Monday, August 27, 2012

Prophetic Evangelism

We love to put titles or descriptive words on events or circumstances we endeavor in. There is nothing wrong with it until we start calling it Divine Truth. I want to submit a topic about Evangelism in this blog. I call it Prophetic Evangelism but you will not see these words arranged in the bible. However, I do feel you can see the process and performance of prophetic evangelism very clearly. So what is P.E.( Prophetic Evangelism for short.)? P.E. is simply the means of reaching out to the lost through a more led by the Spirit mentality.  There are many different types of evangelism but I feel P.E. is the most effective in today's world for the INDIVIDUAL BELIEVER.

Types of Evangelism ( Note: I am not saying these are bad or ungodly. I have personally used each type in my life.)

1. Event Evangelism: A church holds a revival, tent revival, or special open air meeting for the sole purpose of evangelism.
2. Outreach Evangelism: This is where a special need is provided for the community and people come to the church or mutual place.
3. One on One Evangelism: A believer simply witnesses to a friend, relative, or acquaintance the gospel.
4. Door to Door Evangelism: A group of believers blanket an area ( Usually an apartment complex) by going door to door within that community.
5. Acts of Kindness Evangelism: A group of believers go to an area and simply perform acts of kindness for willing hearts.
6. Street Evangelism: You guessed it! Some believers minister to passer-byes on a street side walk or local park.
7. Prophetic Evangelism: This is where an individual or group of believers have visions, dreams,  and Spirit's leading to a person or group of people for the sole purpose of evangelism.

I am not saying all the above besides P.E. are not spirit-led. If a church or group of believers feel led of the Lord to do any of these types of Evangelism then do them. However, ensure it is Holy Spirit's timing and purpose for that moment. I have done events just because I knew I needed to reach out or I wanted to grow my church. This is the wrong mentality to have. Unfortunately, it is the pressured mentality of the American Church. I'll save that topic for another blog.

All the above types of Evangelism are great ways to spread the word of God. God uses each one as directed by His Spirit. I wanted to focus on Prophetic Evangelism and how it works.

There are examples that we can glean from in God's word.

1. John 4 ( Jesus prophesied and was led of the spirit to the woman at the well)
2. Acts 10 ( Peter sees a vision and brings Holy Spirit to the gentiles)
3. Acts 14:7-11 ( Paul listens to Holy Spirit and see a person getting healed. The healing opens the door for ministry.)
4. Acts 16:6-11 ( Paul sees a vision of a Macedonian and is asked to come preach the gospel there. Holy Spirit leads him to that place but prevents him from going into Asia.)

There are many more examples and the above are great ones but I wanted to glean some insights from Philip's experience in Acts 8.

Acts 8:26-40  But an angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza: the same is desert.  (27)  And he arose and went: and behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was over all her treasure, who had come to Jerusalem to worship;  (28)  and he was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah.  (29)  And the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.  (30)  And Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?  (31)  And he said, How can I, except some one shall guide me? And he besought Philip to come up and sit with him.  (32)  Now the passage of the Scripture which he was reading was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before his shearer is dumb, So he openeth not his mouth:  (33)  In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: His generation who shall declare? For his life is taken from the earth.  (34)  And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other?  (35)  And Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture, preached unto him Jesus.  (36)  And as they went on the way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch saith, Behold, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?  (37)  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  (38)  And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.  (39)  And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more, for he went on his way rejoicing.  (40)  But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached the gospel to all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

Philip was prophetically given the direction for his next assignment. He follows Holy Spirit's lead and comes upon a Eunuch from Ethiopia. Next Holy Spirit tells Philip to go near to the Eunuch's chariot and join it. Finally Holy Spirit opens the mouth of Philip and uses him to preach the gospel to the Eunuch from Ethiopia.

Prophetic Evangelism allows the individual to tap into the Spirit voice of God and hear from heaven his or hers assignment. The good news is that you don't have to be a prophet or have a gift of prophesy to prophetically evangelize. It is for every believer. Philip was not a prophet, as in terms of an office, he was an evangelist and a deacon at his local church.

