Systematic Theology Paper

Final Synthesis Paper

 

A Paper

Submitted To:

Dr. Hart

Graduate School of Theology and Ministry

At Oral Roberts University

In Partial Fulfillment of

The Requirements for the Course GTHE 561,

Systematic Theology II

By

Christopher B Walsh

April 26th, 2017

 

1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV)

15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.

Here we read of the mighty apostle Paul, near the end of his earthly ministry, refer to himself as the chief of all sinners.

From1 Corinthians 15:9, “I am the least of the apostles…,” to Ephesians 3:8, “I am the least of all the saints…” we see the progression in the apostle Paul’s life, as he is getting closer to the end of his earthly journey, beholding the glory of the risen Savior:

“It’s not so much that Paul wants to draw attention to himself as the “chief” sinner although I am sure he was not speaking hyperbolically here.  Rather, he wants to cast a greater light on Christ and show us the magnificence of Christ, His love, mercy and grace towards sinners!  Paul is calling us all to cast our eyes upon Christ and marvel at Him and the greatness of His saving grace.  As Paul is evaluating his own spiritual standing (i.e. in relation to the grace and glory of God in Christ) he cannot help but see himself as the “chief” sinner.”[1]

I believe this quote sums up the gospel!

Despite all the revelation given to the apostle Paul in writing much of the New Testament, I believe He sees the glory and heart of Jesus – the primary truth of the Word of God – we are all sinners, who need a Savior.

Truly it is written: Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

We are all touched by the traducianistic nature of the fall of the original couple in the garden – we have inherited not only the combined natural DNA of our parents, but also the fallen nature of all humanity – original sin.

From the taste of the forbidden fruit, came an avalanche of the effects of this insidious fallen nature manifested: from Cain murdering his brother, to Lamech taking vengeance upon his enemies, until God Himself can take it no more.

We read in Gen 6: 5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.

So we read the account of Noah, saved through the flood, a beautiful picture of Christ, the only Savior of the world.
Why then does a person need to be saved or more importantly: why do I need to be saved?
It’s the eternal ancient story being worked out again, in this, my generation.

The Bible declares:

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

This insidious sin nature then, is not just “out there”, so to speak, rather “in here”, as we look in the mirror to discover the greatest enemy of ourselves, to be staring back at us. Each of us must confront our own fallen nature, and agree with God. It is I that has sinned, it is I who must be forgiven, and it is I who am need of a Savior.

So is this Savior?

He is God the Son, The second person of the Trinity!

Who is this Jesus?

Theologians have argued His nature, but the following creed was adopted was adopted at the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451

Chalcedon Definition,

The Chalcedonian Definition (also called the Chalcedonian Creed) Following, then, the holy Fathers, we all unanimously teach that our Lord Jesus Christ is to us One and the same Son, the Self-same Perfect in Godhead, the Self-same Perfect in Manhood; truly God and truly Man; the Self-same of a rational soul and body; co-essential with the Father according to the Godhead, the Self-same co-essential with us according to the Manhood; like us in all things, sin apart; before the ages begotten of the Father as to the Godhead, but in the last days, the Self-same, for us and for our salvation (born) of Mary the Virgin Theotokos as to the Manhood; One and the Same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten; acknowledged in Two Natures unconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the difference of the Natures being in no way removed because of the Union, but rather the properties of each Nature being preserved, and (both) concurring into One Person and One Hypostasis; not as though He were parted or divided into Two Persons, but One and the Self-same Son and Only-begotten God, Word, Lord, Jesus Christ; even as from the beginning the prophets have taught concerning Him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself hath taught us, and as the Symbol of the Fathers hath handed down to us[2]

This is the officially accepted doctrine of the Christian church, but it has not been accepted without controversy. There have been six main heresies:

Ebionism states that Jesus is not God

Arianism – states that Jesus was not fully God

Docetism states that Jesus is not human

Apollinarianism states that Jesus is not fully human.

Nestorianism states that Jesus was two distinct persons

Eutychianism – Jesus has one blended nature.

While each of these positions has extensive reasoning’s of man behind them, they have been fully refuted by the person of Jesus, for has not He Himself declared for all eternity that I AM, the way, the TRUTH, and the life. All lies and deception fall crushed beneath the power of His glory, for He is the God of absolute TRUTH and holiness!

It is written: Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

As we seek to obey this command, we quickly find others who have gone before us in the journey, great theologians and academics that have contributed much to Christian thought and understanding.

