THE SEAL OF LOVE – TOGETHER FOREVER

 

“Entreat me not to leave you,

Or to turn back from following after you;

For wherever you go, I will go;

And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;

Your people shall be my people,

And your God, my God.

Where you die, I will die,

And there will I be buried.

The Lord do so to me, and more also,

If anything but death parts you and me” (Ru 1:16, 17)

 

Naomi was once a happy wife and mother. There was a season of famine in the land of Judah. Her husband made the decision that the family should go across the river to the land of Moab. It seems that he wanted to stay there just for a short time. The Moabites were ‘far relatives’ but also enemies of the Jews. God said that they should not be allowed to enter the congregation of God’s people. This is because they refused to welcome, feed and encourage them, when escaping from the bondage of Egypt. Later, they hired a false prophet, Balaam to curse and bewitch them. The people of God were not to seek their friendship or to pray for their peace, prosperity, health, rest, favor and happiness (Deut 23:3-6). Elimelch made the rash decision to take his family ‘abroad’, to live among a people Jehovah has rejected. Imagine being an immigrant among men that you can never visit in their homes, eat with, invite to your ‘church’ or pray for. Is that not worse than famine?

When Naomi left Bethlehem, according to her testimony, she was full. There was famine in the land but they were not the worst. Elimelech was impatient. He was afraid of death by starvation. Running away from death, he died in the land of Moab. Mysteriously, his two sons died too. Naomi sees this tragedy as judgment from God. Then one day, she hears that things are better now back home. She decides to go back to Bethlehem, which in Hebrew it means ‘the House of Bread’. This is the best decision she could have made. She is ‘empty’ now; she has lost all things but she still has her God. A backslider should go back to the point of error and deception and seek God and His mercy once more.

Her two Moabite daughters in law, Orpah and Ruth, decide to follow her. She tries to convince them to go back to their families for there is no hope for marriage in her home land. She paints a very dark picture about the future. She cannot promise them any good thing. There shall be no reward for serving her. Half way down the dusty road Orpah eventually decides to go back. She kisses Naomi ‘good by’ and weeps for the pain of final separation. Religious people shall follow Christ for a season but eventually, like the rich young ruler, shall go back to ‘her gods and to her people’.

This is now the moment for Ruth to shine like the morning star in the darkest night. She proves to be a true servant of God and of Naomi. Gentle and firm in the same time, in a wonderful speech filled with eternal glory and true love, she pleads with Naomi. Love is her choice! They shall be tighter to the end of time! She chooses to share in the destiny of Naomi. Mentor and disciple, they shall run the race together, until the very end! They will share in the sufferings and also in the hope of the glory of Jehovah. The people of God who by law are to reject her as a wicked foreigner, they shall be ‘her people’. Naomi’s house, be it a palace or a hut, shall be her shelter too. This is her dream: to live in a Christian home, to read the Bible to her children, to pray and to worship God with her husband, to take care of Naomi. She releases Naomi from any pledge of personal reward. She accepts the responsibility to be a servant for Naomi, without a salary, or the promise of future husband or children. If there is a God in heaven, as Naomi says it is, then that God shall be her reward. His mercy shall sustain her. His grace shall strengthen her. We know that her love, her faith, her commitment and wisdom was at last rewarded by Jehovah. She got married to the prince of Bethlehem, Boaz the Redeemer. Their son became the grandfather of King David and he was in the line of the Messiah. God’s rich and glorious mercy spoke on her behalf: “I will call My people who are not My people; and I will call My Loved One who is not My Loved One” (Rom 9:25)

 

Do you say that you love God? Do you say that you are a servant of Christ? The Christian confession shall be tested in the hour of affliction. The call of God to serve Him has to be proven in the fire of opposition, rejection and loneliness. The Cross has to be carried. The persecution has to be endured. The religious kiss of Orpah is too cheap to fulfill your destiny. Religion is not enough! You need Christ and Him Crucified! Except you break your ‘alabaster box’ and pour the oil on the feet of the Master, you will not be able to finish the race you have started.  A true servant of God is faithful to his master until the very end. It is easy to ‘confess’ Christ to men. But this confession has to be tested by fire. Men and angels have to see that beneath the dirty soil there is a lump of pure gold as an acceptable offering to your King.

