he "preached Christ unto them." (Acts 8:5).

When Philip was taken to the Ethiopian eunuch, he "preached unto him Jesus" (Acts 8:35).

With the name of Jesus, Paul opened his ministry (Acts 9:20,22,29).

Peter took the name of Jesus to the Gentiles (Acts 10:36).

With the name of Jesus, the book of Acts closed (Acts 28:31).

The name of Jesus dominates everything during the former rain revival. In the book of Philippians, in 104 verses, the name of Jesus is found 47 times.

The latter rain revival needs to beware becoming so concerned with the "fringe benefits" of the gospel - as prosperity, holiness, etc. - that it forgets to lead people to an encounter with Jesus.

The gospel does offer much, but the key to all of it is - salvation through Christ Jesus. To preach the wonders of revival, and ignore the key message, that is Jesus, is folly. To expect a move of the Spirit in manifest power, and not allow the Spirit to glorify Jesus - is sheer lunacy.

The reason for revival, the reason for the Pentecostal experience, the reason for the church, is to be a proclaiming of Jesus.

Acts 1:8

"...ye shall be witnesses unto Me..."

The revival church cannot be "witness" without having witnessed a personal encounter with the One Whom we witness. The former rain revival began with people who personally knew the Savior. They witnessed about Someone they personally knew. This revival needs to encourage people to truly know the Savior also. When we, the Church, personally know and speak with this Savior Jesus, we will find revival power to be manifest.

John 3:11

"We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen..."

I John 1:1-3

"that... Whom we have heard, and Whom we have seen with our eyes, Whom we have looked upon, and our hands have handled... declare we unto you..."

Simply living a righteous life, and providing the best of example to the unsaved, does not suffice. There is no substitute for the actual message we are told to proclaim to the world.

We are not told to draw a crowd of admirers to ourselves. We are not told to make disciples of a denomination. We are not told to have the best facilities, gymnasium, ball team. We are told to make disciples, to persuade men, to preach Jesus, and to introduce this same Jesus to them for their personal encounter.

II Corinthians 5:10-20

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men. For the love of Christ constraineth us. Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ."

It is because of Jesus Christ, and for the proclamation of His name, and His message, that we are given grace and apostleship. We have His mercy, and His commission to preach the gospel, because He wants it shared with the rest of the world. To share Jesus, is "obedience", and to not proclaim Jesus is disobedience to the faith.

Note this often overlooked, yet important verse:

Romans 1:5

"By Whom (Jesus) we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for His name."

Many in our day do not witness for the proper motive. In the early church revival, there were also some who preached Christ for the wrong motives.

Philippians 1:15-17

"Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: but the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel."

There are many today who preach, teach, witness, but out of a competitive spirit. Perhaps for a desire to have success, or the desire to sustain a denomination or congregation, they preach. They may become so entangled with the concern for numbers, or for prestige, or for fame, that they double our efforts for those reasons. The true motive is acceptable to the Lord, and any other motive will cause us to lose our reward.

We must witness because of the love of Christ, which constrains us to share the One Whom we already have found.

II Corinthians 5:4

"...the love of Christ constraineth us."

Many lose sight of the fact, that Jesus is the Lord of the Harvest. It is the message of the Lord that brings life and growth. It is His choice which field that should be reaped by each one of us.

Matthew 9:38

"Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest."

When we get the right message, and the right motive, and then proclaim it, the signs and wonders will follow

.

Romans 15:18-19

"...to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed. Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ."

There are evil powers, and an evil leader of such powers, that is - the devil. Unless there is convicting power of the Spirit, no one will get saved. We must have a proclaiming of truth, with power, for the enemy is gripping hard. His hold on the sinners is a mighty grip that is hard to break. It takes the power of the Spirit to break the devil's hold on the sinner. Miracles, healings, discerning of spirits, signs, wonders, convicting power should be present in the revival periods.

When Jesus called the apostle Paul to his work, He said:

Acts 26:18

"To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me."

The grip of the devil on the lives of sinners is broken by the miraculous power of the Spirit, and we unleash the power of God by doing the work of the Spirit, that is to glorify Jesus. The power of the devil and of all his forces is no match for the power of a people who preach Jesus and unleash the Holy Spirit's power.