Recently, I tagged along with some folks ,from the church I currently attend, as they ventured out on an evangelist outreach. We were going to go to apartment complexes and give some lucky folks some gift cards. It was an act of Kindness Evangelistic outreach. Before we went, we had a time of prayer. During the time of prayer I kept seeing a vision of a Spanish family. I saw the dad with his facial hair, the mom sitting on the couch, and three children running around. The Lord spoke to me and said that we would give a gift card to them because they need it. It would be a testimony to them of his provision. Before we left to go on our adventure,  I tell my team mate about my vision. He in turn tells me about his vision of seeing a black woman with a grey shirt on. He really felt like God wanted to love on her. So with shared visions out in the open, we head off to our destinations. We ride around listening to Holy Spirit and stop at one of the Apartment complexes. We walk in and go up stairs. We knock on apartment door 6 but no answer. I sensed Holy Spirit telling me not this one. We go to apartment number 7 and my spirit begins to leap. I told my partner. " This is the Spanish family. This is the one!" We knocked on the door ,and it was just as I had saw in my vision. We ministered to the family in our broken Spanish and gave them the gift card. They were excited and taken back by our act of kindness. We let them know that Jesus loved them and turned and walked away.  Next we went to some other Apartments and houses. We ministered and prayed with a few, but we did not see the black woman in the grey shirt. We felt like she would be near the Price Chopper shopping area in Grandview. We drive into the parking lot where the Dollar store resides. A older gentlemen was in the parking lot with the hood of his car up and appeared to have car trouble. I felt compelled to stop and asked if he needed help. He said "yes" and I pulled around, pulled out my jumper cables, and tried to get his car cranked. As we were standing there waiting to see if the transference of battery energy would carry over to gentleman's battery; I saw the black woman in a grey shirt walking on a side walk with her children. I motioned my partner in crime and told him, " There is the woman in the vision you saw." He looks and slowly walks in her direction. He comes back minutes later sharing what God had done.  This was truly a great day! I could give you countless stories of this happening in my life. Maybe you don't like the phrase " Prophetic Evangelism." That is fine call it whatever you want, but the key is listening to Holy Spirit.

Too many Christians share the gospel without Holy Spirit's involvement. The commandment to go into all the world was given prior to wait until the promise has come upon you. The disciples did not go into all the world until the promise came upon them. Jesus knew they would need the power and direction of Holy Spirit to spread the message around the world. We need Holy Spirit more and more even today. Leaving tracks on public toilet seats , preaching the gospel to any thing that oves in your eye's view, and telling people to stop cussing around you are not ideal types of evangelism. Evangelizing without the leading of Holy Spirit is like casting your pearls before the swine. The message falls on deaf ears and is trampled upon. For me, I feel the call to protect the message and not just let it float out without Holy Spirit's direction.  I have not always been that way mind you, but it is through my many past mistakes I can share this truth with you today.

Prophetic evangelism is a precision way to evangelize. I call it the sniper shooting of evangelism. You get in shoot the target who was prior given to you and you get out. It is much cleaner and  you find yourself simply being the spectator as Holy Spirit takes over. It is a beautiful thing! God has called us all to this form of reaching out.  We all have the ability to connect with Holy Spirit then in turn share the message with others. How can people come unless Holy Spirit draws them anyway? Salvation cannot happen without Him. So how does one Prophetically evangelize? Let me give you some simple truths. Please write me if you have questions or would like to know more about this topic.

Prophetic Evangelism:

1. Be open to the Holy Spirit.  ( You have to have a relationship with the Spirit of God in order to hear from Him. )
2. Don't be afraid to get it wrong. (  Many believers are afraid to reach out because they are afraid of being wrong. You know what? Sometimes you are going to be wrong. We are human ; it happens. We mistaken the voice of God sometimes with the voice of the bean burrito we had the night before. It happens. Learn from it and continue to trust God. )
3. Don't focus on trying to get a vision, dream, or some word in your thoughts just trust in Holy Spirit to reveal when the time is write.
4. Don't go straight to the first place you see. Drive around and listen to Holy Spirit.
5. Be open to go any where even to a laundry mat or local store.
6. When you discover your target just don't run up to him or her. Cautiously approach and wait on Holy Spirit for the words to speak.
7. Know when you are done with your  present assignment and be prepared to be taken to your next. ( Many Christians don't know when to shut up.  I have a relative that is that way, and it turns people off and can ruin what Holy Spirit is trying to do. Simply conclude the conversation when Holy Spirit has concluded. )
8. Understand that P.E. is also the revealing of the person's heart. Holy Spirit will give you things to speak to the individual that you had no way of knowing about. Remember the Story of the Woman at the Well with Jesus. He told her things that only she would know. 

Once again, I hope this has helped you in some way. Get out and share you faith. Don't be afraid to let people know about our Savior. Be led by Holy Spirit. Trust that he will guide you and give you the words to say. Once again, I wanted to say that all the other forms of Evangelism are just as great as prophetic evangelism but the key is listening to Holy Spirit's direction. Make sure that Holy Spirit is guiding you to each event and assignment. A true farmer and harvester of souls knows how to plant seed and harvest a crop.  The bible says that " He who wins souls is wise..." Prophetic Evangelism is  a keen way to be wise in our efforts to spread the Gospel.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Having a Damascus road experience

There is a growing need for many to turn their hearts to Christ. Our government officials, bosses at work, co-workers,family members, friends, and the world in general desperately needs a Damascus road experience. How can this happen in our day and hour? How can the gospel reach the world's richest and the world's poorest? What about those living in areas of the world where the gospel is outlawed? How can the people of those regions hear the message of Christ? My heart is burdened this morning for the lost and for the world. I am crying out to the Father for them even now , and I believe we all should as believers. Holy Spirit can do anything. These unreached areas can see a Damascus road intervention if we simply pray and have the faith that moves the mountains.

