Tuesday, 31 August 2010

There is no LIFE in the Word without the Spirit

There is no LIFE in the Word without the Spirit
There is No SUBSTANCE to the Spirit without the Word.

“For the Word of God is LIVING and ACTIVE...”
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)


The first time we ever see a “birth” taking place in scripture is in Genesis chapter one. The first thing that was ever “brought to birth” was the very Word of God! God “spoke” and then that Word had to be “created.” This process involved not only time but also three intrinsic elements; “brooding, speaking, and creating.” Incidentally this “process” has never ceased. (God still does all three! And we will look at this here). As for the “brooding or hovering” which the scriptures use to describe the Spirit’s “behaviour” during creation - almost explains a period not unlike “incubation” where the Spirit appears protective, caring and patient – but in readiness to ACT.

Let’s see this unfold in Genesis chapter one where the Amplified Bible says; “IN THE beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the heavens and the earth. [Heb. 11:3.] The earth was without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:1-2). Consequently “brooding, hovering or moving,” are all descriptive words that help portray the Spirit’s; “eagerness,” “willingness” and even “promptness” but certainly not slothfulness! He did not fall asleep in other words – waiting for God to speak!

Deuteronomy 32:11-12 also mentions this divine-instinct of God; “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreads its wings to catch them, and carries them on its feathers, so the LORD alone led his people.” Therefore brooding or hovering is definitely something that the God does (by His Spirit) not lastly during creation; hovering eagerly and willingly - always ready to perform the truth of His Word. Today this process of “brooding, speaking and creating” is still the same. The only difference being – that now God’s Word is in “our” mouths. He still wants to create His Word and bring it to pass; “... these words are very near you. They're in your mouth and in your heart...” (Deut 30:13-14 GW). So just as God “spoke” His Word in Genesis, we also must speak out His creative Word now!

The Authorized Version says that after, “the Spirit of God moved...” “God said.” In fact during this creation scene of Genesis chapter one – we can see “God said” no less than ten consecutive times. The Spirit hovered, God spoke, created, saw, named and blessed. But our emphasis today is on what came first; “brooding/hovering, speaking and creating.” The Spirit of God must be “present,” His Word must be “spoken” and His creative power “released.” Notice that the brooding/hovering of the Spirit only lasted “until” the Word was “spoken.” Then it was time to ACT. This ultimately means that the Spirit needs “instruction!” In fact He is still bringing this “instruction” to birth today through our lives.

For this reason we are taking this lengthy look at the Holy Spirit’s behaviour surrounding the “speaking” of God’s Word, because it is vital to its being “brought to life.” This subject in fact could be looked at from many different angles and we could draw from a myriad of different scriptures to bring it to a conclusion. However I just want to look briefly at this original Hebrew word (rāḥap Strong's # 7363) which was used to explain precisely what the Spirit’s “conduct” was during the creation; perhaps you see something here that you have not seen before as I did!

To “brood/hover/move” on the face of the deep – came from a primitive root; to brood; and by implication means to be relaxed:- flutter, move, shake. Again these words are “descriptive” of a bird “nesting” but I want to focus-in-on-the-word “relaxed” for a moment here. Before I saw this in my own personal study, I had never previously imagined the creation process (whether before, during or after) as being remotely relaxing! More like hard work, that required a concluding day of “rest” (even for God!) My point is this: if the Holy Spirit was “relaxing” while “brooding” at the same time, this means that He was not “fretting” (trying to force-something-to-happen) rather He was patiently trusting and waiting for the Word (Christ’s instruction to “act” upon.) The Holy Spirit always acts to “enhance” the Word!

Perhaps some people imagine the Holy Spirit during the creation-scene as being much like an unloaded “spring,” who was “released” to perform the Word of God; possibly even “impatiently” so! However if this was the case, then where does being “relaxed” come into it? The answer can only be this: faith is able to relax because it trusts the Word. This can apply to us of course; if we trust in the creative power of God – we too can “relax” in faith - as we wait for His fulfilment! As for the Holy Spirit, I prefer to see Him as being composed not tense - eager but restrained - until the Word had been spoken and He was “released” to perform it!

Let me add that the Holy Spirit is just as eager today as He was during the original creation. In fact God has never “stopped” creating and He wants to continue today through us – by His Word and His Spirit. Nothing about God has ever changed!

This brings us to our main focal point. The Spirit gives life to the Word but the Spirit needs the “instruction” of the Word; without the Word He cannot create and without the Spirit the Word cannot literally come to pass.

Scripture repeatedly tell us that the Spirit gives life (chiefly to the Word “in” us); “It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]... The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63 Amplified Bible). “...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life (2 Cor 3:6 KJV). “...the Spirit of life from God entered into them...” (Rev 11:11 KJV). “...he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Gal 6:8-9 (KJV)
God spoke to me very clearly one day while studying this subject and said, “There is no LIFE in the Word without the Spirit and no SUBSTANCE to the Spirit without the Word.” The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us it said in John 1:14 and Jesus Himself (the Word) also needed this “life giving Spirit.” We see this in the Authorised Version in 1 Corinthians 15:45 it says, “The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” or in the Amplified it is better said as, “...the last Adam (Christ) became a life-giving Spirit [restoring the dead to life].

Remember if we are truly building His Kingdom, we are then co-labourers of what He has “Ordained.” That which He brings to birth through us – we become those that He has ordained to “take-care, nurture, protect” that which He has revealed that He intends to do through us (we call this Vision). Adam was ordained to take care of the “garden,” likewise we are ordained to take care of His Kingdom.

The Holy Spirit directed the Apostle Paul in all things. Before his conversion Paul lived a religious word but after his conversion he lived by the Spirit and the Word. A prophecy attributed to Smith Wigglesworth in 1947 states: “During the next few decades there will be two distinct moves of the Holy Spirit across the church in Great Britain. The first move will affect every church that is open to receive it, and will be characterised by a restoration of the baptism and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The second move of the Holy Spirit will result in people leaving historic churches and planting new churches. In the duration of each of these moves, the people who are involved will say, ‘This is a great revival.’ But the Lord says, ‘No, neither is this the great revival but both are steps towards it.’ When the new church phase is on the wane, there will be evidence in the churches of something that has not been seen before: a coming together of those with an emphasis on the word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit. When the Word and the Spirit come together, there will be the biggest move of the Holy Spirit that the nation, and indeed, the world has ever seen. It will mark the beginning of a revival that will eclipse anything that has been witnessed within these shores, even the Wesleyan and Welsh revivals of former years. The outpouring of God’s Spirit will flow over from the United Kingdom to mainland Europe, and from there, will begin a missionary move to the ends of the earth.”

As our opening scripture Hebrews 4:12 states above, “ the Word of God is living and active” in fact the Amplified does well again here by saying; “...the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]” whereas the Authorised only calls the Word of God, “quick, and powerful..!”