 

“Beloved,

If you want to be my friend, if you want to marry me, if you want us to be together…then know this, Christ in me is all I have; above titles and fancy clothes, above gifts and hugs, above smiles and dreams to be shared, Christ is the best treasure I have. If my Jesus is not enough for you, then please go away; follow Orpah, for my simple life will disappoint you at last. The earlier you kiss me good by the better… But if the hope of glory in me is all that you desire, if my God shall be your God, and my people shall be your people then fear not, follow me!  And you shall find all things you had to forsake in the past; your sacrifice will not be in vain; your dream will come true and so much more… to the end of time we shall dance between the stars, we shall teach angels to tango and heaven will be our eternal home…

This is my promise! This is my pledge!”

 

In Christ I declare:

I am a child of God!

I am servant of God!

I shall finish the race!

Christ is my reward!

In Jesus name

Amen!

DESERT FOXES

DESERT FOX

“O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts. You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the Lord” (Ez 13:4, 5)

The false prophets are called ‘jackals among ruins’ or ‘foxes in the desert’. There are some interesting facts about the desert foxes. They are of the size of a domestic cat. They live mostly in the Sahara desert. They are generally afraid of humans. Their ears are very large. That is why their hearing is extremely sensitive. They can detect the sound of their victims, insects, lizards or rats moving underground. They are skillful hunters. Using a pouncing technique practiced from an early age, they are usually able to kill their prey quickly. They live mostly underground. They dig long tunnels to protect themselves from heat and other predators like the desert eagles. Their dens have up to 15 entrances so that they can run in and out from different directions. They hunt mostly at night when the temperatures are lower.  Desert foxes are social animals. Different families interconnect underground. Their body is adapted to live without water for a long time. They look very friendly and are beautiful. That is why some keep these animals at home as exotic pets.  If taken as kittens and separated from their mothers, they can be domesticated like cats. If not, they remain wild and uncooperative. The desert fox is the national animal of Algeria. In the Arabic superstition and tradition, the desert fox can drive away demons from houses.

Like foxes, the jackals live in the deserts too. They are hunters and opportunistic scavengers. In the Bible they are symbols of desolation, loneliness and abandonment, with reference to its habit of living in the ruins of former cities and other areas abandoned by humans.

 

In other words, the false prophets therefore are religious unbelievers, men of the dark occult realms. They come only to take advantage of you. They inhabit ruins, like tenants who never pay rent and soon pretend to be the house owners. They may flatter you with their sweet words but their prophecies do not help you at all but indeed they shall disappoint you at last. Like the desert jackals, they are rugged; they have a type of natural strength. They are used to live without the water of life, without the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. This may deceive others saying that this is spiritual strength, but it is not. The difficulties of life do not intimidate them. They look confident when things are not easy. They look for big money but they do not reject any amount. Like the foxes in the desert, they hear the movement of their victims and are attracted by it. They exploit your fears and your confusion. Pretending to pray, they attack the one in need and kill the victim without any mercy. They do not make peace but cause divisions. They do not go to ‘the walls to close the gaps’. They ignore the need for the unity of the Spirit. Their counsel increases the tension in the home. Little quarrels become bigger. A house divided cannot stand! Many marriages have ended in divorce as a result of false prophesies. Be jealous over your soul and over your home!

 

In Christ I declare:

I repent of any sympathy with the false prophets!

I shut the door to any religious evil spirit!

I reject all false prophets!

I cover myself and my family with the Blood of Jesus!

In Jesus name

Amen!

DANIEL, MY BROTHER

 

“Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies nor with the wine which he drank” (Dan 1:8)

Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon had conquered Judah, destroyed Jerusalem and carried many into exile. This is according to the prophets who warned God’s people that if they continue in rebellion, they will suffer, they will lose their place of worship and He will scatter them abroad.

Daniel was one of the young men carried to Babylon. His name in Hebrew means ‘The Judgment of Jehovah’. He was selected to serve the king. That sounded as a promotion. But over there, in the midst of riches and worldly splendor, young Daniel made a decision that saved his life and established his testimony as a true man of God. He also became a great inspiration for all believers, especially for the youth. Daniel decided that whatever the situation, he will not compromise his faith in God. He will not become an idol worshipper, even if he has to die. He will not allow anything and anyone, no matter how precious, to come in between him and God.

