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murjahel

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THE NEW WORD FOR 2018

RESTORE

I have prayed, studied, and thought on what is the Lord doing now, what new understanding of our times, and of His purpose, does He want us to understand.  Each year the Lord has forewarned me, prepared me, and had me share with the ones who may be interested, some of His heart on the conditions of this world.  The Lord, I believe, does this to let us know what He wants for us to encourage us with the understanding of His work.

This coming year of 2018 will be a year of restoration of the gospel message, and awakening time for the church, a time of getting back to the proper message for this sinful world.  The acrostic that the Lord gave me is the word ‘RESTORE’, and that word is key to understanding what is planned and revealed for the coming year.  Each letter in RESTORE has a revelation of explanation for us.

The church has had a HALLELUJAH shout the year of 2017, with many sinners being removed from office, the turning around of many laws that were sinful and dishonoring to our God and Creator.   Righteousness does not yet reign in this world, and will not until Jesus returns, but we are seeing steps toward revival, and opportunities of spiritual victories.

Of late, we have seen sinner after sinner be revealed for ‘thefts, for sinful plots, for lies, for sexual abuse, for crimes so horrible we hate to list them.  Some of society will try to excuse the sinners, some are continuing to hope their sins will not be revealed, some are denying their sins as their sins are being exposed.  The sins being exposed include some so vile, so unbelievably depraved, that to list them all is not going to happen here, for the list would discourage us.

The work of the Holy Spirit, especially in revival times, is to reveal sin and expose sinners, for the purpose of bringing them to repentance, and to thereby find salvation in Jesus.  

The world has been resisting the work of the Holy Spirit, and ignoring His conviction for sins.  The sins of this nation, and of the whole world, were being condoned, justified, and conviction for them was resisted.  God has spoken of this situation often.
 
Acts 7:51
"YOU STIFFNECKED AND UNCIRCUMCISED IN HEART AND EARS!  YOU DO ALWAYS RESIST THE HOLY SPIRIT; AS YOUR FATHERS DID, SO DO YE."

The Holy Spirit has been greatly VEXED. The Spirit is a wonderful Friend those who have repented of sins, and brought through the salvation provided by Jesus to God the Father.  Yet, to those who resist repentance and salvation through Jesus alone, the Holy Spirit has become as an enemy to those who have so rebelled.

Isaiah 63:10
"BUT THEY REBELLED, AND VEXED HIS HOLY SPIRIT, THEREFORE HE WAS TURNED TO BE THEIR ENEMY, AND HE FOUGHT AGAINST THEM."

For many years, it has seemed that the conviction and reprimand for sins has been gone.  The Holy Spirit can back off from rejecters of His convictions of sin, and seem to totally LEAVE.   Yet, as we praised God with our HALLEJUJAHs this year, a fresh revelation of the sins in the nations has been poured out, and continuing to increase daily.

The sins being revealed in some politicians, in some entertainers, in some news people, in some of the ministry, in some of the educators of the nation is shocking, as it continues being revealed.

David prayed in earnest in Psalms 51, that the presence of the Holy Spirit would not be taken from him. We too need to keep our failures forgiven so the Spirit does not leave us or our nation.  These sins will continue to be revealed, some will harden in denial, some will repent and be saved, some will tremble in fear of theirs being the next sins to be shown to society.

Psalms 51:11
"DO NOT CAST ME AWAY FROM YOUR PRESENCE, AND DO NOT TAKE YOUR HOLY SPIRIT FROM ME."

We have a short time now, of a continuing increase in conviction on this world for its sins, for its rejection of Jesus as Savior, but if the Spirit is resisted, and vexed, and grieved long enough, He will leave from convicting those who persist in their sins.

Genesis 6:3
"MY SPIRIT WILL NOT ALWAYS STRIVE WITH MAN."

The Holy Spirit  bestows LOVE.  The love we need for the unlovely, and for the lost, and even for our friends is found as we receive this love from the Source of love, the Holy Spirit.

Romans 5:5 
"...THE LOVE OF GOD HAS BEEN POURED OUT IN OUR HEARTS, BY THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO WAS GIVEN TO US."

The Spirit would rather bestow, bless, give and speak--than be grieved, vexed, and depart from His work of convicting of sins that keep mankind from repenting of their sins.

The Holy Spirit  CONVICTS. Even we, as Christians, need to be convicted of sins. If we are not convicted, we will not repent.  If we do not repent, we cannot be forgiven.  It is essential that we learn to  appreciate the fact that the Spirit is constantly with us and He will make us feel convicted for sin.  As we get sensitive to His conviction, we will be able to purify ourselves more and more.

John 16:8
"HE WILL REPROVE THE WORLD OF SIN."

The Holy Spirit loves to GLORIFY JESUS. The Spirit does not glorify Himself.  As we get into closer harmony and fellowship with this Spirit, we also will cease to glorify ourselves.  We will glorify Jesus more and more. Those who seek to glorify self, have strayed from the Spirit, for that is not inspired of the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit reveals sins, not to be judgmental and harsh, but to bring to restoration the ones who have sinned. 

Many of us have done wrongs, in fact, the Bible says all of us have wronged God, self, and others. 

Romans 3:23 (KJV)
 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Those we have wronged are rightfully upset at our wrongs.  Paul helped stone Stephen.  The wrong to the friends of Stephen, to his mother, dad, sister, brother, wife, children, would be hard to forgive. Some perhaps had to get to heaven, before they totally got over what Saul of Tarsus did to Stephen.

Paul was unpopular with many, even other Christians.  The disciples in Jerusalem, had unforgiveness, some fear, and some reluctance to accept Paul as a Christian.  Some would not listen to him preach. Some did not want him to be considered a minister of the gospel.

They finally decided to send him to his home town of Tarsus, and wait there till they called him. He waited 8 years in Tarsus, and they never did call him.
Finally, a soft hearted man named Barnabas, decided to take Paul along to Antioch, where there were thousands of Gentile saints worshiping.  Paul would not be known as a former persecutor of Jewish Christians.
 
Paul was driven away from many cities where he went to preach. Many tried to kill him, those of one city did have him stoned to death, requiring a resurrection to bring him back to minister. Some imprisoned him, to keep him off their streets where he insisted on preaching. Some just chased him from town.

Paul was called a church splitter.  Everywhere Paul preached, there came dissension, debate, arguing, and strife. In one town, the chief law enforcement officer had to imprison Paul for his own safety, for the religious strife caused by Paul's sermons had so aroused the people that they were about to pull Paul into pieces.

Paul was an ex-convict. At least seven times Paul was imprisoned, and he finally died as a convict, accused of burning down a city (Rome). 

Paul disputed with many over religious doctrines. Paul was called a "heretic."
Acts 24:5 (KJV)
 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:

This abuse of Paul throughout his ministry, caused great hurt to him.  He bore it well, he found some answers, but still, he was a hurt, afflicted, and abused minister of the gospel.  The church of his time was not much help, they were a big part of the problem.  

Some today, see those well known in society, ones who were elected to political office, or who were well known ministers, actors, etc and now found out to have committed terrible sins last week or twenty years ago, and have been judged for those sins.  Some deny their sins, refuse to repent to victims or to God, and are doomed to someday pay an eternal price in hell fire for sins.  Some find repentance and salvation, and can be RESTORED to the kingdom of Jesus. 

Too often now, we see Christians not preaching or even speaking of repentance as an alternative, and like Paul was, are judged and condemned.  As Christians, our job right now, is to preach the RESTORATION message. We are not to kick from society those who find the RESTORE work of the Holy Spirit.  We are not here to judge, that is God’s job.  We are here to preach, and hope they hear and respond, to the salvation through Jesus that is offered by the Holy Spirit.
 
 CHRISTIANS NEED TO OFFER A CITY OF REFUGE TO THOSE EXPOSED AS HORRIBLE SINNERS.

Numbers 35:6
“Among the cities (48) ye shall give unto the Levites, there shall be six (6) cities for refuge... to them shall ye add 42 cities...”

Part of God’s plan for the promised land was that there be six cities for mercy. In those cities, a person accused of a crime, whereupon the wronged parties cold seek judgment, swift and final, the guilty or falsely accused one could flee to one of these cities, and inside its walls be safe from retribution.

This was a special purpose for these cities.  We need mercy often, even when it is totally undeserved.  We often have to act as though we have not been wronged.  We often have to behave without judgmentalism, without regard to the offense done. 

Numbers 35:11-15
Then shall ye appoint you cities to be for refuge for you, that the slayer may flee thither who kills any person unawares. And they shall be cities for refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer die not until he stand before the congregation in judgment. And of these cities (the 48 given to the Levites), which ye shall give 6 cities, shall ye have for refuge. Ye shall give three cities on this side of Jordan, and three cities in the land of Canaan which ye shall be for cities of refuge. These six cities shall be for refuge, both for the children of Israel and for the stranger among them, that anyone that kills anyone unawares may flee thither.”

This shows that in God’s law, a person was considered not guilty till having been given a trial.  The person was considered to have committed the crime unknowingly, unwittingly, until, within the city of refuge, he is proven in a court of the congregation (his peers), to have done the crime knowingly or of choice.   The fact that the person would flee to that city was his or her declaration of ‘innocent’ as their plea. The congregation within those cities would determine if that were true  or not.  So, locked within those walls the person was safe from the ‘avenger’ (idea then of what we might call the ‘sheriff’) If the person left the city, it would be considered as we today would think of a jailbreak.

Besides those cities of refuge, there  were the ‘horns of the altar’ at the Tabernacle where one could flee. There, grasping the horns, they could be safe from retribution for their crime until the time of a trial.  We face trial only by Jesus.  He forgives any wrongs we have done.  In Him, we are assured of acceptance, love, compassionate guidance.  He can wash away the inner pains and hurts.  Forgiveness is found in our ‘city of refuge’, i.e. Jesus. He is the ‘horns of the altar’ to Whom we flee.

When one fled to a city of refuge, they were to enter and find safety in its walls, and there declare his cause and reason for fleeing there unto the elders of that city.  Then he was given a place to live within its walls until the avenger arrived, presented his case for guilt, and a jury of one’s peers within the city determined the guilt or innocence. If found not guilty of willful murder, the person was to remain inside the walls of the city until the death of the high priest of the time.  This was not a prison actually, but a city whose walls only willingly confined the person, but the protection therein showed God’s governmental protection put upon the guilty till trial, and on the innocent until time had calmed for anger of those who thought or still think the one pronounce innocent to be guilty. 

This kind of protection is often not given to many today.  I have watched as revealed sinner after revealed sinner has been exposed.  Some very guilty, most in denial and unrepentance.   Where is the RESTORATION sermons to the world while judgment is being pronounced.  The church is often the accuser, the abuser, and the judge to many.  The family is often the condemner, the fault-finder, the degrader, to many.   We still need a refuge, to which we can flee from the harmful world of our day.
     
We are not here to be judges, we are here to RESTORE sinners to Jesus.  Surely, if they refuse to repent, if they choose to continue in sin, they need to be removed from office, shunned from any praise, and put on our intercessory prayer lists.

In our time, when we sin, fail, cause someone to backslide, err greatly in the faith, we have a refuge and protection to claim.  Often, we find saints troubled even long after a sin or failure.  The Lord, in this promised land we are within, does not want us troubled by those past, repented of, sins.  We are here to preach that same RESTORE message to the world.

David prayed in Psalm 61:14: “Deliver me from blood-guiltiness.”   He had set up the events that led to Uriah’s death. He had perhaps even set up the deaths of a few others in that planned death of Uriah.  Those deaths could have weighed heavily upon David, from then to now. Yet, the costly sins of our past can be forgiven, atoned for, removed from the list of sins in our life. God foresaw the guilt that could have come upon mankind, troubling mankind for decades even after a sin.  God provided that we should have refuge from that guilt and promise of retribution.  God has us here now to preach that message to those being exposed as sinners.  We are not judges, we are preachers of the good news message of salvation.
 
Psalms 46:1
“God is our Refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

We do not condone sin, we do not want the unrighteous, the unrepentant, the ones who deny salvation to be our leaders.  We have a wonderful salvation in Jesus to offer.

1 John 1:6-9 (KJV)
 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confour sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 WE NEED TO FORGET THE SINS THAT ARE BEHIND OURSELVES, AND EVEN OF POLITICIANS WHO HAVE REPENTED AND FOUND SALVATION IN JESUS.

God has delivered us from sin and corruption, and now we must learn to put the past behind us.  Our sins are ‘behind’ His back, and we need to follow that example.

Isaiah 38:17 (KJV)
 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back.

Paul said that after all his troubles in life, he chose to ‘forget’ the things of the past. It was a change of direction for him, pushing on toward heaven and the Lord, working on positive things, not reminiscing on past hurts.

Philippians 3:13-14 (KJV)
 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,  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

The word for ‘forgetting’ is the Greek word ‘epilanthanomai’ meaning ‘to lose out of mind’, ‘to neglect to think about’.   Many find in life that it is impossible to truly ‘totally forget’.  We cannot force amnesia on ourselves or on others.  Of course, one will remember, have it somewhere in the back corner of one’s mind, and know that it is still a reality.  Yet, one can ‘neglect to think about’ those things.  It is wise to ‘lose it out’ of one’s conscious mind, even if it lingers in the unconscious mind.  

WE NEED TO BE POSITIVE, NOT NEGATIVE TO THOSE CAUGHT IN HORRIBLE SINS, OFFERING SALVATION THROUGH REPENTANCE TO JESUS.

There are two circles of saints.  Some in this revival talk of miracles, healing, and salvation.  Some others talk of backsliding, sin, failings, judgment.  Both of these extremes are present.  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.

Romans 11:33-36 (KJV)
 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!  For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor?  Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto Him again?  For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to Whom be glory for ever. Amen.

God is not seeking to judge and condemn.  He is still pouring out mercy on all who will choose Him.  Coming to Him in our pains and in our sorrows, we can be assured that He is happy and willing to aid us. If there are unrepented sins, wrongs we have done to even those who hurt us, all He is seeking is repentance, not judgment.  We all want forgiveness for our own sins, and it is TIME to offer RESTORATION of the same kind to the ones now being exposed as sinners.
 
When the Holy Spirit reveals the horrible sins of God people of society today,  He does it with the desire that sinners will turn to Him during the judgment.
Hosea 5:15
"...in their affliction, they will seek Me early."

We need to realize that God’s hope is for RESTORATION, not JUDGMENT. Grace is being offered with every revelation of sin to sinners. 

Romans 5:20
"Where sin abounded, grace did the much more abound."
           
The thinking of many Christians today has been so distressed, corrupted, or at least, tainted by the world in which we live.  Political fights, different philosophies, satanic corruption of society, has made some of us so hardened against sin, we have become judges, and want to send to hell those we are supposed to praying for, and to whom we should be witnessing of possible salvation. 
 
We are told in the Bible to ‘let this same mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus’.  That means that we are not to let the world’s thinking be ours.  We are to think in a healthy way, as Jesus did.

Philippians 2:1-12 (KJV)
 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
 
Verse 1
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies...


This passage is saying that if there is any ‘consolation’, i.e. encouragement, in Jesus, and any comfort of love from Jesus, any fellowship of the Spirit, and any bowels of mercy from the Lord, then we should have the ability to do what Paul is about to instruct us. As Christians, we should have experienced encouragement from Jesus, love from Jesus, fellowship with the Spirit, and mercies often from God.  So, what excuse would we have, to not know that the thinking of God is far, far greater than our thinking.  The people of God need to allow God’s love and care to affect our thinking.  We need this loving, encouraging, fellow shipping and merciful God change our thinking.
  
Verses 2-4
Fulfil ye my joy that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Paul instructs that we need to make his joy complete by doing some specific things.   If we do these things, the ‘mind of Christ’ will be manifest through our lives, through our words, through our thinking.  Becoming like minded is done by having the ‘same love’, getting into ‘one accord’ on doctrines, and having one mind on decisions of how to serve the Lord.  One should not therefore be seeking self notice, or be striving for superiority.  Rather we should humbly esteem others as better than themselves.  We should not be seeking our own good, but seeking good things for others. 

Verses 5-6
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God

The saints are to allow the same self-emptying thinking that Jesus had when He came to be a man, suffer hardships, and even be crucified for the sake of others, to be in us.  Jesus was ‘in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God.’  That means He knew Who He is, and was not conscious of being less than His true power and glory made Him.  We are not ‘God’ nor equal to Him, but we need to recognize who we truly are, what are our strengths, our weaknesses, our blessings in Jesus.  
 
Though Jesus knew that He Himself is Divine, is all powerful, is omniscient, etc. still He chose to willingly humble and empty Himself for our sake.  To have His mind, we must likewise will willing to humble ourselves, to lay aside whatever good blessings we possess, to make ourselves of no reputation, to take the position of a servant, and become obedient even if it means our death. 

That is the ‘mind of Christ’ referred to by Paul, and he sought to have that same mind. We may think it impossible, but we can have divine help.  By doing these things, our minds can quit being simply JUDGES AND CONDEMNERS, but we can get into the RESTORATION business.
 
II Corinthians 13:5-6 
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

We need a daily examination, while living in a sin infested world. We need to see if we are in the true faith.  The Greek word for ‘examine’ is  peirazo (G3985).  It means to make full proof by testing.  If we ‘test’ and ‘examine’ ourselves, we will know if we are truly thinking aright in our minds.  The Word of God is our ‘testing’ agent.  It is where we go to find the standards for which we are to measure our thinking.  