Acts 9:1-2  Saul kept threatening to murder the Lord's disciples. He went to the chief priest  (2)  and asked him to write letters of authorization to the synagogue leaders in the city of Damascus. Saul wanted to arrest any man or woman who followed the way of Christ and imprison them in Jerusalem.

Paul or Saul at the time hated the disciples of Jesus. He believed they posed a threat to his present day theology. These messiah followers were causing havoc with their Jesus talk. When thousands of people are leaving your faith to follow another something has to be wrong. Understand that it was not an easy task to become a Christian. If a person came to Christ, they were giving up their present identity with the Jewish Synagogue. They were giving up the family worshiping of idols, and were threaten to be ostracized from their families as a whole. However, thousands were coming to Christ no matter the cost. A revolution was taking place, and the flames of freedom were not dying down. Paul saw this as a major threat and was going to stop it with every fiber in his being. He was known throughout the region as the hater of Christ and his followers, but that was about to change. While on the rugged road to Damascus, Paul has an enlightening experience. His life would be forever more changed.

Acts 9:3-9  As Saul was coming near the city of Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him.  (4)  He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?"  (5)  Saul asked, "Who are you, sir?" The person replied, "I'm Jesus, the one you're persecuting.  (6)  Get up! Go into the city, and you'll be told what you should do."  (7)  Meanwhile, the men traveling with him were speechless. They heard the voice but didn't see anyone.  (8)  Saul was helped up from the ground. When he opened his eyes, he was blind. So his companions led him into Damascus.  (9)  For three days he couldn't see and didn't eat or drink.

Paul had a Jesus experience that much of the world needs today. Holy Spirit is convicting hearts. He is doing His part and purpose. As believers, what part are we doing? Paul was blinded by the light of Christ and brought down a couple of notches. He was brought to the true path of hope. He believed he was in the right but soon found out different. Paul goes on to become one of the world's greatest Missionaries/Apostles. His work, through Christ, paved the way for you and I to become a part of this great faith known as Christianity.

Christ is moving all across this world and is calling hearts to Him. He needs you and I to be his hands, feet, lips, and voice to the nations. Will we be an Ananias to the worse of converts? Will we bring the message to the empty hearted? What about the people in our families, jobs,and governments?  Will we believe God for a Damascus Road Experience for them? Are we willing to step in and make a difference? It is our calling. It is our destiny.We can't sit around in our nice coffee shops and talk about the Father's love but never show it. We can't just go to our Christian conferences and get spiritually fat and never pour out to the lost. If we do then our faith is shallow and meaningless.

Acts 9:10-22  A disciple named Ananias lived in the city of Damascus. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias!" Ananias answered, "Yes, Lord."  (11)  The Lord told him, "Get up! Go to Judas' house on Straight Street, and ask for a man named Saul from the city of Tarsus. He's praying.  (12)  In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias place his hands on him to restore his sight."  (13)  Ananias replied, "Lord, I've heard a lot of people tell about the many evil things this man has done to your people in Jerusalem.  (14)  Saul has come here to Damascus with authority from the chief priests to put anyone who calls on your name in prison."  (15)  The Lord told Ananias, "Go! I've chosen this man to bring my name to nations, to kings, and to the people of Israel.  (16)  I'll show him how much he has to suffer for the sake of my name."  (17)  Ananias left and entered Judas' house. After he placed his hands on Saul, Ananias said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way to Damascus, sent me to you. He wants you to see again and to be filled with the Holy Spirit."  (18)  Immediately, something like fish scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. Then Saul stood up and was baptized.  (19)  After he had something to eat, his strength came back to him. Saul was with the disciples in the city of Damascus for several days.  (20)  He immediately began to spread the word in their synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God.  (21)  Everyone who heard him was amazed. They asked, "Isn't this the man who destroyed those who worshiped the one named Jesus in Jerusalem? Didn't he come here to take these worshipers as prisoners to the chief priests in Jerusalem?"  (22)  Saul grew more powerful, and he confused the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah.

Ananias was afraid to minister to Paul, but Ananias had something that most Christians don't have today. OBEDIENCE! He was obedient to the voice of God because of his relationship with Christ. He knew Jesus and Jesus knew him. If it was not for Ananias there would have never been a Paul who would reach the nations. We all have a purpose in the body of Christ. Ananias' sacrifice changed the course of history for all mankind. Do you believe that your actions can do the same? Do you believe that your actions are just as important enough to change the course of history? I believe so. I believe our actions good or bad can change the interactions of human existence. Sit back and do nothing then history takes a drastic detour. Stand up and wave into the streams of godly intervention and history could be changed for the better. I am foolish enough to believe that my life can make a difference. I am foolish enough to believe that life is not all about MEEEEEEEEEE! The world you live in needs you. It needs your faith and integrity. It needs your honesty and passion for Christ. It needs your resolve and your knowledge for the truth. Today's social issues could go a different direction if you and I share our Damascus Road Experiences with the masses. It will change if we are open to lay our hands on the blind Pauls and see God change their lives for the better. The Damascus Road Experience is useless unless we take it to the world. The bible says Paul began to preach the message immediately after his conversion and healing experience. The baton has been passed onto us. What are we going to do with it? Are we going to take it to our coffee shop discussions and disperse our religious reiterate out to each other? Or are we going to run with it and pass it on to the next generation? The choice is yours. For me, I am going to run until I die........

