Hype – The Anointing of the Flesh

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

Foundation Scriptures: Luke 4:14-19

The anointing—in many church meetings being held nowadays—as one preacher said, “is as scarce as hen’s teeth.” You need a magnifying glass to find it. There is little or no anointing present, yet many people claim to be anointed and to have the anointing! One of the first lessons that we need to learn about the anointing is that the anointing is not hype.

In some church circles there’s a lot of Hollywood.  There’s a lot of hype.  At these meetings, you might expect that at any moment they would bring on the wrestlers and have a tag team match in the church.  They have fleshly preaching, praying, singing, and dancing—a lot of hoopla—but very minimal, if any, results at all. The anointing is not about who can make the biggest noise—it is about changed lives.

We live in a day and age of never-ending entertainment, where people want to come and sit in beautiful, air-conditioned auditoriums and be entertained and impressed on a Sunday morning and night.  A minister can stand in the pulpit and scream and jump around or he can look dignified and professional, but if the touch of God is not on the minister’s life, he can forget it—lives will not be changed.

Are You Tired of Hype?

I have attended some large charismatic meetings, where the “who’s who in the charismatic zoo” have been present, and yet the anointing was not manifest.  It’s almost like some ministers are afraid that if the Holy Ghost showed up, they might not know what to do. So instead of displaying their spiritual ignorance, they would rather close the meeting down or get into some fleshly works program such as loudly binding the devil or hyping up a service some other way. Then at least the starving sheep might feel that they were dished up something, even if that something was really nothing at all, other than stale doughnuts.

In some Bible schools, they endeavor to teach students how to preach with formulas, but in my estimation that’s equivalent to teaching a pig to sing! You can be taught all the theory concerning the art of preaching, but if there is no anointing or touch of God on your life, it will just be hype.

Some people think that shouting is the anointing, or being professional in your communicative ability is the anointing.  However, just stirring people’s emotions, will not bring change.  God wants fat hearts -not fat heads. The Gospel is not an intellectual thing it is a spiritual thing.

There are many people who profess to be theologians, but they do not even believe in the virgin birth, the blood of Jesus, or the cross, etc. What good is theology if you don’t believe in God? The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:1 -5,  “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

The scripture says, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).  I told the Lord in the first part of my ministry, that if He was not going to do anything—I was not going to do anything.  He told me that it was a case of Him waiting on me—not me waiting on Him. And He said if I would just give Him an opportunity to move, He would move. If we want to be anointed, we must firstly preach the truth of the Word of God with power, not hype.

Secondly, we must neither do nor say anything unless the Lord directs us. We must move when He says move
and stop when He says stop. These are lessons that take time to learn, but if we will be patient and put our flesh under and allow our spirit to rise up, we will see the results in our lives. We need to shut our head up and let our heart lead.

When we rest on the Spirit of God, He will anoint us and His anointing will be on us at all times, in all situations, with no hype, but only the genuine article.

The Anointing on Every Believer

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

Foundation Scriptures: Luke 4:14 -19

Every believer is anointed with the ministry of reconciliation, but not every believer is anointed or equipped to stand in the fivefold ministry offices, as mentioned in Ephesians 4:7-11.  The fivefold ministry is instituted and ordained by God.  You cannot raise this ministry up in a Bible school or seminary setting.  These gifts are given by God Almighty.  They come from heaven above and not by the hands of man.

However, every believer is anointed when they get born again.  God comes and makes His home on the inside of us.  The scripture says,  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”
(II Corinthians 5:17-18 NKJ)

You are set apart.  The Holy Spirit comes to live on the inside of you and the anointing of the Holy Ghost becomes available to you.  You have the ministry of reconciliation – to tell others about Jesus.

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.   (I John 2:20 & 27  NKJ)

Under the Old Covenant, God anointed three groups of people.  He anointed the prophets, the priests, and the kings.  He would cause His Spirit to rest upon them.  Then came the New Covenant.  When Jesus cried, “It is finished,” the veil of the temple was supernaturally torn in two from top to bottom.  The Holy Spirit came out of an earthly tabernacle made with the hands of man, never again to live therein.  Now He lives in your heart and my heart.  We have become the temple of the living God according to 1 Corinthians 6:19 and 2 Corinthians 6:16.