Dr. Hart brilliantly and succinctly introduces three of these as we consider the questions:

What is salvation, or more importantly, what is redemption?

We discover three main theologies of redemption.

These are:

Gustav Aulen – The Ransom theory – Jesus is our Victory! “The note of triumph sounds like a trumpet call through the teachings of the early church”

Anselm – Satisfaction theory, the justice of God is fully satisfied in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus.

Abelard – The Moral Influence theory: It is the goodness of God that leads to repentance, that because God is love, we should automatically want to receive Jesus and serve Him.[3]

As great of each of these theories and lines of reasoning are, none of them is complete enough in and of itself to incorporate the whole gospel, rather each contributes to our understanding of redemption, and it is the study of all three of these combined that gives a more complete understanding of the miracle of redemption.

As I look at the spiritual landscape here in yea even Tulsa, Oklahoma, I see there is ‘nothing new under the sun’

Could the victorious teachings of Aulen, be the heart of the great Victory Christian Center with its far flung mission’s movement and over 1600 International Bible Schools in over 100 nations?

Could the teachings of Anselm be reflected in the Baptist and Holiness churches that teach believers the power of the cross and in living a crucified life?

Could the teachings of Abelard, be the heart of God reflected in ‘the grace movement’ focusing on the love of God, and our identity in Christ that should cause us to desire Him, His holiness, and a life free from sin?
Well then, if we need salvation, and have received redemption through the atoning sacrifice of our Savior Jesus, by what means do we receive this great gift?

By Faith!

Faith, – “pistis” What we believe, is the noun.

“Pisteo”, this is the verb, for faith without works is dead.

As a Rhema graduate taught at the feet of Kenneth E. Hagin, one would be tempted to believe that faith is the only topic in the Bible.  Obviously, this is not the full counsel of God.  Yet in light of eternity, faith is the most important for Ephesians 2:8 states: For by grace you are saved, through faith.  Yet faith works by love Galatians 5:6 and it is the love of God that made salvation available.  The text brilliantly makes this distinction between the noun and the verb.  So faith is both the belief and then the action upon the belief.  Since faith only comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, and the Bible says that everything we need for life and godliness has been given to us by these exceeding great and precious promises, so then faith: that is formally developing belief systems in others, must be the heart of every true ministry.  Families need divine order.  So ministers must preach on God’s covenant of marriage, the roles and responsibilities of wives and husbands in the home, the duty of children to honor and obey their parents.  And as these words are preached and people believe and act upon them, God brings great grace, power, and love from Heaven into the lives of those that do them.  This principle is true of every area of life and godliness.  Answers for all of life’s questions can be found in the Word of God believed and acted upon.

The illustrious Dr. Hart expounds on this by both teaching the Scriptures and quoting many, many theologians.  I love his quote “clearly then, faith (pistis), the noun and believing (pisteo) the verb are central to the Biblical doctrine of salvation. [4]

 

Clearly faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus will cause one to call on the Name of the Lord and be saved.  But the road to the cross must continue past the resurrection to Pentecost and the mighty baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus gave the promise of the Holy Spirit, but clearly the promise had a purpose as American Baptist Scholar Howard M. Ervin stated, “The purpose of Pentecost is unmistakably world evangelism[5]” Holy Spirit prayer produces power for Christian service for each and every one of us.  Not only was prayer central to the event of Pentecost; Prophecy also played a major role.  This led to provocation as God deliberately intended that the Pentecostal experience would provoke.  We see the Holy Spirit portrayed as wind, creator, fire, the dove, and water.  He is both the personal spirit as the Paraclete and divine, but there is one work of the Holy Spirit.  We see Him displayed as paschal, purifying and Pentecostal, but Paschal. that is the direct application of Christ-saving work at Calvary is the manner at which He imparts to us eternal life.[6]

I love the way I heard gunnery sergeant USMC Gregory Gill state it while giving his testimony during the flag raising ceremony between veterans and the Navajo nation in July 2014:

“If all we got in receiving Jesus is eternal life, we have been overpaid”.

We see then a new law at work in creation, the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.  There must be integration between Calvary and Pentecost.  We recognize the work of the Spirit in Spirit baptism but also in leading people into true repentance.  Clearly He is the One that causes people to hear the Lord’s call through the Gospel.  We understand that in Christ we have been grafted into the faith of our father Abraham and that Jesus is the ultimate faith teacher.  Faith alone will move the hand of God and cause us to change as our born-again nature works in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure.  It is the cross that reconciles, the Holy Spirit that empowers, and faith that sanctifies, as we embrace the spirit disciplines as the means for sanctification.  We discover that we have been adopted, chosen, into the royal family of Heaven.  And so Dr. Hart discusses the age-old controversy between Calvinism and Armenianism to reveal the straight and narrow way that Jesus Himself promised.