Friday, August 17, 2012

Holy Head Butt Batman!

" Holy Head Butt Batman!" What is going on with the world today? I was in South America a few weeks ago, and I felt more safe there than I did in my own country.  Over the past few weeks in America, we have had a Joker impersonator kill innocent people in a movie theater. A white supremacist kills some innocent Sikhs at their temple and a gay activists tries to shoot up some people in Washington , DC while having 15 Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in his back pack, " Holy Head Butt Batman!"  What is wrong with the world?

Many have become like the Muslim extremists of our day. " If you don't agree with me, I'll kill you infidel!" This seems to be the mentality of many. Some can make a statement about their personal beliefs and the more evolved ( As they see it.) get up set and make a big stink about it and possibly cause some wacko nut job to go off the deep in and try to O.K. Corral innocent people at high noon.
( I know , I know this last sentence probably just slaughtered the English language ,and now I am on probation by the Grammar police.)

Everyone is trying to make sure their rights are not infringed while stepping on or in some cases doing away with other people's rights. " If you don't agree with me then I will shut you up or I will make you pay."  Many act like toddlers on a playground impatiently waiting for their turn at the swing.( I will push you off because I am tired of waiting, so take that.) We have allowed this infantile behavior to carry on for too long in our American culture. It is time to take it back! ( Sorry got carried away there. I have been watching too many political commercials. Please resume to your normal reading. It will not happen again.)

What is wrong with us? Answer: Many are making an Exodus from biblical truth and turning to worldly secularism as their new truth. You see truth ,for some, can be fabricated to fit the desired outcome. It happens in the world and the church all the time.

It happens in the church:

Today while my family and I were in Topeka, Kansas. There were some " Christians" ( I use the quotations for a purpose.) holding up signs on the side of the road.  The signs had some pretty graphic sayings on them in my opinion. Ones that are untrue and not something God would say.  These  
" Christians" are the ones who protest funerals of soldiers and other groups of people they don't like.  They are telling the world that God hates them which is further from the truth.  God hates the sin that is destroying the people of the world, but He would never hate THEM. He gave HIS son for THEM.

Romans 5:8  Christ died for us while we were still sinners. This demonstrates God's love for us.

We have people all the time misquoting and misrepresenting God. Some do it ignorantly and some do it with full knowledge of their actions. For some if you don't agree with them then it is OFF WITH YOUR HEAD! It is like a bad reenactment of an Alice and Wonderland movie. Loved ones this should not be.

Believers should strive to be at peace with all people in the world regardless if they follow our faith or not. It is a true sign that our faith is real. If I have to disown you, put you down, strike out at you, kill you, stone you, or give you the silent treatment because you don't believe what I believe then my faith, then my beliefs are shallow. They would be like a Polar bear balancing on a yoga ball. It will come crashing down eventually. I might disagree with your beliefs but that is not going to stop me from being Jesus to you.

Hebrews 12:14-29  Try to live peacefully with everyone, and try to live holy lives, because if you don't, you will not see the Lord.  (15)  Make sure that everyone has kindness from God so that bitterness doesn't take root and grow up to cause trouble that corrupts many of you. 

It happens in the World:

I know why the world does it. I know why the world lashes out at believers who are trying to uphold the values of Christ's teachings. It is because of the spirit of the Antichrist. That spirit hates the things of Christ, and it is filling many hearts today. Blinding them from the truth and turning them deeper into their sin.

John 15:18-27  "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me before it hated you.  (19)  If you had anything in common with the world, the world would love you as one of its own. But you don't have anything in common with the world. I chose you from the world, and that's why the world hates you.  (20)  Remember what I told you: 'A servant isn't greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they did what I said, they will also do what you say.  (21)  Indeed, they will do all this to you because you are committed to me, since they don't know the one who sent me.  (22)  If I hadn't come and spoken to them, they wouldn't have any sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin.  (23)  The person who hates me also hates my Father.  (24)  If I hadn't done among them what no one else has done, they wouldn't have any sin. But now they have seen and hated both me and my Father.  (25)  In this way what is written in their Scriptures has come true: 'They hate me for no reason.'  (26)  "The helper whom I will send to you from the Father will come. This helper, the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, will declare the truth about me.  (27)  You will declare the truth, too, because you have been with me from the beginning."

The world strikes out at us because they hate the Jesus in us and his teachings. Plain and simple! Let's not candy coat it or live in a world of marshmallow houses. Jesus said it right. " If you have anything in common with the world, the world would love you...." It is because we don't the world hates the message we have to speak. I am OK with that.  I know who wins in the end. I know who holds the keys to heaven. I know the one whose voice carries across a thousand hills. I know the keeper of the faith and the word. I know the one who sits on His throne ,and who waits patiently for the midnight cry. COME ON WORLD DO YOUR WORST!!!! ( Stella! Stella!  Sorry I just saw a street car named desire drive by)  If people want to hate you then let them. Just serve Jesus. Just be Jesus right back to them. Don't compromise His Faith. Don't compromise His teachings. Stand up for the truth no matter what while trying to have peace with all men. Sometimes you will not be able to agree with them but the peace of God can be upon you even while they are striking out at you. Sometimes you will be the odd man out like mute in a yodeling contest. It's OK. Really everything will be OK.

Holy Head Butt Batman!

  • Don't let the awful things taking place in the world stop you from being Jesus to those in need. 
  • Don't let the world's system of beliefs corrupt the beliefs of Christ like a drop a vinegar juice falling on your favorite food. It makes the whole thing taste nasty. YUCK!!!!!
  • Don't let pride or fear overtake you like a monkey with a bungee chord. The results could be disastrous. Definitely if the monkey starts throwing his own poo.
  • Don't let guilt or the condemnation from others stop you from sharing the message of Christ to the world.  
  • Don't let the hate from others penetrate your Holy Ghost anointed armor. If they hate don't retaliate.( Look mommy I rhymeddddddd.)
  • Do listen to all people regardless if they agree with you are not. Don't become like Ackman the dead terrorists "I'll Kill you." (Be more like Doctor Phil and always take the woman's side. Just kidding. I had to put a filler in here somewhere. )
  • Do show the love of Christ to all people but viciously hunt down sin  like Elmer Fudd looking for his Wwwwabbit.
  • Do strive to be at peace with all men regardless of individual beliefs without compromising HIS Message.
  • Do feel confident in who you are in Christ and study His word everyday. 
  • Do pray for His kingdom come and His will be done.
Holy Head Butt Batman! I have finished my soap box, and I am now stepping down. Back away from the box little man, back away.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Deeper Dive

Philippians 3:7-10  These things that I once considered valuable, I now consider worthless for Christ.  (8)  It's far more than that! I consider everything else worthless because I'm much better off knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. It's because of him that I think of everything as worthless. I threw it all away in order to gain Christ  (9)  and to have a relationship with him. This means that I didn't receive God's approval by obeying his laws. The opposite is true! I have God's approval through faith in Christ. This is the approval that comes from God and is based on faith  (10)  that knows Christ. Faith knows the power that his coming back to life gives and what it means to share his suffering. In this way I'm becoming like him in his death,

A few months ago, I was able to participate in a leadership training course through my job. It was part of the program that I was chosen to be in. They called the Class Deep Dive , and we were to discuss the meanings behind our Birkman Leadership assessment. It was very detailed and left the participates with a greater knowledge of what makes them tick as leaders.

Apostle Paul was giving a detailed look of what makes him tick as a believer. He was encouraging the followers to go deeper into the life with Christ. Paul revealed his personal revelations in his person walk with Christ.

What was valued before no longer sparkled. When one stands in the presence of the Lord; nothing else seems to matter. All the appendages of life seem to fall off and the true priceless trinket is revealed.Once the treasure of all treasures is discovered everything else seems worthless in comparison. Paul's greatest accomplishment in life was not his 4 missionary journeys or his countless encounters with believers; it was finding approval from God through his faith in Jesus Christ.

Going deeper in God means allowing the things of this present world to disappear from your mind of importance and truly connecting with the one true God.Nothing else matters. Nothing else is more priceless. Our relationship with the Lord is priceless and out of that relationship flows rivers of life for others to drink from. When we dive deeper in the Lord; we discover the baggage which needs to leave. There is nothing more liberating than going deeper into the presence of the Lord.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Where are the Barnabases?

Acts 9:26-28  After Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples. But everyone was afraid of him. They wouldn't believe that he was a disciple.  (27)  Then Barnabas took an interest in Saul and brought him to the apostles. Barnabas told the apostles how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and that the Lord had spoken to him. Barnabas also told them how boldly Saul had spoken about the one named Jesus in the city of Damascus.  (28)  Then Saul went throughout Jerusalem with the disciples. He spoke boldly with the power and authority of the Lord.

Paul had been converted and started to preach Jesus to the people in Damascus. He started seeing people come to the knowledge of Christ and many became his pupils. The local Jews, who hated the message, tried to kill Paul. Paul was warned and his disciples helped him escape Damascus by lowering him down the side of the wall. Paul came to Jerusalem to join the apostles there, but they would not let him. They feared he was just another Pharisee spy pretending to be a convert in order to get into their camp. Barnabas took an interest or he saw the gift of God in him. Barnabas took Paul before the Apostolic committees and declared Paul's true conversion. Barnabas became Paul's mentor and surrogate in the ministry.


Where are the men and women of God today who have the same passion and insight that Barnabas had? If it was not for Barnabas, Paul would have never reached the world like he did. Paul would have never preached the gospel to the Emperor of Rome. Barnabas helped Paul reach the ministry goals God had called him too.  We need men and women like that today.

I get frustrated at times. All my Christian life I have been under the command of selfish ministers who could only see the benefit of their own ministry than to help others in theirs. They forget that the work of the Lord is the Lord's not theirs. They would want me to follow them only to make their ministry better instead of training a young leader for his future assignment. I have been harassed, put down, made fun of, and many other horrible things.  Today two of those leaders ended up cheating on their spouses and loosing everything.  The other leader is still pastoring HIS church, ( Emphasis for a reason.) but at what price? I will not judge.

When I started into the ministry of sorts, I told myself I would not be like these terrible men. I am grateful for their actions because it has made me a better man. God has allowed me to focus on helping others achieve their goals and callings even if it meant my personal calling was put on hold. I tried training them. I tried encouraging them. I tried helping them in their walk. Most of the time it was done without any credit to myself. That is not the point anyway correct?  Barnabas did not care about personal advancement. He cared more for the advancement of God's kingdom, and he knew that Paul played a role. I might never get any credit for those I have mentored in the past, present, and future but who cares. We must care more about the kingdom of God than our own personal empires or ministries. Barnabas cared more for Paul than he did himself. Paul learned from  his mentor's actions and poured them into others like Timothy and Titus.

God is calling, those who are older in the faith, to be a Barnabas to someone or someones. It is time we rise up and put aside our selfish ambitions. There are some future Pauls, Timothys, and Tituses out there who need rock solid men and women of God to mentor them in the faith. I did want to add that God had put two great men in my life ( We have moved on to separate ways today not due to correction just Holy Spirit leading.) who saw something in me. They did not have big ministries themselves and in most cases they were looked over too. However, God used them to make a difference in my life. ( My Youth pastor Ron Bolin and past mentor Glenn Barry) I am forever grateful to these great men. These two are the true Barnabases of the day.

So what can you do to become a Barnabas to a Paul?

1. Don't be so self-absorbed. 
2. Be open to the spirit. ( Like Samuel was led to David. Be led to the ones you are called to mentor.)
3. Look beyond the lump of clay. ( Sometimes the mentee looks like a lump of clay, and you wonder if they could ever become more. You have to see through the eyes of Christ not of men. )
4. Be willing to sacrifice your time.
5. Be willing to not always get noticed. ( Not everyone gets a Mr. Holland's Opus moment. Sometimes the actions you have done for others goes unnoticed, but that is ok. God sees all and never forgets.)
6. Keep your eye on the Kingdom. ( The Kingdom of God is all that matters. This is for HIM and only HIM. He is the reason why we spread His truth to the world.)
7.  Don't take up ownership ( The mentee and the ministry does not belong to you. It all belongs to the Lord. It is HIS!!!!!. Don't never forget this truth.)

Apostolic Foundations:

This was written on January 24, 2003. I wanted to share it again because I feel it has more of a bearing for today than ever before. Just recently, I was in South America and had the opportunity to help poor a foundation for a growing church. It was an all day event. I kept thinking about the foundations we must pour before we could build upon them. Jesus is the cornerstone. We must build from His truth. Nothing More and Nothing less.

Apostolic Foundations

1. How should a segment of the church be started?
 a. Jesus is the founder of THE CHURCH. It stands to reason that He must be the founder of all segments of the church. Many Denominations and Non-denominations were formed not in God’s Perfect will or design.

-          Jesus the Founder
·         Jesus gave His life for the Church and desired for it to be formed after His principles and truth.
Matthew 16:18
    And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

·         Jesus told the newly gathered church to tarry until the Power and organizer of the church would come.
·         The Holy Spirit would bring the church to a more organized state. The Holy Spirit would cause the church to form in the ways of Christ instead of the ways of men.
Acts 1:4-8
    And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. [5] For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. [6] When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? [7] And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. [8] But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

If Jesus would had just left without telling them to wait for the Holy Spirit, many would had formed the church based on miracles, healings, and the restoring of the Kingdom of Israel.

Yes, it was true that the Holy Spirit came and gave the gatherers dunmais or power from on high. However, power was not the foundation of the church it was the hammer to build with. If Jesus wanted the church to be founded on miracles and healings or tongues, He would not have taught the powerful teachings that He taught. Jesus also knew if the church was founded on miracles or signs of power. The church would not have survived when the miracles became less and not as frequent. Although many were saved during the first century of the Church, there was time where it dwindled.

Acts 6:1
    And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

The phrase “ in those days” leaves us with the understanding that there was a time of great growth for the church. Then the time of growth came to a stopping place for whatever reason.  It does not mean that people stopped giving their hearts to Christ. It just means there where not as many coming to Him. When a big harvest is reaped there must be a time of handling the harvest and ensuring that all of what was reaped remains.  This might be the meaning behind “ in those days”  The Lord was allowing the church to handle the new harvest. 

--Principles for founding a segment of the Church

1. The need for apostle, prophet, and teachers
  a. True foundations are laid by the Apostles and Prophets. Although the Apostles and Prophets of today do not lay new principles, they do take the principles and foundations of Scripture and apply it to each segment of the Church that they might govern in.

      1. Ephesians 2: 20 We are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.
21 We who believe are carefully joined together, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also joined together as part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
New Living Translation

   b. Each church should have apostolic input within it. Each church should have a prophetic voice bringing God’s inspiration to each believer. God uses the Apostles and Prophets as brick masons for each foundation of an individual church.  The Apostles and Prophets know exactly where the Cornerstone should be placed.

    c. Apostles, Prophets, and Teachers help govern the church in the right direction.

      1. I Corinthians 12: 28 Here is a list of some of the members that God has placed in the body of Christ:
First are apostles,
Second are prophets,
Third are teachers,
Then those who do miracles,
Those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others,
Those who can get others to work together,
Those who speak in unknown languages.
New Living Translation

2. There must be a Spirit leading.

  a. Many take the verses in Matthew 28 and simply run with it without hearing from the Spirit. Yes, we have been given a Great Commission to reach the world. However, those verses were in reference to the Church as a whole. It is too broad for one segment of the Body to fulfill. This is why each individual church must have a Spirit led purpose.
     1.  Be Spirit led.
       a. Romans 8:13-16
    For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. [14] For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. [15] For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. [16] The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

1 Cor. 2:10-11
    But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. [11] For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

Galatians 5:25
    If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

   2. Examples:
     a. Paul would not start a work in a certain region because the Lord told him no.
       1. Acts 16:6
    Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,

     b. Peter’s vision to expand the church to the Gentiles.
       1. Acts 10

3. There needs to be a releasing from the Presbytery.

  a. Acts 13: 1 Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called “the black man” ), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas ), and Saul. .2.One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work I have for them.” .3.So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way.
New Living Translation

   Timothy was chosen by Paul to come to the Philippians and establish the church in a greater way.
    b. Philippians 2: 19 If the Lord Jesus is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon. Then when he comes back, he can cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along.
20 I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare.
21 All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ. 22 But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has helped me in preaching the Good News. 23 I hope to send him to you just as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me here.
New Living Translation

4. The newly formed church needs to stand on all of the word not just certain parts.
   a. The Apostles declared that they had to continue in the ministry of the Word. Each principle and value had to be extracted in order for the Church to truly function. Also when apostolic teams went out, each team taught the fullness of the Word.
       1. Acts 6:2
    Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

Acts 6:4
    But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

Acts 6:7
    And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

Acts 8:4
    Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

b. If we start a work or church based on certain parts of the word, then that work will only partially function. If a church is started on the basis of prophecy, then that church’s vision and purpose will only be on the prophecy it speaks out. This can’t be! God has designed each church according to his purpose and governing properties.  If a church is just prophetic in nature, it would need to come under apostolic authority and join in fellowship with other churches. Other churches that express the pastor, evangelist, and teacher aspect of Jesus Christ would be needed to bring forth the fullness within that individual work.
c. Churches can not be founded on miracles, personal testimonies, speaking in tongues, Baptism of the Holy Spirit, salvation, water baptism, Jesus’ death, predestination, holiness, and so forth. Although all of these are truths found in God’s word, to start a work based on one these truths would be unbiblical. Miracles, speaking in tongues, prophecies, and baptisms will not always be needed in the church.
   1.  I Corinthians 13: 8 Love will last forever, but prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will all disappear. 9 Now we know only a little, and even the gift of prophecy reveals little! 10 But when the end comes, these special gifts will all disappear.
New Living Translation
    2. When we stand before the Lord as the Body of Christ, and we formed our individual works around one truth in God’s word. What will happen to us when that one truth, let’s say tongues, is done away with? There is a better way that the Lord has given us; when it comes to forming new works after His will.