Then we must “Prove” ourselves.  This is the Greek word: dokimazo (G1381) meaning  to assay metals; to prove or test with the hope and expectation of finding great worth.   One does not test ‘gravel’ for gold content.  One will test a stone that appears to be gold, that weighs like it is gold, and that all signs suggest it is gold.  That rock is taken to the assayer, and one is anxiously awaiting the news that it is ‘gold’ as they thought.   So, the word ‘prove’ suggests we should be living, thinking, acting in such a way, that when we ‘test’ our thinking, we are in assumption that it will prove to be Godly.

2 Corinthians 13:11 (KJV)
 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
 
We should be ‘perfect’. For the Greek of the word ‘perfect’ is  katartizo (G2675), meaning  to adjust, to put in order again,  settling  by mediation.  In the proper thinking manner, ordained by God, we get into the ‘one accord’ by understanding another’s viewpoint, finding common ground, being more concerned with peace than with being right.  By jointly agreeing the Word of God is the infallible truth, and then searching and understanding it as it is meant, we then begin to believe "the same thing."  Then we can think and teach those same things, and to have no disputes.  The church will then be living in peace and harmony.  We will be offering a RESTORE, NOT JUST CONDEMNING TO HELL FIRE.
 
If we yield our mind to God, and if we make ourselves a living sacrifice, making our thinking to be holy, full of light, dead to sin, alive to God.  We have to refuse to be a slave to sin, and mortify the deeds the carnal man would want to do. 

Romans 6:10-13 (KJV)
 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Our body is the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’, and that means it should be holy.  That means more than the outward washing the pharisees did, for we need to be sure our minds are healed from the carnal, sinful, wicked thoughts that are common in the world.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (KJV)
 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

1 Corinthians 6:20 (KJV)
 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 

As a slave is the property of his owner, so we, bought by the precious blood of Christ, are not our own.  We do not have right to claim independence from the One Who purchased us.  He created us, and then saw us rebel. Mankind then began to serve sin, and serve the devil.  Yet, then He purchased us from sin, and we again are His.  He has a right to tell us what to think, how to think, and what to speak. God has left us here to preach RESTORATION FROM SINS, NOT JUST TO ANNOUNCE JUDGMENT ON SINNERS.

Surely, those who deny salvation, who choose sin, are going to someday pay the penalty of sin.  We warn of that, but we preach RESTORATION.  JESUS WANTS US TO RESTORE.
 
Romans 12:2-3 (KJV)
 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.  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

The word ‘conformed is the Greek: suschematizo (G4964) meaning  to conform to another's example.  It is the ‘mind of Christ’ we are to ‘conform’ to, but too often people ‘conform’ to the ‘world’.  The word for ‘world’ is the Greek word,  aion (G165) meaning ‘age’. We are not to pattern  after this age.  We often hear people say things like ‘this is the 21st century, and we must adjust’, or others say ‘that is old fashioned thinking’ about verses in the Bible.  The Bible is never outdated, God wrote it to be eternal, and it , just as valid and true in a million years as it is now.  We need to find the ‘mind of Christ’ and not seek to think like the world.

 
The word ‘transformed’ is from the Greek word ‘metamorphoo’ (G3339), meaning ‘transformed or transfigured by a supernatural change.’  This refers to a supernatural miracle, doing what cannot be done without God’s power. Paul exhorts believers to be transformed, rather than to be conformed to this world's ways. We are not to let the world put us into their mold, we are  not to look in the spiritual mirror, and see the same thing that the world sees.  We should see Jesus, when we look in that spiritual mirror.  We should have a mind that thinks like His would if He were in our situation.  Sin is still sin, murder is still evil, abortion is not suddenly righteous because society says that a woman can choose to murder the unborn, but only the born cannot be murdered at her choice.  Cursing and using God’s name in vain is still as evil as they always were in past generations.

We are told to be "living sacrifices" (Romans 12:1) for God does not desire us to die for Him (though He sometimes allows us to die), but He certainly does want us to live for Him daily.  If we conform to the world, we are not living for Him.  If we are transformed to think as He does, then we will be living sacrifices for Him, for the world will hate us, treat us, as they treated Him.

Our "mind" is what needs ‘transformed’.   Our thinking is warped by the world, lied to by the devil and his cohorts, and twisted by the cursed circumstances of life. The Greek word is ‘nous’ and means the "capacity to perceive."   Our perceptions and thoughts need to be reshaped by God's presentation of truths shown in Scriptures. We can then be totally in God's will. The word dokimazo, prove, means to be assured positively knowing God’s will.  Paul is saying that we can trust God's will to be good, to be acceptable, to be perfect, for our life.  We will be thinking aright, so we will easily understand God’s will. 

If we can ‘think soberly’, we look at ourselves honestly, we can realize the needs of others, and we can be of use of the Lord being that ‘living sacrifice.’

Romans 12:9 (KJV)
 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

The transformed mind, the correct and Godly thinking, brings a ‘love’, and this love is for real.  It causes the children of God to abhor evil, and cleave to good.  To function well in one’s thinking, we must have this love from the thinking of the mind.  We are to abhor the horrible sins being revealed in our time, but still love enough to offer RESTORATION IN JESUS.

Love is not some conventional concept. Love is a way of thinking, it is an expression of the heart.  The transformed thinking is based on love, is motivated by love, and judges all things with this love.  Love is wonderful. The ‘renewing’ of our mind is not a mere change of decision, but it is one which results from an entire alteration of the whole way of thinking, the whole nature of the being.

Some of the wicked have a ‘reprobate’ mind, guided by the loss of God in their heart, and doing things not wise due to that reprobate mind.  Some will never repent, never feel guilt and shame, never listen to our preaching of possible RESTORATION for sins.

Romans 1:28 (KJV)
 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Many have an ‘alienation’ from God, which results in a vain, worthless mind, and gives them darkened understanding. We still preach RESTORATION, we are not here to judge, but only to preach the GOSPEL, the good news of RESTORATION.

Ephesians 4:17-18 (KJV)
 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
 

Ephesians 5:17 (KJV)
 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.


The word for 2018 is RESTORE.  The will of God for us this year is to learn to never be judges, but to be about our work of RESTORATION.  EACH LETTER OF THE WORD ‘RESTORE’ WILL TEACH US THE PROCESS OF CORRECTING THE JUDGMENTAL SPIRIT, AND GET ABOUT OUR WORK FOR 2018 OF RESTORATION.


Stay tuned...

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RESTORE

THE FIRST LETTER IN RESTORE IS
R


IT STANDS FOR REPENTANCE

As we consider the word for 2018 being RESTORE, we will see each letter will progressively how we fulfill the command to RESTORE.  The first letter of the acrostic RESTORE is R, and the R stands for REPENTANCE.

The world, even some of its leaders of the past decades have been corrupt beyond description.  Hollywood actors and actresses have not only portrayed corrupt persons, but some have been themselves destitute of morality and righteousness.  Some teachers in our education system pervert our children to immoral thinking. 

These things are not changed by momentary, and occasional exposure of sin and degradation.   REPENTANCE must be the first step in RESTORING this world from shameful degradation to righteousness.’

Jesus commanded ‘repentance’.  After John was imprisoned, Jesus took the message of repentance, and the first words of His sermons were to repent. 

Matthew 4:17 (KJV)
 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.   

What many miss from that verse, is that like John had done, Jesus began all His sermons with the ‘repent’ message.   Later came the healing message, the miracles, the teachings.  The restoration and blessings came after the ‘repent’ part.  RESTORATION comes when we open the channels of mercy by repenting of our sins, allowing the mercies of God to flow to us and forgive, heal, bless, and RESTORE.
 

2 Peter 3:9 (KJV)
 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Someone once said, a ‘gift is not a gift, until it is received.’ Jesus has given us many offerings of blessings and of restorations from being a doomed sinner to a forgiven saint.  Yet, the gifts need to be received and accepted, before it becomes a ‘gift’.  RESTORATION IS OFFERED, BUT MUST BE FIRST ACCEPTED.

To accept God’s RESTORATION, WE NEED TO FIRST HAVE THE GODLY SORROW TO ACCEPT HIS OFFERED GIFT.  Till we have the godly sorrow to accept it, the potential gift is not a gift.  GODLY SORROW PRECEDES REPENTANCE, GODLY SORROW MAKES US ENTER INTO THE PROCESS OF REPENTANCE.  Repentance must start with ‘godly sorrow.’  If one is not truly sorry for their sins, they cannot truly repent.  

Repentance without ‘godly sorrow’ brings more guilt, shame, confusion, and deceit.  Therefore, those who have tried to imitate true repentance, have soured on the fake, see it as sickening, and fight all who do then preach for true repentance.   They have tasted the poison of false repentance, and are sickened and angered by anyone mentioning true repentance.

2 Corinthians 7:10-11 (KJV)
 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.  For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

For RESTORATION to come, Godly sorrow allows repentance to be real, and to open the door to the RESTORATION GIFT. If ‘repentance’ is true repentance, it brings sorrow for sin, a new carefulness to avoid those sins repented of, a feeling of a weight being removed from your person, an indignation against the damage the sin has done to you, a fear of ever being bound again by the sin, a vehement desire to serve the Lord without sin, a zeal to serve Jesus, and a willingness to revenge upon yourself any slip or fall back into that sin.   Repentance brings a knowledge of approval from God, that repentance has done a work in you, and grace from God now abides upon you.   Those are radical changes of mind, changes of attitude, that the godly sorrow for sin has wrought through repentance.

Repentance is a ‘change of mind’, a turn from following or being bound within sin, to a new direction, a new way of thinking, a transformation of the sinful mind, to one that seeks the righteousness of Jesus.

Ezekiel 14:6 (KJV)
 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
 
SIN HAS CORRUPTED OUR PERSON, AND RESTORATION IS REQUIRED.  REPENTANCE BEGINS THE TRANSFORMATION OR RESTORATION.

The sinners being revealed in these initial days starting revival, are shamefully reacted to by some Christians.  Condemnation and judgment is all we seem to see.  We want to kick all out of office, fire those caught in sins even if they were 20 years prior.  No question is asked if one has repented formerly, or willing to now repent and pay the penalty for the sins.  Surely, some will refuse to repent, want no RESTORATION that repentance could begin.  Yet, we are not JUDGES, we are preachers of RESTORATION through salvation in Jesus.  Where is that reaction to the sinners being revealed?

We are commanded to let God transform and RESTORE.   All minds are normally carnal, self centered, ill-informed, easily misled.   Sin has corrupted the thinking of the minds of all humans.


The woman caught in adultery, and brought to Jesus to be stoned, was similar to the reaction we see daily in the news.   Person after person is presented as shamefully sinful.  The world, including too many Christians are ready for the stoning.  

Jesus saw in that woman a repentant heart, and told her, due to that repentant heart, ‘neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.’  Yet, we are not hearing that sentiment toward the repentant of sins in our time.  We see no urging of repentance, we seldom see mercy offered if one is repentant.

The sentiment most commonly seen today is the ‘stone them’, ‘fire them’. The ‘neither do I condemn you’ message of Jesus is supposed to be the norm toward the repentant.

Surely, the unrepentant, the ones who want to defend sinfulness, are to be rejected from political office, and are to be put on prayer lists for their salvation.  We do not condone sin, we reject the sin, and the unrepentant sinners.  We are supposed to seek justice for victims, and crimes need punishment.  Still, spiritually, we are to offer repentance as a way of RESTORATION of the sinful spirit to atonement in Jesus.

We are more than a body.  We have a soul and a spirit.  God Who made our body so fantastic, also made our soul and spirit fantastic.  We are made in the likeness of God. 

Genesis 1:27
‘And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him.’

Adam’s and Eve’s  sin brought evil upon others.  Mankind had changed from being innocent to being a failure. The ‘eyes were opened’ and man immediately sensed and saw the change.  God’s desire to re-clothe man, and man’s attempt to re-clothe themselves, shows the recognition of the change.
Mankind had become totally depraved of any goodness that would replace the innocence and righteousness that they once had. The original righteousness was corrupted and instead of an inclination to do right and good, mankind has since has the inclination toward evil.  Total depravity refers to man’s total inability to restore the Creator/creature relationship without God’s help.  Every tear, every drop of sweat, every pain, every sorrow, every death, every heartache, all trace back their origin to the first sin of mankind.

Mankind’s whole nature is tainted by sin.
The human spirit is darkened
(Ephesians 4:17-18, I Cor. 2:14).
Man’s soul is inclined to sin
 (Jer. 17:9, Eph. 4:11).
Man’s body is diseased dying
(Romans 7:24).
Man’s will is easily misled
(Romans 7).
Man’s conscience is deadened, and needs awakened
(II Timothy 4:2).
Man’s mind is deceitful
(Gen. 6:5-12, Romans 1:17-28).
Man is under a judgment for sin
(John 5:28-29, Psalms 130:3, Romans 2:5-12).
Man is a guilty sinner, a child of the devil
(Luke 19:10, Romans 3:9-23, Ephesians 2:2)

Mere untried virtue does not deserve the name of ‘virtue’ for it is untested, unproven to be any more than lack of sin.  It does not denote any effort or desire to stay that way, to avoid sin, or to choose righteousness.  Goodness is not a passive quality, but it is a deliberate choice of right over wrong, resistance to evil. 

We live amidst choice.  We are certainly not infallible but now are ‘depraved’, if we are in sin. Mankind is ‘dead in trespasses and in sins.’ (Ephesians 2:1)   Physical death of this body, and eventual ‘second death’ (Rev. 20:14) is the one choice. That choice results in lack of communion with God.

God offers, as He did to Adam and Eve a new garment that covered their sin, a new garment of righteousness of Jesus that totally removes our confessed sins.  The garment is the righteousness of Jesus, and repentance is the means to appropriating this garment.  Mankind was once clothed with that sinlessness, but sin ruined that original  clothing.  Yet, God has provided a garment for us, and we are to put it on our person.  We are offered a great garment to wear.  All Christians also have a garment of righteousness to put on.

I Corinthians 15:53, 54
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying, that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.’

Death came upon all at the fall.  When mankind comes to Jesus the body is still, temporarily, bound for death, Yet, immediately, the soul that was also in ‘death’, is given life. The soul therefore takes on righteousness, and soon the new body we shall receive will have eternal glory of righteousness.   

Our thinking has been so distressed, corrupted, or at least, tainted by the world in which we live.  The ill manners, the immorality, the sinfully inspired ethics of the world affect the minds and beliefs of many. 

What can we do to RESTORE faulty thinking?  We are told in the Bible to ‘let this same mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus’.  That means that we are not to let the world’s thinking be ours.  We are to think in a healthy way, as Jesus did.  We enter a process of RESTORATION when we repent.

Philippians 2:1-12 (KJV)
 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Verse 1
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies

This passage is saying that if there is any ‘consolation’, i.e. encouragement, in Jesus, and any comfort of love from Jesus, any fellowship of the Spirit, and any bowels of mercy from the Lord, then we should have the ability to do what Paul is about to instruct us. As Christians, we should have experienced encouragement from Jesus, love from Jesus, fellowship with the Spirit, and mercies often from God.  So, what excuse would we have, to not know that the thinking of God is far, far greater than our thinking.  We must realize that a ‘change in our thinking’, i.e. repentance, is vital, necessary, and unquestionably needed.  The people of God need to allow God’s love and care to affect our thinking.  We need this loving, encouraging, fellow shipping and merciful God RESTORE our thinking.

Verses 2-4
Fulfil ye my joy that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Paul instructs that we need to make his joy complete by doing some specific things.   If we do these things, the ‘mind of Christ’ will be manifest through our lives, through our words, through our thinking. 

Becoming like minded is done by having the ‘same love’, getting into ‘one accord’ on doctrines, and having one mind on decisions of how to serve the Lord.  One should not therefore be seeking self notice, or be striving for superiority.  Rather we should humbly esteem others as better than themselves.  We should not be seeking our own good, but seeking good things for others.  This is how God thinks, and we must repent and change from any other kind of thinking.

Verses 5-6
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God

The saints are to allow the same self-emptying thinking that Jesus had when He came to be a man, suffer hardships, and even be crucified for the sake of others, to be in us.  Jesus was ‘in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God.’  That means He knew Who He is, and was not conscious of being less than His true power and glory made Him.  We are not ‘God’ nor equal to Him, but we need to recognize who we truly are, what are our strengths, our weaknesses, our blessings in Jesus.  
 
Though Jesus knew that He Himself is Divine, is all powerful, is omniscient, etc. still He chose to willingly humble and empty Himself for our sake.  To have His mind, we must likewise will willing to humble ourselves, to lay aside whatever good blessings we possess, to make ourselves of no reputation, to take the position of a servant, and become obedient even if it means our death. 

That is the ‘mind of Christ’ referred to by Paul, and he sought to have that same mind. We may think it impossible, but we can have divine help.

EXAMINATION OF OUR THINKING, FINDING HOW FAR INTO THE PROCESS OF REPENTANCE WE ARE, IS VITAL.

II Corinthians 13:5-6 
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

Once in the process of mind RESTORATION, i.e. repentance, we need a daily examination, while living in a sin infested world. We need to see if we are in the true faith.  The Greek word for ‘examine’ is  peirazo (G3985).  It means to make full proof by testing.  If we ‘test’ and ‘examine’ ourselves, we will know if we are truly thinking aright in our minds.  The Word of God is our ‘testing’ agent.  It is where we go to find the standards for which we are to measure our thinking.   Then we must “Prove” ourselves.  This is the Greek word: dokimazo (G1381) meaning  to assay metals; to prove or test with the hope and expectation of finding great worth.   One does not test ‘gravel’ for gold content.  One will test a stone that appears to be gold, that weighs like it is gold, and that all signs suggest it is gold.  That rock is taken to the assayer, and one is anxiously awaiting the news that it is ‘gold’ as they thought.   So, the word ‘prove’ suggests we should be living, thinking, acting in such a way, that when we ‘test’ our thinking, we are in assumption that it will prove to be Godly.

