Teaching Articles

Jesus Christ
Prophet, Priest, and King

During the past 2000 years, many great men have played important parts in the affairs of the world. But none have exercised such a prodigious and enlightening influence upon the human race as the one known as Jesus Christ. It matters not where we look--into religion, politics, the arts or literature--we see a far-reaching change since the days when Jesus walked throughout the land of Judea. When he appeared upon the scene, the Jews, although living in the land of Israel, were subject to the power of the Roman Empire. A few years after his crucifixion, the nation was punished for rejecting him. The city of Jerusalem was destroyed, and the people were scattered among the nations. In this condition they have remained for almost 1950 years. But during the first World War, their land was freed from the Turk, and opened up for colonization under the protection of Britain.

When Jesus appeared, the whole Gentile world was in a state of idolatry. The results of his teaching were so wide-spread, and so lasting that, within three centuries most of the pagan temples were either converted into churches for Christian use, or were removed and replaced by buildings designed for that purpose. Other pronounced effects of the work of Jesus are that wars have been fought, kingdoms have been overturned, and--sadly--countless thousands of people have been put to death. Read More.

and the Rise of Christian Imperialism
By Sarah Leslie

For the past several decades the political Left has focused attention on the Christian Right’s political activism in America. Particularly, the Left has been highly critical of a select group of dominionists called Reconstructionists, whose aggressive verbiage, extreme Calvinist theologies, and religious political agendas have made it an ideal target for outrage. But, as Leftist researcher Sara Diamond has astutely observed, “the Reconstructionists’ religion of Calvinism. . . makes them unlikely to appeal to most evangelicals.”4 Indeed, few Reconstructionists would consider themselves to be evangelicals. Nevertheless, their influence has been considerable over the much larger group of patriotic evangelicals.

There are two other dominionist sects within evangelicalism that have escaped in-depth scrutiny from the Left. These dominionists have been able to function virtually incognito for several reasons: 1) They have been deeply embedded within the evangelical subculture; 2) They cloaked their dominionism with new terminologies and doctrines over a period of thirty years; and 3) They figured out how to package dominionism using sophisticated mass marketing techniques. Also noteworthy: these two other dominionist camps have been operating in a dialectical fashion – while one group appealed to the TBN charismatics with all of its emotional excesses, the other group carefully managed its more intellectual public image to conform to traditional evangelical standards. Read More

Delivering The Prophetic Word

When God gives a prophetic word, he also gives instructions about how it should be delivered. Prophets must make sure that they get his instructions and act on them. A word that is delivered in an incorrect way is nullified, and effectively becomes a false prophecy.
So a prophet needs to know more than what to say. He needs also to discover how God wants to him to say it  (John and Paula Sanford - The Elijah Task p.90).

Many times the biggest challenge for prophets is not necessarily in hearing the voice of God, but in learning how to minister the word in wisdom. This speaks of the timing, the manner, the place, the wording, the intent, the context, and the attitude of hear when ministering figures (Tom Hamon – The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation).

Prophetic Methods
A word can be delivered in a variety of ways. We must be open to all the creativity of God in the delivery of his word. These are some of the methods that God uses: Read More

Make Room For The Supernatural

  Think about this, Jesus promised us not only that the Holy Spirit would live inside us but also that we would recognize His leadings. He promised us that the Holy Spirit would teach us all things, and lead us into all truth.

   For those promises to be fulfilled in our lives,  we must have faith in what Jesus said. We must dare to believe the Holy Spirit will do for us exactly what the Word tells us He will do. We must expect Him to work powerfully and miraculously in us and among us simply because of our believing! (Galatians 3:5),

   Now more than ever, I am purposing in my own prayer life to allow Him room to do as He wishes. I’m determined to become like the Shunammite woman in the Old Testament, who perceived the moving of the Spirit of God. She altered her lifestyle, for her spirit man understood that a promise was waiting for her. She understood the time she was living in, with-out understanding what was in store for her. Her set time had arrived and she had a date with destiny.                                                                                    
   Second Kings, the 4th chapter, tells us she was so committed to making room for the Spirit of God to move in her life that every time the prophet Elisha came to her town, she made it her business to bring him to her house for dinner. She so desired and valued the presence of Elisha (and, more importantly, the presence of the Holy Spirit who worked supernaturally through him) that she eventually persuaded her husband to make room for the man of God.