This was not an easy decision. Babylon was the greatest nation at that time. They were known for their cruelty and wickedness. They captured the king of Judah and carried him to Babylon. Over there, they killed his sons in his presence. Then they removed his eyes, so that the last memory he will have will be the death of his sons. Babylon was a pagan kingdom, rich, powerful and evil. Daniel knew that he needed the wisdom and favor of God not only to survive but to keep himself pure in the midst of the pagan oppressors. He quietly decided that he will not eat the meat or drink the wine coming from the king’s table. He knew these were a sacrifice to idols. He asked for permission from the eunuch in charge and miraculously, it was granted to him. This ‘simple’ decision was the foundation of his godly, successful and long life.

Please observe the type of ‘Christianity’ Daniel practiced. He did not become rude or proud. He did not become a religious fanatic. He was a man of Prayer and of the Word of God. God does not need an army with sophisticated weapons to judge a nation of a situation where sin abounds. One man ‘sold to God’ is enough! God judged the mighty idols of Babylon thru the quiet final decision of a teenager, who, in a land of darkness and sin, chose to remain pure, separated and faithful to His God. ‘In quietness and trust shall be your strength’ (Is 30:15). His quiet decision was settled in his spirit. From that time on, the mystery of holiness shall define him. That was his secret. That was his strength. That was his inspiration. That became the root of his testimony and the anchor of his soul, all the days of his life. In other words, Daniel honored God and God honored him. Daniel trusted God and God trusted him! So simple, but so profound!

May you desire the same! May you be jealous over your testimony as a child of God! Young people, the world wants to steal your purity, your passion for Jesus and your desire to worship God! Do not fear to be different! You do not have to imitate the culture you live in! Come to Jesus! Give your heart completely to the king of kings! Be a citizen of heaven! Be an ambassador of Christ! Do not fear to stand for your faith! Quietness and purity, these are virtues and great weapons in the hand of God! May Daniel be your brother and your friend! May you be encouraged today!

 

In Christ I declare:

I am a child of God!

I am dead to sin, to the world and to the devil!

The World behind me, the Cross before me!

I no longer live but Christ lives in me!

No matter the circumstances, I shall remain faithful to God!

I will serve Christ, my Lord, all the days of my life!

Daniel is my brother!

In Jesus name

Amen!

THE RIVER OF LIFE

 

“Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for medicine” (Ez 47:12)

Ezekiel saw a vision of a perfect temple. It was located in Jerusalem. From under the altar he saw a river coming down, towards the Dead Sea. The river was crystal clear.

In the natural, there is no river in Jerusalem, which is a very ‘dry’ city. This is a picture of the spiritual reality, things we see by faith alone. The spring was little at the beginning, but then it increased in size. With no help from any other source, on its own, the river became a great mass of water, like a flood no one could stop. Wherever the river went, death was defeated and things became alive. The river was measured by an angel, from one thousand cubits, going deeper and deeper. But there were some places that looked like a swamp; these were ‘left for salt’. Life could not penetrate in these places. There were trees along the banks of the river. Their fruit was good for food and their leaves were used as medicine. Their power to heal and bless never failed.

 

This is a picture of the power of the God. From the day of little beginnings called Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit fell on 120 disciples, its influence and power has touched all the nations. The Gospel is preached and souls are saved. Each man who is saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is like a drop added to the river. Out from his belly, the rivers of living waters are multiplied. This is how the power of eternal life increases without the help of any religion or the works of men.

But there are some places where the blessing of eternal life will avoid. This is a mystery no man can explain. These are people who hear but reject the Gospel. They become ‘salty and stagnant’. Like a corpse preserved with chemicals, they are unable to repent even if they hear the true Gospel. These are people with stony hearts that remain unchanged, stubborn, bitter or angry to the end. There is no witness of spiritual life within. No prayer, counsel of church can ‘touch’ them. As a pastor, this is one of the most painful and mysterious tragedies I’ve seen in the church.

The angel measured the waters with a rod. It means that with time, the fruit of the Spirit becomes visible and can be ‘measured’. It is true that the Spiritual realm is mostly invisible but there shall be a manifestation of the increase of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the faithful believers.

 

For example, my love, my joy, my self-control should increase and become ‘palpable’ to me and to others. This is a miracle, especially when the mature character is manifested under provocation or trials. The spiritual fruit of my ministry becomes food to many. They do not just listen to my words, but something else happens; they begin to ‘eat’ my words and feel satisfied.   Wherever the River of life goes to, whatever the anointing of the Holy Spirit touches, whoever flows with the worship, shall be healed and shall be blessed.

