All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.

June 10, 2004/October 1, 2014







BLESSED

ASSURANCE















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BLESSED ASSURANCE



If you are in Christ, that is, "born again of the Word and the Spirit," you should have assurance of your relationship to God. This assurance comes in many ways. The most important way is referred to in the Old Testament. It is mentioned a number of times throughout the New Testament.

In Ezekiel 36:26,27, it says,

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

This is also mentioned in Ezekiel 11:19,20 and Jeremiah 24:7. It is clearly spoken of in the New Testament. In John 3:6,7 it tells us,

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

In 1 Peter 1:23, it says, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." Ezekiel, Jeremiah, John and Peter are all talking of the same thing, "a new birth, a new heart, and a new spirit within man."

Why is this necessary? The most important reason is that, that's the way God planned things from the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4).

In this world, there are those who are "in the flesh," and those who are "in the Spirit;" that is, those who are "in Adam" and those who are "in Christ." In 1 Corinthians 15:22 it tells us, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." We came into this world, born of the flesh, "in Adam." Now, we must be born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:23, John 3:6,7).

All who are "in Christ" shall be made alive! What does that mean? There are two lives for mankind. There is the life of the flesh in Adam and there is the life of the Spirit in Christ. Adam is called "the first man" in 1 Corinthians 15:47 and Jesus is called "the second man." It says, "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." From there on, the next verses explain; that, the first Adam is of the earth, and the second man, Jesus Christ, is from heaven. Then verse 49 says, "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." This only applies to those who receive Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior. All others are still in Adam and they will not spend eternity in heaven, for they are not in Christ. Their eternity will be spent in hell, with the devil and his followers.

This is why, "we must be born again" and we need assurance of our new life in Christ Jesus, that we do not fail, and be led astray with every wind of doctrine and the teachings of men. We must be taught of God, for He is our teacher in all things pertaining to life in Christ Jesus. Jesus said in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me."

Until a person is born again of the Word and the Spirit, they cannot understand the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Neither can they enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5).

When a person is born again of the Word and the Spirit, there is a witness in their spirit of their new birth. Romans 8:15,16 tell us,

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.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.

In Galatians 4:6 it mentions the same experience, saying, "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."

If you are not sure if you are born again, you can make sure right now. It's simple, because God loves every individual born into this world, and does not wish that any should perish, He has made it very simple to become born again.

From your heart, pray a prayer like this:

"LORD, Jesus, I know that You are the Son of God. I know that You died on the cross for me. I know that God raised You from the dead.

Jesus, forgive me of all my sins, wash me clean in Your blood; that I may be the righteousness of God in You. Thank You, Jesus!

Jesus, I ask You to come into my life. Live Your life in me! Let Your will be done in me! Let the will of God be done in my life as it was in Your life. I surrender my life to You, Jesus!

You lead me by Your Spirit and I will follow to the best of my ability. I will live for You all the days of my life, as You lead me by Your Spirit.

I receive You now, as my LORD, and SAVIOR for all eternity. I will be with You here on earth, and I will be with You in heaven, forever and ever. I will give You all the Glory, it is for You that I will live forever. Amen."

Once you prayed a prayer similar to the one above, God is true to His Word, and Jesus has received you as one of His own. You will not be rejected by God, for Jesus already received you as His very own. God the Father has also received you as one of His Children in Christ Jesus. You are a child of God, and will remain a child of God as long as you desire. God will never forsake you, if you never forsake Him.

Notice also, what Jesus said about those who are His own, given to Him by God the Father in John 17:16, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." If we are not of this world, even as Jesus is not of this world, then where are we from? The Bible teaches that those who are born again, are born from above, meaning from heaven, where God the Father has His throne. If we are born again from heaven, and we are not of this world, then why not believe the Word of God as to who we are in Christ Jesus?

Jesus is our LORD and Savior, but not only that, He is also our brother, for we are children of God just as He is the Son of God. Hebrews 2:11-13 says,

For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

Spiritual things are not naturally discerned. Our mind does not always agree with the Word of God. When this happens, we need to get our minds renewed to believe according to that which is written in the Word of God.

RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT



The plan of God from the foundation of the world was not, that we just become born again into the family of God, but that we also receive the Holy Spirit into our lives to empower us to live and walk in the likeness and image of Jesus Christ Himself (1 Cor. 15:49). Therefore, in Ezekiel 36:27 it says, "And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." In addition to the new birth, whereby we become born of the Word and the Holy Spirit, God wants us to be baptized in the Holy Spirit giving us power to become witnesses unto Jesus Christ, in whom we dwell (Acts 1:4,5,8).

A much greater assurance is given when we have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The initial evidence is the speaking in tongues as the Holy Spirit within us gives us the utterance (Acts 2:4, 10:46, 19:6, 1 Cor. 12:10,28,30; 13:1; 14:2).

The baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues is a promise from God to all who are born again and desire the baptism in the Holy Spirit. God will not withhold the baptism in the Holy Spirit from any born again Christian who desires to receive. It's God's will that every Christian be baptized in the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues. Therefore, if you do not speak in tongues and you desire to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, just say a prayer, similar to the following one, and you will receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

"Jesus, You said in Mark 16:17, that in Your name I can cast out devils.

Satan, in the name of Jesus, I cast you out of my mind. You have no authority over my mind. My mind is clear of all demonic oppression in Jesus' name.

Father, according to Your Word in Luke 11:13, You promised me the Holy Spirit if I ask. Father, I am now asking You to give me the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in Your heavenly language. I receive Him from You now, in Jesus' name."

Now, continue to pray in your new tongue, praise and worship the Father in His heavenly language. Do this a number of times a day, and you will increase you prayer life, and increase your fellowship with God!

This speaking in tongues also gives us greater assurance, whereby in 1 John 3:24 it says, "And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." Again in 1 John 4:13 it says, "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit." Then 1 John 4:17 it tells us, "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world."

Then the apostle John continues to give us assurance in the following verses, "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself..." (1 John 5:10). "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son" (1 John 5:11). Then in verse 12, it says, "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." Then verse 13 says, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." Then in verse 20 he sums it up, saying, "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."

Why do Christians need such assurance? Mainly, because this new life is not a life in the flesh of Adam, but in the spirit of Christ. Romans 8:9 says, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." In the spirit of Christ, we do not have any physical means of knowing what is in our spirit. We only have evidence, as the Spirit of God gives us evidence, by His working in our lives.

When we speak in tongues, we know that the Spirit of God is in us giving us the utterance. When we experience the "righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" within us, we know we are children of God! When we lay hands upon the sick and they recover, we know it is God in us doing the works! We, of ourselves have no power to heal the sick, but the Spirit of God within us causes the sick to recover. It is not us, but the Spirit of God within us that does the works. This is assurance, that God dwells in us, and we in Him, and we are One with God in Christ Jesus. Again, in 1 John 4:4 it tells us, "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."

Because spiritual things are not naturally discerned, God has given us assurance that we are children of God. It takes the Spirit of God within us, working in us to reveal to us that we are children of God. Knowing, that we are children of God, we must learn to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. To do this, we must understand the difference between the flesh and the spirit.

There are two powers in this world, within man. There is the power of the will of the mind, which is a part of man's soul, and there is the power of the Spirit, which is in our spirit. Christians have two lives; the life of the flesh, called "psuche" in the Greek and the life of the spirit, called "Zoe" in the Greek. As long as we are in this world, we have both, "psuche," and "Zoe." To walk after the "psuche" is walking after the flesh. To walk after the "Zoe" is walking after the Spirit.

The life of the flesh "psuche" operates from our natural mind, whereas the life of the spirit "Zoe" operates from our new created spirit within us. Our mind of the flesh operates from our head, where our brain and mind are. Our mind of the spirit operates from our innermost being, our belly as it is called in John 7:38. Jesus said in John 7:38, "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." As we learn the difference between our head and our belly, our natural mind and our spirit, we know the difference between walking after the flesh and walking after the Spirit.

It takes time to grow from a baby Christian to a mature Son of God. It takes years for some baby Christians to recognize the leading of the Spirit of God from within their belly, as opposed to religious spirits that operate from the mind.

Yet, you will find, that everything that comes from your spirit, comes as a witness of the Spirit of God with the Word of God. The Spirit must bear witness with the written Word of God, otherwise it is not of God, but another spirit. Therefore, Christians must continue in the written Word of God, in order for the Spirit of God to bear witness with the written Word of God. Those who do not continue in the written Word of God will easily be deceived by the spirits of this world, who operate through the minds of men.

We must understand the operation of the Spirit of God within us before we can know what is of God and what is of man. That which is of God comes from our spirit, and that which is of man comes from our natural mind. That which is of God, always bears witness with our spirit and the written Word of God.

Things of the Spirit of God always work by "faith" which is a inward witness within us. In Hebrews 11:1 it says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Faith does have substance, and faith does have evidence. The substance and evidence of faith is "an inward witness" in our spirit produced by the Holy Spirit bearing witness with our spirit. Look at what it says in Romans 10:8 about faith. It says, "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach." Faith is in our mouth and in our heart. Faith is an operation of God within us. Just as all the gifts of the Spirit operate. God puts the words we speak in our mouth, as He bears witness in our spirit. As Jesus said, "out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38).

Jesus was speaking to those who were chosen by the LORD in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, called the children of Israel in Mark 9:23, where He said, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." The word "believe" and the word "faith" come from the same Greek word, "peitho," which is a primary verb. A "verb" is an action word, therefore, faith has a corresponding action. "We believe, therefore we speak..." We speak, because we believe in our heart; therefore, we speak with our mouth!

Yet, to those who Jesus was talking to in the gospels, they were not born again, and not baptized in the Holy Spirit. Yet, the operation of faith was the same, for God is NOW, "at all times." In the Old Covenant, which was still in effect at the time Jesus lived before He died on the Cross, God, many times operated in the NOW, which is according to God's time; which is eternity.

In eternity, there is no yesterday, or tomorrow. It is always NOW! According to God's time, "that is, eternity," you were already declared "in Christ" from the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4 says, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world..." It just so happened that you did not come forth in the flesh until you were "born in the flesh." But the real you, was in Christ from the foundation of the world. This is hard to understand in the natural because it is a spiritual truth, not a natural truth. You can only know this by the Spirit of God bearing witness with your spirit that you are a Child of God.

The Spirit of God works in both "the eternal time of God" and "the earthly time of man." At the appointed time, the Spirit of God came upon Mary, and she became pregnant with Jesus, the Son of God. Yet, Jesus was always the Son of God from the beginning. The Spirit of God worked through the Word of God in the Old Testament times, and spoke forth the Word of God concerning things pertaining to "earthly time." The Spirit of God also worked through men "prophesying" things to come in the "earthly time," which had already taken place in "eternal time."

As an example, according to Revelation 13:8 "the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world." Yet, it didn't happen in earthly time until Jesus was crucified on the Cross of Calvary. Although, the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ was just as effective for the children of Israel as it is for us today. In Isaiah 43:25 it says, "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." How and when did this happen? It was declared before the foundation of the world, "in eternity," but happened on the Cross of Calvary in "earthly time."