The fivefold ministry has a greater manifestation of the nine gifts of the Spirit – with a greater anointing than the laity.  But any one of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit found in 1 Corinthians 12, can operate through any believer, as the Holy Spirit leads.  God did not say that it was just for the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.  As the scripture says in 1 Corinthians 12:7, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.”  The gifts of the Spirit are given to believers to profit and bless everybody.

The Well and the River

In John 4:14, Jesus said, “whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”  I want you to notice it says a well. The scripture says, “With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3).  We could call this first anointing a “well” anointing.

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and  drink.
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive;  for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
  (John 7:37-39  NKJ)

In this scripture we see not only a well, but we see something that is bigger than a well.  We see a river.  You receive a “well” anointing when you get born again.  You receive a “river” anointing when you get the baptism in the Holy Ghost.

Jesus told the disciples to tarry at Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit.  He said in Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Power to Be a Witness

We can actually have power to be a witness.  The word witness in this scripture means martyr.  In other words, witnesses are a people who are prepared to die for what they believe.  A witness is someone who is radical in his faith and the communication of it.  We see this portrayed in the life of Peter, the one who had three times denied the Lord.  On the day of Pentecost, after receiving the Holy Ghost, he boldly preached and proclaimed the gospel.

What a change had taken place, what a transformation! It was all because of the anointing – because of the touch of God.

ALL SHALL KNOW ME

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — “not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. “None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”  Hebrews 8:7-12 NKJ

 

In this passage of scripture, Paul is quoting a prophetic word spoken by the prophet Jeremiah and recorded in Jeremiah 31:31-34. God is speaking to man and revealing the nature of the covenant that He is going to cut between Himself and us through the shed blood of Jesus. The old covenant did not change man’s basic problem. As far as God was concerned, the blood of bulls and goatscovered their sin and they were counted as righteous, but their sin nature remained unchanged. This new covenant, when activated by believing in Jesus and receiving Him as Lord, would change the very nature of man. Something would take place on the inside of man – their spirit would beborn-again and their sin nature would be transformed into the righteousness of God! Their sins would not just be covered – they would be removed and washed away.

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJ

 

Man would no longer be simply counted righteous, but they would actually be righteous. They would have God’s Word engraved on their hearts. They would be motivated from the inside to serve God instead of from the outside. They would choose to serve God because they knew Him and they knew His voice. They did not need a prophet to tell them what God was saying, but God would reveal it to each one of them personally. Even our children can know God on a very personal level because He lives in them.

 

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.  John 10:27-28 NKJ

 

When you know the Lord, you know His voice. He writes His Word on your heart and then you need to allow Him to put His Word in your mind by meditating on the written Word of God. Meditating is more than just a passing glance or listening with half an ear, while you are thinking about something else. When you meditate on God’s word, you focus on it, you give it your full attention and you receive it as if He is speaking to you personally – because He is! When you know Him and His word, you will have no trouble distinguishing His voice from all the other voices that clamor for your attention. The devil, who masquerades as an angel of light, will not be able to fool you or deceive you because you know your good shepherd’s voice.

 

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  John 17:3 NKJ

 

And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.    Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.  I John 3:23-24 NKJ

 

The Spirit of God lives on the inside of every believer, from the least to the greatest and every believer can know Him in a real way. God does not have favorites, but some people just press in to know Him better. Even if you have only been saved a very short time, you know Him better than a theologian who knows the Bible, but who has not been born again! If He lives in you – you knowHim!

BUILD YOUR HOUSE OUT OF THE RIGHT STUFF

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.  Ephesians 6:5-8 NIV

We honor God when we honor those we serve here on earth. Our motivation is very important to the Lord, because our attitude toward man reflects our true attitude toward God. You may say that you love God and you may claim to honor Him, but if you do not honor and obey His word then you do not honor Him. Work is good. God expects us to work. God can bless our work. He wants us to work well and to be sincere and respectful to our employers.

It is not acceptable to God that we try to con our boss by working only when he is watching us. Even when our boss turns his back—we should remember that God is watching us. We must realize that we have a responsibility to do the will of God by working and serving our boss wholeheartedly—as if we were serving the Lord, Himself. He says that we are serving Him by serving our boss. God will reward us for the good work we do from a sincere heart.

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.  1 Corinthians 3:10-15 NIV

Without a firm foundation, there is nothing to build upon. There is only one life foundation we can lay if we want to live a successful, productive and blessed life—and that is the foundation Jesus Christ. Until you have Jesus in your life—until you have acknowledged Him as your Lord and Savior—you have not yet begun to live!