 

Hope for a despairing world

Even the great Sir Winston Churchill looked to Billy Graham for the precious gift of hope.  For hope is a Christian virtue from the pages of Scripture to the lips of Dr. Martin Luther King we discover in the promises of God the great Christian hope laid out in the Scriptures.  The theology of hope may have had its origins in Germany.[7]

Is not Eschatology simply the theology of hope?  “Forward looking and forward moving and therefore revolutionizing and transforming the present.”[8] We see Christian hope in history for “Jews and Christians believe that God has revealed Himself redemptively in history.”[9]  Just as the Jew looks to the historical Exodus account, we look to the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  So we find hope in our personal mission “the ultimate meaning of history between the ascension of our Lord and His return in glory is found in the extension and working of the Gospel in the world.[10]  Hope also produces assurance (Phil 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ).  Paul was confident for he knew God would complete His good work.  We too can have this assurance, the hope of our salvation.  Christian hope will produce a joy-filled lifestyle.  We can face death squarely as Christians knowing our sins are forgiven and we have eternal life in Christ Jesus!  Jesus is coming again!  We see the signs of the times.  And yet hope has us looking up not fearfully but in joyful anticipation of the second coming of Jesus.  We read about the devil, the beast, and the false prophets, and hear the myriad voices declaring the second coming and the three main positions pre-millennial, post-millennial, and millennial.  Whichever position you choose, know that even as Jesus was raised from the dead, we too shall be raised and given a glorified body.  There will be a great white throne judgment where “we will all someday face judgment before the throne.”[11]  For those of us whose names are found in the Book of Life, eternal glory waits.  To those who are not found there, there is a place of eternal torment awaiting that the Bible calls hell.  This place was prepared, not for human-kind, but for the devil and his angels, yet many will end up there in this place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.  “If Heaven is the community of the redeemed, then hell is the community of the damned.”[12]  How can a good God send people into an eternal hell?

So then we walk on our pilgrimage with eyes facing forward looking and longing for the hope of Heaven.  If we really believe in Heaven, then we must also believe in hell.  Dr. Hart shockingly states that no one in his class actually believes in hell anymore. “If we really believed in hell, we would be moved to avert as many as we could from its horror.”[13]  While we shudder to think of our eternal responsibility to share the Gospel, we must also think of the glories of Heaven.  “This is the city, the community, the family, the fellowship, the joy, the perfection, the kingdom, the commonwealth, and the paradise for which we have all been longing!”[14]

If faith is not only what we believe, but also the way that God requires us to live in this covenant, we must understand the workings of faith and faith works by love.  Jesus said I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.  So what is the church of our Lord Jesus Christ?  For a general definition of the New Testament church, it must include all true believers in Jesus Christ at all times and all places and also the local gatherings of God’s people.  In relation to God, we have become both the people of God and the temple of God; in relationship to Jesus, we are both the bride of Christ and the body of Christ.  In relation to the Holy Spirit, we are the fellowship (koinonia) of the Holy Spirit and the ministry (diakonia) of the Holy Spirit.  The Church takes on many forms in its historical dimension and the eschatological dimension, our corporate worship and our home fellowships.  But I am more of a practitioner.  I love Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Church where he set his congregation on a research assignment in the Scriptures to succinctly express the main purposes of the church.  He summarized these into five main purposes which are outreach, worship, fellowship, discipleship, and service.  While there are many particular denominations of the Christian faith, and most were created at a time during history to meet a need of humanity or correct an error in the current institutionalized structure.  I have become firmly non-denominational in my theology embracing the spirit of St. Augustine of Hippo, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

The primary responsibility of the church is ‘martyria’ or (witness); it is this witness that is the root of koinonia (fellowship) and diakonia (service). I agree that Dr. Hart is correct Biblically, and his discussion supports my theology, that faith only comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Therefore, the preacher, the oracle of God, speaks the Word of God, and faith comes, not only for salvation, but for everything required for life and godliness, which of course includes fellowship and service.

So then, the church of the living God is a charismatic, spirit empowered place for both fellowship and service, where believers worship in spirit and in truth. Since God Himself inhabits the praises of His people, Holy Spirit provides heavenly witness to His people, depositing His precious gracelets among His people, His supernatural gifts.