God is always, NOW, and whatsoever God says in His Word stands, for it is declared from the foundation of the world. All God is doing, is bringing to pass that which was declared from the foundation of the world. Isaiah 46:9.10 says,

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

It was God's good pleasure to choose you in Christ Jesus from the foundation of the world, yet He did not make it known to you until you received Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior.

God always works in the NOW, therefore, faith works by God confirming His Word by His Spirit. His Word is confirmed when we believe, therefore, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23).

What do we do when things don't happen, when we have been believing? Two things we need to understand; doubt and unbelief will rob us of what God has promised. Doubt and unbelief operate in the minds of Christians, not in their spirit. When we operate from our spirit, there is no doubt or unbelief. Our spirit is joined "One Spirit with the LORD"! There is no doubt or unbelief in our spirit, it's all in our mind of the flesh.

If the god of this world can get us to operate from our mind of the flesh, he can cause doubt and unbelief to over-ride the spirit. Peter actually operated by the Spirit when he started to walk on the water, but then his mind took over. It says, "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid..." (Matt. 14:30). Jesus then rebuked Peter, saying, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" (Matt. 14:31). The Spirit of God gave Peter the ability to walk on the water, but when Peter let his mind take control of what He did, he began to sink.

That is what happens to most Christians when they fail to see the manifestation of God in their lives. Their mind takes over and they get into doubt or unbelief. Doubt and unbelief operate from the flesh, faith operates from the spirit.

How do we keep our mind from getting us into doubt and unbelief? There are two things we can do according to the Word of God. In Romans 10:17, it says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." The word "word," is not what many people think it is. The Greek word used in this verse for "word" is "rhema." Rhema, in the Greek means, "an utterance." Therefore, it is truly saying, by hearing the Word from our spirit, which is a work of the Holy Spirit within us. Therefore, we can listen to our spirit for a revelation from the Spirit of God within us, or we can go to Jude 1:20, which says, "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost." These are both works of the Spirit of God within us. It is God, that gives us faith, not man. Faith comes from our spirit, not our mind.

Jesus explained His faith, by saying, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me" (John 5:30). When we get the will of the flesh out of the way, then the Holy Spirit can work in our lives.

Have you ever considered "how much God wants us to live by faith?" It is His greatest desire, therefore, the Scripture tells us, "the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:17, Gal. 3:11, Heb. 10:38). It's not our faith, it's the faith that we receive from God. It's not what we can do, it's what God can do through us, by His Word and His Spirit working in us.

The more Christians try to help God out, by their ability, the further away they get from operating in the true faith God has given them. When Christians try to do things themselves, they are operating from their mind of the flesh. When they let God do it, it comes from their spirit where God dwells.

This is important to understand, for Romans, Chapter Eight only works for those Christians "who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit!" What happens when Christians get over into operating from their natural minds? Satan comes in with thoughts, that prevent God from having control.

Mark 4:14-20 explains how Satan gets Christians away from the Word of God and into the natural mind, where he can control what they do. It ends up telling us, "the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful" (Mark 4:19).

God does not work according to our natural mind, He works through our spirit, using spiritual wisdom and knowledge. There is a difference between spiritual wisdom and knowledge and natural wisdom and knowledge. In 1 Corinthians 2:12-14 it tells us,

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

That is why in Romans 12:2 it tells us, "be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." To prevent our natural mind from stopping the Holy Spirit from working from our spirit, we must renew our minds. In renewing of our minds, they must not be conformed to this world, but rather to the Word of God.

Let me help you to understand the importance of receiving the Holy Spirit in this testimony. Before I was born again, and even after I was born again I would get terrible headaches. They would be so terrible that no matter what I did, I could not get relief. I never went to a doctor, but I would always take two Aspirin tablets, and after a short time with no relief, I would then take two Excedrin tablets. I sometimes even took more than two of each. I never did know what worked to get relief, but somehow the headaches did leave after a while.

After I received the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, I got one of those terrible headaches. It was about 1:00 A.M. in the morning. I awoke with a terrible headache and it was so intense that I got up holding my head, trying to put pressure on my mind to ease the headache.

The first thing I did was I went and got two Aspirin tablets and took them. I waited, holding my head, for about a half-hour, but the headache did not leave. Then I went and took two Excedrin tablets and kept holding my head, but the headache did not leave. Then the thought came to me, I'm going down in my basement, where I would not disturb others in the house and I'm going to pray in the Spirit.

I went down in my basement and started praying in the Spirit. I kept praying in the Spirit, regardless of how much my head ached. After a short time of praying in the Spirit, a joy came into me and I started to sing in the Spirit. Soon I was singing in the Spirit and dancing before the LORD!

That was in 1982, and that was the last time I had a headache. I have never had a headache since that time. As you continue praying in the Spirit and studying the Word of God, you just know that manifestations such as terrible headaches are associated with spirits. Praying in the Spirit gives the Holy Spirit an opportunity to cast out an evil spirit from your mind. When the evil spirit cannot affect your mind, the headache will be gone.

I have not had an headache since, and I believe it is because the spirit behind the headaches is gone. That's over twenty years since I had the last headache. Deliverance from spirits can be received by simply praying in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit can work on your behalf while you are praying in the Spirit. It says in Romans 8:26, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." In 1 Corinthians 14:14 it says, "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful." Whenever we pray in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit is involved, and we authorize Him to intercede for us. When the Holy Spirit gets involved, all demonic spirits have to leave.

When we understand the benefits of praying in the Spirit, we find that things work so much better for us. Once we are born again "Children of God," God wants to do all He can to help us. Therefore, if we will receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, we can benefit so much more in our lives. Things we cannot do, the Holy Spirit will do for us, while we are praying in tongues.



RENEWING THE MIND



In renewing our mind, it is important that we do not get into religious operations, whereby we are controlled by doctrines or teachings of men. Since we are in this world, but not of this world, we need to get our minds thinking the way God thinks. Our thoughts should line up with God's thoughts and our ways should line up with God's ways. Isaiah 55:7-9 says,

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

When we understand that our natural mind does not agree with God, then we must renew our mind that it does agree. We must not let our thinking follow that of the religious leaders of today. They define an unrighteous man as one who commits horrible sins. But that is not God's idea of an unrighteous man. In God's eyes, anyone who does not think the way God thinks is unrighteous.

In Psalm 14:2,3 it says,

The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.

They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

When the LORD looked down from heaven, what did He see? There was none that were righteous, no not one...

Righteousness does not come by what we do of our ability, it comes by believing what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. Look at Romans 3:20-24, which says,

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Christians will never understand righteousness until they understand the Cross, where the blood of the everlasting covenant was shed, once for everyone. Hebrews 10:10 says, "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Sanctified, includes "made holy, and acceptable by God."

It is not by what we did, but by what Jesus did for us on the Cross of Calvary. Until we understand the Cross, Satan will have an advantage over us. It's by the preaching of the Cross that we are set free of all the works of the devil. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:2, "I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified."

Sin has always been Satan's greatest weapon against Christians. There are those who strive on the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The "knowledge of good" is used to exalt oneself, and claim their righteousness based upon how good they are. The "knowledge of evil" is used to condemn others and justify themselves. Either of these are not acceptable to God. They are works of unrighteousness for they do not recognize the Cross of Jesus Christ, and the shedding of His blood.

How many Christians have recognized the importance God has placed upon the shedding of blood? How many have recognized the importance of the blood of Jesus Christ?

If we study the Old Testament, and search how many times the blood is mentioned, then consider how much blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins it is astounding. If all the blood that was shed by animals and fowl in the Old Testament was emptied into one lake or sea, it could be as large as the Sea of Galilee in the Holy Land. Every year, from Moses on, blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins. For about one thousand five hundred years from Moses to Jesus, the blood of goats and bulls and calves was shed, every year (Heb. 9:12). On the night of the Passover there were six-hundred-thousand men plus children in Egypt, who observed the Passover. There was one lamb or male goat for every household killed that night. The nation of Israel continued to increase in number, and every year there was the shedding of blood for their sins.

Yet, it was not the blood of animals or fowl that God desired, it was the blood of Jesus Christ. The animals' and fowls' blood was only a shadow of that which was to come, which was, the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). It was the blood of the everlasting covenant that God desired to set His people free....

Look at the importance of the blood of Jesus Christ. In all four gospels, the crucifixion is mentioned, and given in detail. The importance of the blood is mentioned over and over in the epistles. Hebrews, Chapters Nine and Ten, makes it clear, there is "no other sacrifice" for the sins of mankind. The blood of Jesus Christ is the total payment for the sins of the whole world.

With the price already paid, we must learn the importance of the blood. We must learn how to apply the blood to our lives that Satan has no advantage over us.

Forgiveness of sins is one of the greatest of God's blessings upon His children. Jesus said in Luke 24:47, "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Repentance and forgiveness of sins, is God's plan, and it is based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary.

It's important to notice in Revelation 12:11, it says, "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." We can always overcome the devil "by the blood of the Lamb." The blood of Jesus Christ is very important in the lives of all Christians.

"The life of the flesh is in the blood..." (Lev. 17:11). The shedding of the blood signifies the death of the flesh. Jesus, gave His "life of the flesh" on the Cross for us, that we can live and not die. His life was given, for us. He paid the price for our freedom from all the works of the devil; sickness, disease, sin, and iniquity. When Satan attacks us in any of these areas, we have the blood of Jesus to overcome the attacks of the devil. He gave His blood for the forgiveness of our sins and iniquities, and His body for the healing of our bodies.

When we believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary, by the words of our confession, Satan is defeated, and we overcome him and all his demons. We overcome "by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of [our] testimony..."

In our daily lives, we overcome the devil by the blood of Jesus Christ. In 1 John 1:7 it says, "if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." The blood of Jesus Christ is very important for every Christian. We walk by faith in the Word of God that declares that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.



MORE ASSURANCE



There is even more assurance. That is, when you experience God working in your life, personally. God is a Father to all His children. God is love, and loves all of His children. As we get to know God by His Word and His Spirit, we have trust and confidence in God beyond that of the world.

God will show Himself strong among those who love Him. There are multitudes of testimonies of those who the LORD did things in their lives which man could not do. The LORD does these things simply, because He loves us and wants us to experience His love in our lives.

Shortly after I received Jesus as my LORD and Savior, I experienced a wonderful supernatural manifestation of the power of God in my life. I had just received the LORD into my life on a Thursday evening. The following Sunday, in the afternoon, I was sitting on my davenport, watching television. I just wanted to relax for a while after finishing the noon meal.

As I sat on the davenport, all of a sudden I found myself standing in the clouds above the earth. I looked down on the earth below and saw all the property I owned. I saw people in the Olympics, diving from a high tower into a pool below, simply to receive a metal for their accomplishments. As I looked up from the cloud I was standing on, I saw a bright light shining down from above. I heard a voice say to me, "all of this will pass away, the only thing that will matter is your relationship to Me." That voice I heard, I was sure it was the LORD speaking to me.