May you desire to take the risk and jump into this blessed flood! Say with Esther: “If I perish, let me perish”. But when love sings its last song called ‘It is finished’…when all fears are gone…for the hope of greater things… for the joy of glory ahead and for the love of my Savior… I am finally ready to let go and die…Suddenly, I discover that for the first time in my life, I live, I truly live… I now discover that this fearful river is the safest and the most wonderful place in the Universe. I find myself swimming in the mighty waters that quench the thirst of every soul and satisfy the longings of all willing hearts…

Lastly, I say: “Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” (Then, and only then, you shall understand my words…)

 

In Christ I declare:

I am born again!

I am Spirit filled!

I am a minister of Christ!

I am healed!

I am satisfied!

I rejoice in hope!

In Jesus name

FALSE PROPHETS

“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time” (Mt 24:24, 25)
Jesus said that in the last days these false prophets shall come in greater numbers. We are already experiencing this. They use the name of Jesus to deceive God’s people. We cannot afford to be deceived by them. May God have mercy on us! May God help us to stand against the plan of the devil and to win the victory in His name! Let’s encourage one another for with God nothing is impossible!
What are the main characteristics of false prophets? God has given us two major irreplaceable gifts that can never fail! These gifts by which we may know Him and grow in the grace and in the knowledge of Christ are The Word and The Holy Spirit!!!
Please listen: The false prophets will attack both these gifts, trying to replace them with their own words and their own spirits! The false prophets will attack your emotions, using magic, that you may admire them. They don’t want you to think! They don’t want you to be sober minded and exercise self-control! They don’t want you to pray and repent of sin! They just want you to be happy with them and their wicked lies! Please watch and pray! Resist the devil and he shall run away from you! You can do it! Selah!

In Christ I declare:
I am saved by the Blood of Jesus!
I reject all false prophets and fake ‘men of God’!
I love truth!
I am free!
In Jesus name
Amen!

LIMITLESS!

 

“Hallelujah! It’s a good thing to sing praise to our God; praise is beautiful, praise is fitting…

He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds.

He counts the stars and assigns each a name.

Our Lord is great, with LIMITLESS strength; we’ll never comprehend what He knows and does.

God puts the fallen on their feet again and pushes the wicked into the ditch” (Ps 147:1-6; TM)

LIMITLESS GOD!!! Just the way the crown fits a king, so Praises fit God! To the enemy, praising God is a fearful sound! God loves to be praised and He comes down to bless His people. Praise is the key to enter God’s presence. To the children of God praise is a command and not just an option. We praise God for who He is, for all he does, for His strength, love, mercy, grace, wisdom…the list is limitless…

Elohim is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. The same God who made the universe and all the stars, is the same God who knows you, small like a worm. God loves you! In case you ask: ‘who, me?’ – yes it is you! God knows your heart, your address, your tears, your pains…He wants to heal your broken heart. Gove it to Him! Men and devils can break it, but they cannot repair the damage. Even if they say ‘I’m sorry…’ that cannot heal the wound within. Time cannot heal spiritual wounds. They are not like the physical wounds where time works like medicine. Spiritual wounds can be covered with smiles and pretense, but they cannot be healed by men. They can stay silent for years, but they are still there, hidden behind. God waits for you to come and ask for healing. There is no wound too deep or too bad. There is no sin too terrible for God to forgive. Pray and trust God! He knows his job! Jesus died so that you can pray! Jehovah Rapha touches your heart and suddenly, you are made whole. The broken heart leaks peace and joy. The heart made whole is strong and can withstand the pressures of life without exploding or fainting.

God’s compassion, wisdom, understanding, strength and capacity to love know no limits. Adonai, the Owner of slaves, the One who bought me with His Blood, the Redeemer of my soul, He is the God who protects and defends me. He is the Lifter of my head, when shame is all I had.  He is the God of justice who never makes mistakes. He stopped the flood of persecution when I did not know where to run to. He brings down the proud and wicked. He also lifts up the oppressed and the poor to sit with princes. He makes the barren woman a happy mother of children. He sets the lonely in the midst of good families. God loves the fatherless, the poor, the orphan and the foreigner in a special way. I am a foreigner and I can testify to this supernatural favor! He listens to the prayer of the true worshipper. He listens to the prayer of a desperate seeking soul. He gives grace to the humble…He lifts the burden from them who are weary and gives them peace! Of the increase of His Kingdom and peace there shall be no end!