So it is clear then, that the Spirit gives life - He is the “life-giver.” However He needs the Word (Christ) for “instruction” - otherwise He can only continue to “hover or brood” and this is never His purpose, intention or ultimate desire. Brooding is just a means to an end, not a means in itself. He is not content with just “being there.” He always wants to be active – producing life because He is LIFE! The Holy Spirit is never passive only composed! And He is only ever “inactive” when we make Him thus – especially when we fail to “speak” God’s Word (which He longs to bring it to life). We must never fail to understand that whenever we “receive” a Word (Rhema - God’s Word) that Word is “living and active” and is always looking to “manifest” itself - we must never abort, kill, stop, delay or hinder this divine course of action.

Finally, the very thing that God’s Word “speaks” about – is what it is “intending-to-do” – such as healing. God speaks of healing because that is what He wants to DO (manifest). I believe that the Holy Spirit still “broods” over people’s lives today – for instance the sick and dying – He has to wait “longingly, lovingly and protectively” - unable to “act” until someone with living-faith comes to speak “life” over them; over their failing marriages, ministries or wayward children etc. Speaking His Word – releases the power of that Word and as my wife always says when she teaches on intercession, “the Holy Spirit is always as willing as He is able,” to fix any problem that we face. In fact 2 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life...”

The reality of this of course is that properly applied - broken lives can be restored and the dead can be raised! By His stripes we are healed. This spoken truth (God’s Word) that is energized and given life to by the Spirit - has the power to bring this truth to pass/to birth/to manifestation. Only then are we truly “healed by His stripes” – this is God’s “creative” Word in ACTION. Faith without action/works is always dead. In fact words that are not active are dead. Even God’s Word is inactive until it is spoken and the Spirit released to perform it.

In closing: God’s Word holds “highest” authority in the entire universe; the “highest-truth” and the “last word on everything” (this must also be true in our personal lives as well!) This means that if we truly got-a-grip on God’s Word for our lives – where it was truly “revelation” to us – then it would bring LIFE! Then we would truly begin to LIVE that Word. Yes! Faith without works is dead - simply because if faith is not put to “work” it dies. We must “work” (believe) the Word God – otherwise it will always be “dead” to us. Ultimately; “the Word only works for those who believe and then act upon it; LIVE it...! (James 1:15; James 1:21; Matt 26:41; 16:16; Deut 28:1; Luke 1:26-28)


PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father, in Luke 1:26, Mary “received” Your Word sent to her via an Angel; she took that Word and conceived it. That Word then began to live in her and became flesh. Father help me to receive Your Word by “revelation” so that I also can BRING TO BIRTH Your Word today. Amen

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I am receiving and conceiving Your Word Father - that You have given to me. It is active and living in and through my life. Faith is not dead but ALIVE. Thank You Holy Spirit for giving me the power to overcome as I receive instruction and allow You to manifest Your Word in and through me.
Today I am Blessed; in Jesus Mighty name. Hallelujah

THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Friday, 27 August 2010

Lord, Electrify the Fence!

Lord, Electrify the Fence!

"Who here qualifies for the job of overseeing...? A person the Master can depend on to feed the workers on time each day. Someone the Master can drop in on unannounced and always find him doing his job...”
(Matt 24:45-46 The Message)


In our opening scripture Jesus was talking here about the faithful and wise “servant-ruler” or as the Amplified version says the, “faithful, thoughtful, and wise servant.” We can discover through reading this scripture that “faithfulness” is a huge requirement of the Lord. Success can often come through aggression and abuse – but Christ is looking for us to succeed through “faithfulness.”

This story about the “servant-ruler” applies to us all considering the fact that although we are all meant to “rule” and “reign” with Christ, but we are also meant to “serve.” So this scripture does not just apply to those in leadership! In fact every believer has responsibilities within the Body of Christ and within God’s Kingdom; firstly towards God and then towards each another. Responsibilities that we must never “shirk” or “despise.” We must be faithful.

Looking at this unfaithful servant-ruler in Matthew chapter 24 we can see that he began “calculating” that his master was not coming back and selfishly took what he could from the situation; including eventually beating his fellow servants and drinking with the drunkards. Verse 51 tells us of the “consequence” of such unfaithfulness; where Jesus Himself warns that when the master finally returns, this unfaithful servant-ruler would be cut in two! Now that’s a sober reality!

If we proceed with this theme and read 1 Peter 5: 1-4 we find a further description of what God is looking for in a faithful servant-ruler, “I WARN and counsel the elders among you (the pastors and spiritual guides of the church) as a fellow elder and as an eyewitness [called to testify] of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a sharer in the glory (the honor and splendor) that is to be revealed (disclosed, unfolded): Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully; Not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation). And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the conqueror's crown of glory (1 Peter 5:1-5 AMP).

Although lengthy the Amplified is a necessary read nonetheless as it spells out the first requirement for any such servant-ruler – “faithfulness.” God is not looking for success in the way that the world comprehends it. Instead success - in God’s economy of things - is faithfully carrying out the duty that He assigned for each of us to fulfil - individually and corporately.

Besides the “consequences” of unfaithfulness there are always “rewards” for faithfulness. Jesus Himself foretold this by saying, “A God-blessed man or woman, I tell you. It won't be long before the Master will put this person in charge of the whole operation!” (Matt 24: 46-47 The Message) In the Young’s Literal Translation it says; “...verily I say to you, that over all his substance he will set him.”

Now there is another side to this coin, as there always is; the first being “reward” and the second being “judgment.” In his book, Prophetic Guide for the End Times, the late Derek Prince wrote; “Faithfulness in this life leads to promotion in the next... The way we conduct ourselves in this world will determine what we will be for eternity. There is no substitute for faithfulness.”

As we continue to look at Christ’s return and the consequences of His coming on believers, we must not only see Him as Saviour but also as “Judge.” In fact God’s appointed Judge. Both Romans 14 and 2 Corinthians 5 describes the judgment seat of Christ and how He will judge the Church. During which process only two categories exist: good or evil. Derek Prince better articulates this by saying, “We in the church have invented a third category: not good, but not evil either. In God’s view that category does not exist. If you are not good you are evil.”

This is very pointed but true! Without any shadow of doubt there are going to be consequences to the Lord’s return and today there are many so called Christians who don’t realise that they are sitting on a literal time bomb! Jesus’ intention has always been to “return” which means the year of “Jubilee” and the year of God’s favour will finally come to an end. We have as long as it takes, for Him to return, then no longer.

Even though Jesus’ own disciples thought that He would return in their own day, including every successive generation after that, the signs of the times do indicate that His return is more “imminent” than ever before. Does this mean those who are still in the valley of decision about their commitment to the Lord are living on borrowed time? Yes, it could be said like that!

In the reality of Church today, sadly there are too many “fence-sitters!” who straddle the fence because they won’t “commit” but still want to be considered “believers.” They want all the fringe-benefits that true believers enjoy, without the cost of commitment. They want the trophy without the effort; the glory without the pain and wear the victors crown without any endurance or staying power! (It takes truck-loads of perseverance, diligence and determination to truly serve the Lord, because there are too many opportunities to quit!)

In any case those who find themselves sitting on the proverbial fence will also find themselves in a very tight spot spiritually speaking! Derek Prince phrases it this way, “When the Holy Spirit comes to the Church... one of the first things that He does is to electrify the fence!” I love that! Needless to say, it is for this precise reason that so many folks (entire churches in fact!) don’t welcome the Holy Spirit. Instead they cherish their comfort zone; their suspended position that dangles between “neutrality” and “half-heartedness!”