Yet, are the ‘motivational gifts’ listed in Romans 12, any less supernatural?

In Ephesians chapter four we read of the gifts of ministry offices, five-fold ministry; my number one prayer mandate, when I seek to obey Paul’s command to pray for those in authority listed in 1Tim 2:1-5. As goes the church in a nation, so goes the government of the nation, and so I daily pray heavenly offices fully obey God, that there be flaming pulpits in every nations declaring boldly, with authority the uncompromised Word of God, with signs and wonders following, that people can hear and obey, and fully submit to the reign and rule of heaven for that nation.

This verse explains why we pray for those in authority:

1 Tim 2: 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

We then baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in water. I believe there are five baptisms recorded in the New Testament, the text mentions three, but suffice to say that believers should be baptized in water, as an outward sign of being baptized into the body of Christ, and should receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Every should observe the Lord’s supper, for this sacrament is a direct commandment of the Word of God, and a wonderful celebration of God’s covenant, with us, His people.

Who did Jesus come to save? Me and You, and though we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, we have been redeemed, an each given wonderful, diverse and beautiful gifts from heaven to glorify the magnificence of our Savior, God the Son, Jesus King of all kings, Lord of the universe!

[1] https://graceforeachmoment.org/2012/04/25/paul-the-chief-of-sinners/

[2] Henry Bettenson, Documents of the Christian Church, (2nd Edition; London: The Oxford University Press, 1963 pp 51-52

[3] P363-67 Truth Aflame

[4] Truth Aflame p. 417

[5] Howard M Ervin, Spirit Baptism:  A Biblical Investigation “Peabody, Mass:  Hendrickson, 1987”p. 38

Hart p.377

[6] Hart p. 388

[7] Hart p. 465

[8] Jurgen Moltmann, Theology of Hope: On the Ground and the Implications of Christian Eschatology. trans.

James W. Leitch (London: SCM, 1967),16.

[9] Hart p. 468

[10] George Eldon Ladd, The Gospel of the Kingdom (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 1959, 133.

[11] Hart p520.

[12] Hart p526-7.

[13] Truth Aflame p528

[14] Truth Aflame p532

Come Out of the Tombs of Defeat and Despair with Shouts of Victory!

“Come Out of the Tombs of Defeat and Despair with Shouts of Victory!”
by Emily-Rose Lewis, Charlotte, NC

This was sent to me on the Elijah List email list, and it bears witness to me, so I am reposting it. Please subscribe to Emily-Rose blog: https://desertroseinbloom.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/prophetic-word-may-2017-restoration-redemption-and-replacement/

Restoration, Redemption and Replacement!

The Lord says, “I have raised you from the dead. I have redeemed your life from the pit and am restoring to you the things that you have had stolen or forfeited to the enemy.”

“The month of May is a month of restoration, redemption, and replacement. I am giving you revelation into the deeper things of the Spirit to assist in this transfer of power. Rise up. Come out of the tombs of defeat and despair. Cry out with shouts of victory. Remove your grave clothes and stop sleeping among the dead. Come out from among them,” declares the Lord of hosts.

“I am a God of the living. I am breathing life into what was once dead. Speak to the dead dry bones, ‘Arise!’ Speak to the weak and wobbly knees, ‘Be strong!’ Come out. Rise up. Remove and lay aside the grave clothes. I am clothing you with those things that pertain to the abundant life that I have promised you by My Word. Do you believe in My redemptive power, My power to replace that which has been lost or stolen, My power to restore those things that have been destroyed?

“This month is a month of divine replacement. I will replace the old with the new. The dead with the living. What is lacking with overflow. Sorrow for joy. And garments of praise for your former shame. Divine replacement will take place through My Spirit and My Word.

“Respond to this revelation of restoration, redemption, and replacement by faith. Release the dead, the old, the empty, the broken, the loss or lost, the shame, the burden, or the lack with confident anticipation of the divine replacement that I am pouring out over My people in May. Respond with release. Respond by faith. Respond in rest. Begin to praise Me for the victory that has already been won.”

Renew Your Confidence in the Goodness of God

Allow your confidence to rise beyond your former understanding of the goodness of God. Hope has deferred because of prayers that seemed to go unanswered and have challenged your faith. There is a shift happening, even this month, from waiting on God to respond to you, to an understanding that God is waiting on you to respond to His Word and His love. I am seeing long held beliefs about the Lord being shifted in the depths of your consciousness to better align with the truth of God’s heart toward you.