Upon this firm foundation, we build our lives. This foundation is established by our faith and then we proceed to build our house on this foundation by our faith, our motives and our works. It is no good for us to do only those things that suit us and ignore those which don’t. God’s word is not optional. We cannot pick and choose what we will do and not do, obey and not obey. It is a package deal. We must submit to God’s word in every area. We must commit to do His word without hesitation or argument.

Some people appear to do all the right things and yet their motivation is wrong. Some people are obedient in some areas, but disobedient in others. Some people are obedient, but not willing. All this is wood, hay and stubble. If we do the right thing, under every circumstance and for the right reason, we will be building with gold, jewels and precious stones.

If we are carnal Christians, we will be selfish and we will make choices that are not pleasing to God—wood, hay and stubble. The more we grow in God and learn to yield to the Lord in everything, the more we will do those things that please God—the gold, jewels and precious stones.

God does not judge our house—He just sets it on fire. If it burns—we lose it. If it passes through the fire—we get to keep it and take it into heaven with us. We are the ones who choose our building materials. We should choose wisely. We should commit to yield our heart, soul, body, mind, will, emotions, mouth and opinions completely to the Lord.

WHY SETTLE FOR THE CRUMBS WHEN YOU CAN HAVE THE LOAF?

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.  Mark 7:25-30

This Syrophenician woman should not have received a miracle because she did not qualify for one. According to Jesus, she was not one of the children. However, she did not know it and if she did, she did not let that stop her. Even when Jesus said that healing was the children’s bread and that the bread should not be given to dogs. She could have been offended because He called her a dog. However, instead of being offended she was bold and pled her case. She said to Jesus, “Even the dogs eat the crumbs!” And Jesus replied, “Because of this saying, you have what you requested.”

Now, many people would look at this woman’s example and say, “Well I will just settle for the crumbs that fall from the table.” However, you and I—as born-again children of God, washed in the blood—are not dogs. We are God’s children and therefore the loaf—not the crumbs—belongs to us. This is all because of Calvary and the finished work of the cross. Take a look at what Isaiah 53: 1-5 says in the Living Bible.

But, oh, how few believe it! Who will listen? To whom will God reveal his saving power? In God’s eyes he was like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. But in our eyes there was no attractiveness at all, nothing to make us want him. We despised him and rejected him—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we didn’t care. Yet it was our grief he bore, our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, for his own sins! But he was wounded and bruised for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace; he was lashed—and we were healed!

Because of Calvary, God has to honor the cross. There are different methods of healing and there are conditions to fulfill in order for us to receive our healing. However, the cross has to work! By grace, through faith, the price was paid. Who has believed our report? Who will believe? Will you believe today? You have to make the decision that you believe the report of the Lord. You are not a dog you are a child. Step up and grab a loaf of healing.

If this woman’s daughter could get healed under the Old Covenant, when she was not even eligible, how much more can we be healed us under our new covenant—based upon better promises—signed and sealed by the shed blood of Jesus.

Healing is the children’s bread. Why should we settle for the crumbs when we can have the whole loaf?

SONS OF THE MOST HIGH LOVE THEIR ENEMIES – PART 2

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  Romans 5:5 NKJV

When you accept Jesus Christ of Nazareth as your Lord and Savior, you are born-again. When you are born-again, the Holy Spirit pours the love of God into your heart and everything changes. You are not the same person that you were before. You are a new creature. You no longer follow the ways of the world, but you now follow the ways of God. You no longer behave like the devil, but you behave like your Father God.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13:34-35 NIV

The demonstration of the love of God that has been poured out in your hearts by the Holy Spirit is proof that you are Jesus’ disciples. When you love people they know that Jesus is your Lord.

“But I say to you who are listening now to Me: [in order to heed, make it a practice to] love your enemies, treat well (do good to, act nobly toward) those who detest you and pursue you with hatred.  Luke 6:27 Amp

Jesus speaks to those who are listening to Him. Unfortunately, not all Christians actually listen to Jesus or do what He tells them to do. It is very important that you listen to Jesus and that you do what He tells you to do. He tells you to make it a practice to love your enemies. No one in the world loves their enemies – they hate their enemies – but for Christians, loving their enemies should be a normal thing that they do! Not only are you to love your enemies, but the Lord also asks you to act nobly toward those who detest you and pursue you with hatred, to do good to them and to treat them well. This kind of behavior is foreign to the world, but it should be normal for the children of God.

Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you, implore God’s blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you [who revile, reproach, disparage, and high-handedly misuse you].  Luke 6:28 Amp

When people curse you, revile you, blame you, accuse you, belittle you, and high-handedly misuse you, Jesus tells you to invoke blessings upon them, pray for their happiness and beg God to favor them. This will definitely take them by surprise!

To the one who strikes you the jaw or cheek, offer the other jaw or cheek also; and from him who takes away your outer garment, do not withhold your undergarment as well. 30 Give away to everyone who begs of you [who is in want of necessities], and from him who takes away from you your goods, do not demand or require them back again. 31 And as you would like and desire that men would do to you, do exactly so to them.  Luke 6:29-31 Amp

When people attack you, you do not fight back. When they ask for things, you give it to them, when they take things away from you, you do not ask for them back. You know that God is your protector and your source of supply. You know that whatever you give away without grudging, will be given back to you again and some. You know that as you generously walk in love toward people, you are showing them the heart of God and you know that God can take this opportunity to reach them and to snatch them from the devil’s kingdom. Treat everybody – even people you don’t like and who don’t like you – exactly as you would like to be treated.

If you [merely] love those who love you, what quality of credit and thanks is that to you? For even the [very] sinners love their lovers (those who love them). 33 And if you are kind and good and do favors to and benefit those who are kind and good and do favors to and benefit you, what quality of credit and thanks is that to you? For even the preeminently sinful do the same.   34 And if you lend money at interest to those from whom you hope to receive, what quality of credit and thanks is that to you? Even notorious sinners lend money at interest to sinners, so as to recover as much again.  Luke 6:32-34 Amp

If you only love those who love you, and if you are only kind and good and do favors to those who are kind and good to you, and if you lend money at interest to those from whom you hope to receive, then what quality of credit and thanks is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them, are kind to those who are kind to them and lend to those who can repay them. When you love your enemies, are kind to them and lend hoping for nothing in return, then you show yourself to be of a different spirit than them and you become a light and an example to them.

We need to see the big picture – it is not just about us and our feelings – it is about reaching sinners by showing them the Spirit of Christ that is in us. We are God’s instruments – we are gloves on His hands! When we walk in love, we exalt Jesus, when we lift Jesus up – men will be drawn to Him and the devil will be defeated in their lives and in ours!

GOD GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

JAMES 4:1-10 NIV

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.  James 4:1-3 NIV

In this letter, James writes to fellow Christians, who were behaving like sinners. Before you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are dominated by your sin nature. You are carnal, worldly and ruled by your flesh and your senses. When you repent of your sins, ask God for forgiveness, and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are delivered from sin’s control, transferred from darkness to light, and made partaker of a new righteous nature. You are a child adopted into a new family – you are a branch grafted into a new tree. You are supposed to begin to yield to this new nature and not continue to do, speak and act the way you did before. Unfortunately, many Christians have forgotten (or never found out) which family they belong to. The nature of God resides in their heart, but they act like they still belong to the devil – they are fleshly and carnal.

The words God speaks to His children and the directions He gives them are not optional they are required. You ought to take God’s Word literally and seriously – it may mean the difference between life and death for you. Tell yourself, “God’s Word is speaking to me!”

Don’t be covetous. Covetousness is a jealous, murderous spirit that will destroy a brother for a material possession that means nothing in eternity. You fight and lust and crave, but you come up empty-handed anyway. God is your source – ask Him for the things you desire instead of going after your brother’s stuff. Adjust your heart attitude and ask unselfishly so that God may bless you.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?   6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud

but gives grace to the humble.”   James 4:4-6 NIV

Unsaved, carnal, worldly people are proud. They are self-sufficient – they are all they need – they don’t need God. However, a wise person realizes that they need God and that they are lost without Him. Christians should never look up to worldly people as their example, nor should they want to be like them. Rather, Christians should set an example for the world to follow. Pride is a terrible thing – it is an impenetrable barrier that will keep you from the presence and the blessing of the Lord, because you believe that you don’t need Him when you actually need Him desperately.Humility is the ability to receive that which you do not deserve. Your humility opens the door for you to receive all that God has for you, while pride keeps it firmly shut. God wants you to be blessed – humble yourself to receive from His hand all that He has for you.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  James 4:7 NIV

Until you submit to God, you will not be able to deal with the manipulations and machinations of the devil against you. Your pride, arrogance and ego give the devil an edge. It is like a handle he can turn or a button he can push. When he places a thought in your mind, or when he uses someone to push your buttons, he knows how you will react – in a carnal manner. When your nose is proudly in the air, you are not watching where your feet are going and the devil finds his opportunity to trip you up.