The evil servant-ruler who lost the vision of his master’s return also lost his restraint! His behaviour altered drastically. This is true for any church. If the reality of Christ’s return is not proclaimed, and the people lose sight of His coming – the ultimate standards of holiness are lost forever. God’s people need to live in holiness and to walk with the Spirit of God’s Holiness (the Holy Spirit) and for this they need a clear sight of His return. Just like the wicked servant, the alternative for us is to be led astray of our “own” lusts and degraded by our own behaviour (see James 1:14). Instead we must keep His “coming” in our sights.

Consider this, according to chapter 24, when the master does finally return “unannounced,” and the servant is not ready for him, he will be cut in two! The master presented here of course, is Jesus. But is He truly capable of cutting someone in two? Yes! We better believe it... for as “thorough and diligent” as Jesus is to save us, He is just as “thorough and faithful” to judge us! If we do not commit to Him as our Saviour, we will certainly encounter Him as Judge.

I leave you with this final thought. In Matthew 13:42 it talks about “tares” of wheat in the field – this is referring to people. Tares look exactly like wheat - but are sterile (barren) never “producing” anything! People can be like this. They go to church their whole lives; looking like all the other believers but never truly “entering-in” for themselves. They live so close, right in the midst of it all, but never partake and never truly commit. For them, scripture tells us that there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” simply because they were “so-near-and-yet-so-far.”

To close – how should we remedy this? Set up “fence-sitters-anonymous” or as Pastors and Leaders allow the Holy Spirit to “electrify the fence?!” It’s certainly going to get exciting, one way or another! No one can be neutral, not ever. There are only two categories that exist: good or evil (life or death) and “everyone” must choose! (See Deuteronomy 30:19).


PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father forgive any fence-sitting on my part. It’s easy to think “not me!” yet be surprised when the Holy Spirit points out those areas where I have been “straddling” myself. I want to admit those areas and move on. You are faithful and just. I want to encounter your mercy and grace; not to resist it. Move in my life; show me those areas I still fail to properly commit myself; remaining half-hearted. Move me and bring me to that weighty place of true commitment. Amen.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I AM committed 100% I fear nothing. I hold nothing back. I refuse to put my hand to the plough and turn back. I have counted the cost and seen the value of true commitment. I am no longer a fence-sitter - in “any” area of my life. I allow God to electrify any fence He finds. I refuse to struggle with half-heartedness that reaches for the “mixture.” Instead I AM single-minded and I certainly choose “only” Life. Hallelujah!


THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Friday, 20 August 2010

The Perils of Fear

The Perils of Fear

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Rev 21:7-9 KJV).


In the previous Truth for the Journey we looked at the subjects of “double-mindedness, doubt and unbelief” but now we must look at the participation that fear plays. As revealed in our opening scripture above, fear and unbelief work very closely together, if not hand in hand! In actual fact it’s also worth noting that “fear and unbelief” take “first place” on the list of who will end up in the lake of fire!

As mentioned in the scripture above the word used for “fear” in the original Greek (δειλός deilos) comes from a root word deos meaning to “dread” or to be “timid” and implies “unfaithfulness” (see Gk. Strong’s # 1169). Interestingly the word used for “unbelieving” - in the original Greek (compound word) primarily means; “faithless, passive and untrustworthy” (see ap'-is-tos Gk # 571 & #4103 where pistos (belief) becomes a-pistos! The addition of an “a” in front of pistos (belief) brings it into the negative form - just as adding “un” to belief makes it un-belief!)

Now there are those who reckon that there is such a thing in the bible as “the-law-of-first-mention.” This is debatable of course, but if we were to take this literally, that would make the positioning of “fear” (principally) and “unbelief” (successively) - on this doom list in Revelations - somewhat more interesting! Especially considering whose company they share – such as the “abominable (repulsive and detestable) and murderers, idolaters and liars...” what a nasty list they top! It must be that God himself finds them so offensive that they come out first on the hit list! Other translations prefer to use the words “cowardly and unfaithful” instead of “fearful and unbelieving,” but either way they seem to be of major “offense” to God.

Gratefully those of us who are in Christ do not suffer with fear. We know that in 2 Timothy 1:6-8 it says, “God didn't give us a cowardly (fearful) spirit but a spirit of power, love, and good judgment. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord... (GW) In addition from the Old Testament Isaiah declared, “Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice” (Isaiah 41:10 AMP).

Now let’s look more closely at the characteristics of fear. Firstly it would be correct to say that “fear is faith in reverse-gear!” Think about it for a moment. If faith is the “substance” of good things desired. Fear is also the “substance” of bad things not desired. Again if you turn to the Greek #5287 in the Strong’s you will discover that “substance” used here in Hebrews 11:1 also means “concrete essence!” This would allow verse one to be read like this; “Faith brings the concrete essence of things expected and the proof of things not seen!” Reverse this equation and it could read like this instead; “fear (or faith in reverse) brings the concrete essence of things expected and the proof of things not seen!” This is confirmed by what Jesus told the centurion, “...go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee” (Matthew 8:13).

Admittedly there are times when “believing” is the last thing we “feel” like doing especially in a crisis, but that’s when we must understand that faith is not an emotion it is a decision! In fact, generally speaking if we wait for our emotions to motivate us – we would never do anything significant for God! (Emotions fail where faith is always robust!)

In fact fear is actually putting our faith in what the devil can do rather than what God can do. Having said that fear and faith are not on “equal-par” (faith is far greater) and perhaps this is why fear is so offensive to God? However the chief reason that any of us fear something is because we are really “convinced” that it will come to pass. That’s what worry is all about. If we didn’t believe it could come to pass – then there would be no reason to worry! Worry in itself is counter-productive and energy zapping, because it cannot “stop” anything, it is “passive” and can only “dwell” on the negatives (or the problem) instead of the “solution” which only helps “draw” the trouble closer! Job is the classic example of this truth. “For the thing which I greatly fear comes upon me, and that of which I am afraid befalls me. I was not or am not at ease, nor had I or have I rest, nor was I or am I quiet, yet trouble came and still comes [upon me]” (Job 3:25-26 AMP).

Job “practiced” his fear continually and as a result - his fear was “great” in strength. Although by way of conflict the scriptures declare that Job dwelt in safety, we see this in the accusation Satan brought against God, “You’ve hedged him about on every side, and I can’t get to him” (Job 1:6-12). Satan’s sly request was then for God to “strike” everything that Job had, in order to disprove his faith. Now I personally believe that God did not just “grant” this request out-right but actually replied with a statement of fact instead. See in verse 11 how God said to satan; “He IS in your power.” In other words, “he is ALREADY in your power!” It is important therefore to realize here that God did NOT put Job in that position rather Job put himself there. He found himself in satan’s grasp simply because of the continual “fear- rituals” he engaged in for his children (see Job 1: 5). This very fear contributed to dissembling of his protective “hedge” and all that he had (verse 10.) Remember if we lose our position (of faith) we always lose our possession!