He is the Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent Limitless God! Give God all the praise! Ascribe to Him all the glory due to His wonderful name! Jesus is Lord! Amen!

 

In Christ I declare:

I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God!

God has healed my broken heart!

I am made whole!

Vengeance belongs to God!

Praise belongs to God!

All the glory belongs to God!

I will praise God forever!

In Jesus name

Amen!

THE WORD OF MY LIFE

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— the life was manifested… that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ…And these things we write to you that your joy may be full” (1 John 1)

There are only two Kingdoms in this universe. The Kingdom of God is manifested in Jesus Christ. Here we find God’s blessings to man: Salvation, the Word of life eternal, Forgiveness and Cleansing from sins, Fellowship with God and with the brethren, the Body of Christ, walking in the Truth, making Progress,  freedom, the Light of God and the fullness of inexpressible Joy.  All these blessings come by Grace, God’s unmerited Favor, and because of the Blood shed at Calvary.

In the kingdom of darkness, the devil is the ruler of all unrepentant sinners.  Over there is sin, sickness, sorrow, bondage, deception, lies, stagnancy, torment, isolation, ignorance, deception and lastly, eternal death in hell. No power in heaven or earth can save an unrepentant sinner.

The Word of Life has come in the midst of sinful men. Jesus is the Word made flesh. We can see, hear and handle the Word of God. It means to personally experience, to gently touch the Spirit’s strings, to produce music, to worship, to sing and celebrate God. True ministry is always amazing, beautiful and musical. The fragrance of Christ fills each room where He is honored and worshipped. We proclaim God’s Word until the spirit of the hearers becomes a worship instrument to the glory of God. The preacher and his congregation, together, they become an orchestra that heaven will bless. Nothing less will do! Ministry is not effective until the Word resonates in the hearts of them who receive it; until it echoes in their innermost being; until the seeds of life become hundredfold; until the faces shine and the hearts are filled with passion for the Lamb! Salvation produces a peculiar joy that nothing can quench.

Eternal life in Christ is not the product of an active imagination; it is not just a longing that weakens the soul, unfulfilled and frustrated. Salvation is more real than the visible universe. It is the embrace of Jesus Christ, touching the punctured side from where the water and Blood came forth to save the souls of men. Salvation comes by the preaching of Truth, the correct doctrine of Christ Crucified. The sinner will be convicted of sin, by the power of the Holy Spirit and the preaching of Truth. Sin is an offense against God; a betrayal of His love, ignoring His mercy and trampling His grace. Sin means to miss the mark, to lose the reward, to trespass into rebellion against the Creator of the Universe.

If you desire eternal life, acknowledgment and humble confession of sin must be made. The word ‘confession’ means to stop defending yourself, to agree with the truth, to accept God’s opinion as final. You have to willingly open the door to truth to manifest, to shine publicly as a proof of victory against sin and the powers of darkness. Then mercy is released from the throne in heaven. God forgives the humbled sinner who has faith in Him. True confession is followed by a flood of supernatural peace and joy.

Then the child of God is baptized in the Body of Christ. He will have fellowship with God the Father, God the Son and with the rest of the born again brethren. Fellowship means intimate communion in the Spirit. Each believer shares in the whole Body. There are common responsibilities and privileges. Together, we become a living company of brethren, of friends, a spiritual family connecting and filling heaven and earth.  The Spirit of God flowing in our veins, we love freely and sing His praises forever.

The Body of Christ is God’s dream and vision. He rejoices in His mighty work that none could imagine or perform. The glory of God covers His Church purchased with His Blood. God’s joy becomes ours, we share in it freely.  Having the same heartbeat with the Father and the Son, the angels marvel at this great salvation of the children of men. Joy becomes a liquid grace, full, influencing, satisfying our bodies and souls, giving strength to love as we are loved. No language can fully describe it, so I stop here…

In Christ I declare:

I am saved by the Blood of the Lamb!

I have fellowship with God the Father, God the Son and god the Holy Spirit!

I am baptized in the Body of Christ!

I love Truth, Light and the Word of God!

I love God! I see God! I hear God!

I love the brethren as Christ loved me!

I am free! I am healed!

To God be all the glory!

In Jesus name,

Amen!