After I heard the voice, I was suddenly back in my body on the davenport in my living room. This experience took some time. For, while I was up in the clouds, my youngest son came into the house and asked for the keys to my vehicle, to get my tools to fix his bicycle. He told me, he first came in to ask me for the keys, but he could not awake me. So, knowing I would not mind him using the tools in my vehicle, he took the keys out of my pocket. Then he went and got the tools. When he came back into the house to give me the keys back, he said, he still could not awake me. So, he put the keys back into my pocket and went out to work on his bicycle. After I came back into my body, I saw my two sons working on their bicycles and I wondered, how did they get the tools out of my vehicle? After asking them, that is when my youngest son told me, he could not awake me to ask me for the keys, and later, he could not awake me to tell me he had the tools.

God is good to His children, and He does many things to give us assurance that He is our Father and He cares about us and our relationship to Him. That instance happened in 1979. Another experience happened in 2003.

On August 19, 2003, it was about 7:00 PM and I was about to go to bed. The temperature in the house was about 85 degrees and outside it was about 79 degrees. So I had two fans running in the windows, blowing cooler air into the house. I was ready to go to bed. I only had my house coat on when I thought I best not go to bed yet, but rather lay in the livingroom for a while, then shut the fans off before going to bed.

I laid down on the davenport for about a half-hour and fell asleep. While sleeping I felt someone grab my foot. I jumped and said, Hey! I looked, and beside the davenport, by my feet stood two angels dressed in US Army combat uniforms. They did not have any weapons, and only a small dress cap on their head. They stood near my feet looking at me (about four feet from my face). There was no fear, and they did not look as though they intended to do anything but look at me. They stood there like two people waiting for someone to take their picture.

I looked them over very carefully, from the combat boots up to the top of their heads. They did not have any identification on them, no rank, no name tag, none-whatsoever. They were both about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed about 180 pounds. They both were of white complexion. One had blond hair the other one had black hair. They were clean shaven, no mustache, no beard. Their uniforms had a perfect press, as if it had just come from a dry-cleaners. Then I was staring in their faces to see if I might know who they were, I did not recognize either one as someone I knew. They never said a word to me and I did not try to speak to them. After a few seconds of me looking at them and them looking at me they disappeared.

I did not have any fear, no coldness like if it were demons, no idea at all that they were there to cause me any harm, whatsoever. I had "total peace" all the time. After they disappeared I got up and looked around the house to see if there was anything I could see that they would have appeared to warn me about, like a gas leak or unlocked door, or something. I did not find anything wrong anywhere. At the time, all I could figure out was they just wanted me to know they were there protecting me from any danger.

Praise God, it is exciting to know the LORD loves us so, that He will even send "special forces" to us if we need them. Now, it's also exciting to know, the LORD does not just send angels to those who are someone great in the body of Christ, but even to someone like myself; the least of all the brethren.

God knows how to encourage us, and let us know He is interested in every area of our lives. God wants to meet our every need, according to His Word.

In 1981, just after I received the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, I was in need of finances. I was in the television repair business and it was the last week in May. On Tuesday, the day following Memorial Day, I was watching television at noon. There was an evangelist on, telling about a situation where he needed one hundred thousand dollars to finish a project.

All of a sudden from my spirit I heard "send ____ one hundred dollars"! It wasn't an audible voice, but it was the same as if it was. I knew I needed about three thousand dollars by the fifteenth of June and didn't have anywhere near that amount. I said, "LORD, I don't have one hundred dollars to spare."

The next day, about noon, from my spirit came these same words, "send ____ one hundred dollars"! I said, "LORD, I don't have one hundred dollars to send, I need three thousand dollars by the fifteenth of June, if I had it, You know I would send it." After I said that, I began to check all the money I had. I totaled everything up; my home money, my personal checking account, my shop checking account, and my shop cash. I had about six hundred dollars total.

Again, on Thursday about noon, from my spirit came these same words, "send ____ one hundred dollars"! This time I answered, "LORD, I'll send the money, but You will have to take care of the three thousand dollars I need by the fifteenth of June." I wrote out the check and went to the corner mail box and mailed it. When I was entering the door to the shop the telephone was ringing. I got one phone call after another for service work.

I started working long hours every day, trying to get all the jobs done on time. By the fifteenth of June I had over three thousand dollars. By the first of July I had another one thousand dollars, and by the end of July I took in about five thousand dollars more than any year previous during those three months.

God knows when we have a need, and He wants to supply all our needs. God will do everything He can, according to His Word to help those who are His children.

There are so many things God wants to do in our lives, if we will let Him and believe His Word. Sometimes, God wants to use us to help others. When we pray for others, believing in our heart, God answers our prayers.

One day a woman came to us, she had a stiff leg for about four years, and at times she had pain in that leg. After spending some time in the Word of God with her, I said to her, "before you leave I will pray for your leg." First, I explained to her, how simple it was for God to heal her leg. Then I prayed for her leg. Before she left, I instructed her how to resist the devil, and take authority over any signs of stiffness or pain. And that she should thank and praise the LORD for her healing.

As she left, she still had a stiff leg, and pain. But, she walked out resisting the devil and thanking Jesus, for by His stripes she was healed.

The next morning, she called and left a message on my answering machine, telling me that all the pain and stiffness was gone. A month later, she told me again, all the pain and stiffness was gone the morning after I prayed for her and it has never returned, she was completely free! God is so good, and His love never ends. His Word is true, and what He says, He will do for anyone who believes.

Sometimes, God does things in our lives without our even knowing what He is doing until it is done. Other times, the Holy Spirit leads us, so we can benefit from what the LORD has already done for us.

There was a time that I had a growth on my finger. It was there and growing for about two weeks. One day, I was praying in the Spirit while driving down the road, and out of my spirit came these words, "Why don't you curse the roots on that growth and command it to die and fall off"? I immediately cursed the roots in Jesus' name and commanded them to die and the growth to fall off.

It seemed as though nothing happened when I prayed. The growth was still there. I couldn't see any change. For weeks I continued to change the band-aid I had been putting on it to protect it. One thing I noticed after a week or so, was that it didn't get any larger. It stayed about the same size.

About a month later, as I was changing the band-aid, the growth fell off. It came off with the band-aid when I removed it to put on a new one. The words I spoke that day while driving down the road caused the growth to die. It did fall off after about a month. There was not even a mark where it had been. Praise the LORD, that I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and able to speak in tongues. If I had not been praying in the Spirit I may not have received healing from that growth.

Another time, my older brother lived in California, and I had sent him one of my books "You Can Be Healed." After reading the book he called me about midnight my time. He said, "Merle, I read your book and I believe it, would you pray for me that I stop smoking cigarets?" I was still half asleep, when I prayed for him. After I prayed, I hung up the telephone and went back to sleep.

Months later, I talked to him and asked him, what happened the day I prayed for you to stop smoking? He said, didn't I tell you, when you prayed it was like warm oil was being poured over me, and I haven't smoked a cigaret since that day. Praise the LORD, He answers prayer whenever we pray, believing in the Word of God!

There is no end to what God will do in the lives of those who are His children through the new birth. His love is never ending, and He cares about us all the time. The more time we spend in His Word and prayer, the greater manifestations we will see in our lives.

There was a time when I had gotten up early in the morning. I was baking a cake in the oven. The temperature in the oven was 450 degrees. When I opened the oven door, it didn't open all the way, it was at an angle. I placed the holders on the edge of the cake pan and reached in to pull the pan out of the oven. When I took hold of the pan, my left hand missed the holder and I burned the palm of my hand on the edge of the cake pan. Immediately, I said, "Thank You, Jesus for healing my hand." I continued to do what I was doing. You could smell the burned flesh, there was pain, but I kept doing what I was doing and thanking the LORD for healing my hand. That happened about five o'clock in the morning. By noon that day, there wasn't even a mark on my hand where it had been burned. Only the LORD can heal a burn like that in that short of time. Praise the LORD for His Word.

There was a time when a sister in the LORD got into an automobile accident and the left side of her face was all cut up by flying glass. I met her in the hospital just after she came down from the emergency room. When the doctor came in with the x-rays he examined her face very closely. He then said to her, "There are no broken bones, but there is a lot of damage. Part of your eye-lash is missing, and part of your eye-brow is missing. There is no place on your body where I can get eye-brows or eye-lashes from at this time. All I can do is sew you up and after it is healed somewhat we can send you to another hospital about 100 miles away and they will be able to graft in some eye-lashes and eye-brows."

After the doctor left the room she said to me, "We are not going to accept that are we?" I said "No, let's pray!" I began to pray in the Spirit (unknown tongues). I must have prayed (in an unknown tongue) at least five minutes or more when she said to me, "Is that all you are going to do is pray in the Spirit?" I said to her, "Let the Holy Spirit do what He wants to do," and I continued to pray in the Spirit (unknown tongues).

After praying in the Spirit for quite some time, words began to come out of my mouth in English. I began to say, "In the name of Jesus I command the eye-lashes to be there. In the name of Jesus I command the eye-brows to be there. In the name of Jesus I command the tear glands to be whole and working. In the name of Jesus I command the eye muscles to be working properly. In the name of Jesus I command 20 - 20 vision in her eyes." Then, un-expectantly these words came out of my mouth "And she will be in church on Sunday." When I heard myself say that, my mind stopped my spirit from praying. I could not believe in my mind that she would be in Church on Sunday. It was about 6:00 PM on Friday at that time.

Following the prayer, they took her up to surgery. About 11:00 PM the doctor came to me and said, "Praise the LORD! The eye-brows and eye-lashes were all there. The tear glands were fine. Everything was there, all I had to do was sew her up."

When we pray "all supplications and prayer in the Spirit" we authorize the Holy Spirit to do the will of God in each situation we pray for. The Holy Spirit knows what to do and how to do it. All He needs is our cooperation. When we begin to pray in (unknown) tongues our spirit does the praying, and the Holy Spirit helps us (Rom. 8:26,27). Sometimes, while praying in (unknown) tongues the Holy Spirit can switch us over to a ministry gift of (diverse kinds of) tongues, such as intercession, spiritual warfare, etc., while speaking in tongues. He will give us the words to speak in tongues, or in English.

Christians should understand, if they do not receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, then the Holy Spirit cannot use them in this manner. The Holy Spirit needs Christians who are baptized in the Holy Spirit to do His will in situations like this one.

About two years after I was born again, I was writing my first book. At that time my oldest daughter was in an auto accident. Her left arm was all banged up. A large iron cover hit the side of her car and her left arm. They called me from the hospital. They told me she was there and wanted me to come down to the hospital.

After getting off the telephone the LORD spoke to me from inside and said, "You better go down there." I looked at my watch; it was 6:30 PM. I didn't go right away. About 15 minutes later the LORD said, "You better go there now!" I said, "Ok," and I prayed with my boys and left. On the way down the LORD said, "When you get there she will be coming out and I want to heal her." When I got there she was just coming out with her arm in a sling packed in ice and a lot of medication in her hand. Her boy-friend was with her. There was no place to park my car, so I asked her if she would come over to my place for a while. She said she would and I left for home. When she got to my house her boy-friend was with her. We talked for a few minutes. Her arm was not broken, but all the muscles and tendons were in bad shape. The doctor said it would be two weeks or more before she could use her left hand and arm. She was to go back the next day for a check-up.