Fear therefore gives satan just the opportunity he is looking for. And yes! He is LOOKING. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour...” (1 Peter 5:8-9 KJV) Inevitably fear always puts us in an unfavourable position. Where faith lifts us, fear pulls us down. This type of fear that takes us where we don’t want go is simply named “DREAD” and is very effective indeed. When we “dread” something long enough, we end up doing or saying the exact things we have dreaded and end up in precisely the position we didn’t want to be in! Remember Job. His fear came upon him. Both fear and faith act like magnets – drawing good things or bad towards us. So watch out!

Dread is “forward” looking, just like faith is, but entirely in the negative realm and it uses our “imaginations” to help build mind-pictures of those things that we are dreading. This is exactly the same way that faith operates. Where we must “see” ourselves - by faith – doing or obtaining the very thing we are reaching for. The prerequisite (condition) is that we must “see” it before we possess it - naturally. Like the youth who sees himself driving “long” before he even goes to driving school! This is faith in operation in simple terms! Or Father Abraham who was required to “see” himself as the father of many nations before he actually was!

However “dread” will make us see (and persistently see) the very things that don’t want to happen; (dread is synonymous with trepidation, nervousness and anxiety). If we yield and think about dreadful things long enough or dwell on them hard enough, then they will eventually be drawn our way! As said previously - this is literally “faith in reverse” and something we must not engage in.

More importantly it is “mounting fear” reverses faith, not just the little fears we all face each day, but the mounting, persisting, tormenting type, that we fail to deal with as we know we should. Job said, “The thing I’ve greatly feared has come upon me.” Job knew his mistake. He even spelt it out loud and clear! He was not confused or out of his mind. He knew what brought him down; his own fault. There is no doubt that Job had originally had faith, but he allowed his faith to be swallowed up in fear. Sometimes we have to have faith in our faith - in the context of what faith can do verses what fear can achieve. It’s in our own interest to stand in faith rather than fear. The fringe benefits are much better!!

Charles Capps says, “When you speak your fears they will grow and nullify your faith. You can’t keep the devil from bringing thoughts of doubt and fear to your mind but those things will die unborn if we don’t speak them.” Our words either give our adversary the license and opportunity to move or God - on our behalf. And I know who I would prefer on my side!

King Solomon understood this when he said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]” (Proverbs 18:21 AMP) and in the New Testament it says, “For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced” (Matthew 12:37 AMP). Ouch what a thought!

Many times however we don’t realise the power of our words and the more we speak about negatives the more they grip our heart and multiply in strength. Fear will “establish” itself – taking as long as it takes – knowing that if it can establish a strong enough foot hold, any individual will eventually lose their strength and ability to deal with it. The same way that faith comes by hearing by the word of God, fear comes by hearing negatives! Our words can create shields of defence or open-opportunities for evil intent.

We build and strengthen our shield (hedge) or we weaken it. For example, if we speak fear it insulates us and stops the blessings. Fear filled words produce more fear and invites the enemy to quench the blessings of God. “...he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” (2Corinthians 9:6) It’s good to remember that “everything” can work in its own “reverse-state.” And bountiful words of “spoken-fear” can and will reap bountifully - after its own kind. On the other hand “whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith” (1John 5:4 AMP) we can be utterly victorious and unstoppable if we don’t yield to fear.

Faith is stronger than fear and is our victory that overcomes the world and principally comes through faith in God’s Word. Heart faith comes from deep within where the Word abides. However we must remember just because we have faith does not automatically mean that we will “operate” by that faith. Anything can be dormant and passive including our faith. We must have faith the faith that we received from God; the very faith of the Son of God (Gal 2:20 KJV).
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father thank you for giving me the faith of Your Son; thank you for utter victory that overcomes the world around me every single day! Thank you that although fear wants to establish itself in my heart, I give myself to Your Word only; allowing faith to be established in me. Forgive any lack of faith. Forgive every time I yield to fear and dread. You are “faithful and just to forgive me my sins and to cleanse me of all unrighteousness.” Amen (James 1:9)

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I declare that I am FAITH FILLED & FAITH INSPIRED. Though the world around me is set in reverse, I am forward thinking; inwardly and outwardly moved by God’s Word. I do not dread the future. Like the woman of God in Proverbs 31: 25 I “rejoice in the times to come” and “smile at the future.” Faith in Christ is my victory and there is always JOY in the Victory. So I rejoice and again I say “REJOICE!” Hallelujah!


THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The Perils of Double Mindedness, Doubt & Unbelief

The Perils of Double Mindedness, Doubt & Unbelief

“A person who has doubts shouldn't expect to receive anything from the Lord... A person who has doubts is thinking about two different things at the same time and can't make up his mind about anything”. (James 1:6-8 GW).

Let us first look at double mindedness; which is designed to stop us receiving from God and in fact is synonymous with being double-spirited. If you look up this word “double-minded” in the Authorized Version of the Bible (KJV) and use the Strong’s Concordance or the Vines dictionary to discover its original Greek meaning you will find that “double-minded” (δίψυχος dipsychos) actually means “two-spirited!” Now this adds a whole new emphasis on being double minded?! In other words we cannot successfully live in two different kingdoms or operate in two different spirits at the same time (i.e. the spirit of this world & the spirit of God / the kingdom of God & the kingdom of darkness) it just does not function! (See Strong’s #1374)

In fact being double minded and doubting is practically the same thing, so when we step into doubt, we step into instability as verse 8 tells that a double minded person is “...unstable in all of his ways” (KJV). Doubt literally means to waver in judgement; to hesitate in indecision and to distrust. Most Christians find themselves - at some point - in this sad condition and then wonder why they are spiritually and emotionally “confused!”

For example, when asked, most Christians would say that they believe what the Word says about a situation but also admit that they always have a ‘Plan B’ (contingency arrangement!) just in case it doesn’t quite work out as God said it would! That’s like going forwards only to go backwards! James 1:5-8 says; “…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 anything of the Lord” (KJV).

Now unbelief is different to double mindedness or doubt in that it won’t even “consider” plan A; instead it just “deserts” God altogether as seen here in Hebrews 3:12
“…brethren, take care, lest there be in any one of you a wicked, unbelieving heart [which refuses to cleave to, trust in, and rely on Him], leading you to turn away and desert…the living God” (AMP).

This scripture clearly warns against the unbelieving heart that “refuses to… trust.” In fact from the very onset “unbelief” is decidedly negative, unreasonable and faithless; where doubters are a little more subtle in their contemplation; "I believe God’s Word; it’s just not working for me!" Unbelief on the other hand, has no intention of flowing with God.

In fact, unbelief cannot be accused of being “double-minded” at all; with its flat refusal to believe! It is simply “hostile” to God; again Hebrews above warns of the “wickedness” of the unbelieving heart but here in Romans 8:6 it talks of the sheer “hostility” of the carnal mind towards God, “Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]. [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God's Law; indeed it cannot (AMP).

In other words doubt “wavers” between making decisions, where unbelief has already decided! “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word” (1Kings 18:21).