A revelation into the accusations that have been leveled against God’s character by your unbelief will bring repentance, restoration of relationship, and divine alignment with the purposes of God in your life. Those who are determined to trust in and rely on, not their own understanding, but the Lord of Heaven and earth, are going to be receiving an outpouring of His glory and grace. Faces that were formerly covered with shame, despondency, and despair will brighten in the light of His countenance that will be clearly revealed to those that have eyes to see.

Renounce all doubt and wavering. Draw near to God and resist the whispers of the enemy reminding you of your past experiences. Do not look through a faulty lens that is darkened by your refusal to trust in God’s grace and promise to bring good out of all things for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Come Out From Among the Tombs

Tombs marked “regret,” “shame,” “cursed,” “poor,” “neglected,” “rejected,” “ugly,” “weak,” and “broken” are giving up their dead!

“Come out from among the tombs of the past,” says the Lord of hosts, “what was, will never be again. Today is the day of salvation. Forget what lies behind and press on to the good things that are ahead.”

This is a season of harvest. Hard work and faith will yield massive results in May. The rain has come. The rain of the Spirit of God is pouring down for those to receive. The rain of God’s blessing and glory are falling!

Come out from among the dead and walk in the newness of life that Christ Jesus died for you to have. Peace is now! Life is now! Jesus says, “Come out.”

Obedience to His commands will release you. Your will is no longer captive to sin and death. Make up your mind to choose life, and the grace of God will flood your soul, enabling you to live life to the full. The glory and life of God will fill you up and overflow into the lives of others. You are called to be a container of the glory of God here in the earth. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List go here.)

Emily-Rose Lewis
Desert Rose in Bloom Ministries

Email: Desertroseinbloom@outlook.com
Website: www.desertroseinbloom.wordpress.com

Emily-Rose Lewis is a prophetic speaker, author and coach with over 16 years of service in the Kingdom of God. She founded Desert Rose Ministries in 2014 to bring healing and restoration to the Body of Christ through teaching, coaching and prophesying. She has studied dreams, visions and the supernatural, developing deep revelatory understanding into the ways the Lord desires to bring healing, guidance and prophetic insight into peoples lives and futures. Having walked through the process of healing from trauma and brokenness herself, she is a gracious, grounded instructor who has helped countless people achieve a more intimate connection with Holy Spirit and an understanding of how to cause their hearts desires to manifest in the natural realm. Emily-Rose walks in the miracle-working power of God and has seen countless miracles of healing in both body and soul. She imparts the heart of God with messages of faith, hope and love, equipping people with powerful weapons to rise above adversity and apply the victory of the Cross to their everyday lives.

Guest Post: Philippines: Jan Michael Prieto

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Hi everyone, long time no post. As many know, I have had a broken hand with a cast on, making it difficult to type this month, so blogging has been difficult. Thank you for all your prayers! Today, I want to introduce Jan Michael Prieto, missionary evangelist to the nation of the Phillipines. Please support him in prayer and with your finances, simply $10 on Paypal puts gas in his motorbike, and gets him up into the jungle preaching. You can donate directly on his Paypal connected to his email: Janmichaelprieto@yahoo.com


His ministry contact is: Heart Apostolic Philippines Address purok santan malandag,malungon sarangani province philippines 9503
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Here is one of His teachings:
God Perceives the Inner Change That Only His Word Can Bring (Luke 15:1 NKJV) Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. Like the returning prodigal, the “publicans and sinners” may have still looked outwardly like sinners, but inside a change had already taken place. This is what God the Father and Jesus were celebrating. They know that permanent outward change begins with a change of heart—that is, a heart open to hear Jesus’s words, believe them, and digest them. Jesus’s words are powerful, creative, and gracious; once they have taken root, they will soon result in a major change of confession leading to a change of actions and lifestyle. Father and Jesus celebrate the most important part—the change of thinking that opens a heart to hear, to process, and potentially to reproduce Jesus’s words. (Luke 8:15 NKJV) “But the ones (word-seeds) that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. This is repentance. This is the Father’s dream for true sons coming to pass. It is also the answer to Jesus’s prayer for God’s kingdom to come. When open, humble hearts receive and value God’s word, they sow it in their heart-soil like seeds. These seeds can then sprout, grow and produce a harvest. This harvest represents God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven. We note here that pseudo repentance, which involves the employment of human willpower to change a life, does not produce holy fruit. (Romans 7:15 NKJV) For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. The apostle Paul himself couldn’t make himself holy by merely agreeing that the law was right and exercising his will to keep it. On the other hand, Jesus—the living Word of God—said he would fulfill the law himself (Matthew 5:17). That is to say that only the infinite holy power of the Holy Spirit—acting to fulfill Jesus’s words in us when we receive and believe them—has the ability to produce holy living in and through us. (Romans 8:13-14 NKJV) For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Are you seeking the inner change that only God’s word can produce? First, you need to sit at his feet, listen to his words, and receive them in a “noble and good heart”. Then love, nurture and protect them until it comes to harvest. When it does, it will overflow through your mouth in living power, releasing the infinite power of holiness resident in God’s Spirit of Holiness. As a result, “you will put to death the deeds of the body”, and you will “live” as a true son of God.