I asked her boy-friend to go up-stairs and send down my oldest son, then wait up-stairs until we come up. He did, and my oldest son came down. I didn't want anyone around who did not believe that Jesus would heal her arm right at the very moment that I prayed.

I said to her, "The LORD wants to heal you NOW, right here, is that Ok with you?" She said, "Sure."

I knew she wasn't living for the LORD at the time so I asked her, "First, would you pray with me that the LORD would receive you?" She said sure, so I prayed with her first and she accepted the LORD! Then I laid my hands on her and commanded healing in the name of Jesus. The LORD healed her arm 100% that very moment when I prayed.

I knew within myself that she was healed so I asked her, "Did you feel anything?" She said, "It feels kinda funny." I said, "Take your arm out of the sling and bend it up." She did. Then I said, "Now straighten it out," and she did. Then I said, "Now bend it all the way to the right," and she did. Then I said, "Now bend it all the way to the left" and as she did a smile came on her face and she said, "Dad, it doesn't even hurt." I said, "I know, the LORD just healed it for you!" Her face lit up, she was so happy, we just praised the LORD for healing her.

She went right back to work the very next day. She never lost a day of work. She was a key punch operator and needed the use of her left hand. By the love of God, He healed her.

Because we are children of God, and God is our Father, He watches over us in a way that man cannot. There are many times in our lives when things happen, of which we have no control over. Yet, God loves us and takes care of us like a father takes care of his little children.

In January of 1999, while driving to Iowa, it was raining with some snow flurries. On Interstate Highway 80, just west of the Quad Cities: I was following a semi-trailer in the left lane as it was passing another semi-trailer. I was about 50 yards behind the semi in front of me, when all of a sudden a sheet of sheet-rock was picked up by the wind and came swinging around the back of the semi-trailer from the left side. It seems, that the sheet rock had been lying on the roadside for some time, for it was soaking wet. This sheet of sheet-rock turned on edge (four feet high and eight feet long). It came right in front of me like a wall.

I did not put on the brakes. I did not turn one way or the other. I didn't even let up on the gas. My vehicle hit the sheet of sheet-rock right in the center and smashed it into pieces. Every bit of the sheet rock went down under my vehicle. Not one part came up over the hood. As I looked into my rear-view mirror I saw pieces of sheet-rock flying to the left and to the right, and the center part tumbling down the road directly behind my vehicle.

Was it the devil trying to cause damage to my vehicle, or even trying to cause harm to my wife and I? We don't know. Was it the angels who forced the sheet-rock under my vehicle, that no part hit the windshield, and no damage to my vehicle? We don't know. But one thing we do know, the LORD and the angels are watching over us to keep us from harm and danger. Praise the LORD! God loves His children and is keeping us from harm and danger everyday of our lives.

There was a time when I broke my toe on a Saturday afternoon in a downtown apartment building. I was on a television service call. I was leaving the apartment building, carrying the chassis of a televison set in my arms. It was not easy to see where I was walking. As I was going through the door, I stubbed my foot on a concrete block in the doorway. I felt a sharp pain in my toe, I knew I had broken it. I drove home, took off my shoe and saw the swelling, the black and blue coloring of my foot. I felt the pain. When this happened, my mind began to receive thoughts from the devil. I knew it was broken. I had experienced a broken bone in my body years ago. The pain of a broken bone is different than that of a sprain or torn ligament.

The thought came to me, "I had better go to the hospital and get it x-rayed, to be sure the bone was in the right place." The second thought that went through my head was, "When I do that the doctor will cut out the front of my shoe and put a bandage on my toe, and I will go around like that for about six weeks." Then the Spirit of God rose up within me and said, "You don't have to do that, by His stripes you are healed, He bore your sickness and infirmities, tell the devil to take a jump." Immediately I said, "Devil get out, I don't need this and you can't put this on me, by His stripes I am healed." "Jesus, Himself took my infirmities and bore my sickness, so you can go take a jump. Thank You, Jesus."

All this time I was alone in the house. I spoke words out-loud to the devil and I confessed before God my healing. Then I took a shower, dressed up, and went out for lunch. The thought again came to me to go to the hospital and have an x-ray, but then I said within myself, "Why should I spend God's money for something I didn't need. God's Word is true and I am healed."

That day my foot was very sore but I kept on going. The person I went to lunch with said to me, "Merle, you should have stayed home, and not be walking around on that foot." I just said, "Don't worry about it, it's Ok."

The next day the soreness left. It was Sunday and I went to Church. On Monday evening I showed my foot to those at my house who were there for a share group meeting. All we could see was one red spot and a blue stripe mark where the break had been. Praise the Lord for His Word! By Tuesday all was back to normal, no red spot, no blue stripe.

On Friday, I showed my foot to a nurse friend of mine. I told her what had happened the Saturday before and how the foot came back to normal in three days. She said, "It had to be God, for in the natural it would take ten days to two weeks before the black and blue would be gone."

There are times when God wants to use us to help others. A Christian friend of mine picked up another friend of his and myself to go to a meeting. At the meeting the power of God was working mightily. Many people were going out in the Spirit as a woman laid her hands upon them. Doubtless, many things were happening in their lives because of the anointing.

When we left the meeting to go home, I was riding in the back seat and his friend was in front of me. His friend said, "I should have had that woman lay hands upon me." My friend said to him, "Merle could pray for you." I said to his friend, "What's the problem that you need prayer for?" He said, "I have a pain in the back of my neck," and he went on naming many other parts of his body where he was experiencing pain or discomfort.

As we rode back to my house, I just continued to pray in the Spirit. While I was praying in the Spirit, in my mind (without speaking a word in English out loud), I started saying to the LORD; "LORD, heal his neck, take the pain away, LORD, heal his side, LORD heal his back, LORD, heal this and LORD heal that..." I just spoke to the LORD in my mind, never saying a word out loud in English. Yet, I never stopped praying in the Spirit all the time I was talking to the LORD in my mind.

I had learned something a while back. Since God knows every thought, then I should be able to talk to God in my mind (1 Cor. 3:20). So, all I did was talk to the LORD in my mind while I was praying in tongues.

My friend told me later that when I got out of his car by my house, his friend said to him something like this, "I see you brought your armor bearer along with you tonight!" After my friend answered him, he said, "That man can ride behind me anytime he wants to. All the time he was praying in the Spirit back there, I could feel the LORD healing my body."

Christians who do not have the baptism in the Holy Spirit are limiting God from using them in situations like this. If we want God to work in our lives to help us, we also must be willing to let God use us to help others.

There was a time when I was traveling back and forth between Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Tulsa Oklahoma quite often. This would take about fourteen hours to go one way. While driving I would usually pull over into a Wayside and rest for a short time, two or three times each trip. I got use to pulling into a Wayside and saying, "Holy Spirit, wake me when it's time to go." Then I would lay back on the seat and fall asleep. It seemed that I usually slept about twenty-minutes, then I would wake up, and drive again for about four to six hours.

I had traveled that route many times and every time it seemed it was about twenty-minutes and I would awake. But one time I left Tulsa late in the evening and drove as far as Joplin Missouri. I pulled into a Wayside to rest for about twenty-minutes, I thought! When I laid back on my seat, I said, "Holy Spirit, wake me when it's time to go." An hour later I awoke and looked at the clock, in surprise I said, "Holy Spirit, what happened, it's an hour?"

I drove back on the highway and less than a mile down the road the traffic was stopped. All I could see ahead of me was cars and trucks stopped and waiting. I got out of my vehicle and walked over to a truck, where the driver seemed to have a CB radio. I asked him, "What's happening?" He told me that a semi-trailer was jack-knifed in the road just before an off ramp. He said it happened just over an hour ago. The traffic was at a stand-still for about an hour. Then he said, they are just starting to move up ahead, so get ready to go!

Why did the Holy Spirit let me sleep an hour instead of twenty-minutes? He knew what was happening on the highway, and so He let me sleep while others just sat on the highway, waiting for the road to be cleared. The Holy Spirit knows what's happening ahead, and knows how to work all things together for our good (Rom. 8:28).

That same night, I drove until I was just south of St. Louis Missouri, and pulled into a wayside to rest. Again, I said, "Holy Spirit, wake me when it's time to go." I laid back on my seat and went to sleep. It was again, about an hour before I awoke. I looked at the clock and said, "Holy Spirit, what happened, it's about an hour!"

I drove back on the highway and only a short time later, the sun was starting to come up. Daylight was breaking in the east, and ahead of me I saw a white figure along the side of the road. At first, I couldn't make out what it was, only that it was white. As I got closer I saw it was a nurse, dressed in a white uniform. She was waving at me to stop. I pulled over to stop, and she opened the door on my vehicle to get in. As she got in, she said, "Praise the LORD, you're a Christian"! Now, I didn't have anything on my vehicle to indicate that I was a Christian. Yet, that is the first thing she said. Then she said to me, "Could you give me a ride to the hospital a few miles away?" I asked about her car, what had happened? She said, "Don't worry about the car, my husband will come and get it, but I have to be at the hospital by 6:00 A.M." On the way to the hospital she told me, she prayed that the LORD would send a Christian to give her a ride to the hospital, that's why she was so excited to see me, when I stopped to give her a ride.

All the way to the hospital we had a great time talking about what the LORD was doing in our lives. I felt blessed to be able to help her, and I was blessed, just talking to her about what the LORD was doing.

Had I not slept about an hour at the Wayside, I would have passed her before her car stopped running. The Holy Spirit knew what was happening with her car, and He knew He could keep me at the Wayside, so I would be right where He needed me to help this sister in the LORD when she needed help.

The Holy Spirit is the One who works all things together for our good. In Romans 8:26,27 it talks about the Holy Spirit working in our lives, doing things we cannot do. Then verse 28 says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." It's simple to put two and two together, and see what the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives to use us to help others when they need help. If we want the Holy Spirit to help us when we need help, we must be willing to let the Holy Spirit use us to help others also.



ASK GOD





When we search the Scriptures concerning asking, we will find they lean toward asking God, the LORD, or the Father. There is very little said in the Scriptures about asking another Christian for anything other than to pray with them. God is trying to emphasize "ask God," rather than asking man.

In John 14:13, Jesus said, "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." I believe God is more able to supply all our needs than man. God has the ability and power to do whatsoever we ask according to His Word. His arm is not short, so to speak. He wants us to ask. He tells us that in His Word.

In Matthew 7:7, Jesus said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." He is talking about asking God, not asking someone else. In verse 8, Jesus said, "For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

In Matthew 21:22, Jesus said, "all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." Again, Jesus is talking about asking God in prayer, and He made a positive statement, saying, "ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." In Mark 11:24, Jesus said, "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Here Jesus is pointing out that we should first believe, then we shall receive. This is most likely the downfall of many who do not receive. They don't believe they have already received before they see the evidence.