So there you have it, pure and simple; unbelief is a satanic force and is unambiguous (clear-cut) in its approach. It holds itself to a “complete-denial” of deity and refusal of truth. For instance there is always someone who will say, "I believe that speaking in tongues is of the devil." This in itself is “refusing” God's Word not “doubting” it. There are many people in unbelief today simply because they do not believe the verity of God’s Word. We even have theologians who teach that angels do not exist while in the New Testament Jesus Himself told of how the angels came to feed and minister to Him and in the Old Testament for instance - Psalm 91 - it is unquestionably talking about angels! So although clearly present in His Word they still deny it!

Then there are those who say there is no devil. Well then I can only say that Jesus must have been hallucinating or imagined some weird and wonderful happenings out there in the desert! However the Word clearly says that the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness; in fact Jesus Himself told us that we would cast out devils in His name (Mark 16; 17-18).

It is sad to say that those who consider themselves to be “believers” are the ones who often suffer from unbelief the most! In fact in Africa (where I have travelled extensively), Europe is known as the “dark continent” which has churches full of “unbelieving believers!?” What a parody (distortion) and a poor legacy that we have left the rest of the world! In fact it’s a spiritual travesty!


PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father forgive me for any unbelief or double-mindedness in my life. I want to walk free of double-mindedness or being “double-spirited.” You translated me from the kingdom of darkness into your glorious light and I am not confused about where I want to be. I have no desire to dwell in two kingdoms or to compromise your love for me. Help me by your Spirit to walk uprightly in your Kingdom and never to be double mined. Amen.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I walk by faith. My life is dictated to by faith and not by the dictates of my flesh. Every decision I make is a quality one and never compromises my faith in Christ or His Word. I refuse to be “tossed about” or confused in my thinking. I have a deliberate mind; I have the “mind of Christ.” Hallelujah!

THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Friday, 13 August 2010

The Perils of Disappointment

The Perils of Disappointment

“They trusted you and were never disappointed”
(Psalms 22:5 GW)


It’s easy in this life to become disappointed; in fact who hasn’t been at some point or another? Ministry in particular is an arena where disappointment can thrive! As a minister I had to learn a long time ago not to allow “disappointment” to get me down. It is all too easy to give into the “feelings” of disappointment, mainly where other people are involved (especially when other ministers let you down!) By measure of necessity, I learnt to get over disappointment as quickly as possible; the alternative is for un-forgiveness to set in which only taints our inner focus (spiritual sight) rendering us un-available to be used by God any longer.

Disappointment is a firm for-runner for un-forgiveness and a sure tactic of our adversary who desires to get us over into disappointment for as long as possible so that un-forgiveness sets in. This of course traps us until we repent, but our enemy knows that many Christians have become so “dull” spiritually that they are totally unaware they are even walking in un-forgiveness.

Our opponent has watched the “human-experience” from the beginning of time and knows just where to “blind-side” us, especially using the realm of our emotions. At all costs we must keep our emotions in check - because this arena alone gives satan all the opportunity he needs. If given an inch, he always takes a mile; we must not give him that opportunity.

There are many words that describe disappointment’s character perfectly. In fact most words have at least one “synonym” (descriptive word with identical meaning). The following are “synonyms” of disappointment: dissatisfaction, displeasure, distress, discontent, disenchantment, disillusionment, frustration and regret.

Anyone who has ever stepped into disappointment, even if just for a single day, will be familiar with these well! In fact I doubt there is a person alive who hasn’t experienced all of them! 1 Corinthians 10:13 teaches us that there is no temptation that is not “common to all men,” making it safe to assume that anyone and everyone has tasted this “bitter-pill” called “disappointment” at some point or another! We are all tempted to get into it because it’s just like any other seductive temptation; we are lured into “disappointment” through “emotions” - but we must avoid this at any expense because it only leads to bitterness which in turn leads to un-forgiveness which in-avertedly costs us “everything.”

From a personal front, some years ago my wife was deeply affected by “disappointment.” I have said before, ministry is a breeding ground for this because some of the things that people are prepared to say or do at times – can be nothing short of “treachery!” Scripture is clear about treachery, in fact Isaiah said, “Traitors continue to betray, and their treachery grows worse and worse” (Isaiah 24:16 GW) and in Psalms 78:57 it says, “They were disloyal and treacherous... like arrows shot from a defective bow!” (GW).

Over a prolonged period of time, my wife had watched the behaviour of certain “respectable” people who lacked certain discretions and as a result became increasingly “disillusioned” with all-things-ministry simply through this type of deep-seated “disappointment” that had lodged in her heart. Harmless enough one might presume, but it did some damage, however thankfully she recovered; but there are many who don’t. Actually there are many today who have left the ministry for this same reason and never returned. We are talking about reality here! None of us should give ourselves over to anything - because what starts with mere emotion ends up more critical - if left to germinate!

David knew this well, and he had reason to be distressed at times especially in 1 Samuel chapter 30:1-6 when after returning from the battlefield, he discovered that his own people were about to kill him! In addition everything he owned was either burnt to the ground or taken captive (kidnapped!) “David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep...” In verse 6 we see David clearly distressed by the situation but instead of nervously “reacting” to the crisis we see him “responding” to it by faith; “David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God” (vs.6 KJV).

Almost deranged with grief, David’s own people had risen up against him with a united front, wanting to “exact-punishment” for their joint loss. In other words they wanted someone to blame and take their grief out up on. (Note: the first rule of leadership “everything is your fault!”)

Now it’s understandable that they did not want to party at this point, and they were themselves disappointed in David, perhaps they thought that his leadership or miss-management cost them everything? However many of us at times have felt like the whole world was against us which brought us great personal “distress.” This is when we need to employ the same secret weapon that David had. An “inner-defense-mechanism” that would not allow the disappointments and stresses of life to overcome him. As over-comers, we too must learn to encourage ourselves in the Lord, to off-set the disappointments in our own lives (Rev 2:7, 11, 26; 3:5, 12, 21).

If the anointed kings of the bible had to keep themselves “encouraged” we are certainly not immune to the stresses of life, even with Christ on our side! It takes discipline and David would have developed this into his life, long “before” he ever went to battle.

Resisting disappointment is as much an “act-of-the-will” as is patience! These healthy “responses” to life sadly don’t come to us naturally (automatically) instead we must work at them voluntarily until they “become” part of our natural responses to live. (Remember our flesh is like a rebellious dog that must be tamed. Needing strong discipline until it’s not necessary anymore!)

Fundamentally and relationally “disappointment” means to fail to satisfy an expectation. Disappointment will always be on this earth, and as mentioned above, the most important thing is not what happens but how we “respond” to it! If allowed to affect us, disappointment has the ability to destroy our faith. It can make us angry at God, at others and at ourselves and can be all consuming. I have met folks who are just so very angry “all” the time. The sad fact is that they experienced just one too many disappointments in their life - never overcame it - and as a result live angry with themselves and with the world (everyone in it) for the rest of their lives!

Faith can be consumed by this type of anger that comes from disappointment. I have seen people get so turned on to the Word of God and then when things don't work out as they had planned; disappointment sets in and their faith rapidly disappears. People can literally float on cloud nine for weeks until a “suddenly” occurs and then the disappointment bomb drops and their bubble bursts forever!

