Did you know that about 17 percent of Americans believe the Bible is full of man-written fables and fairy tales? Only 30 percent believe the Word of God is the literal Word of God. So says a recent Gallup poll.
Although fairy tale writers draw inspiration from the Bible, I’m here to tell you that the Bible can in no way be compared to Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland or Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, where a wicked queen peered into a mirror, mirror on the wall to get assurance that she was the fairest of them all.
However, there is a supernatural mirror, if you will, that we can look into to get assurance that we are the most cherished of them all. This mirror transforms us from glory to glory. It’s called the Bible, the Word of God, the Holy Scripture. And its authors, inspired by the Holy Ghost, compared it to a mirror on three occasions. By exploring the Bible as a mirror, we gain a clearer understanding of how to become more like the holiest of all.
Pennsylvania pastor Bruce Ladebu pays up to $500 each to free children from cruel exploitation.
My friend Bruce Ladebu is a pastor, but he has never been comfortable behind a desk or a pulpit. A former adventurer who has explored Arctic islands and tracked timberwolves in the Canadian Rockies, he prefers to take his faith outside the American comfort zone. That’s why he ended up in Central Asia two weeks ago on a daring 12-day mission to rescue chidren from slavery.
Bruce’s work is not for the squeamish. He has watched 4-year-old children work 14 hours straight in 120 degree heat in crude brick factories or fabric mills. Some of the children are chained to looms and forced by their owners to urinate in pots so they won’t run away. On his most recent trip Bruce met a boy who had been burned with acid by his owners. The child had developed an infection and was given no medical care.
Several years ago, I accompanied my niece Shae and two of her girlfriends to a Girls of Grace conference. The event, sponsored by Christian recording artists Point of Grace, was geared to the needs of teen girls.
A newspaper reporter called me the other day to solicit my opinion on an elderly woman’s so-called “divinely inspired concoctions.” Her little shop of mystic wonderments peddles oils, herbs, sprays and candles that claim to bring love into your life, and even get others to obey your every command.
As the reporter described the woman’s mixtures, supposedly potent enough to solve any problem known to man, I couldn’t help but see mental images of the Apostle Paul wrestling the beast at Ephesus. But I digress …
The elderly woman has 10 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and a divination sanctum littered with statues and images of various saints. A necklace adorned with charms of the tools each saint works with dangles from her neck, according to the reporter’s observations.
Jesus called us into friendship, not just with Him but also with His followers.
I don’t like goodbyes, especially on the mission field, because sometimes I get emotional. Last week it was really bad.
I had spent six days with a church in Tarapoto, Peru, and I invested a lot of time and energy encouraging the people—especially some young adults who are emerging leaders. When it was almost time for me to go through the security checkpoint at the airport, about 18 of these men and women burst through the lobby doors and gathered around me and my translator, Diego.
Sept. 11, 2001, was a day that changed America forever. Who among us will ever forget the image of those blazing, crumbling towers? Who could forget the gruesome sight of those who jumped to their deaths from the 110-story towers or the images of ash-covered New Yorkers in the streets? Or the days and weeks of sorrow that followed as the death toll climbed during search-and-rescue efforts?
But has America really changed since that day? Or have we too quickly forgetten and gone back to business as usual?
Did you know that when you speak from your spirit man you overcome? All of the testing you are going through is linked with the word of your testimony that comes out of your mouth, and is produced at the end of your testing. Your spirit man is like the Ark of the Covenant, where the testaments were placed and secured for all mankind. When you endure the enemy’s temptations and your own soulish carnal ways, your spirit man develops an overcoming power.
First, let’s make sure we share the same definition of the word testimony. All of them are essentially the same thing: the story of a person’s spiritual journey. Basically, testimony is defined as someone’s personal spiritual narrative. And while our testimony includes parts of our biography, that isn’t the heart of it. Let’s set aside the definitions dealing with legal or courtroom testimony and focus on the spiritual dimension.
Testimony is evidence in support of a fact or assertion, proof, or a public declaration regarding a religious experience. To testify means to express or declare a strong belief, to make a statement based on personal knowledge in support of an asserted idea, to declare publicly or make known, and to bear witness or provide evidence for.
The Word of God is full of people who testified to the power, majesty and mercy of God.
Joseph testified to his brothers when he said: “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about, as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid” (Gen. 50:19-21).
Job told the Lord, “I know that you can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You” (Job 42:2).
David said, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).
Mary declared, “For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name” (Luke 1:49).
Stephen, moments before he was stoned, said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:56)
Paul said to the Philippians: “Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:12-13).