Proclaiming Jesus calls for total involvement of the whole congregation. The pastor is the under-shepherd for Jesus. The Shepherd wants to feed the sheep. And the sheep are to beget sheep. This is the plan of God for the flock. The pastor may also do the work of evangelism (II Timothy 4:5), but the rest of the congregation are to be the primary witnesses.

Acts 8:4

"Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word."

Like Peter, after Pentecost, he proclaimed Jesus, boldly, and saw the Spirit awaken the consciences of men. There came from Peter's lips - anointed preaching, fearless preaching, Christ-centered preaching. The words from Peter's mouth were prophetic. A holy unction made the sermon powerful. This unction was powerful, piercing, softening, hammering, and opened even the stony hearts. The message of Peter saw a resulting 3000 get saved.

Acts 2:41

"And there were added unto them in that day about 3000 souls."

Acts 4:4

"Many that heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to be about five thousand."

Acts 5:14

"And the number of the disciples multiplied, exceedingly and a great number of priests were obedient to the faith."

When the good news about Jesus is preached in any revival, multitudes will be saved. In the 1857 revival, 50,000 a week were being saved. In 1904 a great revival swept the land and 5 million were saved in two years. These kind of results, in fact, even greater results will soon occur, in response to the preaching of Jesus.

Revival has tarried until now because:

people build sanctuaries within churches, but forget they are personally the sanctuary of the Lord...

people own Bibles, but forget that Jesus is the embodiment of the Word...

people speak of Christ, but do not truly know Him...

people sing hymns, but do not even listen to the worshipful words they are speaking to Jesus...

people have love for the denomination, the building of worship, the pastor, etc. but do not have the "first love" they once had for Jesus...

people seek to make worship exciting, rousing, and touching, but do not build a relationship with the One worshipped...

people want services that make men praise the sermon, the pastor, the denomination... but do not seek to have         them praise Jesus...        

people steal the glory that belongs to Jesus...

Real revival is measured, not by its emotion. Remember that on Palm Sunday, people were emotionally joyful, but Jesus wept. Many services in which people shout, Jesus is still weeping.

Revival is not measured by the crowds. The great events of the Bible were usually witnessed by small crowds, as the Mount of Transfiguration had Jesus, Elijah, Moses, and three disciples. Calvary had present there, John, and a few women kneeling before the crucified Savior.

Revival is not measured by its lack of problems. The devil fights harder when revival comes. The Corinthian church had more problems than most churches today, because it had revival.

Revival is measured in several ways. One of the ways in which it is measured - is the evangelization of the sinners by the proclamation of Jesus. If we begin to proclaim our relationship with Jesus with the world, the world will see revival as never before.

The proclaiming we are to do in 2012, will be part of the GRASPING we are doing. There are many things to grasp, but we do it as we GROW, REVIVE, ASPIRE, SING, and finally, PROCLAIM.


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murjahel
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murjahel

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Reply with quote  #7 

I don't know what all each of us are going to GRASP.

I have tried to relate here the idea, the Scriptures that speak

of this sort of thing, and show that God does have

some wonderful things for us to GRASP.

 

In prayer, each of us need to ask what the Lord

is directing.

We will find, even if we don't 'ask' that there will be

many opportunities, illustrated lessons, and

constant reminders from Holy Spirit,

that we need to

GROW

REVIVE

ASPIRE

SING

PROCLAIM

this year.


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murjahel
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Reply with quote  #8 

How are you doing on the GRASP?  Some of you are looking at the grow, revive, aspire, sing, and proclaim...  I am sure there are more and more things you are grasping for the Lord. 

 

The Lord knows what is coming, what we need to grasp onto, to be sure we are prepared and ready for the coming events.  Beware of seeing the bad so much that you miss what the Lord is pointing you toward, to grasp.  Fear could also be 'grasped', and the devil will try to get us to fear the future, fear the events on the horizon that he is working on... but we have a BIG God Who is more than able to bring to pass all that He has prophesied.  Trust God, don't fear.  Fear is not from Him. 

 

The Lord has  great plans for His soon coming.  It is getting ever sooner... the time until we see Jesus in the clouds is soooo short.  Smile, and grasp what He offers to you, do the opposite of GRASP to fear.


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