  “Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly. Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lamp stand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there”  2 Kings 4:9-10 .

  Actually, the Hebrew word translated chair in that passage could also be translated throne. So you might say the Shunammite woman enthroned the Holy Spirit. She gave Him the highest place in her house and in her life.

  When we apply that principle to our prayer lives, we quickly realize that the Holy Spirit is the most distinguished guest in our prayer closet. We always ought to give Him the place of honor. We should defer to Him and give Him the most exalted place because He knows our appointed times in God. Many Christians have missed their season because they are not allowing the Holy Spirit an honored seat in their lives. 
  The Shunammite woman did. She exalted or enthroned the Holy Spirit. As a result, she began to experience the supernatural in her life. She didn’t really go looking for the miraculous but because she honored the Holy Spirit who is the miracle worker, the miraculous came looking for her.
  I have meet a lot of Christians that are looking for the next thrill in Christianity, The next prophetic service, the next healing service, the next gold dust, the next laughter service and the next slaying in the spirit service. It has become a carnival of flesh seeking conferences. While ministering at some of these conferences my heart would grieve, because the people didn’t want to change, they only wanted a thrill.  If it required sacrificing the flesh for the REAL power of God, they would complain and say it did not take all of that.                                                                                                        
  The Shunammite woman moved the heart of Elisha. He appreciated the sacrifices she made to make him comfortable. Elisha started asking what he could do to bless her or help her. He offered to put in a good word for her with the king or with the commander of the army. She declined for she said she dwelt among her own people. Elisha, however, was determined to bless her.

Moving the Heart of God

  So he said, “What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Actually, she has no son, and her husband is old. And he said, “Call her.” When he had called her, she stood in the doorway. Then he said, About this time next year you shall embrace a son. And she said, No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant! But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha had told her,”        2Kings 4: 14-17 .

  Notice that the Shunammite woman wasn’t asking for a son. She wanted one but she didn’t even think to ask because having a son was above what she could ask or think. It was actually the Holy Spirit (through the servant, Gehazi) who brought up the subject. In essence, the Holy Spirit made the request—and then He granted it!

  That in itself was a supernatural work of God. It was a miraculous move of the Holy Spirit. But the story doesn’t end there.
Some years later the boy got sick and died in his mother’s arms.
“What a tragedy!” you might say. And it would have been, except for one thing. The Shunammite woman hadn’t changed. She was still honoring the Holy Spirit and still expecting the supernatural. So without even telling her husband what had happened she laid the child on the Prophet’s bed and she SHUT THE DOOR and went out. She saddled her donkey and went to Mount Carmel to find Elisha. As she left to see the man of God, she told her husband that IT IS WELL! 
  “And the child grew. Now it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers. And he said to his father, “My head, my head!” So he said to a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out. Then she called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back.” So he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.” And she said, “It is well.” Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, “Drive and go forward; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you.” And so she departed, and went to the man of God at Mount Carmel. So it was, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, the Shunammite woman! Please run now to meet her, and say to her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?’“ And she answered, “It is well.” Now when she came to the man of God at the hill, she caught him by the feet, but Gehazi came near to push her away. But the man of God said, “Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the LORD has hidden it from me, and has not told me.” So she said, “Did I ask a son of my lord? Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me’?” Then he said to Gehazi, “Get yourself ready, and take my staff in your hand, and be on your way. If you meet anyone, do not greet him; and if anyone greets you, do not answer him; but lay my staff on the face of the child.” And the mother of the child said, “As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.” So he arose and followed her. Now Gehazi went on ahead of them, and laid the staff on the face of the child; but there was neither voice nor hearing. Therefore he went back to meet him, and told him, saying, “The child has not awakened.” When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the LORD. And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. And he called Gehazi and said, “Call this Shunammite woman.” So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, “Pick up your son.” So she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; then she picked up her son and went out.  (18-36)