In John 15:7, Jesus said, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." Here, Jesus added, "abiding in Him and in His Words." If we do that, then Jesus said, "ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."Yet, He is talking about asking God, not asking others. In verse 16, Jesus added, "whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." In this verse, He specifically is talking about asking the Father, in His name. In John 16:23,24, Jesus is also talking about asking the Father. He said,

And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

In James 1:5-8 it tells us,

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

It's important when we ask, we do not become double minded--letting doubt or unbelief enter in. God is well able to give us whatsoever we ask, if we do not waver... Yet, James also said, "ye have not, because ye ask not" (James 4:2). This is true of most Christians, they go without because they do not "ask God" when they have a need. Some have used this verse wrongly by asking others in the body of Christ, and then become discouraged because they didn't receive. There is no indication that this verse is talking about asking anyone other than God the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit.

But James did not stop with that statement. He went on to say, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts" (James 4:3). God is love and will not give you something that is not good for you. God will never lead you into temptation, or tempt you with evil. God will not help you serve the devil or the lusts of the eyes, or of the flesh. God is for you, not against you (Rom. 8:31). Those things that will hinder your fellowship and relationship with God are not good for you. A Father that loves you will never help you destroy yourself...

On a Friday in 2004, my foot started to get sore between two toes. By Saturday morning, it started to swelling and got so sore it was hard to walk on it.

About that time the thought came to me that maybe I should go to a drug store and get something to put on it to relieve the pain and help with healing. This is what I used to do before I learned that Jesus bore my sicknesses and diseases. Just as the thought came to my mind, I said out loud, "Satan, you cannot put this on me, by Jesus' stripes I am healed. Thank You, Jesus for healing me, Amen." Even though it was very sore, I decided I was going to walk on it, because I was healed, by Jesus' stripes. I left my house and walked about two blocks away. As I was walking, the pain left; although some of the soreness was still there.

On Sunday morning there was still some indications of the sore, but no pain or soreness. By Tuesday morning there was not even a mark where the sore had been. We could say that, within three days from the time I prayed, there was no mark or indication that I ever had a sore on my foot.

Christians can learn from these experiences of healing. Healing from the LORD, according to His Word is like insurance is to the world. Many people of the world have insurance. When something happens they can call the insurance company and report their loss. The insurance company will then investigate and pay the damages, if it is covered by their policy. Yet, if a person in the world has insurance, but does not report their loss, the insurance company will not pay the damages.

Christians have the Word of God, that entitles them to receive healing whenever they are attacked by the enemy. But if they do not use the Word of God against the enemy, they usually do not receive their healing. Therefore, the Word of God will not benefit them. The Word of God works, but we must do what it tells us to do to benefit from it.

When we need something from God, and it is promised to us in His Word, we first must ASK, then we will receive. The word "ASK," has two meanings; one is; "make a request based upon a promise." The other meaning is, "to make a demand based upon something that is rightfully ours." Healing is rightfully ours; therefore we can make a demand that Satan remove all symptoms and evidence of any sickness or disease, for "by Jesus' stripes we are healed" (Isa. 53:5, Matt. 8:17, 1 Peter 2:24).

In Matthew 18:3, Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." What Jesus was saying is that we should come to God the way little children come to their father. Therefore, when a little children come to their father, they come, based upon two things.

1). They know their father is able and willing to do whatsoever they asks as long as it is not something their father would not want to do.

We know from the Word of God, those things God wants to do and can do.

2). They ask, because they know their father will listen and give them what they ask for; not based upon what they can do, but based upon the fact that they are his children.

In 1 John 5:14,15 it tells us,

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Little children know that their father loves them, and Christians should also know that "God is love," and loves them also.

The important thing Christians should understand is that Matthew 8:17 says, "Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." The word "infirmities" does not mean sickness or diseases, it means "weaknesses or inabilities." Inabilities is "a state of being unable; a lack of ability, means, or power."

Many Christians never ask God when they need help, thinking they have to figure it out, using their own ability. That's not coming to God like a little child.

There was a time when someone called me about 7:00 PM one evening. She said, "Merle, do you know where I can take my electric typewriter to get it repaired while I wait?" She said, she needed it repaired because she had to type up some tax papers that had to be mailed in the next day. My answer to her was, There isn't any place where they do that; but if she wanted it repaired she would have to wait up and I would come out and repair it for her that evening. She told me she would wait up for me.

She lived about fifty miles away, so it took over a half-hour to drive out to her home. Now, I did not know anything about repairing electric typewriters. I knew about electronics and electricity. But I never had worked on an electric typewriter.

On the way driving out to her house, I prayed, "LORD, I don't know what is wrong, and I don't know what to do! But, LORD, You know what is wrong and what I should do to repair that typewriter. LORD, I'm asking Your help in repairing that typewriter. I know You don't want me to lie, and I told her I would repair it for her. I thank You, LORD for helping me!"

When I got to her house and looked at the typewriter, I noticed there were four screws with different colored heads, which looked like they were holding the carriage on. I remembered someone saying a long time ago that there was a string on the electric typewriters that pulled the carriage back. If that string ever came loose, we would not get it back on with enough tension to pull the carriage back. So I knew that whatever I did, I had to be sure that string did not come loose.

I loosened the four screws just enough that I could move the carriage assembly and saw they were the screws I needed to take out. After removing the carriage, I then noticed four other screws with different color heads that seemed to be holding the cover on over the remaining part of the typewriter. I loosened them and the cover was loose. I took them out and removed the cover.

After the cover was off, I thought I should try and see if the motor would turn. I tried to turn the pulley on the motor and it was very tight. I knew then, that the motor shaft was frozen tight. I had along a spray can of graphite that I used in television service. So I took the belt off from the pulley and sprayed some graphite into the end of the motor shaft. After working on it, turning the shaft by hand and continually spraying it with graphite, the motor started to turn freely.

I plugged the power cord in and turned the typewriter on. When I turned on the switch for the motor, it ran. I unplugged the electric power cord and put the typewriter back together. Once it was all back together I had her try it. It worked good. She thanked me and called me the next day and told me, she got the taxes in on time.

The thing Christians don't do, but should do is "ASK" the LORD when they don't know what to do! The LORD is interested in every area of our lives. Ask Him, or ask the Father to help, "that your joy may be full!" (John 16:24).

There are hundreds of times that I have asked the LORD to help me, and He has never failed to help. He doesn't speak out loud, but He gives me "a knowing," what to do and how to do whatsoever I need to do.

God works from our spirit, not our mind. From our spirit we receive a knowing of what to do when we need to do something.

Don't ask the LORD, and then listen for a voice. Too often, Christians hear voices thinking it's God, and it could easily be another spirit. God makes known to us His ways and His knowledge by a witness in our spirit. It's a "knowing" inside, not a voice.

Another time a friend called me. She had a service man come and look at her clothes dryer. It was making a lot of noise when it ran. The service man told her she needed a new blower motor, and it would cost about one-hundred dollars. She didn't have that much money, so she called me. She asked me if I would look at it for her; maybe I could fix it instead.

At that time, I didn't know much about clothes dryers. I was in the television repair business, but not in appliance repair. But I told her I would come over and look at it.

When I got there, I prayed, "LORD, You know what is wrong, help me to fix it for her. Thank You, Jesus!" First, I turned the dryer on to hear the noise it was making. Then, as I was taking the back off to look inside at the motor, I noticed a loose screw on the mounting of the blower motor. I thought, maybe that's what is making the noise. I tightened the screw, then I plugged the cord in and turned on the dryer. It was quiet, and it ran good. All it was, was a loose screw on the mounting of the blower motor. When you pray and ask the LORD, He leads you right to the problem and gives you the knowledge to know what to do.

I do most of my own repairs on my automobiles. Many times, I don't know what to do in the beginning, but I keep at it until I find the answer. Usually, praying in the Spirit will help. One time I was trying to put a drive shaft into the transmission. I worked on it for the longest time and could not get it lined up so it would go in. After quite some time, I said, "LORD, I need Your help to get this in." Immediately it went right in with no problem. Sometimes, it's that quick, when you ask the LORD. Other times, there are other things that you see you need to do. But, every time you ask the LORD to help, you get the help you need. Not always the way you think, but you will get the help.

One time I was trying to print with a small table-top printing press, using paper plates. We used a fountain solution to keep the plate clean, except where the ink was to be picked up and transferred to the blanket. The fountain solution was a yellowish color normally.

That day, no matter what I did, the plate would not stay clean. I tried everything I could think of and it didn't help. Then I got my two sons to come and pray with me. We prayed in the spirit for quite some time, all three of us. While praying in the spirit, I looked at the fountain solution and saw it was green instead of yellow. I knew it was yellow before we started to pray, so I said to my two sons, the LORD fixed the fountain solution, it's green, look at it!

I started up the press and it printed great. That was the only time I ever saw green fountain solution. It had to be the LORD, and the changing of the color was enough for me to know He answered our prayer. He always answers, if we pray, believing His Word.

God loves His children, and He will answer if we pray. For the most part, most Christians don't pray and ask the LORD. They keep trying to do things themselves, thinking they can figure it out by themselves. The LORD knows every detail about our lives, and is well able to help us when we ask.

God is always at work in our lives. Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." God is interested in every area of our lives, no matter what it is. God puts thoughts in our minds to help us, for He knows what is ahead of us in the future, day by day.

In 1982 I was making plans to move to Tulsa Oklahoma to attend Bible School for two years. In doing so, it was necessary for me to find a place to live in Tulsa, while I was there attending Bible School. In late July, we made plans to go to Tulsa and look for a place to live.

On a Thursday morning, I thought it would be best if I changed the thermostat on my vehicle. I had a 190 degree one in and I wanted to put in a 160 degree one instead. As I was tightening down the housing bolts I heard a "crack" sound. I knew within myself I had cracked the housing for the thermostat. Right away, the thought came to me, "I better get a new housing and put it on before I leave for Tulsa." The day went by, but I didn't take the time to go and get a new thermostat housing. The next day, the thought come to me, "I better not forget to get a new thermostat housing and put it on before I leave for Tulsa." I had already made plans to leave on Saturday morning.

Late that Friday afternoon, I said to my boys, "Let's leave today, instead of tomorrow." So we got our things together, hooked up the pop-up camper and left in the late afternoon. I had totally forgot about the cracked thermostat housing.

We were near Springfield, Illinois and the engine over-heated. I pulled into a filling station and told the man, I needed a new thermostat housing. He said it was too late to get one that day, but he could get one the first thing in the morning, and put it on for me. He said we could set up our pop-up camper in the back of his building and stay all night. In the morning he would get a housing and put it on for me. So, we set up the camper for the night.

Early the next morning, about 5:00 AM, we were up. I thought, we went about four hours from Milwaukee to Springfield before the engine over-heated. By that, instead of waiting until after 8:00 or 9:00 AM, I could drive to St. Louis by 8:00 AM and get a thermostat housing there. I could put it in myself and we would be on our way. So we left and headed for St. Louis. As I was going around St. Louis, I drove right past a Ford Dealer, where I could have gotten a thermostat housing, "forgetting to stop."