2 Corinthians 13:11 (KJV)
 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
 
We should be ‘perfect’. For the Greek of the word ‘perfect’ is  katartizo (G2675), meaning  to adjust, to put in order again,  settling  by mediation.  In the proper thinking manner, ordained by God, we get into the ‘one accord’ by understanding another’s viewpoint, finding common ground, being more concerned with peace than with being right.  By jointly agreeing the Word of God is the infallible truth, and then searching and understanding it as it is meant, we then begin to believe "the same thing."  Then we can think and teach those same things, and to have no disputes.  The church will then be living in peace and harmony.
 
‘Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates’ means, we have Jesus in us, and He is there to teach us, instruct us, RESTORE us.  Yet, unless we are ‘counterfeit’ Christians, pretend, but no reality in our faith type church member, we know Jesus can and wants to RESTORE our mind to think perfectly.

Paul said he was concerned lest he become a ‘castaway’ which is the same Greek word, adokimos (G96), that is translated here ‘reprobate’.  It means to become Christ-less, and rejected.
 
UNREPENTANCE IS BEING CONFORMED TO THE WORLD’S THINKING,
REPENTANCE IS RESTORATION TO JESUS’ WAY OF THINKING.

If we yield our mind to God, and if we make ourselves a living sacrifice, making our thinking to be holy, full of light, dead to sin, alive to God.  We have to refuse to be a slave to sin, and mortify the deeds the carnal man would want to do. 

Romans 6:10-13 (KJV)
 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Our body is the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’, and that means it should be holy.  That means more than the outward washing the pharisees did, for we need to be sure our minds are healed from the carnal, sinful, wicked thoughts that are common in the world. Repentance is a RESTORATION of mind from the sinful way of thinking to wanting and acquiring the Lord’s way of thinking.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (KJV)
 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

1 Corinthians 6:20 (KJV)
 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 

As a slave is the property of his owner, so we, bought by the precious blood of Christ, are not our own.  We do not have right to claim independence from the One Who purchased us.  He created us, and then saw us rebel. Mankind then began to serve sin, and serve the devil.  Yet, then He purchased us from sin, and we again are His.  He has a right to tell us what to think, how to think, and what to speak.  Repentance puts us into the process of obtaining that godly way of thinking from God.
 
WE CAN BE RESTORED BY MIND RENEWAL THAT BEGINS WITH REPENTANCE.

If repentance were like some picture it to others in the churches of today, you would think it was the making of everyone feel like the scum of the earth, and look at diddly things like hair length or the wrong color of lip balm, and make them beat themselves with a cat of nine tails, till they were bloody, so they could earn salvation with their hatred of themselves.   LOL sadly.  

Those are the kind of distortions that some have spread to make others afraid of the real Bible teaching of repentance.  The word 'repentance' itself is distorted in the minds of many.  The woman caught in adultery repented, but never prayed the sinners prayer, never mentioned her sin to the crowd.   Her mind saw her own sin as wrong, and no longer thought it was all right, so Jesus saw her heart's change, and told her to 'go and sin no more'.  She repented.  Repentance is the change of heart, from justifying sin, to seeing it as does God.  

One can pray the sinners' prayer, not change their mind about the wrongness of their sins, and not have repented, not be saved.  It was 'meaningless repetition as the Bible calls it. 

So, if the scary proponents of justifying sins, of preaching one can sin up a storm, be a mass murderer, never even quit cursing our Lord, and be saved, for repentance to them, i.e. the changing of one's mind toward sin, and seeing it as wrong... is what they cannot do.  Those kind are not even really saved, for no 'change of mind toward God, nor change to being against sin' is there.

So, what is REAL REPENTANCE? It is mind RESTORATION.  It is a process of seeing sin as evil and to be avoided, and watching then our Lord give us the same kind of thinking as He has.

Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)
 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  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.

When we come to Jesus, it is a process of presenting ourselves to Him, and by His ‘mercies’ be presented a ‘living sacrifice”, made “holy” by His blood washing away our sins, and thereby we become ‘acceptable unto God.’  This is “reasonable’ that we do this. 

No longer do we want to be ‘conformed’ to this world and its ways.  The world’s ways are sinful and an abomination in the sight of the One to Whom we have now been presented.   Therefore, our minds need ‘renewed’ and made clean of all sin.  This is a ‘transformation’ process, a restoration to the kind of thinking that our redeemed heart should find normal,  that begins at salvation, and continues with that RESTORED mind now seeing all things different than before.

be not conformed to this world

The word ‘conformed is the Greek: suschematizo (G4964) meaning  to conform to another's example.  It is the ‘mind of Christ’ we are to ‘conform’ to, but too often people ‘conform’ to the ‘world’.  The word for ‘world’ is the Greek word,  aion (G165) meaning ‘age’. We are not to pattern  after this age.  We often hear people say things like ‘this is the 21st century, and we must adjust’, or others say ‘that is old fashioned thinking’ about verses in the Bible.  The Bible is never outdated, God wrote it to be eternal, and it , just as valid and true in a million years as it is now.  We need to find the ‘mind of Christ’ and not seek to think like the world.

Be ye transformed
 
The word ‘transformed’ is from the Greek word ‘metamorphoo’ (G3339), meaning ‘transformed or transfigured by a supernatural change.’  This refers to a supernatural miracle, doing what cannot be done without God’s power. Paul exhorts believers to be transformed, RESTORED, rather than to be conformed to this world's ways. We are not to let the world put us into their mold, we are  not to look in the spiritual mirror, and see the same thing that the world sees.  We should see Jesus, when we look in that spiritual mirror.  We should have a mind that thinks like His would if He were in our situation.  Sin is still sin, murder is still evil, abortion is not suddenly righteous because society says that a woman can choose to murder the unborn, but only the born cannot be murdered at her choice.  Cursing and using God’s name in vain is still as evil as they always were in past generations.

We are told to be "living sacrifices" (Romans 12:1) for God does not desire us to die for Him (though He sometimes allows us to die), but He certainly does want us to live for Him daily.  If we conform to the world, we are not living for Him.  If we are RESTORED to think as He does, then we will be living sacrifices for Him, for the world will hate us, treat us, as they treated Him.

Our "mind" is what needs RESTORED.  Our thinking is warped by the world, lied to by the devil and his cohorts, and twisted by the cursed circumstances of life. The Greek word is ‘nous’ and means the "capacity to perceive."   Our perceptions and thoughts need to be reshaped by God's presentation of truths shown in Scriptures. This restoration of mind begins with repentance, and reception of the gift of salvation through Jesus.

We can then be totally in God's will. The word dokimazo, prove, means to be assured positively knowing God’s will.  Paul is saying that we can trust God's will to be good, to be acceptable, to be perfect, for our life.  We will be thinking aright, so we will easily understand God’s will. 

If we can ‘think soberly’, we look at ourselves honestly, we can realize the needs of others, and we can be of use of the Lord being that ‘living sacrifice.’

Romans 12:9 (KJV)
 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

The RESTORED mind, the correct and Godly thinking, brings a ‘love’, and this love is for real.  It causes the children of God to abhor evil, and cleave to good.  To function well in one’s thinking, we must have this love from the thinking of the mind.  Love is not some conventional concept. Love is a way of thinking, it is an expression of the heart.  The transformed thinking is based on love, is motivated by love, and judges all things with this love.  Love is wonderful.  The ‘renewing’ of our mind is not a mere change of decision, but it is one which results from an entire alteration of the whole way of thinking, the whole nature of the being.
 
THE UN-RESTORED MIND IS FAR MORE OFTEN SEEN TODAY.  AS THE SINS OF MANY ARE BEING REVEALED, THE CALL FOR REPENTANCE IS TOO OFTEN REPLACED WITH THE CALL FOR JUDGMENT, NOT MERCY.

Some of the wicked have a ‘reprobate’ mind, guided by the loss of God in their heart, and doing things not wise due to that reprobate mind.

Romans 1:28 (KJV)
 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Many have an ‘alienation’ from God, which results in a vain, worthless mind, and gives them darkened understanding.

Ephesians 4:17-18 (KJV)
 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

We must be RESTORED in our mind, by a renewal of having God rule and umpire our mind.  This is a command, and a necessity to survive this wicked world.

Ephesians 4:23 (KJV)
 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

When our thinking is aright, is RESTORED, we will then be able to ascertain, prove, what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. We are RESTORED in our thinking so we can approve and agree with what is God’s will and God’s thinking. That brings happy thinking.

Ephesians 5:8-10 (KJV)
 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:  (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth[wink]  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

We should not be unwise in our thinking, we need a RESTORATION, a renewal of our thinking, so we can know and can agree with the will of God.

Ephesians 5:17 (KJV)
 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

SIN TRIES TO KEEP US IN BONDAGE TO UN-GODLIKE THINKING.

Sin grips with a hold that is unbreakable by most. It can become habitual and increase its grip. Sin is never satisfied. It will take more and more control. Sin will begin as a thought, and soon become an action. The action will develop into a habit. The habits will form one's character. The character will end in one reaping a destiny. Sin will kill. It is a moral cancer to the soul.

James 1:15
"When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and when sin is finished, it brings forth death."

What is the answer? Only repentance to Jesus is the answer!

John 1:12
"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God."

John 8:36
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."

We have a Savior that is able to wash our sins away, We may confess our sins to Him, and He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I John 1:9
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

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Reply with quote  #3 
RESTORE
 

The first E stands for
EVANGELZE.

We are to RESTORE, and the first E represents what is done for those who do REPENT.   We are to EVANGELIZE. 

Many misunderstand the word EVANGELIZE.  It means to ‘spread the ‘gospel’. The word ‘gospel’ means ‘good news’. To evangelize is more than to give an invitation to the ‘sinners’ prayer’. We are to tell the good news. Too many spread ‘bad news’. Far too many have been overcome by bad news.   Still, to the Christian, there is no ‘bad news’. There is only good news. Horrible news can come on the news, earthquakes, violence, political turmoil, terrorism, etc. and as bad as those are, to us, they are signs that Jesus is coming soon. We can be told that we have two weeks to live, and to us, that means we have 2 weeks till we stand in heaven with Jesus. The stock market can crash, we can lose our job, we can have bill collectors calling all day. However, to us, we know that the ‘perilous times’ signaling the Lord’s soon coming are upon us. There is no bad news for the Christian.

It is time we start speaking ‘good news’, and we have much good news to spread. It is time we cease, totally cease, to speak ‘bad news.’
"Out of the abundance of our heart’ we find our words flow. What is in our hearts?


Our words speak blessing, our words speak praise, our words show our anxiousness for Jesus to come. Our words reveal out inner spiritual condition. In RESTORATION, the mission to change the ‘bad news’ is to share what Jesus is doing, what Christians can expect of the future, what the current REPENTANT condition has done for us in salvation in Jesus. The true vocation we must have is to speak the ‘good news’, to evangelize.

I Peter 2:5,9
"...to offer up spiritual sacrifices... that ye should shew forth the praises of Him."
Psalms 100:4
"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name."
Psalms 107:32
"Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders."
Psalms 109:1
"Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation."

Where does it say, that we ‘praise’ Him only in prayer? We are to praise Jesus with every word that comes from our mouths. We are to evangelize always, with all our words, to everyone. We speak faith, we speak honor and trust in Him. If we say, ‘this whole day is horrible’, we have just insulted the One in charge of all our days. If we say, ‘Nothing can go right.’, then we have just spoken doubt, not faith in Jesus. If we say, ‘I hate life’, we insult the Giver of Life, our Savior and coming King of kings.

The congregation that fails to evangelize with good news, has failed at its real vocation. God meant for us to learn to evangelize with every word.

The Greek word commonly used for "worship" is "proskuneo," which means "to kiss the hand toward." This suggests an outward action which shows an inward realization of the greatness of another. The idea of "worth-ship" is recognized in real worship. In true worship is the recognition of Who the Lord truly is. This is not to just take place at an altar, but in everyday speaking, in everyday language, to everyone, everywhere. To speak faith and trust in our prayers, and then speak doubt and fear in our conversation later to others is insulting to God.

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."

Evangelizing with every word, is what we will be doing in heaven. Do we have the faith at a level today, that we can evangelize with all our words now? Can we speak faith, not doubt? Can we trust in our words, not speak distress? Some watch the news on television, and get depressed, worried, fearful. Why? Do we doubt God’s ability to make ‘all things work together for good?’ Think what a witness it is to the unsaved, or to the doubting Christian, to hear words of faith spoken, when events of turmoil erupt!

Our words should delight in the sheer glory of God. We should revel in His Person, His Nature, and His being. Our words should recognize what He has done. Our actions and behavior should make others rejoice and worship in the Lord.

When unbelievers see:
our good works,
our attitudes in crisis,
our love in the midst of hatred,
our patience in the midst of trial,
and our honesty in the midst of dishonesty,
they will glorify God Who has given us the grace to so behave.

I Peter 2:12
"Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation."
 
In this way, our behavior is part of the restoration work of God. As we EVANGELIZE, SPEAK GOOD NEWS, WE ARE BEING RESTORED IN HIS GRACE.
 
Sometimes our actions and our words profane our worship and praise.

"What a weariness it is..." (Malachi 1:13).

These words were spoken by those in that day, and similar wards are heard from many Christians today.

Some in Bible times would offer the Lord a blemished, dying, or sick lamb. They were to offer an unblemished lamb that was healthy and strong. God hates insincerity, and you had better be wise and tell Him the truth. Speak the same words to God as you do to your neighbor. If you speak fear and dread, doubt and distress to your neighbor, then tell God you love and trust Him, you are lying to one or the other.   

God hates BAD NEWS TALK, God wants us to EVANGELIZE, SPEAK HIS GOOD NEWS. God would rather we shut the doors of the church than to come and talk as though God is in control and working out His divine plan.      The devil would rather we be depressed, speak doubt and fear, be ashamed of our salvation. 
 
Malachi 1:10-14
"...but ye have profaned it (the name of the Lord), in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted, and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. Ye said, also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought an offering; should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing; for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and My name is dreadful among the heathen."

It is a weariness to God, a hurtful and offensive thing to have beings who owe their all to the Lord to insincerely, hesitantly, unwillingly, give praise to Him, but then speak doubt, anger, fear, etc to their neighbor of this world. God wants us to EVANGELIZE.
 

Ecclesiastes 5:1-6
"Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools; for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God; for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth; therefore let thy words be few. ... a fool's voice is known by multitude of words. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for He hath no pleasure in fools; pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay."

The worship and praise in the early church took place in upper rooms of the homes, in fields, in the temple, in the market place, in the prison cells, etc. In other words, they evangelized the Lord wherever they were. Their good words sprung from a relationship with the Lord, and was not directed by a worship leader who told them when to praise, when to clap, and when to raise their hands. All their words were words of faith, to whomever they were speaking.

When Charles Wesley was saved, he was flooded with joy. He described his happiness to Peter Bohler, and added: "I suppose I should keep silent about it." Peter Bohler answered: "No, never! If you had a 1000 tongues, go and use them all for Jesus!" Wesley went home and wrote the song - "Oh For a Thousand Tongues to Sing My Great Redeemer's Praise." Today, we can say: ‘O for the realization we should always speak words of faith, not doubt.’

A great evangelist, and teacher of the more recent past, A.G. Ward said: "Our Lord is desirous that people should be rejoicing Christians... if Christians were more joyful, they would set sinners' mouths a-watering for the dainties of true religion."

Sometimes our hearts are heavy, our troubles are many, and we feel we must wait until things get better, or perfect.  Yet, even then, we should speak good words about our Lord.

Habakkuk questioned God of all the troubles that Israel was facing, and God replied to him:
"The just shall live by faith..."

We must learn as Habakkuk to live by faith, to rejoice even when our sight tells us there is nothing in which to rejoice.

Habakkuk wrote at the end of his book:
Habakkuk 3:17-18
"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall there be fruit in the vines... yet will I rejoice in the Lord."

God created us for fellowship and to hear us speak good words to Him, Yet, He also wants to hear our personal testimony, and hear us speak the evangel words to others. The stones will cry out with praises if we do not. We must keep the stones silent, and praise our Lord and King Let's sweep aside every hindrance, and EVANGELIZE.
 
THE PROPER WAY TO EVANGELIZE

We need to speak EVANGELIZING WORDS, due to the fact that our time is short here.  Soon we shall be seeing Jesus in the clouds, and we will be on our way to our real home, (for we are ‘aliens’ here). The time here has been, and is going to be hard in many ways.  The persecution is great in many parts of the world, and even here, we see so much sin, so many lies about God’s truths, so much wickedness (beyond measure).  What we must do is keep a hope, make sure we have an expectation, and continue to speak the truth.

I Thessalonians 2:1-13
1. For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain;
2. But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully treated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
3. For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile;
4. But as we were allowed of God, to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, Who trieth our hearts.
5. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness, God is witness.
6. Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
7. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children.
8. So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto me.
9. For ye remember, brethren, our labor and travail; for laboring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
10. Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblamably we behaved ourselves among you that believe;
11. As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children.
12. That ye would walk worthy of God, Who hath called you into his kingdom and glory.
13. For this cause, also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the Word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Quite a passage about Paul’s EVANGELIZING WORDS.  We need to have a similar evangelizing words, words that are truth, gospel centered, and filled with the HOPE of Jesus’ soon coming.

Before Paul went to Thessalonica, he was at Philippi, where the first European convert, Lydia, was won to Jesus. Paul there, had cast a demon out of a fortune teller, and was thrown in jail. There he was beaten and put in stocks.  He and Silas sang in that dungeon, and the Lord began to ‘tap His feet to the music.’  The resultant earthquake freed them from their stocks.  The jailer was quickly converted.  The next day, having learned that Paul was a Roman citizen, the people begged Paul to leave the jail and city, lest they would come under the wrath of Rome for how they had treated a Roman citizen.