Disappointment can also cause many people to backslide. I have seen more people backslide through disappointment than anything else. People get disappointed in each other, and even turn their back on the Lord Jesus Christ because of it. But regardless of what anyone else does, the Word of God does not change and nor should we.

Then there are the “unfounded” or “imagined” disappointments; which are the same thing as “perceived-injury,” something that I have taught on quite abundantly over the years because many people suffer from this; especially common in the Body of Christ! Vain imaginations are the culprit which make us “perceive” that people are doing an injury when they actual are not. “Life-is-just-one-big-mind-game,” one that we must win; we are over-comers in Christ. To achieve this we must first know His Word and not be willing to deviate from it, to the left hand or the right, because its the only sure foundation we have. It offers us “pure-security” when the rest of the world is swimming with “disappointment, fear and insecurity.”

Finally in Proverbs 31:27 it talks about the bread of discontent and self-pity! “She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat” (AMP). Discontentment means; unhappiness, irritation, annoyance, disapproval and anger. Disillusionment is similar in meaning to disappointment but also means; lack of expectation, cynicism and disenchantment. We must guard against these opponents of our faith.


PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father thank you that today I need not walk in the realm of disappointment: dissatisfaction, displeasure, distress, discontent, disenchantment, disillusionment, frustration and regret. Instead I can look to you who will never disappoint (fail to satisfy). Help me to overcome the mind games and to surrender to your security and love. Amen

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I have the mind of Christ towards the mind games of this life. I protect myself from the disappointments by encouraging myself in the Lord and keeping my eyes up on Him and not on what others can do for me. I choose not to be ruled by my emotions and to keep my focus on God’s Word; to devour it night and day, to renew my mind continually and to live in the eternal security that God offers to me and the insecurity of the world. Hallelujah!


THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

“Don’t Speak until God gives you the Key!”

“Don’t Speak until God gives you the Key!”

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus (Hebrews 3:1).

My wife recently reminded me of a story that a pastor once told us when in Entebbe, Uganda. He told us how he had a kennel full of dogs. He chose two of these dogs and spoke life to one and death to the other – continually for a period of time. After just weeks one of those dogs began to slowly die. Then the pastor felt sorry for the dog and began to speak words of life over it instead, but it was too late. Death had taken hold and that dog sadly died. What a crude and cruel experiment you might say. But this pastor found out, in this somewhat rudimentary way, the extent of his words. Evidently our words cause a “reaction” no matter what, for good or for bad.

Dr. Mike Murdock in his book, “Wisdom for Winning” says, ‘One friend noted an inner depression when he indulged in revealing the flaws of others: “The words of a talebearer are as wounds...” (Prov. 18:8 KJV). God brought healing through the Word: “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles” (Prov. 21:23KJV). He goes on to says to guard your conversations’ (page 164).

Jesus can only use our faith filled words to fulfil His purposes. Any other words we speak will be judged. Matthew 12:36 says that we will be judged for “every idle (or careless) word that we speak”.

In fact the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) states that the Greek word (argós) generally used for “idle or idleness” in the New Testament literally meant, inactive, useless, empty gossip, nonsensical talk. Whereas the Strong’s Concordance #692 takes argos (pronounced ar-gos') as generally meaning; inactive, unemployed; lazy, useless; barren, idle or slow.

So this means that Jesus will either use or only judge our words. With this in mind James warns that if our tongue is unbridled it can actually ‘…set on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by Hell.’ (James 3:6) In Hebrews 3:1 however we are instructed to; “Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ [or the Anointed One] Jesus” and the word translated as “profession” in that verse can also be translated as “confession.” This means that God appointed Jesus to be our High priest, only over our confession – which is our “declaration of FAITH.”

Having said all this; both our words - faith filled words and our words of idleness have affected our lives up to this point. In fact we could say that our lives today are the “direct-result” of our own consistent choice of words. So perhaps now’s the time to change our vocabulary, especially those who don’t like themselves very much!

True to His Word, Jesus Christ as the Apostle and High Priest will faithfully back our words - but only when we speak what God says in His Word. Think about it, God placed such a high premium on “words” purely because He can only “agree” with His own Word in our mouths, and this is what He wants to bring to pass. It is a total revelation to some that mere “words” can be so literally powerful that they can change the very course of our eternal destiny.

As Christian we have an “out-and-out” obligation to speak “right words” and what a difference they can make! We all know that from the very beginning of our experience with Christ, we came head to head with the power of words and the awesome difference that they can make, “...if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Many people around the world now confess faith in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and proclaim that God had raised Him from the dead, as a result are no longer hell bound, but heaven bound! Mere “words” mingled with truth and faith changed their eternal destiny forever. But we must also consider that if words can change destiny, words can also change anything!

There is “power” in words. In fact the spiritual forces of life or death are “released” through our words alone. This means that “beyond” our conversion experience we must continue to make the right choices with our words! Knowing God’s Word is essential for this. And by speaking “right Words” like this we can help steer the course that God wants us to take; knowing every word we speak will affect everyone else around us; for good or for bad.

What an awesome responsibility we have! All the idle and fruitless chatter we once enjoyed is now a privilege we can no longer indulge ourselves! For when we committed ourselves to Christ we also committed our mouths to Him. This we can never change; our mouths are too significant to trifle with; either they are fountains of life or death, blessing or cursing, something becomes too serious to be jovial about, especially as one matures in Christ. We are totally accountable.

Once again Jesus is not committed to “any” words that we speak; only to spoken-words of faith that agree with His and as High Priest of our confession (spoken faith in His Word), Jesus becomes obligated to bring-those-words-to-PASS, but let me point out that it is the Holy Spirit who brings-them-to-LIFE. We see this in John 6:63 where it says; “It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it]. The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life” (AMP).

Think about it, if the very words that Jesus spoke were inspired and brought to life by the Holy Spirit how much more do we need the help! So together our High Priest and the Holy Spirit work together, to bring our words to life and to pass! “...the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your mind and in your heart, so that you can do it” (Deuteronomy 30:14 also Rom 10:8).

Then 1Corinthians 1:4-5 also tells us that Jesus “enriches our utterance.” That is, He takes our words of faith and enriches them with His. So no matter how we look at it, the words we speak have the ability to carry the very creative force of Almighty God behind them. What weight that is! And they are “bound” to come to pass! “I thank my God… Jesus Christ; that in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge…”

As mentioned in the last “Truth for the Journey”, God intended us to be the “prophet of our own lives,” so that we could bring good things to pass by using our mouths to “affirm” His word. “...out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things…” (Matthew 12:34-37).

It’s evident therefore that an opportunity exists to all of us; to bring forth life or to bring forth death. Some people imagine that their words don’t “bring forth” anything! But for those of us who understand differently and have had this “revealed” to us by the Holy Spirit, now have a responsibility to act upon what we know.

For the rest of our lives we must act wisely - every single time we open our mouths! No longer can we leisurely engage in idle chatter. On the other hand we can still be spontaneous and free – sure! - but with “restraint” and self control, knowing that EVERY word will be judged.

To finish I heard Ulf Ekman once say, “Put a padlock on your mouth and only speak when God gives you the key!”


PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father I thank you that today I am free. My heart is free, my mind is free and my mouth is free. But I will not use my freedom to sin. I will choose wisely with thoughts and especially with my words. I understand Father that I am a co-creator with You, for this reason use me today to bring forth LIFE wherever I am. Amen

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I choose to manifest the heart and purposes of God in and through my mouth. I have a RIVER OF LIVING WATER that flows through me and will refresh others. My joint mission in life, with Christ and His Holy Spirit, is to bring forth life through the spoken word; chiefly with God’s word in my mouth. I am therefore God’s “mouth piece” today and fully understand that “every” word I speak has the potential of life and for death. With this knowledge and with God’s help I keep my heart and my mouth in check - in Jesus Name.


THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Friday, 6 August 2010

We are the Prophet of our own Lives!

We are the Prophet of our own Lives!

“…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh… every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account... For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned”
(Matthew 12:34-37).


God created us to be the “prophet of our own lives.” This means that our destiny is within our own mouths! There is no one else to blame” It's our own words - not anyone else's - that determine our successes or failures in this life; “...if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:8-10 AMP). In fact our words either bring good things to pass or wicked. The decision is ours.

It is true to say that God has never and will never do “anything” without “speaking” about it first! This could be called a “spiritual law.” In fact in Genesis 1:1-29 we can see “nine” consecutive times during the creation process where it says “GOD SAID.” He “spoke” over His creation until He was fully satisfied! We too must keep speaking over our lives; not once but many times; until we see completion in those areas we need it the most and then move on. We must do as He does and He is a “faith” God who also has to release His faith by His Words! 1 John 4:17 says; “...as he is, so are we in this world” therefore we must operate the same way and we know this is possible because we have been given the “God kind of faith” that Jesus spoke of in Mark 11:22!

This “God kind of faith” is not limited. It can do what God does with it, as long as we operate in it as He does! This takes understanding and lots of willingness because this type of faith is not subject to human emotion but is “long suffering” and will keep speaking at a mountain until it moves! Even the best educated guess can’t know exactly how long it took for the “creation process” to take place, as mentioned in Genesis chapter one. For instance six mere days in scripture can mean something entirely different in our concept of “real-time!” For instance some scholars believe that between each verse of Genesis One; “many” consecutive years were represented. This is very plausible, considering what it says in 2 Peter 3:8 “…one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day!”

As I have already pointed out above, God spoke directly to His creation nine separate times in just one chapter, so evidently God had a lot to SAY during the process! But faith does require “words” to operate and nothing has changed. In fact WORDS still have a great deal of involvement in what we create today. Words are still a much “creative-force” for good or for evil right now. It’s worth thinking about… Selah!

Then to further drive home the point about the need for us to “behave” like God specifically where faith is concerned, Ephesians 5:1 tells us to be “imitators” of God just as children would imitate their parents. And in order for us to properly “imitate” Him this would mean for us to talk like Him, act like Him and even think like Him. And speaking to things is what God does and so must we! This does not just apply to us, Jesus also operated by such faith principles while he was on earth (see Mark 11:23; Matthew 17:20). For instance He spoke to the wind and the sea. He spoke to demons. He spoke to the fig tree. He even spoke to dead men! They all “obeyed” His SPOKEN WORDS… meaning His faith filled words had great power and influence, just as ours should. “Truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you” (Matthew 17:20 AMP).

God was in the business of releasing His faith through His words and we must follow suit. But admittedly our words are usually loaded with a mixture of fear and faith with life and death. The mixture is the danger point because salt water and fresh cannot be poured out of the same fountain. We are obligated to speak life! (See Genesis 1:3).

If Jesus could imitate His Father and get the same results, so can we! In John 14:12 Jesus said, “He that believeth on me the works that I do shall he do also; and greater…” These principles of faith are based on spiritual laws which work for whosoever applies them and sets them in motion. Just consider it more closely; who really wants all their negative words to literally come to pass? No one right?! And those who truly perceive that everything they “say” has the potential of coming-to-pass just as they “spoke,” swiftly change their vocabulary! But this takes revelation (renewing of the mind) and a lot of assistance from the Holy Spirit!

Spoken words program our spirit (heart) either towards success or defeat. Words are truly containers; carrying the ability to produce whatever they contain just like a seed; “…faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Faith comes more quickly when we hear ourselves quoting, speaking, and saying the same things God says. It is a fact that all of us we will more readily receive God’s Word into our spirits by hearing ourselves speaking it… than if we hear someone else speaking it. This brings us to the major role that “confession” takes in our faith walk. In fact throughout the New Testament there are four basic kinds of confessions that exist and we will look at them just quickly as follows below:

The Confession of Repentance: The first confession found in the New Testament is the confession of sin taught by John the Baptist and Jesus to the Jewish people in their day. This act of confession however, is not what we know today as Christian repentance. Actually, the confession of sin and water baptism that we read about in Matthew 3 and Luke 3 was an act by the people of Israel under the Abrahamic (or Old) Covenant. Prior to Jesus going to the cross, the Jews knew what it was to confess their sins and repent, but their sins were only 'covered' in atonement by the blood of an animal which was sacrificed once a year. It wasn't until the sacrifice of Jesus' blood that sin could actually be wiped out and not just covered up (see Hebrews 10).

The Confession of Salvation: is the confession of a sinner. It's what we now know as the prayer of salvation. In John 16, Jesus explained that the Spirit would come to convict “the world” of sin and basically the confession of a sinner under the New Covenant is simply that Jesus is Lord! “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:8-9).

The Confession of Sin: Christians also must confess their sins, especially those who step out of fellowship with the Father. The Bible says that if you have sin in your life to confess it. 1John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The moment sin is confessed, is the same moment it is gotten rid of. By faith, we spewed it out of our mouths and God was faithful and just to forgive us of it and to cleanse us.

The Confession of Faith in God’s Word: involves our faith in Christ as our High Priest. Paul wrote“…consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession Christ Jesus;” (Hebrews 3:1). This word 'confession' in the Greek actually means, “saying the same thing as; saying what God says.” This makes the act of “confession” nothing more than a spoken “affirmation” of bible truth which is repeating the very things God has already said in His Word and believing them at the same time.

To finish, this principle of faith that works hand in hand with our confession will never change. Faith operates by believing what we say and saying what we believe and doing so over and over again – in line with Gods Word - for the rest of our lives. A process that helps bring salvation and every other thing that God has promised us.


PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father thank you for giving me the authority and the power to speak words of faith over my own life; I have the master key of life in my own mouth! I can be unstoppable if I operate in the God kind of faith, which pleases you so much. I chose to speak the right words over my life and the lives of others today. Amen.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today is the day that I can correct my speech to contain “only” words of faith; nothing more and nothing less. To work faith into my life, letting it permeate and radiate in everything I do. My mouth bears the fruits of faith because I consistently make the right choices with my mouth! I choose words of faith. I am a carrier of “life” in every situation... Hallelujah

THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

God's X-ray Vision!

God’s X-ray Vision!

