Standing for the truth of Christ and Him Crucified in our world today can be a lonely and often times solitary position. Recently, I found myself under a severe attack of the enemy as he tried to magnify that in my life. Even though we try to always appear so strong, the truth is we are but flesh and in a moment of fatigue and physical tiredness; I began to feel the emotional attack that was being launched against me. You see, when you minister to others sometimes you get a big target on your back spiritually speaking. Satan is not in sympathy with what we are preaching and he will do anything he can to hinder the message of the Cross in every way possible.
Rev. 12:10-11 from the Expositors Study Bible
10And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven (presents the white-robe wearers of Rev. 6:10–11), Now is come Salvation, and Strength, and the Kingdom of our God (presents the triumph of Christ), and the power of His Christ (refers to the fact that Christ will rule this world, not Satan): for the accuser of our Brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. (This implies that either Satan or one of his fallen angels is before the Throne of God, accusing the Brethren constantly [Job, Chpts. 1–2].)
11And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb (the power to overcome and overwhelm the Kingdom of Satan is found exclusively in the Blood of the Sacrifice of the Son of God, and our Faith in that Finished Work [Rom. 6:3–5, 11, 14]), and by the word of their testimony (the “testimony” must pertain to the fact that the Object of our Faith is the Cross, and exclusively the Cross, which then gives the Holy Spirit latitude to work within our lives); and they loved not their lives unto the death. (This refers to the fact that the Believer must not change his testimony regarding the Cross to something else, even if it means death.)
Swaggart, Jimmy: The Expositor's Study Bible. Baton Rouge, LA : World Evangelism Press, 2005, S. 2200
In the above verse of Scripture, the Lord showed me a very important personal lesson that I want to try and relate to you. It is this: We Overcome by the Blood of Jesus (faith in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross) ; The word of our testimony (the message of the cross), and loving not our lives unto the death. I was missing it in the 3rd area. Let me try and briefly explain:
While I am learning new things about the cross everyday and have in no way arrived by any means, I do have a pretty good basic understanding of the message of the cross and that is my total testimony... I believe in the cleansing, saving, keeping, and delivering power of the Precious Blood of Jesus.... But I found myself focusing a little on love of my own life and in this way; while not threatened with physical death, I found myself almost craving an understanding word from others. Now, in and of itself, there is nothing wrong with that and I want to be clear that we should encourage and edify each other. But first and foremost, we must look to Jesus for all that we need, knowing and understanding that He provided everything we need at the cross.
As I minister to thousands on a weekly basis and really daily basis, I allowed my focus to get on my perceived need for an encouraging word from my brethren and when, for whatever reason that did not come, satan was there to hit me with discouragement. This was all stemming from not occupying my position of death to self and from me, very briefly, taking my eyes off Jesus and Him Crucified and trying to see my need for encouragement fulfilled by people instead of my Lord. There is something in all of us that sometimes craves the expressed appreciation of others. Again let me say, that if you are a believer, you should encourage others and go out of your way to do so. BUT, as a Christian we are never to look to man to meet any need that we may have. We must look exclusively to Christ. I spent a couple of days under needless attack because of focusing on my love for my own life in this way.
As soon as I realized the Lord was putting His finger on this in my life, I repented and said, "Lord, my life is yours and I am dead and hidden in you.. Take control of this" Instantly, the oppression lifted and victory was mine in Jesus, because of Calvary. At the Cross, Jesus purchased my wholeness and it is not dependant on the acceptance or rejection of any person or group of people. This is not always easy to learn and to stand on in the face of an attack but God will always give us the Grace to stand if our faith is in the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross.
I believe the Lord allowed me to experience this because of the days we are living in. The Message of the Cross is a last days message. It is a message for all time, but today, it is the dividing line between the true and the apostate church, even as it has always been the dividing line. As we stand and proclaim and defend this great truth, we will often find ourselves having to do so in the face of great opposition. Family, friends,loved ones, co-workers,and sadly, even many in the church will oppose us because they oppose the Jesus in us and they oppose the message. We must learn that whatere betide, we must keep our focus and our trust in the Lord at all times. He is our life.. He is our encourager, Jesus is our everything; our all in all. Galatians 2:20-21 from the Expositors Study Bible
20I am Crucified with Christ (as the Foundation of all Victory; Paul, here, takes us back to Rom. 6:3–5): nevertheless I live (have new life); yet not I (not by my own strength and ability), but Christ lives in me (by virtue of me dying with Him on the Cross, and being raised with Him in newness of life): and the life which I now live in the flesh (my daily walk before God) I live by the Faith of the Son of God (the Cross is ever the Object of my Faith), Who loved me, and gave Himself for me (which is the only way that I could be saved).
21I do not frustrate the Grace of God (if we make anything other than the Cross of Christ the Object of our Faith, we frustrate the Grace of God, which means we stop its action, and the Holy Spirit will no longer help us): for if Righteousness come by the Law (any type of Law), then Christ is dead in vain. (If I can successfully live for the Lord by any means other than Faith in Christ and the Cross, then the Death of Christ was a waste.)
Swaggart, Jimmy: The Expositor's Study Bible. Baton Rouge, LA : World Evangelism Press, 2005, S. 2052
Colossians 3:3 from The Expositors Study Bible 3For you are dead (dead to the old life by virtue of the fact of Christ dying on the Cross as our Substitute and, in effect, us dying with Him [Rom. 6:3–5]), and your life is hid with Christ in God (all made possible by the Cross [Jn. 14: 20]).
Swaggart, Jimmy: The Expositor's Study Bible. Baton Rouge, LA : World Evangelism Press, 2005, S. 2084E
As we look to Christ and Him alone to meet our every need, we can rest assured that He will do so and always in the ways that are the very best for us..... Victory is mine... Victory is mine... Victory today is mine.... God told satan, get thee behind, Victory today is mine.... ALL BECAUSE OF THE VICTORY OF THE CROSS. THANK YOU JESUS...........................
Self effort can minister to one's self importance... The Holy Spirit can humble us if our faith is in the finished work of Christ upon the Cross, thereby fixing our motives and giving us a humility of spirit and rest of faith..
I love this passage from James 2 from the Expositors Study Bible from Jimmy Swaggart Ministries; 14 What does it profit, my Brethren, though a man say he has Faith, and have not works? (This presents the fact that proper Faith will always produce proper works.) can Faith save him? (This should have been translated, “is that Faith able to save him... See More...The truth is God will not recognize that type of Faith.) 15 If a Brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in Peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding you give them not those things which are needful to the body; what does it profit? (This refers to claimed Faith which blesses no one, simply because it’s not true Faith. True Faith will help the person.) 17 Even so Faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone. (As stated, proper Faith will produce proper works. If not, the Holy Spirit says here that it is “dead faith.”) 18 Yes, a man may say, You have Faith, and I have works (proclaims the efforts by some to divide the two): show me your Faith without your works, and I will show you my Faith by my works. (This proclaims the fact that the profession of a lifeless Faith is profitless.) Swaggart, Jimmy: The Expositor's Study Bible. Baton Rouge, LA : World Evangelism Press, 2005, S. 2146
Proper faith and proper works are never to be divided... Works become improper when we trust in them to produce righteousness. But Proper Faith Will produce the proper kinds of works in and through the life of a believer.
Someone said "o you are implying that we have to be obedient!!??" NO.. I am saying that IF you are in proper faith (Christ and Him Crucified) and you are being progressively sanctified by the Holy Spirits working in your life; You WILL be obedient... AND if you miss and fail , REPENT and keep your faith in Christ and Him Crucified which will result in being sanctified unto obedience. It is a life long process....
A human operating in the flesh is incapable of rendering proper obedience to God. BUT, when we put our faith in Christ and Him Crucified, the Holy Spirit comes to our help and performs His work IN us..
disobedience is sin and the way to victory is faith in Christ and His finished work at the Cross.
If the Christian puts their faith in their performance then they will always be trapped in disobedience because self effort is incapable of rendering proper obedience to God, thereby constantly trapped in sin because disobedience is sin. So the Believer needs to place their faith in Christ and Him crucified which will give them the help of the Holy Spirit; allowing them to break the sin/disobedience cycle.
I do not have to run to and fro; hither and yon; I do not have to lose the peace of Jesus. I do not have to move half way around the world. RIGHT HERE WHERE I AM, if I will put my faith in HIS sacrifice on Calvary; JESUS WILL MINISTER HIS PEACE INTO MY LIFE...... It is for you today too.......
After talking and listening to alot of conversation today; I can say with all my heart that the grass is not always greener somewhere else.... Learn to grow and flourish where you are at....
We may change our outer environment but only God can change our heart...
Love looks through a telescope.... Envy looks through a microscope....
The Power of Belief: What you believe translates directly into what you do.
Move away from Law church... "thou shalt wear this", "thou shalt not wear this"; "this is what you should do", "this is not what you should do". STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT.... Man looks on the outward, God looks on the heart; PREACH CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED......
The Holy Spirit will put holy in you; but you can't get there by rules and regulations.
I do not try to preach intellectualism or using lofty prose that leave my listeners scratching their heads.. The Gospel is the simplicity of Christ and Him Crucified. So simple that even a little Child can understand it. That is my take on it.
The Cross is made of none effect if we try to reach God through our mental capacities alone. OR any time we have anything as the object of our believing other than the finished work of Christ upon the Cross.
1 Cor. 1:17-18 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Even your own past has to bow to the mighty name of Jesus and free you from its grave of regrets if God has called you.... The Cross has eliminated everything in the enemies arsenal of weapons that could possibly render your life ineffective. Cling to that old rugged Cross... Preach it...Proclaim it... It is the good news; the Hope of all mankind....
Reputation is what man "thinks" you are... Character is what God "knows" you are.....
Man can not qualify or disqualify a God called minister. No matter what man says; Keep Preaching Christ and Him crucified. If God accepts you on the basis of the finished work of His Son, that is all that matters. No man can be your covering; The Blood Of Jesus is your covering.
Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
Prayer earns me nothing but does have many benefits and it is the responsibility of the preacher to explain those benefits and encourage the body of Christ to enter into a prayer life.
When I embraced the message of the Cross; God poured His compassion in me. Compassion acts.. This is a great ministry to help the worlds poorest kids to have something to eat. We need to work to allieviate their suffering. We are Christians.
Bear in mind, you do not earn any righteousness for yourself by helping the poor. You do it because of the love of God in you and to show that kindness and love to them. It is not about you; its about Jesus.
When I say I put my faith in Christ and Him Crucified for souls to be saved, what do I mean? I mean that because of Calvary God will deal with the hearts of men and when a believer talks to them about their soul or as a preacher is preaching, the Holy Spirit will anoint that situation.
It DOES NOT mean I can la la la around and not talk to anyone about Jesus, The Cross and Salvation....Rom. 10:13-17... Mark 16:15
It DOES NOT MEAN that I merely "believe" souls will get saved. I must tell them the good news of the Gospel........The EXPOSITORS STUDY BIBLE says that this is the responsibility of EVERY BELIEVER... Notes on Mark 16:15
we do not witness to sanctify ourselves, we witness to get OTHERS saved. People who call witnessing works have a focus problem,; Its all about them... I witness because it is all about Jesus.... AND because I don't want souls to go lost to hell forever and forever... The people who are calling witnessing works (though we can turn it into law) are a shame to the movement.
Believing in the message of the cross doesn't mean we stop soul winning... If really believe it correctly, we will reach out MORE and try to get people saved.... Trusting in the Holy Spirit to bring them in....
I am reading the book "Wigglesworth: A Man Who Walked With God." by George Stormont. In reading the section on the personal evangelism (soul winning) of Smith Wigglesworth, I can't help noticing the vast difference over today. Evangelism is not "helping" it is getting souls saved. Every Christian should read this book.
Witnessing your faith is not works... It is commanded by our Lord. And we do it out of Love.
Some people are too ignorant to realize that we do not witness to sanctify ourselves, we witness to get OTHERS saved. People who call witnessing works have a focus problem,; Its all about them... I witness because it is all about Jesus....
Every preacher in this world that knows and loves the message of the Cross is trying to get people saved... Duh.
It is our responsibility to tell those in our circle of influence about Jesus and His salvation because of Calvary. That is what my believing produces.
1 Peter 1:2 2Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."
I want to be ready at the slightest breath of the Spirit, to go aside and spend time with the Lord. Smith Wigglesworth once said, "When the child of God ceases to hunger after righteousness and purity, then satan gets in".
I am useless to all the people in my life without the touch of the Lord on my life and the guidance of His Spirit leading me in all His ways.
If your faith is in Christ and Him Crucified, then the works the Holy Spirit births through you will be pure works... But if your faith is in your works, God will not accept them and, in fact, labels them all as impure...
Jesus did not say go into all the world and build a mega church... When you preach the truth (Christ and Him Crucified) the crowds may not be as large.. But No One should ever come into your church FOR ANY REASON without hearing the Gospel... To offer them social programs and leave their souls unattended is compromise......