Then Paul and Silas departed and came to Thessalonica.  There they found ‘contention’ (agnon, conflict).  Paul faced conflict from city to city, rarely finding a warm welcome. At Thessalonica, though the heaviest persecution had not yet started, still, there was much conflict.  After leaving Thessalonica, some of the church even falsely accused Paul.

Paul’s EVANGELIZING WORDS were ‘not deceitful’ (vs. 3). 

This is the Greek word ‘planes’.  This word indicates that Paul was  not fraudulent, and Paul did not stray from orthodoxy.   So many ministries today are straying from true ‘orthodoxy’.  Some have added a seeking of earthly prosperity, instead of heavenly treasures.  Some have added a worship of worship of the false god of Islam to Christianity.  Some have perverted teachings so sexual perversions are acceptable to them.  Some have watered down the teachings of salvation, and made sin acceptable.  The list could go on and on of heresies, the fact of ‘tares’ amidst the ‘wheat’ is far too provable in our time.
 
Paul’s EVANGELING WORDS were ‘not of uncleanness’ (vs. 3). 

This is the Greek word ‘akatharsia’.  It means that Paul did not encourage corrupt passions, and did not stir up emotional response to take advantage of the hearers.  We must not have ‘uncleanness’ in our ministries.

Paul’s EVANGELING WORDS were ‘not in guile’.  

This is the Greek word ‘dolos’ meaning ‘lying, falsity, trickiness.’  The fact that Paul had to tell the Thessalonians these truths, is that there are many, in every age, that are deceitful, corrupt, and tricky.  Paul had to take every precaution to be sure he spoke only God’s truth, not adding his own opinions and prejudices.  He had to also be careful that his own personal life did not contradict his message.  There are in every age, those who, purposely or thoughtlessly, corrupt the message of God.  Some go to the extreme that they are ‘false prophets’, and others are just poor stewards of the work of the Lord.

Paul faced opposition for his evangelizing words, and faced attacks, even though he personally had not corrupted the message. The many who do speak and show example that is corrupt, make it difficult of the ones who strive effectively to present the unadulterated, uncorrupted Word of God.
 
Martin Luther said:
“When the offence of the cross ceases, when the rage of the enemies of the cross abates, when everything is quiet, it is a sign that the devil is the doorkeeper of the church and that the pure doctrine of God’s Word has been lost. So do not be surprised or offended when hell breaks loose.  Look upon it as a happy indication that all is well with the gospel of the cross. God forbid that the cross should ever be removed.”

The offense of just evangelizing the truth, upsets the hearers more than those who corrupt the Word with things to ‘water it down’ or make it more compatible with lifestyles of the people. To evangel will make people angry, make them throw accusations of corruptions at the ones striving the hardest to avoid such corruption.

There are many who will be upset at evangelizing words, as did Paul.  In some towns he was beaten, in one place, they stoned him.  Often, he was imprisoned.  All that was done to hinder his preaching.  Today, laws are already on the books, awaiting the soon coming time that they will try to enforce them, that preaching against false religions, preaching against sexual perversion, will be called ‘hate speech’, and not permitted.  The laws are already passed.   What shall we do?  Let’s do as did Paul.

Paul, in spite of persecution, ridicule, and opposition, would give the undiluted evangel.

Paul said:
Romans 1:16
“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation unto everyone that believeth.”

We need to fill our minds with the attitudes and goals that motivated Paul.  God can put the same desires in our hearts.  The ‘calling’ (vs. 12) to His kingdom and to His glory should inspire us, as it did Paul. Paul looked forward to the rewards of serving the Lord, and to the glory of heaven.  He wanted to hear the ‘well done, thou good and faithful servant.’  Paul worked not for the glory on this earth, for his message brought anything but that, but Paul worked for the riches of heaven, for the approval of the Lord.

The hope, and the expecting the Lord’s coming should bring inspire our evangelizing words. 

We do not expectantly, anxiously await something of dread.  We do not resign ourselves to pleasure and joy.  We eagerly await the delights of our expectation.  This expectation of the return of Jesus causes us to set aside hindrances.  Sometimes, things that we once thought were indispensable, are found to be totally dispensable.  The hope and expectation of Jesus returning helps us eliminate impediments to our being ready for such reappearance of our Lord, and obstructions to our evangelizing the world.

The hope of Jesus’ soon coming makes us not notice fearful and threatening, and threatening events, and we evangelize, for we are lifted above our suffering. 
     
Paul speaks of that fact in Romans 8:18:
“The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.”

So, this expectation of Jesus’ return, in the rapture and the second coming, pushes us on, and on.  It keeps us from letting sufferings and hindrances sidetrack us from the ministry of evangelizing the world.
 

I Corinthians 15:58
“...ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord”

Some claim to ‘resign’ themselves to going to heaven.

This is a poor compliment to the Lord.  Are we ‘resigned’ to cash our paychecks?  Are we ‘resigned’ to eating a meal when we are hungry? No!  But to say we are ‘resigned’ to go to heaven, makes it sound as though it is a bad thing, a horrible place.  If your mother invited you over for Thanksgiving dinner, would you tell her that you will ‘resign’ yourself to go?  If you did, you would likely have the invitation taken back.  Jesus says He will come for those who ‘look’ for Him.  And we should ‘look’ with anxiousness, not dread.  This ‘anxiousness, and joyous expectation is what makes our evangelism excel.

The fourth verse, of this passage of I Thessalonians, speaks of being ‘allowed of God’ to have this message to bring to the world.

The word Greek word for ‘allowed’ means ‘tested’. It comes from a Greek word that is used for assaying metals.  Metals and ores were tested to be sure of their content.  God sends a crucible or test events to appraise our content. The end result of the test, is to cause us to reflect His glory. 

I Peter 1:7
“The trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto the praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”

I Peter 4:12-13
“... rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings that when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”

Paul (vs. 5) tells us that he did not use ‘flattering words’, i.e. words that mellow and dilute the truth of his evangelizing words.  Paul used, instead words  that were straightforward and frank. Paul also says that he did not use a ‘cloke of covetousness’.  He did not use his ministry to get rich. Paul (vs. 6) tells us that he did not ‘seek glory’.  Nor did he use his ministry of the Word to be ‘burdensome’. He would not seek money, riches, or the like, even though he had a right to do so, as an apostle.

Verses 7 and 8 tell us that Paul spoke in a ‘gentle’, mild way, and as a ‘nurse’ (one who feeds, and nourishes) the children, Paul fed the message of the gospel to them.  He fed them the Word with love, and was ‘affectionately desirous’ of good results of his evangeling words.

Contrast with that the false witnesses, the charlatans. Many today do not spread the Word, evangelize, as Paul did. Some will seemingly evangelize, or minister the Word, and yet do so for the  riches or for the glory of men.  Some are wise to know how to get people to know how to emotionally, rather than rationally, respond.  They use music, experiences of people, current interests, passing fads, and unusual incidents, all to their advantage.  They prey on the emotions of their hearers.

In all evangelizing the gospel, people should hear the message, and be drawn closer to Christ, not just to a man. 

Paul answered the accusation that he used the gospel for gain, by showing that he could have claimed much for himself, by right, but he had not done so. Paul did not want to claim the riches on the earth, but it was the glorious coming of Jesus that was the motivating factor in Paul. He was knowledgeable enough to know the rewards of the rapture and second coming, will surpass all the earthly gain he could have sought.

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THE S IN RESTORE IS FOR
SING

The word for 2018 is RESTORE, and we are up to the letter S to see what all that restoration process needs.  The letter S is for SING.  

Christianity is known for singing.  What other religion has happy, joyful, and pleasant songs in their belief system?  The Muslims shout threats, behead, try to dominate and eliminate other faiths with terror, but do not sing joyful songs.  Yet, Christianity has the children in Sunday School singing about Jesus loving them, and ‘all the children of the world,’ whether ‘red, or yellow, black or white, Jesus loves the little children of the world.’   Christianity has reason to sing joyfully, for RESTORATION is God’s plan for sinful mankind.

Singing seems to have become a regular profession at quite early date among the Hebrews. David had his troupe of “singing men and singing women” at Jerusalem          
2 Samuel 19:35 (KJV)
... can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women

The worship of the temple had competent and constant choristers. The elaborate regulations of the temple for its orchestra and chorus show that even women were included among the temple singers.

Ezra 2:65 (KJV)
 Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women.

The temple choir of Levites, had an essential qualification of being a good voice.

The book of Psalms is a collection, a song book, of songs sung by the congregations of God’s people. The singing of the Old Testament times continued into this New Testament times, and is a vital part of RESTORATION.

Ephesians 5:15-20 (KJV)
 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;  Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Colossians 3:16 (KJV)
 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.

There are happy songs of the world, there are sad songs of the world. Yet, the songs or restoration of the Christian faith are ‘spiritual songs’. Spiritual sons are inspired by the Holy Spirit, and bring restoration to the souls and bodies of the singers.

God has meant for spiritual songs to be sung in private, in family worship, at meals, in religious services, in times of prayer, in prison cells as did Paul and Silas, in schools (children of Israel learned their alphabet singing a spiritual song.)
There was singing in Bethlehem, by the angels, when Jesus came in His first coming.  They had joy in singing about Jesus’ first coming.  Should not we have been singing about not just His first coming, but also about the nearness of His coming again.  We will sing in heaven. 

Revelation 14:3.
And they sung as it were a  new song before the throne, 


In heaven, there are ‘harpers’, musicians, singers, music. Music and singing 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 was quite accepted and loved in Bible times. 

For this year of RESTORATION, we need to sing joyfully, hopefully.  We have repented, evangelize and speak good words, and now SINGING should be natural.  Have you made it a part of your life?  Of your worship?  Prophets in the Old Testament times, 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.

Music is a vital part of true worship. God wants more worship, more instrumental praise, more words of His message put to worship and praise, and then comes blessings and restoration.

David was a 'man after God's own heart", and his singing of the psalms was one of the main reasons he had so many blessings from God. The psalms are filled with the feelings and thoughts of God.

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

Have you been singing, even when you do not feel like it?  Do you sing while in the prisons of life, while persecuted by the carnal of life, while weary of the work of life?   We are instructed to do so, and anytime we have two or more people together to worship the Lord, we are in 'church'.  We need to sing of Jesus, of King Jesus.

 

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.”

Singing praises  forces us to quit the ‘give me’s” and  say “make me”. Singing praises has purified our souls.

Proverbs 27:21
“As the refining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold, so is a man to his praise.”

Do not wait for church services to continue your singing.  In the car, in the home alone, in the shower, on a walk, etc... sing your praises to God.  Paul and Silas did it in a prison, we ought to be able to do it anywhere. 

Words of praise to the Lord has been a defiled concept.  It has been watered down, diluted, perverted, corrupted and poisoned from what it truly is.  If praise. as defined and promoted in some churches were medicine, it would not heal anyone.  If praise words, as defined by some churches, were a poison, it would not kill anyone.  If praise and worship words, as demonstrated in some revivals, were food, it would not be nourishing food.  If those praise words were water, it would not quench anyone’s thirst. We  exist for the purpose of praising and honoring with our lives and with our words, the Trinity.  When we reach heaven, we will worship and honor the Lord, and realize finally that we were created to bring the pleasure of such words of praise to the Lord.  Our praise words will be true, heart felt, and certainly joyful.
 
Revelation 4:9-11 (KJV)
 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,  The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him Who liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.

All will some day speak, sing, shout, words of praise to God in heaven.  We shall realize the import of such words. We will worship with words of praise and honor forever and ever whenever we come before His throne.

Revelation 5:13 (KJV)
 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Down here on earth, while we suffer the effects of a cursed world, and a sinful generation, we are still to offer the ‘sacrifice of praise’ and worship despite the troubles of life.

Hebrews 13:15 (KJV)
 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.

We are to ‘bear fruit’ to our Lord.  The ‘fruit of our lips’ is praise, worship, and if we do not have fruit, and are barren, we will be like the fig tree that the Lord found, having leaves, proving life, but barren of fruit.

Matthew 21:17-20
"And He left them and went out of the city into Bethany, and lodged there.  Now in the morning as He returned into the city, He hungered. And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it.  Let no fruit grow on thee henceforth forever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!"

On the fig tree, the fruit appears before the leaves.  It was in leaf, and means it was in a sense, proclaiming it had fruit.  This fig tree was barren, and had leaves only. Israel was that barren fig tree. Christ's word caused the fig tree to wither.  The fruit of our lips is to be worship, words of praise and singing honor to our Lord.  Some have no fruit, some have forgotten the art of worship and of singing.  To profess something, and not have it, angers the Lord.   God wants fruit from this world.  The fruit of singing spiritual songs of worship is desired by the Lord, deserved by our Lord, and demanded from we who are His own. 

Israel proclaimed to know Jesus as the Messiah, and to give honor to Him. Yet, on the day of the Triumphal entry to Jerusalem, the Lord noted that there were words, but no real fruit of worship and words of honor to our Lord.   Their words were hollow, empty, void of real heart felt worship. They would shortly crucify Him. Likewise, many profess to be Christians in our day, many sing songs of praise, but their minds and hearts are on the ball game they want to hurry home to, or on the meal they plan to consume at the local restaurant.  Their hearts are not worshiping in spirit and in truth, their mouths are uttering sounds of worship, but they are meaningless chatter, for they are not sourced from the heart. 

Some do not really have fruit of real singing of worship words to prove their profession.  We have ministers, board members, teachers, song leaders, etc. who are hypocrites, abusers, and false prophets. They offend and do iniquity, and yet call themselves to be  Christians, sing the same songs of praise as do we, but are really barren fig trees.  Jesus is still angered at such, and a curse that will cause them to wither and die is soon to come!

The book of Matthew says that "presently" the tree withered, but in Mark, we find how long that time was:
Mark 11:20
"And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.  And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto Him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away."

The fig tree withered away within a day.  It was quick and sudden judgment upon the lack of the fruit.  The fruit of the lips is a mandatory fruit the Lord expects from His own.  We are to praise God and have singing in this world that honor Him, and yet, it is a forgotten art.

Church meetings have cordiality, humor, zeal, high spirits, clapping, toe tapping, beautiful music, and wonderful decor of the sanctuary. Yet,  are these same meetings adorned with real worship? Does the overshadowing presence of the Lord fill the place in which we meet?  Is the Lord adorning the building with a manifestation of His presence? 

We may have correct doctrine, pleasing personalities behind the pulpit, talented musicians with their instruments,  and trained voices in the worship team, yet, is there a love affair with Jesus ongoing? Singing true praise words are a forgotten art, and is unnatural and rare within some churches. 

Some churches have their foyers filled with griping words, with critical words, with even sometimes blasphemous words, and few if any true praise to God words.  Those foul words could be replaced with praise words, and the sinful congregations could find then that praise words destroy the need and desire for the sinful words.  

Few truly sing praise the Lord as commanded.  Therefore, sinful words begin and continue to flow from their lips, and there is seemingly no stopping that flow.  If they began to praise and worship with their lips, the sinful words would cease to have a generating force.
 
Praise words should be natural for it is for what we were created.  At the new birth, inside us, our spirit came alive again, and that spirit was created to worship, to praise, to give glory to the One Who resurrected the dead spirit, and promised it eternal life

While spiritually dead, we worshiped things, persons, sports, money, fame, power, and heroes.   Listen in the foyer of the church, and see how often those things are still the subject of the praise.  Our new, alive spirit, will only be satisfied with true worship of our Savior.  There is no other thing we might worship that will satisfy.  Yet, the unsatisfied ‘saints’ in buildings meant to be places of worship, are often trying to still be satisfied with the carnal, fleshly, worldly things the world worships.

Singing spiritual songs to the Lord is love, and we must love the Lord to worship Him.  We are told to worship Him with all our being.

Mark 12:29-30 (KJV)
 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Some cannot truly sing worship the Lord, for their opinion of the Lord is not in obedience to this great commandment.  Their opinion of others, of money, of fame, of possessions is so great, that the Lord is not on the throne of their lives.  God is reduced to a modified, amended thing, instead of being the Savior, Lord, Creator, Provider.

Their singing often shows what is in their hearts, for what flows out of their hearts are not the singing of praise to God.
 
Isaiah saw the Lord, to be ‘high and lifted up’.  We need to literally lift up our Lord in our hearts, and sing praise to Him for the glory and power that is totally His alone. 

Isaiah 6:1-7 (KJV)
 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.  Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.  Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:  And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

When we, like Isaiah, see the Lord in His glory, we will see ourselves in our degradation.  We have had unclean lips, glorifying other things, praising others than God.  Yet, when we truly see Him, and see His glory, we will realize our lips need cleansed.

If God is only a bit higher than we esteem ourselves, and if other things get our words of praise, we will find it hard to be in awe to serve the Lord with the fruit of our lips in singing worship, in holy fear and reverence. The proud and lofty person cannot worship any better than the proud devil did.  Self glorification destroys praise words to the Lord.  The praise words come from an inward attitude, a mental acquiescence to the omniscience of God, understanding that we are in ourselves totally foolish.  The spiritual recognition of the holiness of God and the depravity of self allows singing spiritual songs of praise and thanks to become true worship. 
 
Our righteousness is as filthy rags, and we truly realize that when we see the Lord high and lifted up.  Praise and worship words to the Lord become willing and not forced.  The emotional need and willingness to express His greatness, and to be awed by His superiority is natural when we eliminate the proud sham of the human nature.

