Monday, November 23, 2020
Monday, August 17, 2020
Friday, November 22, 2019
1) Infant: 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready. In this context, Paul is calling the Corinthians "infants" and explaining why they were "infants". There were all kinds of gifts in the Corinthian Church, but also all kinds of sin. Because they had the gifts being active, they thought that was enough! Paul addressed that and explained that the gifts only reveal God's character, not the Corinthians one. This is also true for us, it doesn't matter how many gifts we have, if we don't have Christ's character, it mans nothing! And the essence of Christ's character is love. Because God is love! 1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
2) Mature: Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Ephesians 4:13 Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. In the beginning of my christian life (i recounted this in some posts), the Holy Spirit spoke to me (taught me) about a subject and after that i open my Bible exactly in the text containing that subject (read post "Personal Testimony: Fasting"). Here the teaching was practical, the Holy Spirit led me to "practice" fasting and then taught me about it (usually the theory comes before the practice). But, as i grew in faith, the teaching got more profound, as when i prophesied to people, i had to believe that the things i spoke would come to pass, even if things were going good with them, as if i was going crazy by saying those things. That's why most people (with few exceptions) didn't believe what i said, for them, there was no way it could happen, but it did.
3) Mature like a child: Matthew 18:3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”. I have something to share that fits this "stage of faith": Once the Holy Spirit told me that we (I and my wife) would leave the church and go to another one. I believed it and spoke to the pastor. Problem was that the Holy Spirit didn't say where to go, so, when i spoke to the pastor he was shocked. As i was part of the worship team, he asked me to talk to my fellow worshipers. When i told 'em that we were leaving, not knowing where to go, some were very "unkind" (not to say rude) and refused to believe that the Holy Spirit spoke to me. But i was immovable in decision to obey. In our last Sunday at this church, the pastor again asked me about where we were going to, i told him that i didn't know, so he kindly gave me a list of the churches (american and hispanic ones) around our area (Lake County, Illinois). We left not knowing where to go. So i started praying even more about it and one day i was reading that booklet and found a church right by my town, in a township that i didn't even know that existed and the Holy Spirit told me to go to that church (a small hispanic church). Next Sunday, we went there, as i entered the sanctuary, the Holy Spirit spoke to me saying that we were to stay there for a little while. During the service, the pastor asked us to stand and introduce ourselves. We did and told 'em that we were originally from Brazil and were visiting 'em. Next Sunday, we came back. At the end of the service i asked the pastor to talk with him. We went to his office and before i said anything, he started speaking: "When you entered the sanctuary and i saw you, God told me you were the guy He was bring to lead the worship team, because we were praying for a while for a leader and God said He was going to bring a worship leader. You are God's answer to our prayers. Besides, when you said you were brazilians, God remembered a promise He made for us (family). He is going to send us to Brazil. God told me He didn't forget about it. But, let me tell you something, you are going to be here for a little while and God tells you to leave, just leave!" I started crying because from the beginning was very painful the decision to obey and leave the church where i was born again and go to an unknown church. That's a genuine Mature like a child kinda faith, when you decide to obey no matter what, to believe to impossible, to trust "God will make a way where there seems to be no way", as the song goes. This is what Jesus is talking about when He said to "become like a little children", to trust without hesitation.
How to receive what we ask for? Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. 1 John 5:14-15 This is the confidence (assurance) we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him. That's the key, asking according to God's will. Then you ask: "How can i know His will?" By knowing God! The more we know Him, the more He reveals His will for us. On the post that i showed above, there are specific things that God revealed about His will to my life.
How to receive without asking?: Psalm 37:4-5 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. The best example i have is my son (read post "Personal Testimony: My Son"). I always desired to have a son but never wanted to get married, of course, that was not God's plan. First, He gave me a wife and then, even if my wife couldn't get pregnant, He (God) intervened and gave us a son. If you delight yourself in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart that are in accord with His will.
Some examples of Faith in the Bible: Abraham (Genesis 12), Abel (Hebrews 11:4, Genesis 4).
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Friday, November 9, 2018
I remember as if was yesterday. I was part of a small hispanic church in Illinois, a "family" kinda church, the one where people "spend" themselves taking care of one another, where needs are promptly met. At this time, we started praying, we had prayer 6 days a week. The most amazing thing was that we didn't have an "agenda", no "script", just prayer and worship. As time went by, we started seeing God's move among us, we saw things that i never heard before (doesn't mean it never happened), PRAYING WAS A PLEASURE! We delighted in God's presence, there was days of joy, days of extreme brokenness and days of peace were we just stayed in God's presence without saying anything (started praying and this happened). I already spoke about this in other post, so on this one I will talk about what brings revival and what it does to the people involved in it. In our case, we MISSED God's revival, sadly, we're were unprepared for it. Let's talk about the real revival they had in the Early Church (Acts 2). Where did it start? The answer is: With John the Baptist! He was the "pioneer", the one who open the way for the Lord. It was prophesied by Isaiah many years before his birth: Isaiah 40:3 A voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God". What did John the Baptist preached? REPENTANCE! Please, read the Gospels about it, you'll see that REPENTANCE is the "foundation" (cornerstone) of a true revival. Then came Jesus Christ and in his "first sermon" He preached REPENTANCE: Matthew 4:12-17 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, He withdrew into Galilee. And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned". From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "REPENT, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand". See that Jesus didn't started His preaching with another "subject", He continued were John the Baptist stopped. From this point Jesus announced the Kingdom of God. So REPENTANCE is the first step towards a true revival. The second step is UNITY (oneness). Only after achieving repentance we can have unity. Jesus in His last priestly duty, prayed to the Father for His disciples to become ONE as He (Jesus) and the Father are one: John 17:21 That they may all be ONE, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. Paul describe very well what Jesus prayed, when he taught about the "church as a body": 1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. In this chapter, Paul talks about the need for the church to be one, as our body is one, though we have different members in our bodies. Pay attention to yourself and see how amazingly perfect your body works, when there is any problem (sickness, brokenness, etc.) you feel the effects (or should i say "defects"). Because we failed to understand and practice UNITY, our churches are defectives! The "organization" (we call church) works wonderful, but the "organism" (body of Christ inside the organization) is malfunctioning. The "main" problem (malfunction), is that the HEAD (Jesus Christ) is out of place, as Jesus Himself said to the church of Laodicea: Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Sad as it sounds, many times Jesus Christ is at the door of our churches, we don't even allow Him to enter, much less to be the Head of the Church. The third step is LOVE: Colossians 3:14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Love is the only thing that will keep us together, will "bind" our hearts towards one another. Paul tells us that we can have every gift, gain everything and yet without love we will gain nothing (nothing will remain). I believe revival is not an easy thing to accomplish, but the "formula" God gave to a true revival never changed, even knowing it from the back of our minds, we fail to practice it, that's the reason we don't experience revival as the Early Church did: 2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Of course you are intelligent enough to realize that even with the revival the Early Church experienced (2 Chronicles 7:14), God didn't heal Israel (political land), maybe that's why even John the Baptist was "disappointed" when he was in jail, the nation (Israel) was expecting a POLITICAL MESSIAH, someone who was going to restore the political kingdom. In fact Jesus restored the Kingdom, just as He said, His Kingdom was not of this world. Nowadays, there are many prophets "prophesying" that God will "restore" our nation (country) when the Bible says that this world (system) lies in the power of the devil: 1 John 5:19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. Besides, Jesus Christ said that when He returns, the world will be like in the days of Noah and in the days of Lot, any expectation that things will turn good is a false expectation. Things maybe temporarily good, but don't be deceived, they are not. The LAND God wants to heal is our lives, He is interested in saving lives, restoring lives, to give us eternal life. John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. The Consequences of the revival in the Early Church is described in Act 2, they "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved". The Church was alive, had no physical or spiritual needs, they were ONE BODY being Jesus Christ the HEAD!