About 30 or 40 miles south of St. Louis the engine over-heated again. I put in water, thinking, the next city I will stop and get a housing and put it in. We drove south until about 30 miles from Lebanon Mo. Then the engine started to heat up again. I saw an auto-repair shop just off the Highway and turned in.

I told the mechanic I needed a new housing for the thermostat. He took the old one off, then said he was going to call around and see if he could find one. I had gotten there about 10:30 AM. Every hour or so I would ask him, did you find a thermostat housing yet? He would keep saying, no, but I am still calling around. It was almost 5:00 PM when I asked him again, and he said, there are no parts in this area. You'll have to wait until Monday and I will get one from Springfield, MO. about 100 miles away.

To me, it seemed that he was not too interested in helping us. I was not too happy with what he told us, I didn't have peace in my spirit, and I said to him, "Can I have the old one back?" He said, "What are you going to do?" I said, "I'm not staying here until Monday, I'll put it back on and start driving."

We put the old thermostat housing back on and stopped at a restaurant, where I got a five-gallon bucket full of water. I filled the radiator and started down the highway. We only went about four or five miles, and it over-heated. I filled it again, and drove another four or five miles, and it over-heated. I did this about three or four times, and only went about 15 miles.

James 4:17 says, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." I knew what to do many times and I didn't do it. So, I stopped and prayed, "LORD, I confess it as sin, a number of times I knew to change that housing and didn't do it. Now, I need Your help. Thank You, LORD!" Then I filled up the radiator and we drove again down the highway. That time, we drove about 15 miles, and the radiator never did over-heat. Somehow the LORD kept the engine from over-heating all the way to Lebanon Mo.

As we drove into the first filling station off the Highway, the attendant was coming out to meet us. It seemed a little unusual to me that He came out to meet us before we even got to the gas pumps. It seems, he knew we were coming, and he came out to meet us. He said, "What can I do for you"? I told him "I needed a new housing for the thermostat." It was just 6:00 PM at the time, and he said, "Let me see which one you need." He looked at the housing and said, "I'm going to make a telephone call." Then he came back and said, "They have one right here in town, they're going to wait for me to come and get it. I'll be right back," and he left.

Now, for some reason, the mechanic back 30 miles from Lebanon MO. must not have called Lebanon, or he would have known they had one right there. Sometimes, I think the LORD wants us to go to other Christians for help, where He can work with them in helping us. I didn't have peace in my spirit all the time we waited from about 10:30 AM until almost 5:00 PM, in that place, where I was told there wasn't any parts in the area.

But, at this filling station in Lebanon, the man got the part and put it in. I recall all the time he was working on my vehicle, I was talking to his wife and daughter about the LORD. They were Christians, and I gave them one of my books. When he finished putting the part in, he only wanted twenty dollars for his labor. I really appreciated all that he did for me that day, so I gave him a wrench I had also.

By 7:00 o'clock he had the new thermostat housing in and we were on our way. We got to Tulsa that night. Praise the LORD for His help when we needed it.

The LORD wants to help us when we need help, but most of the time we do not ask Him. By praying, and confessing my sin, then asking the LORD to help, He worked everything out to our good.

If we could only understand how much the LORD wants to help us, we could save ourselves a lot of time and problems. We should stop and "ask the LORD" when we need help and He will help us.



OUR GOD



In Jeremiah 31:33 it was prophesied, concerning our New Covenant, which we are under today. It says, "After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." Many today do not understand what it means by "will be their God." Word studies in the Hebrew do not explain the meaning of "God." In the Hebrew the word used for God is "elohiym" "meaning "the supreme God." That only tells us there are other gods, whereas "elohiym" is the supreme God. But, if we take this same verse over into the Greek in the New Testament we find in Hebrews 8:10, it says, "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people."The words "I will be to them a God," uses the Greek word "theos" for God. "Theos" means "divine; divinity; having powers greater than that of man; operating in the spirit realm." The Hebrew and the Greek mean the same thing, but it is much better understood in the Greek.

God, "Elohiym" in the Hebrew and "Theos" in the Greek, identifies a supernatural being, able to do things man cannot do. What we cannot do, God can do. There is no limit as to what God can do.

We must remember, the Greek word "theos" is also used to identify the devil in 2 Corinthians 4:4. The devil is also "theos," divine; having powers greater than that of man. We usually associate the works of the devil as "divination" rather than divine; for his works are usually destructive; against man, rather than for man. Both the devil and God are "theos," having powers greater than man.

The best way to understand the powers of the devil is right there in 2 Corinthians 4:4, where it says, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not..." The greatest power the devil has is the ability to blind the minds of people. When their minds are blinded by the god of this world, they do not understand the love of God and His desire to set them free... Our God, and the devil, both have the power to put thoughts into the minds of people; thoughts that cause people to respond and do things, either for God or against God.

We have a covenant with God. In Hebrews 8:10, God said, "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts..." Satan blinds the minds of those who do not believe, but God puts His laws in our mind, and also writes them in our hearts. Almost everything people do on this earth is a result of what happens in their mind, which is a part of their soul. All throughout the Bible, it talks about "saving souls." Saving a soul, means "changing the thinking of man." Once we change our thinking to agree with God, then Satan has no power over us.

God has the power to put thoughts in our minds, and so does the devil have the power to put thoughts in our minds. It's up to us, which one we will follow, God or the devil.

God puts thoughts in our minds. If we will receive them, believe them and act upon them, He will be a God unto us. He will operate in our lives by His supernatural power, which is greater than that of man. God's power is even greater than that of the devil, even though the devil has supernatural power greater than that of man.

God wants to be GOD in our lives. He wants us to receive Him as our Father, our LORD, our Helper, Guide, Comforter, Teacher and Leader in everything we do. Being a God to us, means He makes the decisions and we follow His decisions.

When God uses us by His supernatural power, we may not even be aware of what God is doing until we see God doing it. Let me give one example. I was at Bible School, and a sister in the LORD came to me between classes and said, "Merle, I had to have my car taken in for repairs this morning. It stopped running while I was driving to school. They think it's the carburetor." Just as she said that to me, out of my mouth came these words, "Call them right away, and tell them it's not the carburetor, it's in the distributor." I had no idea, what I was saying until I heard myself say that. She called the garage that was working on her car and told them what I said. When she went to get her car, they told her they found a broken wire in the distributor. God knows everything, and He loves His children. Anytime God so desires, He can give us "a word of knowledge," or He can speak from our spirit giving us the words to say (prophecy). He is GOD and He is well able to use His children to help one another when they need help. We do not always know when God is going to use us, but we can know if it's God or another spirit trying to use us.

God operates in the souls of people in two ways, by thoughts "in their minds and in their hearts" (Heb. 8:10). The heart of man is the innermost part of the soul of man. The heart is not the spirit of man, even though the spirit of man also has a heart, which is the spirit's innermost part. Christians should not confuse "the heart of the soul" of man with "the heart of the spirit" of man.

Let me give an example of God putting thoughts in our mind, so we can better understand how God becomes a God to His children. But first, let us see what happened to Jesus' disciples the same day He arose from the dead.

In John 20:19-22, there is one account of what happened the evening of the same day that Jesus arose from the dead. Luke 24:36-46 also gives us an account of things that happened that evening. We need to add these two together to get an understanding of what happened that evening.

In John 20:19,20 it says,

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

But Luke gives us more information, in detail, of what happened that evening. In Luke 24:36-44 it says,

And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

And he took it, and did eat before them.

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

Up until this time, they still had some doubt concerning the resurrection of Jesus, if it really was Him? They wanted to believe, yet they still had some doubt in their mind.

Now look what Jesus did. It says in John 20:21,22,

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

At that point in time, these disciples were born again of the Spirit (John 3:6,7). They received the Holy Spirit, that caused a new birth in them. They were now children of God. Being children of God, God the Father could work in their lives the same way He worked in Jesus' life here on earth. As a child of God, God has a right to do whatsoever He desires in our lives.

Yet, there was one more thing necessary, once they were born again. Luke tells us, "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures" (Luke 24:45). In John 6:45, Jesus said, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." God must open our understanding if we are to understand spiritual things. For spiritual things are not naturally understood (1 Cor. 2:14).

Now for an example of God putting thoughts in our minds. After I was born again, the Scriptures began to open up to me, and I was amazed at the wisdom of God in the Scriptures. I recall reading in 1 Samuel, Chapter Nine, when Saul was out looking for some donkeys that were lost. How that, for three days, Saul thought he was looking for donkeys, while God was leading him to Samuel to be anointed as king over Israel. Saul had no idea of what God was doing in his life. Saul only understood what he was doing.

This is the same in the lives of many Christians today. God is doing things in their lives and they have no idea of what He is doing. After understanding the wisdom of God and how He leads people to where He can use them, I had a similar instance in my life.

I was already born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit. I was having teachings in my house with about seven to ten people attending. A Christian friend of mine told me about an evangelist that was having great meetings, where people were being healed of all sorts of sicknesses and diseases. Many were in wheelchairs for many years, and were healed completely. They no longer needed their wheelchairs.

I was still young in the things of the Spirit of God and got very interested in what was happening. I was told that the evangelist was having a meeting on a Saturday evening about three hundred and seventy-five miles from Milwaukee. I mentioned it to those at the meetings at my house. Besides myself and my two sons, there were three others that wanted to go to one of those meetings on a Saturday evening.

Six of us left on a Saturday morning, in my van to go to a meeting that evening. We arrived in that city about 6:00 P.M. and the meeting started at 7:00 P.M. By the time we got there, the place was already filling up, and we didn't stop to say anything to anyone. We just walked in and sat down. That evening we saw many people healed of all sorts of sicknesses, diseases, and infirmities.

At the close of the meeting the evangelist announced that he was going to be back there on Sunday morning if anyone wanted to come back the next morning. Everyone with me decided they wanted to stay over night and come back the next morning. So, we rented two motel rooms and all six of us stayed over night.

The next morning we went to the service without telling anyone we were going, or letting anyone know we were there. We just walked in and sat down in about the middle of the auditorium. As far as we knew, no one else knew we were there.

At about the middle of the service, the evangelist looked toward me and said, "There is somebody right in here (pointing toward me), you have a ministry. You're involved in a business of some type around a lot of electronics and tubes." He then said, "But you have a ministry also, and you have been praying for God to open the doors for your ministry part of your life. I want to say 'Merle.'" Pointing toward me, he said, "is there anybody right in here named Merle?" I knew within myself he was talking to me, so I stood up. He then said, "Brother Merle, I want you to walk up here. God is going to let you start your ministry by laying hands on this man" (another person who came up to receive healing from a tumor on his stomach). Then he asked me, "Brother Merle, have I ever talked to you before?" I answered, "No, you haven't." Then he asked, "Do you work around a lot of electronics and tubes and wires and so forth?" I answered, "Yes, I've been in the Television business for 12 years." He asked, "Is this your first time here?" I answered, "Yes it is."