The Bible says that ‘all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,’ and yet, the only sin upon Jesus was our sins that He took upon Himself.  Jesus left His power and glory, taking on the frailty of mankind.  It was His inner purity and sinlessness that allowed the Holy Spirit to work miracles through Jesus.   When we learn to glorify Jesus with words of praise and honor to Him, that purity and power comes upon us in ways we have yet to imagine.

Our RESTORATION continues with SINGING for the sinful words will no longer be in our hearts to flow out as they had done previously.

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T IN ‘RESTORE’ IS FOR TRUST



As we are in this time to RESTORE what has been lost, stolen, or neglected in our world, we need to not only REPENT, EVANGELIZE, SING, but also TRUST with unwavering faith.

In this dark world of the last days, so many have been tempted to waver, to stray from a close relationship with the Lord.   If a friend is a great distance away, living in another state, one does not tidy the guest room, keep the kitchen stocked with their favorite foods, and have an itinerary of events to attend together.  Yet, if that friend calls, and says, “I will be there shortly,” everything suddenly begins to change.  Shopping, cleaning, organizing, planning all ensue.   Jesus has promised to come.  The signs around us all signify the soon coming of Jesus.  We should be preparing our hearts, organizing our lives, and certainly not ‘wavering’ in our trust of His promise to return.

Paul sought to find out, if with all the persecution in Thessalonica, were they standing fast in the faith, or wavering.

I Thessalonians 3
.Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;  And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain. But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you: Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord. For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; Night and day praying exceedingly  that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable  in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

What does it mean to ‘stand fast’ in our trust ??? 

Some examples of the idea here, could be found in the beautiful flowers that bloom even in the midst of rocks and stones. In the same way, Christians can blossom in the midst of a sinful world.  There are times when we look at our lives, our troubles, our persecutions, and feel we cannot make it. Unwavering trust is needed, and before we get holiness, we must find a way, to learn unwavering trust. Standing fast, moving continually up with the Lord, not an up and down, always wavering, kind of trust. 

James 1:6-7
“For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything from the Lord.”

The thing that helped the Thessalonians, was their unwavering trust in the return of Jesus. Paul had taught them this hope, and though they sometimes had erred in understanding all the details, they still held on in faith to the fact that He would return.

Knowing that Jesus will return makes us unmoveable, knowing that it could be any moment, in our age, and that we are so much closer than were these at Thessalonica, should make us joy in this day.

Paul was so concerned that he sent Timothy to comfort and establish them with some more teaching.  Trials that were upon the ones in Thessalonica, were so grievous, that further teaching was needed to ‘establish’ them.  Paul sent Timothy, whom he could have used for his personal help where he was, but Paul could not stand to see them in needless turmoil over the coming of Jesus.  Paul was not the kind, to win new souls, and then leave them to fend for themselves. He gave new teaching, and checked back often, listened to reports from others on their progress, and made sure they were not just won to the Lord, but were discipled into growth and service.
 
The lack of TRUST, in our congregations today, is very evident.  The fear of sinners, the torment of terrorists, the wavering of trust, is seen, heard, and known in Christianity.   Instead of looking up and rejoicing in the nearness of the return of Jesus, we see far too much fear. 

Some fear ‘global warming’, and all the lies purported by those who fear such a thing.  Yet, we are told that when Jesus sets up His rule in the millennium, the climate will be free of freezing, storms, etc., so global warming will come, not now, but when Jesus comes, and we should be gladly trusting that it will be good, great, and wonderful.  Instead of trust in that, we see Christians wavering and forgetting the blessed promises in the Bible.

Some fear the horrible sins, and take their eyes off the glorious promise of the Bible that where sin abounds, grace will abound more.  We live in the day in which Jesus will come, and yet, TRUST in that promise is hard to find even in Christian circles.

Paul had received a good report from Thessalonica, that these saints had trust in the prophetic promises and love, they had pleasant memories of Paul’s ministry, they longed to see Paul, and were standing fast in the Lord.  Paul joyed in this unwavering trust.

Yet, Paul’s concern did not stop there, he still prayed night and day for them. He knew that to insure their  continued stedfastness, something yet lacking needed to be filled.  He wanted to see them go from the milk stage, to the meat stage of growth. Just as we do not let a baby fend for itself, no matter how healthy it is, Paul rejoiced in their heath and stedfastness, but had more growth in mind for them.


UNWAVERING TRUST IS MEANT TO GROW

Because they were unwavering, Paul knew that they would grow in love and holiness. Paul expected this future growth, as should we expect in ourselves and in converts, to see constant, unending growth and development. There is never a time when Christians can ease up. Some want to ease up, right after conversion. Some ease up after some high point of Christian experience. 

Every Christian should grow and grow, so we can never rest on our oars. The current of the world will push our boat backwards, if we do not keep rowing. Satan will keep the current against us, will keep the attempt to push us backwards, and if we think we have made the other shore too soon, we will find that we are going backwards, not standing sure. 

Paul refers again to the incentive that we have to ‘stand fast’ and continue to grow, he speaks of the ‘coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Some in past and present try to set dates for such return.  One date setter was William Miller who set the date for October 22, 1843, based on the 2300 days of Daniel 8:13. Nothing happened, and he recalculated to October 22, 1844, and again nothing happened. The Adventist group split then, and Mrs. Ellen G. White became prophetess and leader. She said the mistake was that the Lord did not come to the ‘earthly sanctuary’ but to a ‘heavenly sanctuary’ on that day. Yet, the Bible tells us that Christ entered the heavenly sanctuary long ago (Hebrews 3:1, 8:1-2, 9:42, 12:2 Acts 1:11, 2:35, Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:19-23, Colossians 3:1, I Peter 3:22, Revelation 3:21)

To try to set an exact date or hour of a return or rapture, is unwise and impossible. 

There are so many discrepancies in calculating years of the calendar, months, days, and it is a different hour in each part of the world, so if we knew an hour, for which part of the world would it be?  

There are always scoffers, mocking the talk of a soon return or rapture.

II Peter 3:3-4
“Knowing this first, that there shall come, in the last days, scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming?  For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”

Yet, the Bible is one third prophecy, and prophecy is a revelation from God of what He wishes us to know of His purpose.  Prophecy is written for our comfort, and to give us hope.  The Thessalonicans needed some more of this ‘hope’, and so do we.

Romans 15:4
“...for whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scripture might have hope.”

Prophecy is being more clearly understood in our day, and the Bible predicted a great revelation to envelop this last age.

Habakkuk 2:14
“For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”

The whole book of Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, are opening up to us, with new and fresh understanding previously not fully understood.

We are in the last age, we are in the generation, we can know this, for the Bible may say we will not know the day nor hour, but it says we should know the generation, the times and the seasons.

Luke 21:29-31
“Behold, the fig tree, and all the trees, when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise, ye when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is at hand.”

When the fig tree ‘blossomed’, i.e. Israel became a nation, we knew we had entered the generation, that would not die off, before the coming of the Lord. On March 14, 1948, Israel became a nation. 

Matthew 24:33-34
“When ye see all thse things, know that it is near, even at the door... verily, this generation, shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled.”

Many other things confirm that we are near the rapture and some seven years later, the second coming of Jesus.    

II Peter 3:8
“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day... The Lord is not slack concerning His coming.”

The Lord wants us to TRUST in His return to be soon.  The RESTORATION process for 2018 is to be a time where our TRUST is RESTORED.

We are to be ‘sign’ watchers, we are to know the ‘times and the seasons’. We are to know we are in the generation, and yet, we are told, ‘occupy till I come’. So with all the speculation, and calculation, we need to still keep on with the work of the Lord. The nearness of His coming should spur us to new growth, renewed joy, and TRUST with enthusiasm.  We are not to sit on a mountain top, idly awaiting a particular day. We have work to do, and “the night cometh when no man can work”. So till then, we should hurriedly finish up our work for the Lord. We are to TRUST in His prophetic promise to return.  Let us be RESTORED TO THIS TRUST.

Almost 200 years ago, some Bible scholars made a list of things they should expect to see, before the Lord Jesus would come. They began to watch for these things to happen.

What was on the list then???

1. The Jews would return to their homeland.
(1948 to present sees this happening.)

2. The Hebrew language would be revived. (It was a dead, unused language at the time, and in 1948, it was revived.)

3. Russia would become a world power, and in 1914, it started, and continued, and finally became one of the two super powers of the world.

4. A ten nation confederacy would arise in Europe, and in the last few years, we find they have opened borders, combined armed forces to a great degree, developed a common currency, and have a ruling board for union.

5. China would become a political force. This obviously has happened during the 1960's through the present time.

6. They also predicted frequent earthquakes and astronomical signs, and the earthquakes have multiplied many times previous levels, and signs and wonders, even some man-made ones, have startled the world.

7. Other predictions on their list, included, sexual immorality will be rampant, a strong trend toward spiritism and the occult, apostasy and heresy in the church would rise in great measure, in the midst of an effort to create a one world church.  The attempt to create a ‘Chrislam’ church, merging those who see Jesus as Deity, with those who see Him only as a prophet under Mohammed, and a false god named Allah, is ensuing in our days.  Others are wanting us to accept Mormons into Christianity, when they see Jesus as the brother of the devil, and unable to atone for our sins.  That ‘one’ church they try to create is not the church of Jesus.  He is outside knocking on that door, unwanted by those inside, in fact, they do not realize He is absent from that horrific church.
 
Certainly these things have occurred.

And startling other fulfillment of Bible prophecy have occurred.  The Lord knows the exact time of His return now (though while on earth, the exact day was not known to Him), and He and the Father, and the Holy Spirit are more anxious than we are, for the ‘Spirit and the bride say, COME.”

The first coming of Jesus was expected, and many were watching closely for Him, for the signs of the ‘star’, the message of the wise men, the preaching of the shepherds, and the Scriptures had all confirmed that the Messiah was soon to present Himself. 

Daniel had prophesied that in 69 sevens of years after the command to build the Temple, the Messiah would come (Daniel 9:25-27).  Some years later the command was made by Artaxerxes was made to Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:1-6). The date of that event was ‘in the month of Nisan in the 20th year of Artaxerxes’ which was in 445 BC. If the 69 times 7, (483 years) were the  Biblical 360 day years, we have 173,880 days after the decree of March 14, 445 B.C. that the Messiah was to present Himself.  The day that Jesus went to Jerusalem on the Sunday before the passover, was April 6, 32 A.D., exactly 173,880 days after the prescribed starting day.  The accuracy of Daniel’s prophecy, if correctly interpreted, should have alerted many in Israel to be ready for the Messiah to come.  In that prophecy of Daniel, the last seven of the 70 sevens is yet to be fulfilled, and events therein are spelled out to the day, 1260 and 1260, plus 30, and plus an extra 45 days shown for other events.  So, we know Jesus will soon be coming, and we may not know the exact day nor the hour, but we know it is soon. We can trust the rest of  prophecy to be literally fulfilled, as was the former events.

We live in the last days, and we should have unwavering TRUST, as did the Thessalonians, and to continue growing in such TRUST.  The fact and hope of the coming of Jesus should keep us excited and anxious.  We cannot ‘waver’ for His coming is soon.  It was important that Thessalonians not waver, and so much more vital, that in these last, last days, we not waver either.  We need unwavering trust.

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O is for OCCUPY

God is in this year with the intent to RESTORE.  We have discussed the need to preach anew and stronger the great need in this world of REPENTANCE.  We have then discussed the need to speak the good news of the gospel and EVANGELIZE with that good news.  That should bring a song in our hearts of joy to the Lord and we therefore SING. Our hearts therefore now have a faith and TRUST, that we know Jesus is coming soon.
Lest we then think we turn our eyes on the heavens, and sit on a mountain top to await Jesus coming, the Lord reminds us we are to OCCUPY till He comes.  We have work to do.  God has expectations for us.

Luke 19:11-27 (KJV)
11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
 
We, as Christians, can get into a behold and watch, hoping for a sooooon coming of our Lord.  Yet, we need to occupy, await with realization that when He comes, He has expectations for us to have done our job here.

God has called you to ministry of some sort.  You were not called to simply fill a pew, but to do real ministry, somewhere, somehow, for the Lord.  This calling has brought responsibility.  You are responsible for that work the Lord is wanting you to do.  You may not be speaking to a stadium full of people, it may be one on one witnessing, it may be visiting the sick in hospitals, it may be a children’s Sunday school class, etc. but there is a work for which you are responsible.

We ‘watch and pray’.   The ‘watching’ that we are to do, is to ‘watch’ not just for signs of His coming, but to ‘watch’ for how we minister while those signs are being fulfilled around us.  The signs of His coming that we see, are to make us even more ‘watchful’ of how to minister to others, before He does arrive to rapture us.

Ezekiel 33:1-6
"Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying: Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people, then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him.  But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."

During the war, the city put a heavy responsibility on the watchman. He had to give a warning whenever the enemy approached.  If a man disregarded the warning, he was signing his own death warrant, and could not blame the watchman.  If a man was outside the wall, and failed to heed the warning, his death would not be the responsibility of the watchman.  If the watchman failed to warn the people in the unprotected area, he was held responsible for their lives. 

The trumpet (shophar) was a long horn, upturned at the end.  It was used for military and religious occasions.  It is still used in Jewish synagogues at their New Year. The watchman was to sound it in warning to the ones inside, and to the ones still unprotected outside. When God tells a preacher to warn the people, he must pass on the message.  The preacher must warn the righteous as well as the wicked.

Ezekiel 33:7-9
"So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand."
Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul."

Then Ezekiel gave a call for repentance.  When the people finally admit their guilt, and repent, Ezekiel does not rub their noses in their shame.  Instead, he proclaims God's forgiveness. Ezekiel had no  delight in judgment, but longed to see the people repent.

The ultimate purpose of judgment warning is repentance.

Ezekiel 33:10-16
"Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? Say unto them, As I live saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? ... None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him; he hath done that which  is lawful and right; he shall surely live."

II Peter 3:9:
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance."
 
I Timothy 2:4:
"...Who will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth."

Jesus is coming soon.  We know that via the prophecies in the Word of God, by observation of the signs predicted therein being fulfilled.  We have a work to do while still here, we are to OCCUPY till He comes.

The Lord will soon arrive and validate our works.  Between now and when He does come, the people may mock, deride, ridicule, scorn, and taunt we who are OCCUPYING and being about the work of the Lord.  Even family and friends may question and challenge the message of we who are OCCUPYING and doing the Lord’s works.

Perhaps much time will be found between the message and the fulfillment of the gospel message we are bringing to the sinful and shameful world.  This mocking and doubt of the hearers is very difficult for the one speaking the Word of God.  Yet, we continue to OCCUPY because of the words following that command TILL I COME.   We know that He is coming, He shall fulfill His promise to return.  Our work will be validated by God.

Ezekiel 33:33
"And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come), then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them."

Now that world may mock our message of REPENT for the Lord is coming soon, but our message is given to us by the Lord.  We are made ‘watchmen’ for God, with a message to have, a mission to preach it, and a heart to love those sinners, those rejecters of the Lord we encounter.    We are responsible to OCCUPY and preach this message from God, despite being amidst many that reject it.  The mission stays the same, whether they accept it or not.  Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and even Jesus, spoke to many who reject the truth.  We are still ‘watchmen’ with a mission, and that mission to OCCUPY is given by God. 
 
The goal of our OCCUPYING is to define and to encourage repentance.  This work can bring many to the Lord before His arrival.   They have to know that sin is sin, or they will not repent.  The Holy Spirit does the convicting, we simply preach the Words of the Spirit of God, and let the conviction bring repentance.   We OCCUPY with that purpose.  We will preach, teach, exhort, etc.,  and often seen few results.   But, if we do, when it is all done, ‘they shall know that a prophet hath been among them’ for the Lord will validate the message of all His watchmen.

We, ourselves,  were called out of darkness, out of sin, out of a life bound for hell fire eternally.  We left that when we found Jesus and the salvation through His atonement on the cross for us.  It is so wonderful being saved.  We are forgiven, made justified of our former sins, and now bound for heaven. 

I Peter 2:9
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."

God has called you out of the darkness of sin.  Now, being out of darkness, now able to see, you can see sin as never before.  The wicked walk in darkness.  They do not see, but now you can see.
The wicked don't see what is wrong with ... don't see a lie as evil... don't see signs of the second coming... don't see the need to go to worship... don't see need to pray for others... don't see - they are blind.  God has called us out of that darkness and given us a mission to OCCUPY till He returns.

The world was darkened after the sin of Lucifer and of the pre-adamites on the original earth.  A dark nebula covered the earth and kept it in total darkness. Sin had ended the light that once shined upon that earth.  The darkness that covered the earth before the re-creation was ended when God said, "Let there be light." (Genesis 1:2)

A command brought light to the world.  God made Adam and Eve to be sinless and innocent, until they entered into a spiritual darkness when they sinned.  Sin brought spiritual darkness. Sin is darkness, for when in sin, even the saints do not see the light of righteousness for everything is darkness to them.  It takes a miracle of light to awaken the sinner to righteousness. Many of the last days are in darkness.  Even some in the church cannot see due to their own darkness. Jesus spoke to them in Revelation 3, to the Laodiceans (Revelation 3:18), and the Lord says: "anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see."
 
They need the "eye salve" in the last days, for they are in blindness, which is a total darkness. Some today are in  total darkness, and do not notice that the Lord is no longer in the crowd. They do not see their own sins, their own bitterness and judgmentalism. They are blind to their nakedness, poverty, destitute, etc.  Somewhere they chose to depart the light, depart into darkness again.

As prophesied in Joel, there will come, perhaps already has come, a day of darkness, where many have chosen to depart the Light, depart from Jesus our Light.
Joel 2:2
"A day of darkness, and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains; a great people and a strong.  There hath never been the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations."