Shut the Door on Negativity

  We find out in the following verses that the Shunammite woman was in great distress of soul but even so, she refused to give up her confidence in the miracle-working power of the Holy Spirit. She had to SHUT THE DOOR on her emotions and negative thoughts.  She had to tell herself and everyone else she met along the way to receiving her miracle, IT IS WELL. She did not allow room for any negative feed back from anyone because she knew if God could bless her with a child, He would restore him.  In the midst of her darkest hour, she kept making room for Him to move. She kept expecting the supernatural.

   God didn’t disappoint her. Elisha went to her house, stretched himself out over the dead child, and the Holy Spirit resurrected him!

  I love this story because, as 21st century believers, we are living in times where we need that kind of supernatural power at work in our lives. We need the resurrection power of God to move upon us and through us when we pray. We need the Holy Spirit to work miraculously in us, to pray the kinds of prayers that will resurrect spiritually dead cities and nations and quicken them again with the Glory of God. We need Him to pray through us for things that are beyond what we can ask or think.

  He wants to do it. He is able to do it. But we must give Him opportunity to do it. We must make more room for Him by expecting Him to work miraculously through us when we pray and SHUT THE DOOR on Every  thing contrary to what He has said.

From the Chapter 7 of the book "Shut the Door" by Dr.Candace House

Digesting Jesus

When Jesus said we must eat His flesh and drink his blood, he wasn’t talking about cannibalism, but he was referring to ingestion that leads to incarnation. Christ was the Word that became flesh. It is important that we ingest the Word of God in a way that causes us to digest His life until Christ is literally formed in us. Ingestion without digestion will lead to feeling full but not being transformed. Digestion is more than just a taste test, it is the full meal of His presence that conforms us to His image. There is an old saying that is true in this case, “You are what you eat!”

Many people ingest the Bible but they don’t digest the living, active Word of God. Religion fills their souls but never satisfies their longing for real life. Digestion requires assimilation, not just consumption. Truth was never meant to just be recounted, it was intended to be experienced. When we exchange the communion meal for a dinner commentary or a cookbook, we deprive ourselves of the privilege of abundant life, and relegate ourselves to a meager existence in the Kingdom.

Jesus never intended for us to be full of religion, but He desired us to be filled with His Spirit. Christ is the ultimate happy meal, and as we digest Him, we become one flesh with him. That is why Jesus prayed that,
“We may all be one; even 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 sent Me…The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.”

Christ is not talking about His disciples getting along with each other here. He was describing the unity between the babe and the Bridegroom, where the intimacy of intercourse assimilates us into one flesh. When we come to the communion table and eat the flesh of our King, we become an inseparable unity that causes the world to experience His presence every time they encounter us. In other words, when they see us, they have seen the Father.

We are Christ to the world. I don’t mean that we just preach Christ to the world. I mean people should experience Christ when they meet us because it is Jesus who is being formed in us. As a matter of fact, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

When people experience us preaching the Word without us becoming the Word, the gospel gets reduced to a mere philosophy-- principles to be argued and words that can be wrangled over. But when the Word becomes flesh and dwells among them, they find themselves pierced to the heart and convicted in the depths of their very souls. It is incumbent upon us as the people of God to preach Christ wherever we go and, only if necessary, use words!

The Shepherds Series- The Sheepfold Part 5

A sheepfold is much more than a mere building or structure, even as a local church is much greater than and not dependent on a building. A church is NOT a building. It is a local community of Christians who meet together regularly for worship and are whollycommitted one to another.The sheep fold is a type of both the synagogue and later a local church.