Following that, the evangelist said, "Brother Merle, God says as long as you live, you are going to speak the words of Spirit and life. Your ministry is just starting. The word of wisdom, gift of knowledge, and discerning of spirits."

Then he had me lay my hand upon the stomach of the person who came for healing of a tumor. He also laid his hand upon the man. As he prayed the tumor left. The man then felt his stomach and the tumor was gone.

As I walked back to my seat (I was about thirty feet from the evangelist and about thirty feet from my seat), I heard the audible voice of God, saying, "And out of your hands shall flow the power of healing as you lay them upon the sick."

When I got back to my seat, all of the others who were with me had heard the same voice, saying the same thing. Some of them got so excited that one of them bought a copy of the tape of that service. I also bought two copies of the cassette tape of that meeting, just to listen to the "audible voice" that we heard as I was coming back. But the voice was not on the cassette tape. While we were hearing the audible voice, the evangelist was speaking to another person. Only his voice was on the cassette tape. Yet, the audible voice was loud enough that all those who were with me (sitting thirty feet from where I was), heard the same voice and the same words I heard.

All of this happened to me, just like God brought Saul to Samuel to be anointed. I had no idea of what God was going to do that Sunday morning. I had no idea that God was involved in us going to that meeting. All I knew was that, I had a desire to go and others wanted to go with me.

God wants to use everyone who is born again, working them together as a family. God is our Father and we are His children. As a family, we must work together for the good of all. By this we see times in our lives when God will use us to help someone else.

Everyone who is born again in this world, is facing the same enemy, the devil and his demons. Jesus said, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). The tribulations we face are not caused by people, they are caused by demons working in the minds of people. God wants to use us to set others free of these demons working in their minds.

While I was in Bible School, there was a sister in the LORD who was one year ahead of me. Unknown to me at the time, she had a problem with demon spirits working in her mind, caused by experiences throughout her childhood that continued on into her adult years. She came to the LORD at a young age. In her grade school days, she refused to get involved with other children her age who got involved with sex, drinking, and etc.

As a result, she had a girl-friend, who was also born again. The two to them went around together much of the time. Being that they did not follow those who were not Christians, the spirits of this world keep using people to accuse these two girls of being lesbians. This continued on from grade school, all the way through college. Even though, she did date some boys, she usually broke off her friendship with boys when they wanted to get involved in sex and drinking. This resistance to sin gave the spirits of this world an opportunity to affect her mind in such a way as to make it difficult for her to have good fellowship with those of the opposite sex.

I had no idea that she had this condition. We never got involved in any way that would give these spirits an opportunity to cause a problem where she would not trust me. I was about fifty years old and she was about twenty-five at the time. That was an advantage for the LORD to use me, because she considered me more of a father-like individual in her life. She also knew the LORD was using me to help others. By this we were able to work together, whereas with others of the opposite sex she had a problem.

I had no idea she had this problem, caused by demonic spirits working in her mind, that she was not free to fellowship with others of the opposite sex. But, what happened was, we would at times get together to pray for each others situations. She lived on campus, and I lived about five miles from campus. I usually went to prayer at school on Monday evenings from 7:00 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. She had to work in the afternoons and evenings until 8:00 P.M. One Monday evening we made arrangements that I would stop over to her apartment after prayer to pray with her for finances. While we were praying, it came from my spirit to lay my hand upon her head and pray. As I did, out of my mouth came words similar to these "LORD, just pour out Your love upon her, let her know and experience Your love for her." As I was praying, tears began to come from her eyes. I could see, she needed to experience the love of God in her life. I was concerned that if I stayed there with her, either one of us would start holding each other, which is not uncommon when a person needs comfort. Therefore, I quickly told her I had to go, and left. In myself, I knew something happened, the LORD was doing something, but I had no idea of what He was doing at the time.

Two days later, we met at a fast-food restaurant where many of the other students meet for lunch many times. While sitting across from each other, tears were still coming from her eyes. I said to her, "You need to wipe those tears from your eyes, others will think I am saying something to you that is causing you to cry."

It was then that she told me what had happened. She told me of all the years that she went through with the thoughts in her mind that there was something wrong with her because she would not get involved with boys in sex and drinking. And that in grade school, high school, and all through college this condition continued, where they even wrote articles in the school news papers about her and her girl-friend, saying they were lesbians.

That Monday evening, when the LORD had me lay my hand upon her head and pray, the LORD set her free... The thoughts that tormented her for years disappeared. She experienced the love of God in a way she had never experienced it in all the years before. The tears of joy, just kept coming for about three days. She was totally set free of demonic activity in her mind that caused her problems for many years.

Until she explained what happened that evening when I prayed for her, I had no idea what the LORD was doing. I thought I went over to her apartment to pray for finances, but the LORD had another reason for me being there that evening.

God wants to use us, to help others become free of demonic spirits that operate in the minds of Christians.

Christians are born again of the Word and the Spirit, and are new creatures in Christ Jesus. But, they still have the same mind, soul and body they had before they were born again. Only the spirit of a Christian is completely new at the time they are born again (Ezek. 36:26).

When we leave this body of flesh, to go to be with Jesus in heaven, then our bodies and minds will be new. In 1 Corinthians 15:50-55 it tells us, we shall all be changed. This mortal body of flesh shall put on immortality. This corrupted soul shall put on incorruption. And we shall be changed. The two deaths that resided in us from birth into this world shall be completely overcome. Death will have no power over us, it will be defeated. Until that time, as Christians, we have a new spirit, joined One spirit with the LORD (Ezek. 36:26, 1 Cor. 6:17, 2 Cor. 5:17, Col. 3:3). We are no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit (Rom. 8:9). Yet, while we are still on this earth, we must "present our bodies a living sacrifice unto the LORD, and renew our minds" (Rom. 12:1,2). This is our responsibility, but it is not something we must do of ourselves, alone. The Holy Spirit is here to Help, Guide, Comfort, Teach, and Lead us in every area of our lives.

It was the Holy Spirit working through me, by me laying my hand upon this sister in the LORD, and praying. The Holy Spirit helped me pray, and this sister in the LORD was set free. It wasn't something I did, it was the Holy Spirit using me to do what He did. That is the purpose of the Holy Spirit being here on earth, dwelling in those who are born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit.

God is not asking us to do His Work, He is only asking us to let the Holy Spirit work through us, to do His work. It is not necessary for us to know what the LORD is doing, or how He intends to use us to do the will of God the Father. It is only for us to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit from within us. Then let God do what God wants to do, to set His people free... God is God, and His ways and His plans for us are greater than anything we can think or do.

WHY CHRISTIANS SUFFER



Why is it that Christians still suffer? We know we are born again as Jesus said, "Ye must be born again" (John 3:7). We know we have received the Spirit of God as it says, "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit." (1 John 4:13). We know the power of God resides within us, as Jesus said, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you..." (Acts 1:8). We know we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, for we speak in tongues as Jesus said in Mark 16:17, "In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues." We have also prayed and cast out devils, and saw the sick get healed. But, why do we still suffer with sickness and disease and other things? Doesn't is say in Romans 8:28, "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose"?

As Christians, we must believe God's Word! all of it! It's easy to get caught up in the world and the things of this world, and see the devil taking advantage of us. Many good Christians have been used of God in their lives. Then, somewhere along the line, they find themselves on the losing end. They have been used of God tremendously, in healing. Yet, they end up with some type of sickness or disease and can't seem to receive healing themselves. Does this mean Romans 8:28 is not true? Does this mean Romans 8:28 is saying, sometimes God permits sickness and disease upon us to teach us something?

No, no, no. The Word of God is true, but we must consider the complete Word of God, from Genesis through Revelation, if we want what God promises us. The ninety-first Psalm has the answer for every Christian who is doing what the LORD called them to do. It starts off in verse one, saying, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." When Christians are abiding "under the shadow of the Almighty," Satan cannot touch them! The last verse of the ninety-first Psalm says, "With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation" (Psa. 91:16). The words "long life" in the Hebrew actually mean, "until you are satisfied." If a Christian is abiding under the shadow of the Almighty, he can live as long as he wants to, until he is satisfied.

Christians should know what it means to abide "under the shadow of the Almighty." First, we must understand, we are not our own, we are bought with a price; by "the blood of Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 6:19,20). Christians don't belong making their own decisions as to "what they will do, when they will do it, and how they will do it." There are many Christians today, who have been used of God tremendously, in many of the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:7-11). Yet, they are under attack of the enemy, and cannot seem to get set free. Many of them have died from serious illnesses, sickness, and diseases.

In speaking of partaking of the body and blood of Jesus; 1 Corinthians 11:27-31 it says,

Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

Did you notice, that dying of sickness and disease are a type of judgement? Did you notice also, that if we will judge ourselves, we will not be judged by sickness and disease? Yet, it doesn't say that God is judging us with sickness and disease, but Satan can put sickness and disease upon us if we don't judge ourselves.

If Christians will judge themselves, and "abide under the shadow of the Almighty," they can live until they are satisfied. Satan cannot touch them! When Christians start looking to others for money, or help, "when they should be looking to God," they get off from "under the shadow of the Almighty!" When Christians start living by the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they get off from under "the shadow of the Almighty."

Many Christians have not been abiding "under the shadow of the Almighty." They have gone about their lives, doing things they say, "there is nothing wrong with doing these things"! Yet the way to "abide under the shadow of the Almighty" is made clear in the Word of God. Look what the Apostles said in Acts 6:2,4,

It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

When those who are called into the ministry get off into building their ministry the way many of the Churches do today, they get themselves out from "under the shadow of the Almighty." Ministry building operations were never meant for those who are called of God into the ministry. The LORD is to build "His Church," not people (Matt. 16:18).

The Holy Spirit wants to be in control of everything Christians do, not just a few things. The Holy Spirit does not need to "ask us," before He can do things in our lives. The Holy Spirit does not have to "inform us," before He does something in our lives. It is up to us, to "abide under the shadow of the Almighty," and let the Holy Spirit have complete control of what we do and how we do it!

When we abide "under the shadow of the Almighty," God will "deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence" (Psa. 91:3). We "shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day" (Psa. 91:5). In verse ten it says, "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." Then in verses 11 and 12 it says,

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

As we go on in the ninety-first Psalm, we are given instructions and the promise of God for long life, until we are satisfied on this earth. If Christians are suffering in this life, it's not God's fault. Christians need to be doers of the Word of God, not just hearers only. Do as the Apostles said in Acts 6. We must stay in prayer and ministry of the Word. And as Paul wrote to Timothy, in 2 Timothy 2:4, "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."

As we study the Scriptures from Genesis through Revelation, every answer we need in this life is there. We must use the complete Word of God if we want the answers in this life.

Another reason many Christians suffer is because they do not recognize spirits working in their flesh. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 7:19-20,

For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Many Christians find themselves in this same situation. They know what to do, and what not to do. Yet, they find themselves doing that which they don't want to do. And not doing that which they know they should do. Why is it that way? Because there is still sin dwelling in the flesh.