Spiritually, this predicted day of great sinfulness is here in this world today.  There is homosexuality, murder of the unborn, fornication, disobedience to parents, false prophets and false prophecies.  Some claim to sin and still be righteous. Some call good to be evil, and evil to be good.

Amos 5:18-20
. "Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! To what end is it for you?  The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. ... Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?"

The Bible clearly predicts a time of darkness to come, both spiritually and physically.  This darkness is here now, and our command to OCCUPY till He comes, is a message we must heed.
 
Zephaniah 1:14-15
. "The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord, the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. The day is: a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress,  a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness."

The ten virgins of the parable of Jesus showed that all then were in darkness, until a call of warning went out. The five wise awaken to be ready to enter into the wedding festival. The 5 foolish awaken to see their lack of preparedness means remaining outside of the feast the others enter into that feast.

We are not to depart the world of LIGHT, we are not to go back into darkness.
I Thessalonians 5:1-11
1."But of the times (kairos, clock time) and of the seasons (chronos, period of time) brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night.
3. For when they shall say Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them as travail (periodic and intermittent, but the pains come closer and closer, harder and harder) upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day shall overtake you as a thief.
5. Ye are all children of light, and the children of the day, we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6. Therefore, let us not sleep (physical sleep as the 10 virgins) as do others, but let us watch (stay awake, gregorio) and be sober (be serious).
7. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8. But let us, who are of the day, be sober (serious), putting on the breastplate of faith (trust), and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.
9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.
10. Who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him (a resurrection is coming).
11. Wherefore, comfort yourselves together and edify (encourage, and uplift) one another, even as also ye do."

Can you imagine ever leaving this light, this lack of darkness that hides the evil and destruction of wickedness?  The devils and seducing spirits use of television programs, rock music and the foul words that some unwittingly hear, sing, and tolerate in their minds. Peer pressure and the ideas espoused by them permeate, and get programmed into the minds of many. We need to avoid such sources of evil, and program the Word of God, and its truths, into our minds.  They weaken our judgment against the darkness.  We are here with a mission, and we must be about our mission to OCCUPY, that is to continue to work, continue to preach REPENTANCE, and EVANGELIZE, and SING to the Lord, and TRUST in His soon return.
 
There is currently the foretold ‘famine for hearing the Word of God’ in our world.  Those who listen to all but do not verify by the Word are going to become ‘dull of hearing (Matthew 13:15, Hebrews 5:11-14)’.  The allowing of many, varied, corrupted ideas into the mind, is resulting now in many becoming victims of the demons and evil spirits who are seducing to depart Jesus, to enter again into the darkness of sin.

Matthew 13:15
“FOR THIS PEOPLE’S HEART (MIND) IS WAXED GROSS (MADE FAT BY OVERINDULGENCE) AND THEIR EARS ARE DULL OF HEARING AND THEIR EYES THEY HAVE CLOSED, LEST AT ANY TIME, THEY SHOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES AND HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND SHOULD UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART, AND SHOULD BE CONVERTED, AND I SHOULD HEAL THEM.”

The minds of many Christians is being cluttered with television and radio talk shows, and the myriad of false, heretical ideas being espoused thereupon.   The gossips and complaints of others is influencing many in their attitudes toward God, church, faith, and the Lord.  Meaningless talk of chatter and idle discussion has led many to horrible ideas that demons can use to seduce saints from the faith.

We are to OCCUPY with the mental awareness that despite the world’s gross sinfulness, our mission is to preach, evangelize, and still trust in Jesus’ soon return.

The Spirit is ‘expressly’ speaking to the Christians this message to OCCUPY.  Yet, some are often not listening.  In Revelation chapters 2 & 3, we find to each church, these words (Rev 2: 7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22):
“HE THAT HATH EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAYETH TO THE CHURCHES.”
 
Some do not hear the messages of the Spirit.  To every church age, the Spirit speaks.  Paul heard the Spirit speaking expressly in I Timothy 4, and that message was for the last days.  The Spirit is still speaking it today, and yet, many are not listening. Some are not hearing it today. Priorities of some have been shifted to allow the implanting of false messages from other spirits, and not allowing the reception of the Holy Spirit’s messages.

Jude 1:3 (KJV)
... and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
 

Jude warned of many coming in the last days, with ‘half or part truths’.  These ‘apostates’ attack the faith, and bring upon themselves horrible consequences.  They are like the angels who had known the joys and blessings of God for millennia, and yet, chose to sin. 

Jude urges us to ‘contend for the faith’. Many in the last days will ‘separate themselves’.  Those are our choices.  ‘Contend for,’ or ‘separate. Yet, many do not even know there is a battle going on, which demands each make such choice.

Jude’s message is more for our age, than it was for the age in which Jude wrote it.  The apostates are within and without the church.  The internet boards are full of those who are ‘attacking’ the faith, the basic doctrines of the faith.  Many Christian television programs spew forth false doctrines, and many saints ignorantly sit there, soaking up the false with the true.  

Jude warns us that false prophets, like unto Cain, Balaam, and Korah will permeate the Christian churches. 

Jude 10-11
“BUT THESE SPEAK EVIL OF THOSE THINGS WHICH THEY KNOW NOT: BUT WHAT THEY KNOW NATURALLY AS BRUTE BEASTS, IN THOSE THINGS, THEY CORRUPT THEMSELVES.  WOE UNTO THEM! FOR THEY HAVE GONE THE WAY OF CAIN, AND RAN GREEDILY AFTER THE ERROR OF BALAAM FOR REWARD, AND PERISHED IN THE GAINSAYING OF CORE.”

Cain speaks of religion without a cross. Cain neglected God’s instruction.  Cain grew jealous and envious of the blessings of another.  Cain thought his good works would satisfy God. Balaam speaks of religion without morality. Greed, sexual license, and prosperity seeking are all found in the doctrines of this false prophet.  Korah speaks of religion without absolutes. Selfishness, denigration of God’s ways. He was  self-seeking, acclaim desiring. 

All three kinds of false doctrines are a darkness that some have entered again.  Some are easily found spewing their vomit today. We are supposed to build ourselves up in the faith, but some few will stroll back into darkness.

Jude 20
“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.” 

‘Building up’ is akin to, and related to the ‘contending for’. It will take attention, work, battle, to win and not be overcome by the false doctrines of devils, the seduction of saints from the faith. It confirms the reason we are here to OCCUPY till He comes.

II Timothy 4:1-5
“the time will come, when they shall not endure sound doctrine...”

Already, we have seen many false, heretical, demon inspired doctrines permeate the world.  Demons are trying to bring in doctrines like ‘reincarnation’, ‘out of body experiences’, necromancy (talking with the dead). They are trying to remove morality and decency, inserting tolerance to perversion and license to fornicate.  Repentance is being replaced with laughing and seeking for wealth.  Gold cellophane imposter miracles impersonate the real miracles of God.   Marriage is being discouraged and belittled.  Doctrines of the coming of Jesus are being attacked and hated.

Currently, according to some reports, one in four Americans believe in reincarnation.  Two million Americans claim out of body experiences.  Over 20 million seek advice from mediums and psychics.   Forty-two per cent say they have talked with the dead.  And in the Presbyterian church, only 5% of the clergy, and 16% of the laity think the Bible should be taken literally.

Some few will and do ‘separate themselves’. They are divisive. They also are ‘sensual’, depraved, immoral, and carnal. And finally, they do not have the Spirit, are backslidden, not blessed by God, and hear demon voices, not the Holy Spirit’s voice.
 
These apostates, false prophets, departers from the faith, are victims of the doctrines of demons, and have been seduced from the faith they once had. 
Their pride led them to become a ‘drop-out’. Their have wanted to be acclaimed, rather than be persecuted. They have wanted pleasure, not cross-bearing. They have found a price, for which they sold out their Lord. They have found others to be inconsistent, unstudied, and ignorant, and followed those examples rather than following the Bible way.  They have avoided true Bible study and reading, gaining its cleansing and enlightening help. They have not gone to prayer, seeking God’s confirmation of winds of doctrines either.  They have avoided gathering with saints, and discussing Bible truth, and how to avoid evil doctrines.  And the  lusts of the world have drawn them away, making them to be no longer inheritors of the kingdom of God.  They chose to depart, to separate, due to their allowing the seductions of the devils into their mind. 
 
Those apostates are not OCCUPYING in the truth, with a real message founded on the Holy Word of God.  The Word of God needs studied, and used to test all doctrines that are being propagated in our time.

Ephesians 5:26
“THAT HE MIGHT SANCTIFY AND CLEANSE IT (THE CHURCH) BY THE WASHING OF THE WATER, BY THE WORD.’
I Timothy 4:5
“FOR IT IS SANCTIFIED BY THE WORD OF GOD AND PRAYER...’
John 15:3
‘NOW ARE YE CLEAN, THROUGH THE WORD WHICH I HAVE SPOKEN UNTO YOU.’

It is wise to ‘contend for the faith’, and OCCUPY till Jesus returns.   I hope you cannot imagine ever leaving Jesus.

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Second R is for RECOVER
in our RESTORE process

RECOVER
 
John 9:5-34 (KJV)
5 As long as I am in the world,  I am the light of the world.
6 When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle,  and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.)  He went his way therefore,  and washed, and came seeing.
8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said,  Is not this he that sat and begged?
9 Some said, This is he: others said,  He is like him: but he said, I am he.
10 Therefore said they unto him,  How were thine eyes opened?
11 He answered and said,  A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me,  Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash:  and I went and washed, and I received sight.
12 Then said they unto him, Where is He?  He said, I know not.
13 They brought to the Pharisees him  that aforetime was blind.
14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay,  and opened his eyes.
15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him  how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. He said, He is a prophet.
18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him,  that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.
19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?
20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son,  and that he was born blind:
21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or Who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.
22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews:  for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess  that He was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.
24 Then again called they the man that was blind,  and said unto him, Give God the praise:  we know that this man is a sinner.
25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know,  that, whereas I was blind,  now I see.
26 Then said they to him again,  What did He to thee? how opened He thine eyes?
27 He answered them, I have told you already,  and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again?  will ye also be His disciples?
28 Then they reviled him, and said,  Thou art His disciple; but we are Moses' disciples.
29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this Fellow, we know not from whence He is.
30 The man answered and said unto them,  Why herein is a marvellous thing,  that ye know not from whence He is, and yet He hath opened mine eyes.
31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will,  him he heareth.
32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened
the eyes of one that was born blind.
33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.
34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us?  And they cast him out.

The healing of this blind man finally came after the clay had been washed from his eyes, and RECOVERY, though not immediate, was completed, and with his sight came greater faith.  With the healing came greater faith.

In these times of horrible sin, corruption so great that it exceeds our ability to describe it, we need a RECOVERY, a healing that is greater than we may have thought possible.   We need eyes of great faith, eyes that see that Jesus loves, cares, heals, transforms.

It is so easy to step into blindness, into darkness, spiritually, and not see. We desperately need to RECOVER in our trust and hope in Jesus,  so that we may see, and see with faith.  Things we have seen, we can find it easy to believe.

This man knew what blindness was, he had it, since birth. His parents knew. The neighbors knew. When he was healed, they saw the change.  Yet, he, knew that this Person Who had healed him must be the Messiah. He had no doubt.  He had faith.  The real miracle is not the ‘sight’ but the great faith that RECOVERED within him. 

The pharisees could threaten him and his parents.  The parents were afraid, but this man rebuked the pharisees and religious leaders.  He had RECOVERED spiritually to an unshakeable faith, for he was involved in the miracle.

When someone has RECOVERED from alcoholism, they seek to aid others who have not yet been, for they know that deliverance can come.  Alcoholics Anonymous is built on that premise of ones in deliverance encouraging and helping others still struggling to RECOVER.  When one has RECOVERED from cancer, they know God can heal more than the sniffles. So they can with faith pray for, and encourage the ones still having cancer to likewise RECOVER. If you have ever seen anyone raised from the dead, then you know it can happen. So, you can believe when opportunity to pray for one to be raised up is presented.  Faith is easier, when the eyes have seen.  We need eyes of faith in the RECOVER process. 

We are realizing this year that the Lord wants to RESTORE, and the RECOVER part of this realization is vital.  We see the horrible sins, the apostates of heresies, the satanic inspired attacks on true Christians, and the obvious nearness of end times war and mayhem for the world.  We need our faith and joy RESTORED, and need to RECOVER our faith in Jesus.

There must be a way to get EYES OF FAITH without having to have every bad thing,  and be delivered from it personally. Paul learned how this could happen, for when it was most hard to believe, he still had faith, and had faith that brought miracles. 

2 Corinthians 12:9-12 (KJV)
 And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,  that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches,  in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake:  for when I am weak, then am I strong.  I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you:  for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles,  though I be nothing.  Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

There were signs and wonders in Paul’s ministry. Yet, he was stoned, beaten often, imprisoned many times, and this poor, scarred, weary, mocked man
had eyes of faith. In fact, in his weakness, he gloried.  And Paul  said the ‘strength’ to have these miracles was made perfect via this weakness.  This sounds strange, but in his RECOVERY from all the ‘bad’, he came through with more miracles than we can know.  We think we need to reach a mountain top of faith via seeing mighty blessings on ourselves.  We want spiritual revival, health, wealth, and prominence amidst the congregations, and think that will bring miracles and healing.  Paul taught and proved otherwise, and his RECOVERY to faith in Jesus, was far more than enough.

Matthew 6:22-24 (KJV)
 The light of the body is the eye:  if therefore thine eye be single,  thy whole body shall be full of light.  But if thine eye be evil,  thy whole body shall be full of darkness.  If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness,  how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters:  for either he will hate the one, and love the other;  or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 

We need to get our eyes on Jesus. The eyes may be part of a sick body.
We may be persecuted and hated.  We may be in physical darkness and bound. Yet, if we have our eyes of faith on the ONE, the Savior, and His light is shining alone into those eyes, there will be faith for the miracles we have not yet even imagined.  The doctors may say there is no hope. The congregation may look at the situation with pity. The world may laugh at the idea.  Still, if you have eyes of faith, you may be weak, but you can see the glory of God work miracles.

Matthew 13:15 (KJV)
 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing,
and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart,
and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Why no healing? There has been no RECOVER in their walk.  Some have closed ears, closed eyes, instead of eyes of faith. For if they would allow RECOVERY, there would be miracles.

Mark 8:18-21 (KJV)
 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not?  and do ye not remember?  When I brake the five loaves among five thousand,  how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?  They say unto Him, Twelve.  And when the seven among four thousand,  how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?  And they said, Seven. And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

Romans 10:17 (KJV)
 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

Faith comes by hearing. The Word of God is the conduit through which faith flows.  We know that faith is not possible without God giving faith to us.
When we come to Jesus, with hope in Him, looking to Him for salvation,
looking to repent of our sins, and make Him our Lord, God will then give us the ‘gift of faith’ to believe for salvation.

Faith’s source is God. The Word of God that gave us hope, is the conduit through which God lets faith flow to us.  We turn our eyes on Jesus, and look to Him in hope.  We claim His Word that He has spoken in the Bible, we hear His words of love to us in our hearts. Faith grows.

It is like asking ‘what is electricity?’ Many likewise ask ‘what is faith?’ 
Some answer the question about ‘electricity’ with answers like, ‘electricity makes the lightbulb burn brightly’, or ‘electricity makes the mixer mix’
or  ‘electricity makes the lightning powerful enough to split that tree’.

Those are definitions of electricity that tell us what it does, not what it is. The same way, we find many defining ‘faith’. They say it is ‘that which heals’. Or that it is ‘faith that saves’. Faith does miracles. Faith makes us joyful. Those define faith by what it does. But what is it?

Some say ‘faith comes from God’.  Yes, it does, still,  that defines faith by telling its Source, not by telling what it is. 

Electricity is a flow of electrons creating power. Faith is the flow of God’s rhema Words creating power.  We get faith from the Word of God.  ‘Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God’.  We get faith from God on the conduit of His Word.  It is a power that does many things.

When we put our ‘eyes on Him’ and listen with our spiritual ears’ faith flows to us and through us.  We RECOVER from the injuries of life. The power is not us, it is ‘faith in God’.  Paul learned that, for he had faith flowing through him when he was weak, beaten, imprisoned. The circumstances of his, nor of our, body can take away faith.  In fact, the weaker we are, the more we look to Jesus, and there, in His sight, we find faith flows.  Faith is the flowing of God’s power, into us, through us, as we gaze upon Jesus.  Jesus is therefore the Author of our faith and RECOVERY. 

Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)
 Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith;  Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,  despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

Jesus, authors faith in us.  With His faith, He endured the cross, despising the shame of it, but still strong enough to conquer sin, death, and the devil.
We need Jesus to Author faith in us.  We need ‘eyes of faith to be ‘looking unto Jesus’.  Eyes of faith are eyes that are looking to Jesus, letting His Word speak to us, and with that ‘faith’ that flows to us,  we can let it flow through us, for miracles. 

Electricity is a power that does wondrous things.  We would have a hard time without controlled electricity flowing into our homes for light, power for our appliances, etc.  Faith is necessary too.  Without faith, ‘no man will see God.’  For faith is the ‘seeing of God.’  The blind man was healed, trusting Jesus.  When he saw Jesus, he had a faith that made him able to stand up to the sceptics.

We may be ‘weak’ like Paul.  We need to ‘glory in our infirmities’, for ‘when  weak, then we are strong’, for then the faith can flow unhindered by pride, unstopped by doubt. For in looking at Jesus, we find He is ‘Authoring’ our faith.  Like the blind man, sometimes, Jesus needs to mix the dirt with His spittle, and rub it on the eyes of doubt, and sickness.  The washing of our eyes, then, will bring RECOVERY. 