One thing all of these testimonies have in common is that each one of the speakers directs our attention to the Lord. Our testimony, like our worship, is meant to magnify the Lord—not our own ego. Only when Jesus is exalted will our testimony bear the witness of the Holy Spirit.
There are times when your soul needs to hear what your spirit has to say. In 1 Samuel 30:6, when David and his men found that Ziklag had been burned and their wives and children had been captured, David “strengthened himself in the Lord.” In fact, the ones who were with David wanted to stone him. They obviously had not been fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit, so David had to strengthen himself. His soul really needed to hear what his spirit had to say.
Have you ever had to encourage yourself? At times like that you want to be sure that you have a well-nourished, strong, healthy spirit that has been fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit, because there may not be anyone else around. If you had to encourage yourself, if your spirit had to encourage your soul, how would you do?
Let me encourage you to nourish your spirit, worship, and minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. Exercise your spirit, resist the devil, run with endurance and walk in the Spirit. And keep your spirit in fellowship with the Holy Spirit so that you are becoming more like Jesus and are connected to others who are doing the same.
The blood and the word of your testimony will overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. You are empowered to overcome, and you win in the end!
Adapted from Time to Defeat the Devil by Chuck D. Pierce, copyright 2011, published by Charisma House. As the church undergoes another historical shift, Dr. Pierce reminds you to stay connected to the Head and shows you how your defeats in a former season can become victories and triumphs in the next. To order a copy, click on this link.
PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 9-12-2011
This week encourage yourself in the Lord by declaring His Word and testifying of His goodness, faithfulness and omnipotent power on your behalf. Speak the Word over your circumstances and use it as you pray concerning every aspect of your life. Pray that Christians would repent, and unite in purpose to fast and pray for revival, the nation, and the spread of the gospel. Continue to pray for protection over our nation and our allies, as well as our military and their families. Remember Israel and ask for more laborers for the ripe harvest fields. Pray that President Obama would continue to seek God for wisdom as he leads the nation in these perilous times. 2 Chron. 7:14
To enrich your prayer life and learn how to strategically pray with power by using appropriate scriptures, we recommend the following sources by Apostle John Eckhardt: Prayers that Rout Demons, Prayers that Bring Healing, Prayers that Release Heaven on Earth and Prayers that Break Curses. To order any or all of these click here.
Some say you can smell the spirit of death. I wasn’t born again when my great-grandmother was on her death bed—discerning of spirits wasn’t in operation—but I somehow still knew it was the last time I would see her.
And she had something important she wanted to tell me.
I want to share those same words with you; words with eternal implications. But I first want you to understand the spirit from which they came.
My great-grandmother was born in the 1800s and lived to be nearly 100 years old. During her lifetime seven states joined the Union. She lived through the women’s suffrage and several world-shaking wars. She also lived through the Azusa Street Revival, witnessed the rise of a young Billy Graham and witnessed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
Mama Norris, as she was affectionately known by hundreds, was also a pillar of the church. She helped plant a handful of churches in the small Florida town she called home. (I still have her Bible in my room and relish to read all of the Scriptures that she underlined; Scriptures that touched her heart.)
Rosh Hashanah is one of the highest holy days on the Jewish calendar. God works in times and seasons and never does anything haphazardly. Over the last 10 years since God first launched us into the prophetic healing ministry, I have noticed that each September has been spiritually a significant month for us. It was in September 2002 that our ministry was birthed, and with each September since God has brought a significant change and transition. September marks the first month of the original Jewish calendar, with Rosh Hashanah marking the first day of the New Year. The Jewish feasts and holy days mark important times and seasons in the Spirit. God still works in line with His original calendar.
Mrs. Smith has actually been the premier apple pie maker in our home. My wife makes the best coconut cream pies in the world from scratch, which is the only way I will have pie. Since I don’t like apple pie, it never bothered me to just let Mrs. Smith handle that area.
This is the third and final article from our recent Are You Ready? video series. In the first two articles we looked at how God warns and deals with nations in great sin, then at what God has been saying to America about the economy, natural disasters and what's to come if America does not change. We saw that America is like a prodigal raging down a path of self-destruction. Today we share what we believe is God's solution for America—what it will take to turn our country from its current path of destruction back to God and His restoration.
Are you a content, satisfied, joyful Christian? If you are, can you say that you are consistently content, satisfied and joyful? I know few Christians who are consistently content. I used to be one of the discontent.
I grew up in an abusive situation and experienced a lot of disappointment, discouragement and discontentment because of it. For many years I believed good things wouldn’t happen to me and that it was better to expect nothing so I wouldn’t be disappointed. Well, it didn’t work, and I was still miserable anyway. See, I was expecting nothing, and nothing is what I got.