Friday, October 19, 2018
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing (ready), but the flesh is weak. I had an experience this past few days, where everything the Holy Spirit was teaching me came alive (real), it was one of the most "profound" experience I ever had (spiritually speaking). Let me try to recount it: My older sister was filling ill and had to be hospitalized, her appendix had burst, it happened few days before, she already had infections because of it, just the fact that she was still alive, it was already a miracle. At the hospital she had surgery to remove the infection, she was treated and was sent home under medication. At home, after a few days, she had a condition (some would call hallucination, schizophrenic, psychotic or nervous breakdown), I would call it "spiritual takeover". Why is that? Because I literally saw her spirit taking control of her soul (consciousness) and body, something I've never seen before. She was speaking all the time, and according to my brother-in-law, she was like that for almost 24 hours. I started listening to what she was saying, some words came from God, no doubt about it, but some did not! Then it was like Paul's experience, a veil was taken from my eyes, the Bible verse about "the spirit of the prophet (person) being subject to the prophet (person)" made sense for the first time in my life, i saw before my eyes the spirit of my sister taking control of her, she couldn't subject her own spirit. It was like a tornado were the wind cannot be controlled (subjected). I stood there speechless, trying to discern when was a word from the Holy Spirit and when it was a word from her spirit. Then all of a sudden, came a thought in my mind to pray, lay hands on her head and minister peace, quietness and rest to her spirit. When i did that, she looked at me, closed her eyes and was able to rest (keep quiet for a while). Then i realized how profound was that experience. All those years trying to understand it, and it only took a few minutes to get it. Now everything make sense to me, all the words (prophecies) i heard in the past that i knew were "spiritual", but at the same time I knew it didn't come from the Holy Spirit, it didn't come from the devil either, some prophecies were just Bible verses that the "prophet" thought were for us, even if (i knew that) God was speaking something different, because our CONTEXT and TIME, also because everything God was doing IN and AMONG us. We fail many times because we don't discern (understand) the will of God (purpose), the time and His way (read the post "The Purpose, the Time and the Way"). Please understand what i'm saying, the whole Bible is God's word, except for a few parts, where, for example, Paul clearly says that is coming from him: 1 Corinthians 7:12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. So, let me try to be even clearer: Nowadays, there is a "teaching" that is becoming more and more prevalent, that "everyone" is a prophet, you just have to get the Bible and start "prophesying" what the Bible says. Again, this teaching is new, it wasn't in our churches decades ago. Of course, just like every other teaching, the ones who are teaching this, have their own view (belief) about the subject, and try to prove that what Paul said does not apply to this view. So, what did Paul say? 1 Corinthians 12:29-31 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. If you're just a little intelligent (everyone is), you know that's a rhetorical question. So, why even in light of this passage those people insist that every believer is a prophet? That answer is very complicated, because it is a matter of belief! Just like the pre, mid and post-tribulation, you can prove you point if you know the "right" Bible verses! God used me many times with "prophecy", that's why to me (personal belief), not everyone is a prophet, only those God called them to be! Of course, the Holy Spirit can come over a person and lead the person to prophesy, for example, king Saul: 1 Samuel 19:24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, "Is Saul also among the prophets"? What do you say, was king Saul a prophet? To be "among" prophets, pastors, miracle workers and apostles does not make you one of them! God's calling and gits do not come by osmosis (the process of gradual or unconscious assimilation of ideas, knowledge, etc). It comes through "impartation" (read the post "Impartation: You Can Only Give What You Have!"). If you have the gift of tongues (I don't have it), you know that you can "control" (subject) when to start and to stop speaking in tongues and maybe you never stop to think about it, since after a while, it became "natural" for you. Now, in light of everything i said here, you know that when you're speaking in tongues you are allowing "your spirit" to take over your body!!! How crazy is that??? That's why your mind becomes "unfruitful" (barren, unproductive, inactive). 1 Corinthians 14:14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. In the same manner, when a demon "possesses" a person, this wicked spirit (demon) shuts off the person's mind (understanding), it becomes unfruitful (barren, unproductive, inactive), the demon then uses the person's body. Then you ask, "what about that person's spirit"? If your asking this question is because you didn't understand the text you read above, so here we go again: Ephesians 2:1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins. What about that person's spirit? According to God, the person's spirit is dead! The person is spiritually dead! The person still have the "breath of life", as written in Genesis 2:7, but because Adam's sin, the person is spiritually dead. What about Adam, you ask? Easy to answer: Adam was not the "final product" God intended him to be. Adam had to choose between life and death (spiritually speaking), symbolized by the tree of life and the tree of good and evil, which trees, symbolized Jesus Christ and satan. 1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. The reason God placed cherubs in the garden's entrance, was to block men from entering and eating the tree of life, then sealing his choice and never having a change to be born again. As for my sister, when she went back to the hospital she was diagnosed with pneumonia, besides the infection that was still in her body. In her case, I believe (and that is personal), that her spirit knew what was going on, that she was going to die if wasn't treated soon. God is good, all the time, even when we don't realize, He is taking care of us. We need to pray for discernment (knowledge) more than ever before, and seek the knowledge of God and His word: Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me. Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
Monday, May 22, 2017
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Monday, May 15, 2017
Abraham, Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless;
Enoch, Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
Noah, Genesis 6:9 "a just man, perfect in his generations, who walked with God."