We are a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Our Spirit is new, it came down from heaven when we were born again. But we still have the same body and soul that we had before we were born again. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8). At the same time, "if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

This is why Romans 12:1,2 says,

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

It is our responsibility to present our bodies a living sacrifice, and to renew our mind. But, we must understand, if we try to do this of our own ability, we will fail. That would be putting ourselves under the Law. By the Law of Moses, no man can be justified (Acts 13:38,39).

How then, can we overcome sin in the flesh? We must have the help of the Holy Spirit, to overcome sin in the flesh. James 4:7 says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." First we must submit ourselves unto the Holy Spirit, then resist the sin in the flesh and the demons will flee. They don't flee easily, therefore we need the help of the Holy Spirit to be free of sin in the flesh.

There are many types of sin in the flesh. They are all caused by the spirits of this world, called demons, or the devil. There are many sins, such as murder, adultery, fornication, lying, stealing, cheating, speaking evil of others, etc. These must all be overcome, but we cannot do it of our own ability, we need the help of the Holy Spirit. If we do not confess our sins to God, and ask for His help to overcome, the demons will not flee. Some call this deliverance ministry, but whatever you call it, unless the Holy Spirit is involved the demons will not flee. We do not always need someone else with a great anointing to be set free. We have the Holy Spirit as our Helper, Guide, Comforter, Teacher, and Leader, and if we will submit ourselves unto Him, and resist the devil, we can be free.

There are also other sins, or works of the devil in our flesh that need to be overcome. Sickness and disease are works of the devil, and they also need to be overcome. They can be overcome by submitting ourselves unto God, believing His Word, and resisting the devil and we will be free. We cannot be free without the help of the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. But, "with God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:37).

To be free of any of the works of the devil, it can only happen with the help of God. Of ourselves, we can do nothing against the devil and his demons. But, "with God all things are possible." Not every sin, and not every work of the devil is of our own doing. It makes not difference if it was of our doing or not, we must still overcome with the help of God.

God is willing to help us in every area of our lives, if we will submit ourselves unto Him and resist the devil. God is for us, not against us (Rom. 8:31). God does not expect us to battle sin or the works of the devil ourselves, alone. Therefore, the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit to Help, Guide, Comfort, Teach, and Lead us unto all righteousness.

When it seems things are failing in our efforts to overcome sin and the works of the devil in the flesh, we can "pray in the Spirit" (unknown tongues). When we pray in unknown tongues, we authorize the Holy Spirit to make intercession for us, on our behalf. When the Holy Spirit is in complete control, He is well able to overcome the devil and sin in the flesh for us.

There are two major areas of help from the Holy Spirit when we pray in unknown tongues. In 1 Corinthians 14:2, it says, "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries." While we are praying in unknown tongues, the Holy Spirit can reveal to us mysteries (which is, things we did not know, and could not know in the natural). This revelation from the Holy Spirit can help us overcome sin in the flesh. Another way praying in the Spirit will help us is in Jude 1:20, which says, "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost." To overcome, we must please God, "But without faith it is impossible to please him..." (Heb. 11:6). Therefore, building up our most holy faith by praying in the Spirit will help us overcome sin in the flesh.

We must understand, we are children of God. We are born of the Spirit and the Word. We are a new creature in Christ. But, we are still in this world. Our spirit is new, but "this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Cor. 15:53). We cannot do it of ourselves, we need the Holy Spirit and the Word of God working in our lives to overcome.

We must learn the difference between walking after the flesh and walking after the Spirit (Rom. 8:1). Then, we must learn the difference between our mind and our spirit, that we can know what is of God and what is of man. When we know what is of God and what is of man, then we can walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. When we walk after the Spirit, "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2).

Let us strive to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh, that "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (can keep us) free from the law of sin and death." Some may say, it can't be done, for we all have sin in the flesh. But, the Word of God says, it can be done, if we walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh.

Always, remember, God is love, and has a wonderful plan, settled from the foundation of the world, that we can follow and be free. This freedom is only maintained by having God, the Holy Spirit, as our Helper, Guide, Comforter, Teacher, and Leader. We need the Holy Spirit in everything we do. Without Him, we cannot make it, and we will fail. Therefore, praying in unknown tongues, is one of the greatest ways to get the help of the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives.

After hearing Jesus explain to a rich man, what it takes to be saved, His disciples asked Him, "Who then can be saved?" (Matt. 19:25). Saved means "delivered and protected." We all need to be delivered and protected from sin and the works of the devil. But look what Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 19:26, "With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Don't ever give up when you find sin in your life. We have the help of the Holy Spirit to overcome sin. Keep submitting yourself unto God and resisting the devil, he will flee... Whatever you do, if you are a child of God, never let sin in the flesh get you down. You can overcome, "by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of your testimony" (Rev. 12:11). "With God all things are possible." "With God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:37). You cannot lose, if you "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding" (Prov. 3:5).



IN CONCLUSION



God is not a respecter of persons. God loves everyone, yet He loves His Children more than any earthly father loves his children. What God does for one of His Children, He will do for any and all of His Children. If a child of God responds to God's desires, there is no limit as to what God will do for them. As Christians, we need to see things the way God sees them. We need to renew our minds to flow with the Word of God as the Spirit bears witness with the Word.

By experience I learned things, that could have been learned from the Word itself, had I believed the Word of God. When I first started praying for people's hands and arms to come out, I didn't know much about "how to pray for this to happen." The first time, in my mind, I didn't think it would work. Being, I was in a position where I had to do the praying, I began by praying in the Spirit first. Then, after I knew I had to do more than that, I forced myself to say, "In the name of Jesus I command these arms to come out, in Jesus' name."

As the years went by, I started to do as I saw others do, I would command Satan to take his demons off these people. I would plead the blood of Jesus over the people. I would command the arms or legs to come out. I would do all the things I saw others do, whatever it took to get the arms or legs to come out.

After years of letting the Holy Spirit teach me, it came to a time when, all I needed to do was to look at the short arms or short legs and thank and praise the LORD for what He has already done on the Cross of Calvary. I just look at the legs or arms and say, "Thank You, Jesus, thank You, Jesus." As I thank Him, the arms or legs would come out, sometimes in and out, but in the end they are the same length.

It's not we ourselves, who are causing the arms or legs to adjust. It's the power of the Holy Spirit, confirming the Word of God. God's Word was settled from the foundation of the world. The work of Jesus on the Cross was settled from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). It was finished in the natural around 29 AD. It's been done almost two thousand years ago. When we believe "it is already done," then the Holy Spirit can confirm the Word with signs following.

That is why, "praise and worship" is more effective than commanding. If we will praise the LORD for what He has already done, we will see the manifestations come to pass. God sees things as "already done," complete and finished. When we believe it is already done, complete, and finished; and praise Him for it, it will manifest in the natural. Jesus said in Mark 11:24, "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." We must believe it's already done, then by praising the LORD (being that we believe it's already done), the manifestation comes in the natural. It's already done in the spiritual realm. God declared it done from the foundation of the world. That's why, it worked for those before Jesus came in the flesh, it worked for those while Jesus was here on earth in the flesh, and it works for us today; after Jesus has already ascended into the heavens.

Many Christians ask, "Why don't we see God working in our lives the way you do?" There are certain things I could suggest for all Christians: Spend as much time as you can in studying the Word of God, especially the New Testament. When I say "study," I don't mean just reading.

Get a good Bible with a Greek, Hebrew, interlinear in it. Preferably a Textus Receptus Greek New Testament interlinear. If you own a Computer with windows 95' or up, a good Bible Program can be purchased in the United States for less than twenty-dollars. I use one called "Power Bible CD." This can also be downloaded from the Internet. When you look up the Greek or Hebrew words you will spot the errors some of the translators made, and the Holy Spirit will help you understand the Word of God (1 John 2:27). There are errors in translations, but the Holy Spirit will help you to overcome these errors. If you do not use a Bible that uses the Textus Receptus interlinear you may not find some important verses in your Bible.

To flow with the Holy Spirit, you need to understand 1 John 5:7, which says, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." This verse is not in many of the newer Bibles using another interlinear. When Christians do not believe this verse to be true, they hinder the Holy Spirit from working in their lives. The Holy Spirit is a Person in the Godhead. He is not greater than the Father or the Son. But He has a position in the complete Godhead. If you do not believe He is who the Bible says He is, you will hinder Him from working in your life. You may even open the door for a counterfeit spirit to operate in your life.

There are a number of other verses left out of some of the newer Bibles. This hinders the Holy Spirit from bearing witness with the Word of God in those who do not have the complete text of the Bible in their Bibles.

Another thing that is helpful is to get the New Testament on cassette tape or CD. These are not very expensive, and you can listen to the New Testament twenty-four hours a day. I play the New Testament most of the day, and all night long, even when I am sleeping. I keep the volume low so it doesn't disturb my sleeping, and let it play all night.

We must understand, we have a sub-conscience that works all the time, day and night. It can receive information while we are asleep, even when a person is in a coma. Many times I awake from sleep knowing something I never thought of, yet it relates to the Bible verses I had just been hearing while I was asleep. God can work in our sub-conscience mind while we are asleep.

Secondly, pray in the Spirit (unknown tongues), as much as you can. You can pray in the Spirit while working, while reading the Bible, anytime you want to. Praying in the Spirit is an operation of God in your spirit, while your mind is still useful in other things (Rom. 8:26, 1 Cor. 14:14).

Thirdly; if you sin, repent and confess your sins, that Satan has nothing on you. Walk in the Light of the Word of God and the blood of Jesus Christ will daily cleanse you from all sin (1 John 1:7,9).

Stay away from pride, and humble yourself before God, for God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5). Never look for any way to get attention, but learn to deny yourself, that the LORD can use you the way He wants to use you. God has a plan for your life, it was planned from the foundation of the world. Let God carry out His plan, don't make plans of your own. Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Therefore, let God do in your life what He wants to do. Don't try to do things you see others do, because you want to be like them. God only needed one Moses, so don't try to be like Moses. Don't do as many others have done and start your own church, and say you are a pastor. The office of a pastor is given by God not by man. Many have taken that office themselves, and have hindered God from working in their lives. God has a plan for your life, don't do what you see others do. If God wants you to become a pastor, He will anoint you for that position. If He does not anoint you for that position, don't put yourself in that position.

We are special to God. He has great and wonderful plans for our lives. Just like the LORD said to Jeremiah, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." (Jer. 1:5). God is not a respecter of persons. God has a plan for our lives. Romans 8:28 says, "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." God has a purpose for which He has called every born again Christian. We must let God reveal that purpose to us from our spirit. Don't try to figure it out in our natural mind. God knows what He wants to do in our life and how He wants to use us for His good pleasure.

Let God work in you to do His good pleasure. God loves you and will do great and wonderful things in your life, if you learn to know the difference between your spirit and your mind. Learn to know the difference between that which is of God and that which is of the flesh. Always, give God the glory for whatever He does in your life. He is worthy to be praised and honored and glorified. Amen.