5. Each church needs prophetic utterance spoken over it. The Prophetic words help set the work into place. It is God’s blessing over the work.  When you have those prophecies before you, it helps bring encouragement when going through tough times.

     a. 1 Tim. 1:18
    This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;

    b. Acts 11:20-30
    And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. [21] And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
    [22] Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. [23] Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. [24] For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. [25] Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: [26] And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
    [27] And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. [28] And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. [29] Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: [30] Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
    1. Baranabas was known as a prophet at the time. He came to Antioch and helped establish the work prophetically. He exhorted them all is a good proof of this statement.
                     2. Exhort comes from the Greek word  parakaleo, Greek 3870, Strong’s
parakaleo,  par-ak-al-eh'-o; from Greek 3844 (para) and Greek 2564 (kaleo); to call near, i.e. invite, invoke (by imploration, hortation or consolation) :- beseech, call for, (be of good) comfort, desire, (give) exhort (-ation), entreat, pray.
                        a. Exhortation was a part of prophecy in the New Testament.
                          1. 1 Cor. 14:3
    But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

            6. Newly founded works must have a  clear vision.  The Vision must be scriptural  based. Once again , it can not be based on one doctrine. It must be apostolic in nature.

               a. Proverbs 29:18
    Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Habakkuk 2:2-3
    And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. [3] For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Acts 16:9-10
    And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. [10] And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.


 I don’t believe every denomination or non-denominational church is not of God. I know there are true believers in each group. The question that we must ask ourselves, “am I fully walking in God’s direction and truth?” Am I following the Lord in His perfect will or permissive will?

Throughout the past few centuries, we have seen reformation embrace the church. The breaking away from the Catholic Church, the forming of denominations, the breaking away from mainstream denominations, the charismatic movement, and now the apostolic movement.( Insert: Now the Lord is calling us deeper than the apostolic. The Lord is forming something that is totally pure from His heart and from His purpose.) God brings reformation in order for us to fall deeper into His perfect will and purpose.  Reformation means restoring truths that we ignored throughout history. They are not new things. They are old truths reformed before us. We have a choice to move in that direction or stay where we are at.

I believe the Lord is laying it all on the line for us to see. We have a Biblical mandate placed upon us. There is an apostolic foundation which must be laid.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Creation is waiting

Creation is waiting for the true believers to rise up. It is waiting for the greatest move of God within His people that this world has never seen. We are people of hope. We hope for things we can't see as of yet; therefore, our faith is more pure and true. Holy Spirit is leading us to the next great adventure if we simply allow Him too.

Romans 8:18-39  I consider our present sufferings insignificant compared to the glory that will soon be revealed to us.  (19)  All creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal who his children are.  (20)  Creation was subjected to frustration but not by its own choice. The one who subjected it to frustration did so in the hope  (21)  that it would also be set free from slavery to decay in order to share the glorious freedom that the children of God will have.  (22)  We know that all creation has been groaning with the pains of childbirth up to the present time.  (23)  However, not only creation groans. We, who have the Spirit as the first of God's gifts, also groan inwardly. We groan as we eagerly wait for our adoption, the freeing of our bodies from sin.  (24)  We were saved with this hope in mind. If we hope for something we already see, it's not really hope. Who hopes for what can be seen?  (25)  But if we hope for what we don't see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.  (26)  At the same time the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we don't know how to pray for what we need. But the Spirit intercedes along with our groans that cannot be expressed in words.  (27)  The one who searches our hearts knows what the Spirit has in mind. The Spirit intercedes for God's people the way God wants him to.  (28)  We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God-those whom he has called according to his plan.

There is coming a glory that will soon be revealed through all God's people. A glory that will lift up the name of Jesus and show the world He is true. This glory can only be revealed through those who passionately follow the Lord. It is our purpose. It is our destiny. All creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal who his children are. Creation has been groaning until this present time. Will the real Children of God please rise up? Will the passionate followers of Christ please rise up? All of creation, that which we can see and that which we can not see, is waiting for us. This is our moment. This is our time. Righteousness is on our lips and our hope is unfeigned. We serve the great and awesome God! Our hope is beyond this world. It goes beyond our human condition and stretches beyond the physical realm. Holy Spirit is praying and groaning for our behalf. He has come to restore our destiny. He who searches our hearts and knows what is pure and true. He who fills us with hope and power is coming to set our hearts ready.  Holy Spirit is interceding for our behalf. He is praying with greater intensity. Maybe we should do the same. Maybe we should pray for the revelation of God to shine through us. Maybe we should shed the skin of our weaknesses and allow Holy Spirit to transform us. Creation is waiting! All the world is waiting for the manifestation of God's People. Will the true believers please arise! Will those who are untainted by the world's systems please stand!. Will those who are standing up for truth please be revealed! We must fight the mediocrity. We must fight the conformity. We must press forward with the truth that is within us. Holy Spirit is empowering us to rise up and to run after the heart of God. Once our spirit cross over to the spiritual only then can our complete selves make an impact in the natural. We live by spirit not by flesh. We are spiritual beings inhabiting a temporary existence. It is not the other way around. I sense the prophetic voice of God crying out with greater moaning and groaning. I hear the cry of our God crying for His people who have strayed from His truth. He is calling out. He is crying out. Lo, He stands at the door and knocks. Rise up and answer the door. Rise up and answer the cry of all of creation! There is more to it! There is more to it that you have yet to understand or see! The time of revelation is upon us. The Time and season of the manifest sons and daughters of God is upon us. May we obey and follow Holy Spirit's lead for all of Creation is Waiting..........