Much is said about “Deliverance” and “Healing” ministries. As in the case with other doctrine, many charismatic churches and ministries fail with these teachings as well. We pray for people entrapped in sin(s) and in need of healing in our church and ministry ALL THE TIME. Countless people are healed, and guess what? We do not take credit for it, and we give God all the glory. The latest case in point is June Awad and her stage four cancer that has gone into remission. To God be the glory. In like fashion, I have observed countless people who were healed by the Lord after “praying without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17) for the person, and nobody and no ministry received the credit – we simply thanked and glorified the Lord. The pastor I surrendered to preach under, James Bill Grimes, said: “Steven, I believe in faith healing but I do not believe in faith healers.” Well put. If the “Faith healers” had the abilities and powers that they claim, then they should literally live in the hospitals and heal those within.
Enjoy the following devotional by Dr. Henry Morris, Founder of the Institute For Creation Research, who likewise teaches on TRUE deliverance:
by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D. | Jan. 4, 2018
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:13)
Certain Christian workers practice what they call a “deliverance ministry,” but true biblical deliverance is better defined in terms of today’s verse, which, of course, is the last petition in the prayer that Christ taught His disciples to pray. True deliverance is deliverance from evil, whatever form that evil might take, and preservation until God’s kingdom comes. Let us observe several scriptural accounts of true deliverance.
Note that the Greek word for deliverance has the connotation of “rescue,” and this is its first occurrence in the New Testament; that makes its usage here especially significant. That the Lord will indeed provide such deliverance, if we pray for it in sincerity, is affirmed in many testimonies and promises. Burdened with the problems of his old sin nature, Paul cried out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” But then the answer comes: “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24-25). Even as his anticipated martyrdom was approaching, Paul could still testify, “The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:18).
Peter also assures us that “the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished” (2 Peter 2:9). He is able to deliver His people from all the evils of this present evil world, to keep them and prepare them for the glory and the power of His coming kingdom, for He Himself is the Deliverance. “As it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer [same word], and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Romans 11:26). HMM
I would suggest that the implications in this brief study are obvious. We need faithful Christians to continue to pray for needs just as they have done for thousands of years. We do NOT need self proclaimed “Faith Healers” and “Deliverance Ministries.” James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Notice how God tells faithful people to pray, who desire not the limelight but to glorify the King of Kings. A “Deliverance” or “Healing” ministry is not sought after by the Lord. GOD IS THE GREAT PHYSICIAN – Glory Be To God And To God Alone. Amen and amen.
All Because Of Him, Pastor Steve <><
The Christian life is continually full of challenges, and if you are anything like me, you may “camp out” more so on our continual battles rather than celebrate the victories. Here is a beautiful scripture that will keep things in perspective:
Psalm 126:5-6 King James Version (KJV)
5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
Take inventory about the blessings and success the Lord has already given you, and focus on further faithful service in the year to come. At the threshold of this new year, let it be Christian Priority Check 101. Enjoy the following year ending devotional on this theme from Our Daily Bread devotional. Happy New Year! Pastor Steve
Times of Completion
December 30, 2017
Read: Acts 14:21–28
Bible in a Year: Zechariah 13–14; Revelation 21
They sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.—Acts 14:26
At the end of the year, the burden of uncompleted tasks can weigh us down. Responsibilities at home and work may seem never-ending, and those unfinished today roll into tomorrow. But there are times in our journey of faith when we should pause and celebrate God’s faithfulness and the tasks completed.
After the first missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas, “they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed” (Acts 14:26). While much work remained in sharing the message of Jesus with others, they took time to give thanks for what had been done. “They gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles” (v. 27).
What has God done through you during the past year? How has He opened the door of faith for someone you know and love? In ways we can’t imagine, He is at work through us in tasks that may seem insignificant or incomplete.
When we feel painfully aware of our unfinished tasks in serving the Lord, let’s not forget to give thanks for the ways He has worked through us. Rejoicing over what God has done by His grace sets the stage for what is to come! —David C. McCasland
Lord, as this year comes to a close, we give thanks for all You have accomplished in and through us. By Your grace, lift our eyes to see what is to come!
God is always at work in and through us.
INSIGHT: This inaugural missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas covered nearly 900 miles, much of it on foot. At first the duo met primarily with Jewish audiences. In the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch (in modern-day Turkey) Paul appealed to the Jewish heritage of his hearers. He outlined Israel’s history and clearly showed how it culminated in the coming of Jesus Christ (Acts 13:13-41). Paul’s biblical preaching so intrigued his listeners that they invited him back the following Sabbath.
So many people returned to hear him the next week that it set off a jealous reaction among some influential Jews in Antioch (v. 45). This didn’t appear to faze Paul and Barnabas, who simply turned to the Gentiles who were present and quoted Isaiah 49:6 to them: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” The church grew. The opposition Paul and Barnabas faced merely resulted in the expansion of the gospel message and contributed to the overall success of their missionary journey. Tim Gustafson
Paul’s Missionary Journey
by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D. | Aug. 3, 2017
“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” (Ephesians 3:8)
The apostle Paul was undoubtedly the greatest missionary of all time. It is well to take note of his missionary strategy, for it was designed to reach the greatest number with the highest efficiency. In the first place, although he by no means neglected his Jewish countrymen, his calling was to all peoples of the world.