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Here is another:
WHAT ABOUT THE OLDER BROTHER? “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound’.” (Luke 15:25-27 ESV) This passage reveals the heart of the older son. Despite not wasting his inheritance in the “University of Hard Knocks” like his younger brother, he obviously wasn’t his father’s true son at this point either. His values weren’t his father’s values: he clearly didn’t agree with his father’s risky investment into the mere possibility of his younger sibling’s repentance. This was reflected in his attitude, actions, and words: (Luke 15:28-32 ESV) “But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, (29) but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. (30) But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ (31) And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. (32) It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’” The father clearly explained his heart and his actions. But Jesus’s parable ends here without saying if this was enough. Did the older brother then “get it” at that point, and come in immediately to the celebration? If so, he would have been becoming more like his father—one of the “righteous” “who need no repentance”; he just needed some more teaching. Jesus said earlier that God rejoices more over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance (Luke 15:7). This would explain why the father had never given the older brother a goat that he might “celebrate” with his friends. Also the father, representing God the Father, knew that if the older brother was truly a son, celebrating with a goat would be insignificant compared to what he was receiving every day. An openhearted son, sitting around father’s table, yoked with him in the family business, was gaining far more of eternal significance than 100 parties could provide. He wouldn’t have been looking for a celebration, but for more information, insight, wisdom and impartation. He would not have been focused on spending what his father had earned, but on gaining what his father had learned. On the other hand, if the older brother did not listen to his father’s explanation, and if he had not gone into the celebration, then he was no more like his father than his younger brother had been. If this were the case, he may have only stayed at home to keep his inheritance intact. He wouldn’t have loved what his father loved, valued what his father valued, or truly wanted what his father wanted. Ultimately, this would have meant that he had the same heart as his younger brother originally had, but that he had a different strategy for how to express it. He may have been merely waiting until his father died before “doing his own thing”. if this was the case, he too was in need of repentance. Can I encourage you to value the opportunity you have “in Christ” at God’s right hand—learning, listening, absorbing and enjoying. He is imparting his values, love, knowledge and wisdom to you so that you are “conformed to his image”. This is of infinitely more value and significance than all the parties, notoriety, and spending that seems to go on the newly repentant. Keep your eyes on Jesus, and no storm of comparison can sink you. God bless you today.Jan8

Clearly Jan is going, where few dare to go:
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Jan works

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Jan Bible

Share the Gospel On-line – GO!

Okay, so we all know, that we are supposed to Go into all the world and share the gospel, the good news of Jesus love, but how? We work, go to school, raise children, and life is busy! Here’s how: I have written over a thousand articles on Christian faith and living. Here are 7 […]

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Okay, so we all know, that we are supposed to Go into all the world and share the gospel, the good news of Jesus love, but how? We work, go to school, raise children, and life is busy!

Here’s how:

I have written over a thousand articles on Christian faith and living. Here are 7 on evangelism.

Read them, most are very short.

Then, when you see something on Social Media or email, that is clearly contrary to the Word of God, or encounter a person that is searching, hurting, lonely, suicidal, going through hell, simply cut and paste one of these links and send it to them.

Some will get mad at you, and blast you. Whatever.

Do it anyway!

We are not God, simply called to try and represent Him, and bring His message to this hurting world.

Like Nike says, Just Do it!
https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/02/27/do-you-want-to-go-to-heaven/

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/03/13/go/

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/03/23/salvation-eternal-life/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/03/23/our-mission-the-great-commission/

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/03/19/classic-redemption/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/jesus-went-to-hell-so-that-you-dont-have-to/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2016/01/30/the-blessing-of-ismael/

need-prayer

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

 

Jesus Prayed Twice!

Jesus Prayed Twice! Mark 8:22 ¶ And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon […]

Told this story to Mike Finley from IHOP Kansas City, as he visited ORU.

leg grow

Mark 8:22 ¶ And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.

23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.

24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.

25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.

There are things that happen in real life, when you minister under the anointing of God that are not simple, cut and dry, principals that we can build black and white doctrine on.

There is a flow of the Holy Spirit, where He leads, and we follow.

I love this portion of Scripture, because I see the humanity of Jesus, God the Son, operating as  many, like us, totally helpless, without the power of God operating in his life.

He knew it was the will of the Father to open this blind man’s eyes, so he began in faith, and prayed for healing. Then like any good doctor would do, he said: ;What is happening? Can you see? What are you feeling?”

leg stand

The man replied “I see men as trees walking”. Jesus did not give up, or puff up, he simply laid his hands on the man again, for another impartation of the Holy Spirits anointing, and the the man was totally healed.

Rwanda

While in Rwanda in 2009, on a missions trip hosted by Parfait and Michelle Karakezi, we did an evangelistic outreach for pastor Josephine Ngabirano. It poured rain, and we jammed into a small building while the thunder, lightening roared and flashed, and water came out of the sky in buckets!

While preaching, the Lord spoke clearly to me that he wanted to heal someone’s leg.

A dear sister came forward, and we prayed for leg and it was instantly healed, but I had such a burden to prayer for a serious leg injury, so much so, that I stopped the service and repeated this several times asking the crowd, ‘Who is it?’ the Lord will not let me proceed.’Is there not someone here who needs a miracle in their leg?’

I kept repeating it, the burden so deep, the command of the Lord so clear.

It was getting embarrassing, as I stood there with the microphone pleading that someone come forward so that I could pray for their leg.

Finally, in out of the storm, came a homeless man, crippled in one leg, with a tree branch he was using as a crutch.

He had come in out of the storm and he was soaking wet, and his leg was a sight to behold. He had been born with a birth defect, whereby his leg was corkscrewed so that his foot was turned backwards, pointing behind him.

When I saw him, I felt any faith I had, leave. This was going to take a miracle, and only Jesus could do it.

I asked the children if they had ever seen a miracle? Their eyes got big, and they shook their heads.

So, I sat him down on a chair in front of the meeting, and had the children from the choit all come forward and stretch out their hands to pray.
In that sweaty little room, I had the children repeat: Father (Father), please heal his leg (please heal his leg), Now (Now), in Jesus name!
I’m missing a bracket, because the translator had them say it in Kinyarwandan.
Then, it happened!
While I was holding the man’s foot, it began to move! Through hot tears, I saw God unscrew the man’s leg, right in front of us all! His foot was now pointing forward, but his leg was at least 6″ shorter than the other.
So, I explained to the children, that even Jesus had to pray for the blind guy twice, and I’m not that good, so let’s pray again!

Father (Father), in the name of Jesus (In the name of Jesus) we command his leg, GROW (We command his leg grow!)

As we prayed, his leg grew out at least an inch, before our eyes!
We prayed this prayer several times, until the man’s leg was full length. Inch by inch we watched it grow, each time we prayed!

leg grow

Finally, the man was able to stand, without his crutch!
leg stand
As the man and I began to walk together, it was clear that his leg was weak from lack of use, so I realized he needed daily exercise. I asked the crowd, is there anyone here that will walk with this man, every day?

Suddenly, a great man stood up in the back of the room, and silenced the crowd with his words: ‘I will walk with him!”

Everyone cheered!

I learned later, that this great man was the mayor of the town, and he truly did walk with this man until he was strong, then helped him get a job so he could provide for himself. Such great honor!
Don’t know about you, but I have had to pray for people several times, and as I worked among the mentally and physically handicapped, daily, for years. Sometimes, miracles were instant, sometimes, the best I could do was rejoice that the presence of God manifested, and that the person received some degree of comfort from the Holy Spirit as I prayed.1 Cor 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.How I love to move in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and I seek Him, His presence, and His gifts, daily, to meet the needs of hurting humanity, but how well I have learned, that He is Lord, and I am not. These gifts, are exactly that, gifts, given: AS HE WILLS! I am the servant, He is the master.

Yet, I have discovered, He is a lot more willing than people give Him credit for. He loves to be sought, in passion and fire, your frustration and pain the very gateway to your miracle, if you would cry out to God.

rwanda1

Do not let the two greatest thieves: yesterday and tomorrow rob you of your miracle!

His name is I AM! NOW faith is. Today is the day of salvation.

Refuse to be denied, or accept the lie that you need to wait on God’s timing, that He is working things together for your good, while you wait. If you are sick, handicapped, or afflicted, time is not your friend. Each day is more pain.

Time is like a parade, that God can see from the beginning to the end, as He reigns above it all. He is willing to enter time, the moment faith cries out, and He is still a God of suddenlies.

miracles

One touch of His power, changes it all. Today! Seize the day, and demand action from heaven and hell. Get in the face of God, boldly. Your pain has been bold, your sickness insidiously slinking inside of you, sucking your life, strength, and working on your will to fight, to live. Say NO to this devilish deception! Cry out! He is Almighty, TODAY!

‘Father, I refuse to be denied, nor allow this cycle of defeat, death, discouragement, and despair to continue. Meet with me, NOW! Heal Me, show me your will and plan for my life. TODAY! Your name is I AM, and I would meet with you, NOW, in your name I pray Lord Jesus, AMEN!’

Eternity?

Eternity?
wide gate
Luke 13: 23 ¶ Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

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Mt 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

So many claim, a greasy grace, a sloppy agape, that Jesus loves us, no strings attached. That we cannot do anything to add to the finished work of Jesus on the cross, so why stress ourselves out with trying to do good works?

Yes, it is true:
Eph 2: 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

In one of his sermons, A.C. Dixon told of an incident that took place in Brooklyn, N.Y. A detective who had been looking for a local citizen finally tracked him down in a drugstore. As the man began to make his purchase, the officer laid his hand on the citizen’s shoulder and said, “You’re under arrest; come with me!”
Stunned, the man demanded, “What did I do?”
The detective calmly replied, “You know what you did. You escaped from the Albany penitentiary several years ago. You went west, got married, and then came back here to live. We’ve been watching for you since you returned.”
Quietly the man admitted, “That’s true, but I was sure you’d never find me. Before you take me in, could we stop by my house so I can talk to my family?”
The officer agreed. When they got to his home, the man looked at his wife and asked, “Haven’t I been a kind husband and a good father? Haven’t I worked hard to make a living?”
His wife answered, “Of course you have, but why are you asking me these questions?” Her husband then proceeded to explain what had happened and that he was now under arrest. He apparently had hoped that his record as an exemplary husband and father would impress the officer. Even so, he was still an escaped criminal. Though he was “right” with his family, he was all wrong with the state of New York.
Source Unknown.
One Way
Truly, it is by faith that we are saved, not by works. It is a finished work that Jesus performed upon the cross, that we cannot earn or deserve. Salvation is a free gift, that can only be believed, received, and accepted, by faith. Jesus died for our sins, rose from the dead, and He ever lives to bear witness of that fact: yet, read the next verse:

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

2Co 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Our faith will produce good works! He Himself, Jesus, the risen God the Son, will prepare these works, for us to walk in them, if we are striving to serve Him.
God has a work for each of us to do, and I am endeavouring to grow in my gift, my calling, and the wonderful works He allows me to do.

The mighty apostle Paul, who wrote this verse, began his life as the chief of apostles, and yet, as the Lord dealt with him, over his life, he realized that although salvation is a free gift, walking it out, takes everything, as God deals with us throughout our life.

2Ti 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
vessal
Notice, who does the purging here: the man!

God expects us to receive His grace, and He will judge us, on what we do with what He gives us:
Re 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Php 2:12 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.
There is a work of salvation to be worked out, in each of our lives. I cannot do it for you, you cannot do it for me.
Let’s pray:
Father God, anywhere I have strayed from the straight and narrow way, please correct me, and bring me back on track, now! I ask you for grace to perform the good works you have for me to walk in today, in your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’
need-prayer

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

Don’t let religion limit you…

Don’t let religion limit you…

Love Loud0

When you are walking by specific revelation, religious people can only respond by the letter of the law. Brutal folks. Forgive them, for they know not what they are doing…unless God opens their eyes, they are blind leaders of the blind. Refuse to be intimidated, controlled, or offended by them. Love them and pray for them. You wouldn’t hurt a person blind in the natural would you? No, we are children of a loving heavenly Father, called to love this generation to life!
love-like-jesus

Love never fails, so LOVE LOUD TODAY

Let’s Pray:

‘Father, may I fully obey You, and walk my individual straight and narrow walk before You, loving and living victoriously in this generation. For those who would try and stop me, who persecute me, who misunderstand what You have created me to fulfill, forgive them, and move them out of the way of what I must do. Protect me from pride, offence, or attitudes and words that would sow discord among Your people, in Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen.’

need-prayer

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/