When God starts flowing faith into the child of God,  He has a plan, His own plan, and wants to save souls,  and do mighty acts.  The child of God is often in the way.  We need to get out of God’s way, and let His ways work.  It is God’s power, not ours.  It is God’s plan that will succeed, not ours.  Our ways are not His ways,  our thoughts are not His. 

The electricity flows through the wire, reaching the light bulb.  The light bulb is illuminated.  It is not the bulb that has any power, other than the electricity flowing to it.  The source of the electricity is not the light bulb, the generator at the power plant is the source of power.  In the same way, faith flows into the saint.  The saint is not the source of the faith.  The saint of God is being used, and can do miracles,  because the ‘conduit’ of transmission (the Word of God) is delivering the faith of God, from God, to the saint. 

Too many Christian light bulbs are unhooking themselves from the lamp in which God placed them,  and going off on their own ideas, their own goals,
and wanting to shine light, illumine new areas, on their own.  Unattached to the conduit of electricity, they have no chance to illuminate anything.

In having God’s healing, in being used in a healing ministry, we need to realize, we are not possessors of healing, nor of healing power.  It is the flow of faith from God to us, and through us, that brings healing. Jesus did not have ‘electricity’ to use then as an example, they were burning lamps with oil, then.  Still,  He used the example of the vine, the branches, and fruit.
 
John 15:1-5 (KJV)
 I am the true vine, and My Father is the Husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit  He taketh away:  and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,  except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches:   He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:  for without Me ye can do nothing.

Unless the sap of the vine is flowing into the branches, the branch cannot bear fruit.  God is the Husbandman, and is the source of the plant growing, and only attached to His garden,  through Jesus, can we have life, fruit, and success.   We want RECOVERY.  God is flowing life and faith into us,  and through us, so that we ourselves bear great fruit.

The Pharisees are often mentioned in the Bible.  They are seldom mentioned in our day.  This is often because, the church is often too much like the Pharisees.  The Pharisees majored in minors.  They looked at the outward, and ignored their inward state.  They needed RECOVERY from ill will, an from greed, bigotry, spiritual near-sightedness, selfishness. Yet, they dressed in pure and clean garments, they washed their hands often, they tithed of even the mint that grew alongside their pathway. They judged others for splinters, when they had a log. The Pharisees then and some today need RECOVERY of real faith.

A pharisee began to pray, publicly, and loudly, “I thank God, I am not as others are...’  And he told of his tithing, his goodness, etc.  Nearby, a publican, began to beat on his chest,  and repented, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner’.   Jesus pointed out that the publican was ‘justified’.  The Pharisee was not. 

Today, we find many looking for outward signs of holiness, of power, of bragging.  Healing evangelists want to dress in distinctive and expensive garments, have introductions that make them sound ‘divine’.  They brag on healings, they talk of their great faith, they forget it is the inward flow of God’s power that is their source of power, not some ‘gift’ they think they now own and control.  They need RECOVERY, and be in the RESTORATION process, and then God’s miraculous power will be evident.

Like the Pharisees, many are saying in their hearts, and sometimes aloud, that they are better than others,  and have all they need in themselves. Yet, God is our Source.  We need to get out of the way of the flow of the
power of faith through us, and let His power work.

The publican would have had more power available to him, had we been there to be prayed for, than the Pharisee would have.  The publican was humble, and able to have the faith of God flow through him.  The Pharisee was not able to have God’s power flow through him.

If we ‘get out of God’s way, and let the faith flow into us, and through us,
the ‘eyes of faith’ will RECOVER to see great miracles, healings, and workings of God.  

Remember, Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches”. Jesus was teaching the same truth as seen in the illustration of the electric light bulb.  We are the bulbs, He is the electricity that  illumines those bulbs. As the Vine, He is also the power that gives that branch the ability to bring forth fruit.  We are only branches.  We are powerless to produce fruit if we do not abide in Him.  Jesus also said, “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth...”  We must  remain in Him to bring forth fruit.  We must remain connected by the wire to the electrical Source, if we want to have our bulbs illuminated.   If any man does not abide in Him as the Vine, of if we do not abide attached to the Source of Electricity, we are then cast forth as a branch and is withered and burned, and as bulbs that do not stay attached are discarded.  We want to see healings ourselves, we want to be used in the healings of others,  but if we do not keep the faith flowing through to us, if we don’t let the electric surge through the wires to the bulbs, if we don’t keep the branches attached to the Vine,  then we are discarded from use.

“If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you.”

We can take let this ‘RECOVERY’ flow out of us, through our prayers, and this is called the ‘prayer of faith.’  The gift of faith, is a bestowment of a trust in God, and is expressed in our prayers of faith.  We need to pray the ‘prayer of faith’ upon all who want one of the power gifts bestowed upon them.
They may receive the healing, the miracle, or the gift of faith. The prayer of faith is one way in which they receive.

James 5:13-16 (KJV)
 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray.  Is any merry? let him sing psalms.  Is any sick among you?  let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick,  and the Lord shall raise him up;  and if he have committed sins,  they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another,  and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

What is the “prayer of faith”?

It is the prayer of faith flowing through the lips of the RECOVERED one receiving faith from God.  It is not ‘positive thinking’, it is not ‘faith in self’.  It is not ‘faith in government programs’, no!  It is a hope and trust in God, received from God, flowing through our lips.

This verse does not say that everyone upon whom this prayer is prayed,
will recover from the illness. No! It says that the ‘prayer of faith shall save the sick.”  They may be saved to healing, to miracle, or to the gift of faith
to endure the trial.  “The prayer of faith shall save”, and the word ‘save’ is the  Greek word “sozo’ meaning ‘to deliver’,  to protect, to preserve, to do well unto’.  The RESTORATION through recovery from unconfessed faults and sins, the RESTORATION of fellowship with the church body, all are involved in this ‘save’.  Whatever form this ‘save’ takes, it is done in ‘faith’, in an unwavering hope, a trust that He will ‘work all things together for  good, and the person is happily committing their trust in Him. The prayer expresses restoration to Him and His will, and the resolution of the matter is in His hands. 

“And the Lord shall raise him up”, expresses another confirmation of this.
The word for ‘raise’ is the Greek word ‘egiro” meaning ‘to awaken, to arouse from sleep, to stir to rise from a sitting position.’  This speaks of a spiritual RECOVERY to new spiritual renewal and revival. 

“And if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him”,  indicates that some of those coming to the elders, were separated from that fellowship, due to sins in their own lives.  These sins separated from the elders, from the hedge of protection about the saints, and therefore, sickness had come.

"If he have committed sins", and ‘Confess your faults one to another”, are added to  "that ye may be healed."  Personal sins, unconfessed faults between the saints, are reasons for some sicknesses.  Confession, repentance, the process of RECOVERY being done as the times mentioned in
this passage, contribute to the ‘healing’

This kind of sickness is referred to by Paul in I Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 11:30-32 (KJV)
 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you,  and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves,  we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Sometimes, the sick persons have repented to God, but false guilt from the devil has plagued their hearts, and sickness comes from the unnecessary guilt within them.  This RECOVERY process is vital to that, and as the counsel of the ‘elders’ , and the ‘prayer of faith’  is prayed, the false guilt is removed.
 

“And pray one for another” is counseled here.  This means to mutually pray for one another.   Not just the well praying for the sick, but the sick praying together, and for the well. Job was healed when he prayed for his ‘friends’   who had mercilessly attacked him verbally.  This praying one for another is RESTORATION of the family of God.  Some have done injury to others, now confessed and repented.  Pray for those whom they have injured.  The injured pray for those  who have done them harm, but have now repented.  This should be done in ‘healing services’.  Yet, this passage  in James is usually given the Reader’s Digest version, and all we do is have elders lay on hands, and pray.  The rest of this passage is vital.  This RESTORATION RECOVERY of a church body is often necessary to see a healing service have real healings. 

“That ye may be healed” is shown to be a result of the above mentioned actions.  In order that the sick may be restored to health, there should come a confessing, repenting, forgiving, RESTORATION RECOVERY of not just the sick person, but the entire church.

“The effectual fervent prayer” that is mentioned by James, comes after the person has prayed a ‘prayer of faith’, confessed sins to become in right standing with God, and is now in harmony with the church body also,
then the prayer is ‘fervent’ and ‘effectual’. 

Actually, those two words (‘effectual fervent’ ) are from the Greek word ‘energeo’ meaning ‘energetic, actively and enthusiastically expectant.”  The ‘prayer of faith’ has grown from just a ‘hope’  to now an excited and enthusiastic expectancy. 

“Of a righteous man” is what the sick person is when that prayer is prayed.    The word ‘righteous’ means ‘in good standing’.  The person who came ‘sick, and sinful’ is now expectant and righteous to God, i.e. RECOVERED. 

“Availeth much” is the promise given for this ‘sick’ but now RESTORED by the RECOVERY into a righteous, harmonious state.  The word for ‘availeth’ is the Greek word “ischuo”  meaning ‘to have force, to have might, to be able to prevail’.  God will do mighty acts in such a service as described in James.  There have not been many services like this.   Jesus had them, the apostles had them.  But too often now, they touch oil, put a hand upon, pray up a storm,  and leave all the rest out of the service that this passage in James is advocating.  The results have drastically changed, as a result of the change in our methods.

This ‘prayer of faith’ is the key to starting this RECOVERY.

What is ‘faith’ in this usage?  Let’s examine another passage of the Word of God.
Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,  the evidence of things not seen.

The Greek word for ’substance’ is ‘hupostasis’ meaning ‘a foundation, a support’.  It is the confidence of reality, or trustworthiness. It is like a man who rents the tuxedo, buys the ring, secures a church, plans the honeymoon, because he has faith that the bride will show up. Or the man who hears of a place called New York, and though he has never been there, nor seen the place, he pays an airline for a ticket to it, he boards a plane that promises to fly him there, he has packed a bag for his stay there. All due to a confidence that there is such a place.

The ‘substance’ of what we ‘hope for’ is faith. We change our whole lifestyle due to ‘faith’. We don’t see God, we hear His voice only in our hearts, we see a book that claims to be written by Him, and we mold our lives due to that ‘hoped for’ substance.  As long as our faith is there, we will feel and acts as if the proof of our hope is already present.  We see the things of eternity and of the spirit.  We do not see yet the angels, the streets of gold, the gates of pearl, the throne with the Almighty God upon it, but we live our lives in the way that we confident and assured that all those things exist, and we are on our way there.

“The evidence of things not seen.”

We do not yet see God, heaven, angels, or the glorious things awaiting us in heaven.  The word ‘evidence’ is the Greek word ‘elengkos” meaning the ‘proving of the false to be wrong, the evidence of the real to be real.’  It is the ‘reproof’ of the errant ideas that were before believed.  It is the proof that the previous ideas were unreliable.  The things we pray for, with the prayer of faith, may seem  impossible to us, and to others.  Yet, ‘faith’ is something that acts like there is ‘evidence’ to the contrary  to the doubtful ideas. The so called ‘rational mind’ denies what faith claims. The carnal mind laughs at the possibility of what faith anxiously awaits.

We see this kind of faith in the Bible.
Matthew 9:2 (KJV)
 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed:
 and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy;  Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. 

Matthew 9:29-30 (KJV)
 Then touched he their eyes, saying,  According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.

Matthew 15:21-28 (KJV)
 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into  the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts,  and cried unto him, saying,  Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David;  my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.  But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying,  Send her away; for she crieth after us.  But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.  But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.  And she said, Truth, Lord:  yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.  Then Jesus answered and said unto her,  O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.  And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Matthew 17:14-21 (KJV)
 And when they were come to the multitude,  there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to Him,  and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.  And I brought him to Thy disciples,  and they could not cure him.  Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to Me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.  Then came the disciples to Jesus apart,  and said, Why could not we cast him out?  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you,  If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove;  and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out  but by prayer and fasting.
 
Matthew 21:18-22 (KJV)
 Now in the morning as He returned into the city,  He hungered.  And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only,  and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.  And presently the fig tree withered away.  And when the disciples saw it, they marveled,  saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!  Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not,  ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea;  it shall be done.  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Mark 4:35-41 (KJV)
 And the same day, when the even was come,  He saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.  And when they had sent away the multitude,  they took Him even as He was in the ship.  And there were also with Him other little ships.  And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow:  and they awake Him, and say unto Him,  Master, carest thou not that we perish?  And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea,   Peace, be still.  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  And He said unto them, Why are ye so fearful?  how is it that ye have no faith?  And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another,  What manner of Man is this, that even the wind and the sea  obey Him?

Luke 18:1-8 (KJV)
 And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city;  and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.  And he would not for a while:  but afterward he said within himself,  Though I fear not God, nor regard man;  Yet because this widow troubleth me,  I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.  And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.  And shall not God avenge his own elect,  which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?   I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.  Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Acts 14:8-10 (KJV)
 And there sat a certain man at Lystra,  impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked:  The same heard Paul speak: who steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,  Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet.  And he leaped and walked. 

This faith begins with a ‘hope’. It is the ‘substance of things ‘hoped for’.
So, first we need to ‘ask largely’,  and expect our Almighty God to want to
make things ‘good’ for us, and to give us an ‘abundant life’.

What is this ‘hope’?
Romans 5:1-5 (KJV)
 Therefore being justified by faith,  we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace
 wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

This is not a ‘hope’ of our team to win the Super bowl, nor is it a ‘hope’ that we will have a paycheck this week.  No !  This ‘hope’ is in the ‘glory of God’.
We know Him personally when we are a Christian, and this knowledge of Him has taught us that He is a glorious God.  Our RECOVERY and personal relationship with Him affirms that glory and awesomeness of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (KJV)
 And now abideth faith, hope, charity,  these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Many things will pass away, but our faith, our hope, our love, in the Lord will never pass away. They all abide.  The reason the greatest is ‘charity’ (i.e. Love), is that our faith in God, our hope in God, lead us to a great and mighty love for God. 
 

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The second E refers to EDUCATE

EDUCATE

We began our look at the RESTORE that God wants for us in 2018. 

We:
REPENT of our sins,
EVANGELIZE speaking good news,
SING the joy we are receiving having done the first two,
TRUST in the soon coming of our Lord,
OCCUPY remembering that we have a work to do till Jesus comes,
and RECOVER from the war we fight here on earth. 

So what still remains?  Well, now that we are finishing the RECOVERY process, we need to finally EDUCATE others, for many are UN-RESTORED, and have little realization that they need to be RESTORED.

These are definitely the ‘last days’ prior to the return of Jesus.  Embattled, weary, scared, and uncertain of what is going on in this defiled and corrupted world, some have no idea what to do, and how to do it.  We need to EDUCATE these uneducated novices to what they need to know for these last days.

1 Timothy 3:6 (KJV)
Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

We are told that one must not be a ‘novice’.  The Greek word for ‘novice’ is neophytos (G3504), meaning newly planted, just germinated, young plant.   We find it translated ‘novice’ meaning someone new to the faith, not tested, not learned, not experienced, not educated in the faith.
 
There are many who have yet not learned the dangers, the pitfalls, the needed information to make one’s efforts not be wasted. 

If you were going to jump out of a plane, and had no instruction on how to pull the cord to open the chute, or how to prepare to hit the ground, how to gather the parachute, etc... it would be a dangerous jump.  

If one were a novice in cooking, the eggs may turn out slimy and raw, or the steak may be overdone and tough as beef liver.   One does need instructions, experiences, training, and a grasp of the subject, for whatever profession one desires to enter.

I have seen novices.   One young pastor was asked ‘On what subject is your sermon this week?’  The answer was, ‘I don’t know. I just open my Bible, and look at a verse when I get to the pulpit, and depend on God to give me words.’   That pretty much explained the rambling messages I heard from him.  He had no idea of the subject, he did not realize that God knew what his subject, his text, his illustrations should be millennia ago, and could have that week given him the information, and time to get them in his mind, organize, pray over, and be ready to be anointed as the Spirit would bring back to his mind the things he had studied.   But, his messages up to that time were ramblings of thoughts, not organized, and often not even the subject that the Lord would have anointed.

The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV):
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The novice is, or should be, ashamed of a life that show forth a lack of study, a lack of preparation.   Life will give illustrated lessons, but many novices have not lived long enough to have many illustrations of truths that the Holy Spirit can bring back to one’s remembrance.

John 14:26 (KJV)
 But the Comforter, Who is the Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

The Holy Spirit wants to be our Teacher, and that means lessons, and lessons, and lessons throughout eternity.   A novice has had few of those lessons yet, and needs to first learn to enter the school of the Spirit.
 
Ephesians 4:17-19
“...walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart... who being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness to work all uncleanness with greediness.” 
 
That is a description of life before salvation.  Now, just newly saved, a novice has all that past thinking still in the mind, and the heart is now headed toward God, but the new facts, new ideas, new ways, are needed to be learned.   Spiritual eyesight is replacing blindness, but the blindness is still somewhat present, and takes time for experience, training in the school of the Spirit, and study in the Word to cleanse the blind eyes.

Note, that this passage speaks of the ‘vanity of their mind.’  The pride in what is in actuality ‘worthless’ thoughts, is great.  The novice has some pride and a false assumption of wisdom and knowledge.   The Bible says a ‘novice’ may be lifted up in ‘pride’, and it is a certain reality that this is likely.   In reality, they are blind, but they think they have great spiritual insight.  They are blind to facts that they do not even see as possibilities. 

‘Understanding is darkened’ before salvation, and even right after salvation, one is not ready to be an expert in ‘understanding.’  The blindness is a darkness, obscuring that which they could have seen, if minus the darkness. It is not hidden facts, that God is keeping from them, but their walking in some understanding  darkness, that causes the lack of seeing. 