As much as possible, he tried to “preach the gospel in the regions beyond” where it had never gone before (2 Corinthians 10:16), “not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation” (Romans 15:20).
He especially concentrated on great cities, particularly the major seaports. He had come from the large city of Tarsus himself, and he preached in the great capital, Rome, and in Athens, the world’s cultural center. Philippi was the “chief city” of Macedonia (Acts 16:12), as was Corinth in Achaia and Ephesus in Asia Minor. Antioch, Troas, Thessalonica—all were great seaport cities. Establishing solid churches in such cities would provide centers for carrying the gospel throughout the world.
In considerable measure, his ministry in these cities seemed to reach people of special ability or opportunity to teach and influence others, such as the philosophers at Athens, the proconsul Sergius Paulus at Paphos, the honorable women of Berea, the school of Tyrannus at Ephesus, and others of like significance.
Most important of all were his writings. Paul wrote half the epistles of the New Testament. He traveled at least 15,000 miles and preached to many thousands of people, but his written words have been read by countless millions over 1,900 years. HMM
Why Christians Suffer
continued from Part 7…
9)Suffering Teaches Us To Pray
You have heard the saying “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Due to our sinful human natures, sometimes the only time we pray is when our backs are to the wall, and there is no one else to turn to. Pray is our last resort.
10)Suffering Brings Rewards
There is a special reward for those who suffer patiently for Him. Paul tells us in II Timothy 2:12 “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.” We are made perfect through suffering. Steel is iron plus fire. Soil is rock plus crushing. The Christian life is faith plus suffering. It is God’s way of doing things. It is God’s own way of making us what we ought to be. God’s way is through fire, and through the fire He will perfect us.
Christianity does not promise us an easy walk. We will always encounter many trials and tribulations, but if we look to Jesus in faith, He will carry our load. Christianity promises us 1)all the grace of God we need, 2)a peace of mind beyond understanding that only a Christian has, and 3)we know we are heaven bound once we are “born again.” What more can we ask for? Are you suffering? Then thank the Lord for it because it shows you are growing in Christ.
Continued from Part 7… This entire eight part series on suffering is all listed under the category entitled Devotionals/Inspirationals.
Our Daily Bread
Jesus’s teaching about absolute ideals and absolute grace seem contradictory.
Jesus never lowered God’s perfect ideal. In His response to the rich young ruler, He said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). He told an expert in the law who inquired as to the greatest commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (22:37). No one has completely fulfilled those commands.
Yet the same Jesus tenderly offered absolute grace. He forgave an adulteress, a thief on the cross, a disciple who had denied ever knowing Him, and a man named Saul, who had made his mark persecuting Christians. Grace is absolute and all-encompassing, extending even to those who nailed Jesus to the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” were among the last words He spoke on earth (Luke 23:34).
For years I felt so unworthy when considering Jesus’s absolute ideals that I missed any notion of His grace. Once I understood this dual message, however, I went back and found that the message of grace gusts through Jesus’s life and teachings.
Grace is for the desperate, the needy, the broken, those who cannot make it on their own. Grace is for all of us.
Father, Your all-encompassing grace washes over us and astonishes us. May we live today as people who enjoy Your complete forgiveness and a restored relationship with You.
Jesus fulfilled the perfect requirements of the law so that we may enjoy the perfect peace of His grace.
INSIGHT: The life of the apostle Paul is another example of God’s grace. Because of Paul’s past, he considered himself the most undeserving recipient of God’s mercy and grace (1 Tim. 1:13–14). Although he was chosen to be an apostle to the Gentiles, Paul also gave another reason he was chosen: “God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life” (v. 16 nlt). God had you and me in mind when He saved Paul—an awesome thought. If Paul, the worst of sinners, could be saved, then there is hope for everyone else. No one is beyond the reach of God’s mercy and grace.
by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D. | Feb. 19, 2017
“Their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” (2 Timothy 2:17-18)
Many Christians decry the citing of actual names of those Christian leaders who teach heretical doctrines, saying that such an act is “unloving.” Paul, however, considered it an important evidence of true love to warn against those who would “overthrow the faith of some,” realizing that generalities would be useless.
Not only did Hymenaeus and Philetus make Paul’s list, but so did Demas (2 Timothy 4:10), Alexander the coppersmith (2 Timothy 4:14), the Cretians (Titus 1:12), another Alexander (1 Timothy 1:20), and even Peter (Galatians 2:11-14) when he began to teach legalism. Likewise, John warned against Diotrephes (3 John 1:9) and the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:6).
On the other hand, Paul was much more generous with name recognition when he was giving out commendations (e.g., Romans 16:1-15; Colossians 4:7-17). We undoubtedly need to follow his example in appreciating by name those who are faithful in teaching and living the truth.