It was a breakthrough for me when I realized that God truly loves me unconditionally and has good plans for my life. He wants to bless me and be good to me. But He also wants me to trust Him and put my expectation in Him so He can do great things in my life.
Beware. It’s prophetic word of warning to be on your guard; a verbal alert that danger lies ahead. But are modern-day Christians bearing in mind the Scriptural admonishment to “beware” in these last days?
Current news headlines warn us to beware of the stock market; to beware of partisan politicians; to beware of Muslim extremists and so on, and so on, and so on. To be sure, society offers us so many ominous cautions that it’s easy to see how men’s hearts could fail them for fear as a sinful world waxes worse and worse (Luke 21:26).
Although godless fear mongers often issue notices to “beware” that are motivated by greed and power, there is wisdom in warnings that originate from a pure and godly source. And the New Testament is full of such red alerts. Beloved, there are flashing sirens throughout the Word of God to warn us of danger all around—but the first place we need to look is within our own hearts.
Listen, much is written about the Beatitudes, as well it should be. (The Beatitudes are the foundation of kingdom living.) But the Bible also warns us to "walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16). Walking circumspectly means to consider all circumstances and possible consequences. So when the Bible says to “beware,” we should abandon our pride and receive the word.
An earthquake rattles Washington, D.C., and a fierce storm ravages the East Coast. Is God speaking to us?
I’m not a doomsday prophet, and I don’t believe every hurricane, earthquake or drought is God’s judgment. But I did pause to ponder the significance of the freakish 5.8-magnitude quake that jolted the East Coast last week. The White House was evacuated, the Washington Monument was closed indefinitely because of cracks, and the National Cathedral’s central tower was seriously damaged.
Have you ever been stuck? If you’ve ever driven a 4- or 5-speed car and tried to shift gears you know what I mean. It’s not always easy. Sometimes it can be frustrating and what is meant to help propel you to another place instead hinders your journey.
Francis Chan’s book Erasing Hell is a prophetic reminder that we can’t compromise the gospel.
California pastor Francis Chan is one of my heroes, partly because he has given most of his book royalites—reportedly $2 million—to charity. Another reason I admire him: He’s written a new book about hell at a time when many Christians are questioning the idea of eternal punishment. The guy has some chutzpah.
His new book Erasing Hell (David C. Cook) is a direct response to Love Wins, the controversial book by celebrity pastor Rob Bell of Michigan. While Bell’s book flirts with universalism and suggests that a loving God would never send anyone to hell, Chan’s message is blunt and biblical—yet without a hint of self-righteousness.
Editor's Note: This short but noteworthy prophetic word about the recent riots across England is from Sharon Stone, European apostle for Christian International Ministries, an organization pioneered by Bill Hamon of Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. She relayed this message to Hamon upon being asked what the Lord was showing her about the volatile situation.
"Due to the imminent collapse of society, we regret to announce we are closing at 6 pm tonight." This notice was written on a sandwich shop window during England's riots and looting. Here we have natural prophetic voices and spiritual prophetic voices blending throughout this disorder, declaring a broken society where an entitlement mentality based upon excessive benefits has led to criminality.
None of us wish to leave work, return from college, or visit our family and walk into a lion's den of anger, a fiery furnace of strife, or an atmosphere of tension. I suggest there are four methods that can help you make your home a dwelling place of peace and joy.
Editor's Note:Ken Malone shared this prophetic word with us, which was given during a recent meeting in Tampa, Fla., and judged to be for America and the American church. It is about the ending of a season from June until the end of September 2011 and of the Lord's ekklesia entering a new erabeginning in October that will position the church for the future.
June through September 2011 are finishing months—months in which the body of Christ must finish well. Beginning the first of October (which is Rosh Hashanah), we will move into a new era.
God has something sobering to say to us through the death of this popular preacher.
Zachery Tims’ story had a great beginning. As a young man he met Jesus and was saved from a life of crime and drugs. He and his wife, Riva, moved from Baltimore to Orlando, Fla., in 1996 to launch a church that aimed to restore families and pull teens out of trouble. New Destiny Christian Center grew fast, mostly because of Tims’ passionate preaching. He was soon a regular on Christian television.
But things unraveled in 2009 when Tims was caught carrying on a yearlong affair with a stripper he met in France. He admitted to an “indiscretion” and got a few weeks of counseling, but he didn’t take serious time off for rehabilitation. Riva divorced him for his infidelity. The billboards that once featured photos of the happy couple were changed. By 2011 the roadside ads featured a shot of Tims by himself, with this slogan: “A Family Church Meeting Family Needs.”