“...many people noticed the signs he was displaying and, seeing they pointed straight to God, entrusted their lives to him. But Jesus didn't entrust his life to them. He knew them inside and out... He didn't need any help in seeing right through them” (John 2:23-25 The Message)


The “extreme” tends to surround the prophetic ministry. People either love or hate the prophet! Things get very black and white around them. People either keep a safe distance in fear of what they might discover or go to the other extreme and become “groupies” who hang on every word! Still genuine prophets can evoke much respect from people and make them feel slightly nervous because they give this sense that they can see straight through people which provokes a little insecurity! However it must be said, no matter how genuine a prophet is, they cannot see everything; in fact “nothing” unless God reveals it to them. And all of us are warned against using our own “vain imaginations” (Acts 4:25; Rom 1:21).

But God planned it that the prophet was a blessing and not a curse! In fact a true and “seasoned” prophet is very quiet, not willing to speak at all, until God reveals something through them. Prophets are serious folks, not given to chatty or easy “small-talk,” because are literally “mouth-pieces” for God. And with the severe “testing” they endure to keep them “pure” especially where their mouths are concerned, they fear God too much to have a “lose- mouth.” They know that they must not try to speak for the flesh one minute and for God the next, (salt water and fresh cannot come from the same fountain! See James 3:12).

Also and most importantly God is not in the business of revealing “everything” about “everybody” all the time. Revealing everybody’s “dirty washing” achieves nothing, even for His prophets. God has only our “best-interests” at heart. Therefore we can be secure that “no” prophet, no matter how seasoned they claim to be, can see “everything.” God’s purpose for the prophetic ministry exceeds and is much bigger than that!

So even if the prophet has the ability to know the intents and purposes of men’s hearts more than others, “to err is still human!” Prophets are definitely human and still make mistakes, just as Samuel did in 1 Samuel 16:7 where God told him, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (New Living Translation).

Needless to say that “knowing everything about everyone” would be hard to bear for any prophet. They would end up feeling like Elijah did who desperately wanted to “eject” and leave all the backslidden folks behind!

The prophetic ministry at its “best” has the anointing to lead people quickly to repentance. Everything becomes “clear” when the prophet genuinely speaks for God. The choices in front of people become crystal clear; heaven or hell; rebellion or submission, spirit or flesh! Needless to say that this type of ministry provokes a reaction wherever it goes; those who are stubborn and rebellious rise up and refuse to choose, while on the other hand those who are humble in heart, are totally set free!

Having said all this, it is still through the prophetic that true “motives” can be revealed to everyone. The Young’s Literal Translation says in Proverbs 26:24-26, “By his lips doth a hater dissemble, and in his heart he placeth deceit, when his voice is gracious trust not in him, for seven abominations [are] in his heart. Hatred is covered by deceit, revealed is its wickedness in an assembly.” A good example of this is when God used Peter with a strong prophetic anointing and exposed the deceit of Ananias and his wife.

Hatred, deceit, guile, falsehood and wickedness are all things that can be concealed in the heart and in church life; until it is revealed. This is the job of the prophet. To “reveal” and to “clean up” no one else is able to see into the hearts of people like the prophet.

There are lots of pastors who would have welcomed Ananias and Sapphira with open arms, as a supportive couple and would have gladly benefited from their generous financial support - but not the apostle or prophet! Rather it was through the prophetic ministry of Peter that their true “motives” were “revealed” to the entire congregation, “revealed is its wickedness in an assembly.”

With this prophetic anointing and the gift of discerning of spirits, Peter was able to see what most others could not see; the deceit that had filled their hearts. Satan sugar coats his deception after all, but it did not fool the apostle or prophet! In fact it is the job of the prophetic to “clear out, clean up, put in order and point the way” like no other ministry gift can. They are not caught up with the “petty,” and swiftly deal with anything that has the potential to hinder the development of the “whole.”

Many will claim to be doing “fine” when in actual fact they are a poor spiritual mess! For this reason the office of a prophet is feared by many and literally “hated” by some. Nevertheless if permitted to function as a prophet should, the consequences can only be sheer blessing and for a church to grow with any kind of strength, it is vital for believers to “live” in the light and not just be entertained! We can pretend to be holy and behave sanctimoniously with the world around us, while the underlying problems are eating us up. The prophet however has the ability to draw people rapidly out of their sin. But only those who are willing respond to their type of message, others are usually hostile. Since those who are not willing to be “freed” of their sin, often “defend & protect” it instead!

So it’s not a popular job for the prophet and usually is not a job for the volunteer! But God is faithful to His prophets, as we see here, “He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm...” (1 Chron 16:21-22 KJV also Psalms 105:15) In addition, the prophet’s true position is not one of “judgment,” but of “help.” Therefore if a prophet has no interest in people whatsoever, God knows just how to deal with them just as He did with Jonah who, “rose up to flee... from being in the presence of the Lord [as His prophet]” (Jonah 1:1-2 AMP). God rescued Jonah from his consequences only after he re-submitted himself back to God and dealt with his own rebellion!

In truth God has a mandate and His prophets “must” follow that objective. They are not called to go their “own” way or do their “own” thing, or even use their “own” voice to herald with... instead they literally become God’s “mouthpiece” and have been used by Him throughout the ages to prophecy about Jesus Christ; coming to earth and then later returning again; with times of refreshing following for all those who believe until the restoration of all things...

In Acts 3:19-23 “The Message Bible” says it like this, "Now it's time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you, and send you the Messiah he prepared for you, namely, Jesus. For the time being he must remain out of sight in heaven until everything is restored to order again just the way God, through the preaching of his holy prophets of old, said it would be. Moses, for instance, said, 'Your God will raise up for you a prophet just like me from your family. Listen to every word he speaks to you. Every last living soul who refuses to listen to that prophet will be wiped out from the people.'”

Finally the main objective to all things “prophetic” has to be “blessing” not “cursing.” Therefore anyone who claims to be a prophet today; yet is angry, negative or bitter towards people all the time; are not operating in their true capacity and God will inevitably “silence them,” (because the damage they are capable is irreparable!) Consequently the prophet’s main job is one of “communicating” the heart of God; which is a communication that must not be “misinterpreted” or “perverted” and certainly not by any “lack-of-character” from His prophets. First and foremost God uses “willingness and obedience;” only then can true blessings come upon everyone! (Isaiah 1:19-20)

Lastly, the prophetic ministry operates best in conjunction with the ministry of an Apostle, as seen with Peter mentioned above. And in these (last) days in particular, we will not only see the other gifts operating with increasing authority, but we will especially witness the prophetic and apostolic gifts working together in vast power and governing authority. This ensures that together they accomplish Gods agenda of not only “tearing down” deceptions but also “building-up” all things concerning God’s “Kingdom & His Righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).


PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father I thank you today for the 5 fold ministries, but especially for those in governing office such as the Apostle and Prophet. I live in a generation that values little the place of true authority. I choose to trust and believe in the true benefits of such authority. Thank you Father for increased revelation about the true role of the Apostolic and the Prophetic ministries and the literal “restoration of all things” amen!

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I confess that it is my day to function within the Body of Christ as You intended for me. I take my place within the “whole structure” of Your infinite plan. Everything that You set in divine motion has its “order” and its proper “place.” All that you have accomplished through Christ exists for my benefit and I chose Your structures of authority over and above that of my own ignorance or that of this world. Hallelujah!


THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries