January February March 2001
By Pastor John Doonan
Hebrews 1:1 God, Who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.
God Sent a Prophet
The power of the Spirit of God was demonstrated and communicated to man in times past through the prophets. It was necessary to have a prophet because there was no one worthy of speaking for God, until Christ. There was no one because of the sins of Adam.
Adam loved his wife Eve. Everything he cared for was wrapped up in her. When Eve was tempted in the garden it says Adam was not deceived. Eve on the other hand was deceived. As Adam was standing, she took the fruit from the tree that was forbidden to them, ate it and handed it to Adam. Before his very eyes he watched her die. He was not deceived for he recognized death. There was a separation between him and Eve because Adam was as Jesus was. He was completely filled with the presence of the Spirit of Life, and when Eve, who was part of him was suddenly gone, her life taken out of him, he experienced her death. Loving her so much and because of his strength, he thought that if he partook of what she did, he could save her, but in eating the fruit he died too.
He found that death was more powerful than he was when he became separated from the life of God. He’d never seen a curse before. He didn’t know what death was. He only knew that death separated him from Eve, and he couldn’t bear that separation. Somehow he had to help. He had dominion, he had authority, and he was not deceived. He knew if he partook that he would be in the same condition she was, yet somehow, he thought he had what it took to save her. He could beat the odds! He had to save her. What else could he do? If part of what you are is dead, then you are not okay anymore. We all panic and strive to fix what is broken.
This is what happens to all men. Because we are born after the nature of Adam, no matter what we do, where we go, what we see, what we touch, we have to follow after that part of us that is dead, striving to make it right. We are in the world lost in this condition, continually looking for some strength that can somehow raise us up out of death and make us alive. We need to recreate purpose, and be fulfilled in something simply because we love our lives. We were given the nature of Adam. It is a deep-seated instinct to love life.
Adam became spiritually dead, accursed. He was lost and separated from God and blessing. There was no way of personal communication with the Creator, so God had to talk with us through His prophets. Because He loved us so much, God sent prophets, closing the gap somewhat from our separation. God knew before the foundation of the world that Adam would fall, thus He purposed in His heart that in this Age of Grace, He would speak to us in another way. That other way was through His Son Jesus, the Christ.
Until this time, God had only one means in which to talk with man. His Spirit came upon men, overwhelming their personality, and their circumstances in life, causing them to speak by faith the Word from God. Because man loved life, we sought after religion. We hoped that through that, because of the way God came upon men there was perhaps a means, a possibility, that they could retrieve that which they had lost.
In our search for truth we first touched religion, that possibility, that prophet who stood before us and said God is speaking and leading us. We desired the possibility that somehow, God’s life could touch us. We have this inherent desire, this love of life, so we seek after it but the Spirit comes and goes as we cannot hold on to Him. He is here for a moment, the pleasures, the power, the manifestation of His presence and then gone. Before Adam fell, he communicated freely with God. He had the wisdom and power to have dominion, then he lost power to rule. He had no one to speak to and he sought God. He taught his children to seek after God. God said, "I will send a Redeemer, and Adam what you could not do, in all your love for Eve, I will do through this Redeemer".
Jesus, the Word of God, created the whole world. The Word must reach man. He would bring back his dead wife. The second Adam was born. His Word loved us so much that He gave Himself for us that by faith He might achieve God’s purpose. He might revive those who were dead.
We are all connected to that cross no matter how long ago it happened. You are absolutely joined to the time he suffered in hell, victoriously raised from the dead, to the time he stood before the throne of God. This is what we have and who we are. It is the revelation of this, that through that union we have the power to walk as sons of God.
Who owns you, your house, your car, and your clothes? Jesus does, not you. He owns everything because He earned them. When you’re all done arguing, striving for your own, the Word of God settles it. The Word sent to us, saves us, and He retains all he has removed from death. In Adam’s nature, you cannot have or own because you are slave to a lie. In Christ we own everything through Jesus because he was appointed heir of all things. Not only because he made all things, but he earned it, and has power to give it away.
Jesus walked on this earth. He could not operate out of the power of the Spirit of Life because God’s blood had to be shed. When Jesus came to the earth He had to earn everything. The law was written so he would have a means to own everything, be the King of everything, have absolute power, and be the priestly, prophet of God.
When Jesus went to the cross, he gave everything away. Adam had the wrong idea. Jesus came a different way altogether. Jesus’ motivation was pure and simple. He said, "I have given all things to God. By faith, if I give myself to God, He will restore both me and my bride." So He went in with nothing and restored everything. Give and it shall be given onto you. It’s a spiritual law. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s the law of reciprocity.
If we understand the power Jesus Christ manifested and what He really did, we realize that what took place was the most incredible thing in the world. This is so far beyond our imaginations. We see Jesus suffering, we see the pain and all those things He took upon Himself so that He might taste death, humiliation, and rejection. He became every sin and every sickness, and every disease in this world touched His body at that moment. His only future was that he was damned to Hell.
Psalm 86:13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
No one had ever been able to go to Heaven after they died in their sins before. There was only Paradise, a holding place for the faithful, but He gave himself to the full punishment for sin, Hell. It took all faith to understand His job and what He had to do. There would have been no hope except that He has inherited all things.
Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
How does one purge sin? The bible says, that when you go in to possess a land that God is giving you, a gift not a work for you can’t earn it, the first thing you are required to do is take all the kings of that land and hang them on a tree. But, you must take them down before the sun sets and bury them. If the sun rises on them, the curse will come back on the land. You must remove them from the tree. It was necessary for Jesus to go to Hell for us to be purged from our sin. Some have trouble understanding Jesus’ spiritual death knowing God cannot die. God did not die, Jesus died in our sin. the Bible says that Jesus became sin, and the moment he became sin He cried out "My God My God why hast though forsaken me." Jesus became as we are spiritually dead in that he became the curse and was seperated from the blessing of God. He was still the word only now He was the curse.
Because Adam was totally inexperienced in death, he did not have the ability to make a faith choice. He did not know how to revive from death once dead.
At the moment Jesus spoke "My God My God why hast though forsaken me.", He was separated from God. The Father cannot be sin. Jesus became the second Adam…fallen. Him who knew no sin had become sin. He then had to remove this sin and death from this earth in a way that it could not return upon the land.
The sin had to be contained, so God created a place of containment, Hell. He did not create it for us, but for the devil. Sin originated in Heaven, not here on Earth. Hell was created because of the devil as an eternal containment for sin. The devil was the first to receive a curse from God. He knew that this curse had to be contained for it is God’s word and thus eternal. Jesus spoke of hell in terms of torture and torment, of weeping and gnashing of teeth, of absolute fear and multiplying hopelessness. Hell is the opposite of heaven. There is no blessing of any kind in this place. It is a place of the curse. When Jesus became sin and hung on that tree, he had to remove the curse of sin from man by placing it upon himself and then take it to a place of containment. That is why when you speak of your sin to God, he doesn’t know anything about it. It was buried with Christ in hell. At the same moment we believe in His sacrifice for us we are joined to Jesus Christ. He came because he was man, but yet He was the express image of God. The power of who God is was Jesus. He was Emmanuel, God with us. He purged us of our sin and took it off the earth burying it for eternity.
Jesus’ soul with His dead accursed spirit, our sin, remembered the Word of God by faith. Jesus knew His Father in heaven would receive Him again unto Himself. The Word had promised a redeemer, and He knew He was that redeemer. He did His job by faith. It was finished, and He knew by faith that God would resurrect Him. He was the first person to be born again. He received a brand new spirit, the Spirit of God. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us. If sin had not been purged and contained, and a new Spirit given, there would be no hope for us. Without this work of faith we could not be born again.
We are born of the very nature of God. In Him now there is no sin. The revelation of the inheritance that was wrought for us by the death and resurrection of Christ, is the power that makes us overcomers. For us to be sin-conscious, is for us to forget the love and mercies that God bestowed on us as joint heirs of Christ. Our spirit is now a blessed one. Our dead accursed spirit is forever contained in hell.
The spirit is either a blessing or a cursing. God said He created both blessing and cursing. As the Word of God goes forth and creates good, it is a blessing. God curses what is contrary to that blessing. Both blessing and cursing are spirit and therefore eternal. Jesus felt the anguish and extreme suffering of hell so we might be spared. Jesus knew when He gave His Spirit up by faith he would receive it back. Having regained His life He gave it to us who believe. Being joined instantly by faith we exchange our dead spirit for His live Spirit without our souls having to experience the torment of hell. Our souls have been saved, and spared this judgement.
Hebrews 1:4 ¶ Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
Jesus physically took the Devil and brought him down to nothing. He made the Devil’s power zero. He literally beat the Devil up. Jesus spoke truthfully when He said to the Devil "You have nothing in me". Then the Spirit of God touched Him after He had been purged of all sin, and raised Him from the dead. Jesus walked among us, lived with us and spoke unto us saying, "Receive ye the Holy Spirit". The blessing, the presence of God, the power of life was again breathed on this earth. His Word of blessing goes forward and begins to take the inheritance. The nations are coming to Him. All men want the power that God has to give by His Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit unhindered, unconfused, now multiplied, the absolute motivation to creative blessing is restored. Jesus speaks for God blessing to all who come in faith to receive.
Hebrews 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. 7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
All of the angels stood amazed at this man who boldly came to the throne of God. He was dirty and bloodied and not at all in size or strength as they. He came to the throne of God, after having beaten the Devil and God turned to Him and said ¶ Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre Psalm 45:6
God said, "You are my heir and my Son. I am your God and you are God with all absolute authority and power" and at that moment the connection was made. The cycle was complete as He took Jesus back to Himself. Having lost His Son, because He gave him, His Son was given back to Him.
God started the law of reciprocity by giving his son, so that He might be restored back to Him. And,, by doing so, He received back many sons. God exalted His Son, and gave Him back His inheritance. All things in heaven, in the earth, and under the earth came under the control of one living Spirit in the body of a man. And it says they worshiped Him in Revelation 5:11 "They worship the lamb of glory".
He did what we could not do. In all our battles with the Devil, what we could not do, He did. He made him for a time it says in Hebrews 2:6-7, a little lower than the angels. What is man that thou art mindful of him. A man stands in heaven possessing the throne of God. God has a new permanent dwelling and His name is Jesus.
John saw Jesus, His eyes are as fire, His hair white as God’ purity, and His body glows with the presence of the fullness of God. All that God is shines from this man Jesus for He is the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He did it by power and authority, by reason of inheritance, by means of the Word of God! An army of God was delegated at that moment to serve Him and minister unto Him… the Son of God.
You have to see, to know that at that same moment in eternity we are a part of that. You have that authority. This is the gospel that we preach. This is the message spoken by His son. We are alive in him. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, quickens, gives life, to our mortal bodies. Born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God. We have all things in Him and through him.
By April Helminiak
Before God created the world, He had predestined Jesus to die and resurrect. He knew exactly what He was doing and nothing was by mistake. In my own little world, I can look at what is around me and say, "How did this happen?" I could be completely blindsided by the chaos I created, but I choose to learn of my Savior.
In the process of raising my four children, all 8 and under, I have learned how to think things through before doing them. If I said to my children what comes to my mind, they would probably all need serious therapy. However, this chaos I call my life, I created. If I thought about having four children, and all that comes along with that, I never would have made that choice. As God would have it each one of my children are a special blessing. I call it an honor that God has chosen me to raise up for Him this precious little family. By no means is it easy, but it is well worth it. God knows exactly how much to give me and when. I tend to bite off more than I can chew sometimes, but God does not give me more than I can handle.
It can be so difficult at times to understand that God does have a purpose. Our lives are not by accident. We have a very meaningful, distinct purpose. A God that knows the number of hairs on our head, did not make a mistake in calling us. In the Bible God did not say, "Sorry, I made a mistake. You were never supposed to be born".
God predestined Christ to die and resurrect for me on that third day. He had a very special purpose for His life. Jesus was created to be our Redeemer. God knew before the foundation of the earth that Christ would live, be crucified, and then live again. And I’m thankful for that. It shows me God has a specific purpose for each person He created.
I’ve had times where I thought my life was a mistake or that I had made such a mess out of it that not even God could fix it. I stand in awe that He loves us so much that not only did He send Christ to die for me, but He maintains my life. I can turn to Him and say, "Abba Father, please help me" knowing He has already sent His angels to do His Word. He knows us inside and out. He knows our will, our emotions, and our chaotic lives. Even in the midst of our confusion, He loves and cares for us.
He sent Christ to be our salvation. Yet we forget why. He did not send Christ because we needed a friend. He sent Christ because we needed a Savior. God calls us righteous, holy, and redeemed. I am not one to call God a liar. If He calls me for a purpose, I will fulfill that purpose through Christ. I do not have to trust in my own understanding or ability. God gave life to me perfectly. There are no works necessary to improve us, only faith to receive His perfect work. I am a completed work in Christ. Knowing that my feet are planted on the solid foundation of Christ is all I need to know. It is for all men to live, die, and be judged. I know I will be judged righteous not by my works, or good deeds, but by the Blood of Jesus Christ.
So, instead of trying to do things myself, I submit my will to God’s and watch the awesome hand of God Almighty perfect that which concerns me, and define my life by His Will.
Because Christ Lives I Live A Resurrected Life
Sherry RC Vandermay
By the revelation of the resurrection of Christ I have learned through life’s lessons a more perfect interpretation of His resurrection in my life. The dictionary defines resurrect as: "Revive the practice, use, or memory of; bring back, reintroduce, restore, renew, and reawaken." Through this definition I can better relate to what God has done in my life. As it says in 1Peter 4:3 I had spent much of my past life walking in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. This verse sums up a good part of my life.
I had accepted Jesus into my heart at the age of eight, loving to go to church, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. I had no real understanding of what had happened to me yet I was not afraid. I believe the simplicity of a child provides a natural flow for God to make known His true Spirit.
I remember having impure thoughts as a child and was very afraid. I believed I would grow up and not be what God had wanted me to be. I think that’s why I ran to the altar every single time there was a call to repentance. I held in my secret fears allowing them to take hold of my emotions. I felt so bad and far away from Jesus.
Teenage years came and the evil thoughts assaulting my mind caused me much torment and shame. The isolation I felt kept me from reaching out for help in fear of what people would think of me. Because I had no real knowledge of the Bible I didn’t realize this was just a religious attack from Satan, the father of ALL lies. He caused me to take these thoughts, thinking they were mine.
By the time I was sixteen I lost all sight of hope. "Could my life ever change?" I hated myself and everything around me with a passion. It hurt me and I couldn’t control it. I had stopped going to church. I was alone.
A few months later the desperation was so intense I attempted to take my life. I was presumed dead. I had no pulse, I was not breathing, and I felt the life draining out of my body. Gods grace, mercy and love reached out and gave my life back. I had truly been resurrected from the dead.
I was absolutely not happy to be alive, but God was working in my life. I allowed the Lord to touch the big things in my life but felt no need of Him when things were going well. Still ignorant of the true benefits of Salvation and Christ’s full payment for my sin, the death wish continued to dominate my life.
On New Year’s Eve 1992, I was alone and God began to playback my past life. I saw the destructive path my life was on. I was consumed with grief and brokenness as I cried out to God. "Lord, I can’t go on like this, all of my choices have left me so empty and useless. My life is yours, help me in every area of my life, and if you have a mate for me you are going to have to let me know without a shadow of a doubt that he is your choice."
Immediately tested, my flesh started to waiver toward old habits. Praise the Lord! He did not waiver. God’s faithfulness and love, reawakened my memory of my New Year’s Eve plea. I felt a quickening in my Spirit and a respectful fear for God enabling me to resist the temptations. I did resist!
Confusion made my way unclear as I began my search for the truth of God’s will for my life. God then brought a wonderful woman into my life who introduced me to Amazing Grace Community Church. I believed in God, had Jesus in my heart, and was actively reading my Bible; that’s all I needed! Despite these feelings I found myself attending services. Though sporadically, every time I showed up, the word of God ministered to me loud and clear.
As I began consistently attending, I started to see that God intended abundant blessings to shower me as I chose to walk daily with Him. I was able to receive the revelation of Gods grace. My heavenly Father simply wanted me to rest and receive for free, the perfect work His son Jesus had performed on my behalf. Not I but Christ in me, it is truly that resurrected life that abides in me bringing newness of life daily.
God answered my prayer. He brought to me a mate picked by His hand. Pete and I were married. The "honeymoon" was over as real life handed us trials and tribulations with a vengeance. If Christ had not been at the center of our marriage the winds of adversity would have destroyed it. Pete and I served the Lord and prayed together daily, renewing our mind by the word of God. God’s grace flooded our marriage with joy, peace, and love. We experienced the resurrected life.
I was utterly unprepared for what came next. Death ripped Pete away pulling at my very breath. Lost in despair and bewilderment I cried out, "Oh God not now! Why now? Why? Pete has children who need him. Take me; I‘ve seen your glory Lord. Is this just a bad nightmare? Will I wake up and Pete be alive? Could we just go home and resume our life." In my state of shock the enemy took the advantage, was Peter’s death my fault? Did I do enough CPR? Did I do it wrong? Did I say the rights words?
Every fiber of my being was totally consumed with pain. My heart ached, my chest was heavy, and my breathing was shallow. I had no feeling physically. All I wanted was to die. I would have to go back home alone, to face the children without their Father The dormant death wish rekindled itself with ferocity. I was a walking dead man, lost in pain, begging and pleading with God to take me home.
For the next couple of years following Pete’s death I endured the fiercest battle for my life. I didn’t care, I didn’t have a desire to live. I believed God loved Pete more than me. I too was buried in wanting things to be as they were!
If we didn’t have the Holy Spirit as our comforter, feeling the full impact of death we would in fact, die ourselves. Death is bigger than us all. God gives us a grieving period that comes in waves, but only as we are able to handle each situation.
I had no ability to discern the truth from a lie. God supernaturally caused me to keep showing up to church services three times a week even when every fiber of my being was screaming lie down and die. The uncompromised preaching of the cross was the power of God unto the Salvation of my soul. John 8:31-32 God says if you continue in my word, you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
It has only been recently that the eyes of my heart have been opened to see that though I could not understand the timing of Pete’s death, God knew. I can now see clearly the areas I had been deceived. The devil tried to use my husband’s death, and my grieving, to destroy me, and separate me from fellowship. I was afraid I’d always have a cynical heart and mind.
My Life is for living! Not living it dishonors Pete’s memory and, even more, dishonors God’s life in me. My heart has found joy again and I can laugh without feeling guilty. A resurrected life is not just a one-time shot it, is dying daily to self to receive the resurrected life of Jesus Christ. I have a resurrected life. I choose daily to be infused and empowered with the word of God who carries me past forgetfulness, into what really matters. Jesus!.
I have walked through the valley of death and through the fire, and the only reason I have not been consumed is Jesus. I live because Christ lives in me through the power of His resurrection.
I get in trouble if I get away from the preaching of the cross. God’s ways are higher and more excellent then our ways. His order and standard keeps us safe. In surrendering to God’s will He has brought me the best. He wants us to have life more abundantly. Pete was such a precious gift from God, my life was forever changed. I press toward the mark of the high calling in Christ. I thank God for never giving up on me. I give special thanks to God for many prayers of encouragement and help through my grieving process from my family in Christ. Continue in prayer never ceasing.
It is the resurrected life of Christ that is real in your lives that helped me find mine.
What do you choose this day? Life or Death, Blessing or Cursing? We have this same choice every moment of everyday of our lives. Because Christ lives I live a Resurrected and Blessed Life.
TWO IMPORTANT QUESTIONS:
· Is there any reason you would not be willing to receive Gods gift of eternal life?
·Are you willing to turn from your sin and place your faith in Jesus right now?
The Bible says, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13).
You need to ask the Lord Jesus to save you. Read this prayer and see if it says what you want to say to God.
Dear God, I know that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross and was
raised from the dead. I know I have sinned and need forgiveness. I am willing to turn from
my sins and receive Jesus as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for saving me.
In Jesus name. Amen.
Call on the Lord in repentance, faith, and surrender, using these or similar words of your own; and Jesus will become your Savior and Lord.
Welcome to the family of God. If you sincerely prayed this prayer, you have just made the most important decision of your life. You can be sure you are saved and have eternal life.
Call us and let us know about your
decision today so we may send you more information.
Amazing Grace Ministries
Published by Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Publishing, Westchester. Illinois Distributed by Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Publishing, Westchester. Illinois Unless otherwise indicated all Scripture quotations are from the Authorized / King James Version (KJV) No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission except for brief quotation in books and critical reviews. For information write Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Inc.--198 Burnett St.--Yorkville, IL 60560--708/23-9901
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