Likewise, we need to be ready and willing to name those individuals, churches, schools, and other organizations that are denying biblical inerrant authority, compromising the doctrine of special creation, requiring humanistic works for salvation, or bringing in other heretical doctrines. We obviously need to be sure of our facts when we do this and also to bring such charges only if motivated by genuine concern for those apt to be led astray if we don’t speak out. But then we must, indeed, “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). HMM
Him That Cometh to Me
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)
In this verse and the verses to follow, we find Christ using a marvelous teaching technique. Several times He makes a general, generic statement but quickly advances from the general and impersonal to the particular and personal.
“He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. . . . and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.” (John 13:4-5)
Praise of the Generations
“That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children.” (Psalm 78:6)
God Is Able
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” (Ephesians 3:20)
- Love and the Heart
- The Only True God
- The Golden Scepter
- The Fear of the Lord
- Abel’s Timely Testimony
- That Goodly Mountain
- Everything We Need
- Beware of Balaam
- Working by Faith
- The Pattern in the Mount
- Joint Heirs with Christ
- God’s Presence in Flood and Flame
- We Soon Fly Away
…Is A False Doctrine That Is Found No Where In The Bible.
Ephesians 4:3-6 King James Version (KJV)
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
This false teaching was conjured up by those who once again, fail to understand the transformation into the church age, which is graphically and comprehensively described in the book of Acts. We are commanded to be FILLED with the Holy Spirit. There is no second baptism. This is a daily need for all of those who have been born from above. We are to be filled with the Spirit and crucify the flesh. The question: “Have you received the second baptism of the Holy Spirit?,” implies that you are not on the same spiritual plateau that I think I am. It is meant to sound condescending.
May we examine in detail where this false teaching comes from –
Acts 19 King James Version (KJV)
19 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
At this point in time, Apollos never heard of the Triune God (Trinity). He never even heard of the Holy Spirit. He was baptized ONLY for repentance by John the Baptist. As far as being a Christian and a believer in Christ, he was not baptized at all! He was baptized solely for repentance. Repentance from sin was taught by all of the Old Testament prophets, by all of the apostles, it was the “one point sermon” that John the Baptist continually preached, and Jesus Christ picked up on repentance where John the Baptist left off:
Matthew 4:17 King James Version (KJV)
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Luke 13:3-5 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
We baptize one time, and in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. One does NOT receive the Father and the Son, as a down payment on the Holy Spirit to be received later, but only if you are super spiritual. How ludicrous. As previously stated, the implication of this erroneous doctrine is that the so called second baptism sets its’ proponents on a higher spiritual footing than others. They misunderstand that Apollos never yet comprehended the Gospel beyond seeing the need to repent. Repentance is an Old Testament doctrine as well. At this point, Apollos did not yet understand the process of receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and becoming born again (John 3:3). Prior to being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 19:5), he gave absolutely no clear understanding of salvation, and never even heard of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Hence, some charismatics took the unique and specific circumstances of Apollos, and in their convoluted way, applied them to the entire church age! In the book of Acts, the church is just starting and in a period of transition. Apollos received the truth in increments as it became known in the early church. We do not have that battle any more, and are blessed with the entire truth written in the twenty seven books of the New Testament. So fellow believer, be ye filled with the Holy Spirit!
Pastor Steve <><
August 2, 2016
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. —2 Timothy 4:7
Joop Zoetemelk is known as the Netherlands’ most successful cyclist. But that’s because he never gave up. He started and finished the Tour de France 16 times—placing second five times before winning in 1980. That’s perseverance!
Many winners have reached success by climbing a special ladder called “never give up.” However, there are also many who have lost the opportunity to achieve success because they gave up too soon. This can happen in every area of life: family, education, friends, work, service. Perseverance is a key to victory.
The apostle Paul persevered despite persecution and affliction (2 Tim. 3:10-11). He viewed life with realism, recognizing that as followers of Christ we will suffer persecution (vv. 12-13), but he instructed Timothy to place his faith in God and the encouragement of the Scriptures (vv. 14-15). Doing so would help him face discouragement and endure with hope. At the end of his life, Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (4:7).
We too can allow the Scriptures to strengthen us to press on in the race marked out for us. For our God is both a promise-making and promise-keeping God and will reward those who faithfully finish the race (v. 8). —Jaime Fernández Garrido
Heavenly Father, give me strength of character and perseverance to serve you better. Help me not to get discouraged when things get tough but to rely on You to see me through.
INSIGHT: Paul experienced great persecution in the cities of Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. In Antioch, he faced aggressive opposition from the religious leaders (Acts 13:45; 15:1-2). In Iconium, Gentile and Jewish leaders conspired to have him killed (14:4-5). And in Lystra, he was stoned and left for dead (v. 19). Yet in his final letter to Timothy, Paul uses these three cities as examples of perseverance. He recounts these terribly painful events not to garner pity but to remind Timothy of God’s faithfulness during times of hardship and pain. Dennis Moles