In the darkness, mankind stumbles into what they would have stepped over or around, had they had no darkness.  Some are partially blind, and what is obvious to the sighted, is obscured by the shadow of darkness.  Novices do not see clearly enough to easily avoid pitfalls or stumbling stones. 

The passage also speaks of the blind ones being ‘alienated from the life of God.’   God is light, and in Him is no darkness. So, if one is in darkness, they are not walking with God.  The Spirit of God will ‘teach us all things’, and is Revealer of the Truth. So, when we walk with God, we walk in light, not darkness.  Until we have walked in the light for a while, we do not truly know the route.  It is like the drive home from work, one drives it every day, over and over, until finally, it can be driven without really thinking ‘what is the next turn? or ‘how long before I arrive?’  The longer we walk in the light, the more able we will be able to share the directions to others who are along the way.  When a novice in this walk, we are still not yet prepared to give directions to others.

The passage also speaks of the ‘ignorance that is in them.’ There is ignorance in new converts.  Novices do not know that they are ignorant.  They think they are smart.  In reality, novices  are simply ignorant of what the longer saved ones, the test and tried saints know from experience and from study of the Word.  Novices are just beginning in their spiritual education, and are somewhat ignorant still.  Yet, novices sometimes think they see and think they are brilliant.

The passage  speaks of this ‘ignorance’ as being because of the ‘blindness of their heart.’  So, the ignorance is not due to just  lack of study.  The pharisees of Jesus’ first coming, had much education, but did not see things due to blindness.  It is often despite the much education of some, that some are still ignorant. The reason for that ignorance is blindness, not lack of education.  This blindness that is due to a lack of wanting to see some things, is one of the harder lessons the Holy Spirit has to correct.   It often is not given in the first days after salvation.   The lesson will come, but often needs experiences, and life events, to illustrate truths that will remove the blindness of pharisaical thinking.

The unsaved were ‘past feeling’. The novice, just saved, is now starting to have feelings never felt before while in sin. This means the novice will feel the conviction of the Spirit, in a new way. They will be sensitive to His tugs on the heart, whereas before they did not feel Him as He shouted truth.  Now, the feelings of conviction will bring immediate change, regret for failure, and seeking of the Lord for power to be victorious. 

No longer will the seared conscience hinder their feelings, but the novice will begin to feel love, joy, peace, etc in a new and powerful way.  Conviction for failure, desire for prayer, love for the Word, mercy for those who wrong them, will be new feelings that will be felt, and marveled in.  The novice needs time to mature in those feelings, learn how to respond to those feelings.  As the novice matures, then later, no longer a novice in those feelings, he/she can be used in working with the Spirit of God on those who still are ignoring, shunning, and rejecting those feelings.   Till the novice has felt them themselves, and has learned how they work on our hearts, and the purpose God has for each of those feelings, they are unable to be in the role of a pastor. 

That passage on blindness of the heart, also speaks of ‘given... unto lasciviousness.’  Lasciviousness is doing that which is not sin by itself, but which weakens one to possible sin.   A novice may be able to list the sins they must ignore, shun, and hate, but must also learn the things that are not sin in themselves, but if tolerated will lead one toward sin.   This takes time to learn, experience will teach. 

To do those things, all right in themselves, but will seductively lead toward sin, causes the novice to have an ‘up and down’ walk, that needs to become more consistent.  The vulnerability that lasciviousness gives a novice needs time in the Word, time with the Spirit of God, and time in prayer to overcome.

The novice will still be living too much in lasciviousness, and therefore doing some  things, not seeing the danger in those things.  The novice can still have relationships that bring blindness to them.  These relationships change after salvation, and with time the relationship is adjusted.

I John 2:11
“He that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walks into darkness, and knows not where he goes, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”

Many a novice has been attacked due to another’s blindness.  They did not see what another saw, and that blindness made them hate the one who was seeing.  The older, more experienced will see, and see very clearly, due to the Light in which they walk.  The novice still somewhat in darkness misjudge, misconstrue, and do not see what the more mature in the faith is saying.   So, the Holy Spirit needs to work longer on the novice.

Sometimes, novices attach themselves to ones who want to do the work of the Holy Spirit and mentor those the Spirit wants in His school.  Sometimes, or oftentimes, the mentors are blind themselves to many things the novice needs to learn.

Matthew 15:14
“Let them alone, they be blind leaders of the blind.  And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”

The blind feel comfortable leading.  In fact, they like to lead more than the sighted ones do.  Why? Well, they do not see the dangers, the pitfalls, the coming judgment.  So, unsighted, blinded to seeing those dangers, they are comfortable leading others.  The blind ones see no danger, the blind do not see the coming judgment on the church.  They feel therefore no compulsion to warn, to be concerned over others’ safety. 

The blind hate the more mature in the faith.  For those more mature see the dangers, the coming judgments, the needs of the ones that  are unready, and unaware.  Therefore the more mature warn, shout wake up calls, and caution the novices.  The blind mentors are totally oblivious to the reason for the concern of the more mature who caution the novices.

The blind mentors, with nothing but blessings to pronounce, think they are the best leaders.  That is why we often see those who preach caution and patience to the novices come to be attacked, mocked and ridiculed by the ones who are spiritually blind mentors.

Some novices stay novices eternally.  For they have a ‘spirit of slumber’, an apathy toward learning from the Holy Spirit, and from the Word of God.  They play a mean game of golf for the Lord, but they lack Bible study that would enlighten their remaining darkness in spiritual truth.

Romans 11:7-11
“Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the elect hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded... God hath given them a spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see.’

There is an apathy, spiritual sleepiness in some novices that are spiritually blind.  When a person blind to truth, has their eyes opened, the blindness removed, there is a sudden anxiousness, zeal, eagerness, excitement,  for they are no longer blind, and the things they now see, excite them.

Some novices do not get excited in the school of the Spirit, and just sit back and hope that someone wants a ‘novice’ to pastor their huge church.   The lessons the novices need are being ignored, or unseen, for they have not opened their sleeping-blind eyes.  The minds of novices that have been blinded, can be opened, and truths and light can immerse the soul.  A spiritual awakening to the Spirit’s truths needs to open their eyes, blinded by slumber. 

II Corinthians 3:14
“But their minds were blinded, for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament, which veil is done away in Christ.’

Some novices will remain novices as long as there is slumber, or as long as there are scales on their spiritual eyes.   The novices will not know sin from righteousness. They will  not sense the coming judgments. They will not recognize signs of Jesus’ soon return.  They will not sense the love of God for sinners.  They will not value  spiritual things.  They will not determine the  worthlessness of carnal things. 

How does the Holy Spirit remove the blindness and ignorance of novices?

THE INITIAL LIE OF THE BIBLE is found in Genesis 3, and the devil has used this same lie, or some form of it, upon many novices through the ages.
Genesis 3:1,4
“he (serpent) said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, ‘Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’...  The serpent said unto the woman, ‘Ye shall not surely die, for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then shall your eyes be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing...’”

This first recorded lie of Scripture came from the ‘father of lies’.  The devil’s lies have been so abundant, mankind has fallen for many of them.  Sometimes novices get feeling wise, and they are to a degree, for they have come to the wisdom of salvation, and entered into a relationship with Jesus.  So, they are sometimes vulnerable to falling for this lie of the devil, that they have all the knowledge they need.

John 8:44
“he (the devil)  is a liar, and the father of it.’
 
Multitudes have believed lies of the devil, and the one to Eve, his first lie, is one that many believe, even today. Some think that other saints are not as knowing as they. They often do not know much of the Word, so they know that, and so they denigrate the Word. If the Word of God is shown to be in disagreement with their so called revelations, they believe their ‘experience’ of knowing, rather than the Bible. If their ‘revelation’ is truly from God, it will agree with God’s written Word.  But, some novices will insist that their knowledge from God (they think) is correction of the Bible.

Many in our time call themselves ‘apostles’ and put their ‘new’ truths above the Written Word of God that they often contradict.  This is playing ‘God’, and is falling for the same lie as the initial lie of the devil in the garden to Eve.

The idea that the serpent told Eve, that she could, if she listened to him, ‘be as gods, knowing’... is still flourishing in this age. It is still a lie of the devil.  Pastors, lay people, evangelists, prophets, etc fall for it daily.  Novices need time to learn and be shown in the school of the Spirit, and in Bible study that these doctrines are heresy.  

The devil is called the ‘deceiver of the whole world.’  Novices need to be in the faith long enough to be shown that the devil is still deceiving, not every doctrine by every one claiming to be God’s gift to mankind is truth, but is deception of the devils.

Revelation 12:9
“...the great dragon, was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and satan, who deceiveth the whole world.”

So, he not only is capable of deceiving all, but at some time or another has deceived all.  He is still working.  We will find more and more of these as we approach the rapture.  Each deception to which  persons succumb will lead to another.  Novices need to come to this realization, or the devil will use them to lead others astray, as they fall for the lies of devils.
 
Peter said to Jesus, that he would never deny Him.  He was a novice at the time.  He had not learned the deceptive power of the devil, and thought that his claim to invulnerability to sin would counter what even Jesus had proclaimed to him.  The other disciples were likewise still novices.  They had some final lessons in the school of the Spirit, to learn, before they would be ready.

Mark 14:31
If I would die with Thee, I will not deny Thee in any wise.  Likewise said they all...”

Peter was sure that he would never fail. That kind of arrogance and pride makes us vulnerable to the devil’s lies.  For the devil used that arrogance to convince Peter that since he was too great to fail, he would not need to stay awake in Gethsemane to pray up for the coming trial of which Jesus had warned.  Therefore, Peter was easy prey for the devil.  Great pride led to great fall of the novice named Peter.

Jesus said to the devil himself ‘get thee behind Me, satan’ while in the wilderness temptation. (Luke 4:8) Later, Peter blurted out some words authored by the devil, and stupidly believed by Peter, and Jesus again said ‘Get thee behind Me, satan, for thou art an offense unto Me; for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.’

In the same way, many today, like Peter then, have followed and believed messages from the devil.  Jesus recognizes the source and intent of the devil’s lies to us.  We must use the warnings of the Bible of this, and avoid, reject, the lying messages of the devil.
 
We need to be very careful, prayerful, and well studied in the Word.  If we are, we can avoid such deceptions.  When we find victims of the devil’s lies, we need to speak Scripturally with certainty, and not validate by silence the false words given by these modern gnostics.

It is time for us to study the Word, humbly, completely.  It is our certain source of truth, and the little voices we hear need to be verified to be God’s voice, and not the ‘devils’.  We  hear the devils’ attempt to make us believe that we are ‘gods’ and we ‘know’.  We must renounce  that ‘INITIAL LIE’ of the devil, and be humble in our Bible study.

We are not to go out in this troubled and sinful world, and teach our own ideas, but we are to EDUCATE others in the true Word of the Lord, the Bible. The schooling of the Spirit attempts to teach this truth.  The devils are instigating some eternal novices in the church, to preach a different doctrine, that pride, if it is present in the novice, will allow them to believe

Ephesians 4:13
"Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

Compared to Jesus, we lack, all of us do.  We need to be blessed by God with the spiritual gifts of utterance (tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophecy), and the gifts of knowledge (word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and discernment of spirits).  When still a novice, we are easily stumbled, and we may easily do damage to the flock.

Novices must eagerly anticipate and desire the return of Jesus. While anticipating and wanting the return of Jesus, we more easily mature in the faith. The school of the Spirit enriches us into utterance and knowledge, we become gifted.

I Corinthians 1:5-7
"That in every thing ye are enriched by Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; ...so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus."

To get distracted by envy, to strive over doctrinal details, to debate over minor details, and struggle against humans instead of battle against evil spirits,  will keep a blooming novice from maturity.

I Corinthians 3:3
"For ye are yet carnal; for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"

The word "carnal" is from the Greek word - "sarkinos". This word is often translated with our religious connotations.  We have engendered the word "carnal" with these religious connotations, and thereby have lost the real idea behind what is being said. The word "carnal" meant in that day what the word "meathead" means in our day. Paul bluntly told these "saints" in Corinth... that they were "MEATHEADS." Paul was not always as "statesman"-ly as we like to think. He could be blunt, and to the point. The church at Corinth had become foolish and stupid, and were acting as "meatheads".  They were all ‘novices’ in the faith, battling each other, not warring in the spiritual warfare to which we are called.

There are two kinds of people in the church congregations. There are those ruled by the NATURAL MAN, and are therefore "carnal." There are also those who are ruled by the SPIRITUAL MAN.  The novice is still ruled by the natural, carnal man.

I Corinthians 2:14-15
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man."

The "natural" person is still a ‘novice’, and  lives under the control of the fleshly passions and human desires. This person has no sense of spiritual values. Spiritual things are foolishness to the novice. Novices  are concerned about the lawn being mowed, the welcome mat being cleaned, and the bills being paid for the church, which are all good, but they are not anxiously seeking revival, calling out for God to bring sinners to repentance, and seeking more gifts of the Spirit so they can minister to a hurting world more effectively.

Novices are ruled by the "natural" person, and therefore give themselves credit for their good works, and spiritual accomplishments. Pride builds within them, and many sins result from this pride. Till they live under the control of the Holy Spirit, with their minds on  the things of the Spirit, and is a new creation in Christ Jesus, they need to be rejected as pastors. 
 
When matured, the former novice will  seek to daily be more and more like Jesus Christ.  The spiritual condition of the church, the salvation of souls in the community, and their relationship with the Lord are now their vital concerns. The former novice remembers that they themselves were saved only by grace. All glory for successes is given  to God, and a humble life of worship emanates from their being.

I Corinthians 1:18,26-29
"FOR THE PREACHING OF THE CROSS IS TO THEM THAT PERISH FOOLISHNESS; BUT UNTO US THAT ARE SAVED, IT IS THE POWER OF GOD... FOR YE SEE YOUR CALLING, BRETHREN, HOW THAT NOT MANY WISE MEN AFTER THE FLESH, NOT MANY MIGHTY,  NOT MANY NOBLE ARE CALLED. BUT GOD HATH CHOSEN THE FOOLISH THINGS (the stupid ones) OF THE WORLD TO CONFOUND THE WISE; AND GOD HATH CHOSEN THE WEAK THINGS (the powerless ones) OF THE WORLD TO CONFOUND THE MIGHTY. AND THE BASE THINGS (the lowest people) OF THE WORLD, AND THE THINGS WHICH ARE DESPISED  (the most hated people), HATH GOD CHOSEN, AND THINGS WHICH ARE NOT (the "nothings"), TO BRING TO NOUGHT THINGS THAT ARE , THAT NO FLESH SHOULD GLORY IN HIS PRESENCE."

The former novice was one of those, the ‘weak, foolish, base, and despised ones, but now matured in the faith have become able through Jesus and the empowerment of the Spirit to humbly do great works.

God loves everyone. He loves bigots, stubborn people, the insensitive, the rebels, self-pitiers, quitters, misfits, bored people, irritated ones, the troubled, the wounded, etc.   Novices may have been that kind, but now in Christ, are powerful saints.

Novices assume they are  "spiritual", the holy, and the saints who should "have it all together". This pride causes many destructive behaviors. Yet,  God yearns to change, anoint and bless the weak, powerless, nothings of this world.  Still we must  without the Lord, we will never be more.

There are no self-made saints. It is the power of God that makes us mature, and leave the status of ‘novice’.  No one became an empowered, anointed  saint by their own power.  No ! God takes a novice while still weak, stupid, powerless, etc. and makes them anointed ones.

No one should  glory in self, in the presence of God.  Novices must rid themselves of the pride that makes them look down on the sinner, and that makes us to think of themselves as self-made saints, holy, and worthy.

God has taken many novices and made them powerful and blessed.

ABRAHAM
had once been a worshipper of idols. Yet he became the founder of Israel, and the "friend of God."
JOSEPH
had a prison record. God took him and made him a prime minister of Egypt. God used this ex con to save Israel from famine.
MOSES
was a murderer. God restored him to the person who led Israel out of slavery to the Egyptians.
JEPHTHAH
was a hood, a gangster. Here was a person who was the "Al Capone" of Israel. God took hold of this person, and made him the deliverer of Israel from the Ammonites.
RAHAB
was a harlot of Jericho. God put her in the "Hall of Fame" of faith in Hebrews 11.
ELI and SAMUEL
were poor, inconsistent fathers. God made them strong men for Him.
JOHN MARK
was a quitter. Yet, later he became very profitable for not only Barnabus, but also for Paul, for Peter, and for Luke.
PETER
denied the Lord, and backslid. Although he was warned, he still denied the Lord three times in one evening. Yet, the Lord transformed him to the chief spokesman for the church.
PAUL
was present when Stephen was killed. Many Christians in Jerusalem had a difficult time forgiving Paul. God took this rebel, and made him the "apostle to the Gentiles."

I Corinthians 1:29-31
"That no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ, Who is God made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. That according as it is written, 'He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.'"

The world, even the church, needs to be EDUCATED in the school of the Holy Spirit.  The Lord wants all of us in that school.  We have just studied what the Lord is commanding to us in being RESTORED, and we need to EDUCATE others in this same process, and then let the Holy Spirit work in the willing volunteers of His school.

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Reply with quote  #9 
for more on RESTORE, see the new thread entitled RESTORE on this site... i.e.  armyofprophets.com
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Reply with quote  #10 

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Reply with quote  #11 
I have thought on what is the Lord wanting us to know about 2019, what new understanding of our times and  His purpose.  Each year the Lord has forewarned me, prepared me, and had me share with the ones who may be interested, some of His heart on the conditions of this world. 

The Lord, I believe, does this to let us know what He wants for us to encourage us with the understanding of His work.

Stay tuned, in the next few days I relate what I have heard and been shown.

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Reply with quote  #12 
see the new word acrostic for 2019... the word is REJOICE...
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