Haughtiness comes before disaster, but humility before honor.  Proverbs 18:12 AMP

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.  James 4:8-10 NIV

You are not waiting on God – He is waiting on you. Make a move toward Him by humbling your heart; becoming as a little child; not trusting in yourself. Do not be confident in yourself or your own abilities. In doing this, you will be throwing yourself on His mercy and His grace and He will joyfully and willingly pour out His gift of grace upon you. You will find, in Him, everything that you need and you will be fully satisfied in and by His presence and His provision.

A SON IN GOD’S HOUSE

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondmaid and one by the free woman. 23 But whereas the child of the slave woman was born according to the flesh and had an ordinary birth, the son of the free woman was born in fulfillment of the promise. 24 Now all this is an allegory; these [two women] represent two covenants. one covenant originated from Mount Sinai [where the Law was given] and bears [children destined] for slavery; this is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is (stands for) Mount Sinai inArabia and she corresponds to and belongs in the same category with the present Jerusalem, for she is in bondage together with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above ( the Messianic kingdom of Christ) is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written in the Scriptures, Rejoice, O barren woman, who has not given birth to children; break forth into a joyful shout, you who are not feeling birth pangs, for the desolate woman has many more children than she who has a husband. 28 But we, brethren, are children [not by physical descent, as was Ishmael, but] like Isaac, born in virtue of promise. 29 Yet [just] as at that time the child [of ordinary birth] born according to the flesh despised and persecuted him [who was born remarkably] according to [the promise and the working of] the [Holy] Spirit, so it is now also. 30 But what does the Scripture say? Cast out and send away the slave woman and her son, for never shall the son of the slave woman be heir and share the inheritance with the son of the free woman. 31 So, brethren, we [who are born again] are not children of a slave woman [the natural], but of the free [the supernatural].  Galatians 4:22-31 AMP

Both Ishmael and Isaac were sons of Abraham, but one was the son of a slave woman, Hagar (representing the flesh), and the other was the son of the free woman, Sarah, (representing the Spirit). Ishmael birth came about because of the will and decision of man, but Isaac’s birth was as a result the will, the plan and the promise of God. Ishmael brought his father trouble, but Isaac brought his father joy. The Lord uses natural things to explain supernatural things to us and so Ishmael and Isaac came to represent two different covenants – the Old and the New. They represent to us the flesh and the Spirit; the natural and the supernatural.

You have to understand that on this earth, you are serving either the Lord or you are serving the devil. There is no such thing as serving yourself, because serving yourself is the same as serving the devil. No, we are not calling you a devil, but we are saying that the Word says that if you are not walking in the light then you are walking in darkness. Until you meet Jesus, the devil is your boss. Yes, you still have a free will – he cannot completely control you unless you give him place in your life – but you have no authority over him either, because you are not authorized to use the Name of Jesus. Also, you have absolutely no way to escape his clutches once you die. You will go straight to hell with no recourse. The only way to change your destiny is to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and begin to serve Him.

Before you served Jesus, you were a slave to sin. Now that you are born again, you are no longer a slave to sin, but you are free to serve God with a willing heart. A slave does what he doesn’t want to do for no reward – he doesn’t get paid. A free man chooses which boss he will work for and what job he will do and he gets paid for it. There may be aspects of the job he likes and some he doesn’t, but it is still his choice to work for that boss for that amount of pay! He is free to make choices that affect his life and change the course of his life. However, when you are a slave, your course is set by another. You may think that doing your own thing – whatever feels good to you – is freedom and that serving God sounds like bondage, but it is the other way around. The more you sin, the more you become a slave to sin and the worse you feel, the more bound you become and the more trapped you feel. Sin will work you into a corner and give the devil more and more authority in your life.

A sinner’s life is set on a course to eternal damnation, but a believer’s life is on a course to eternal life. A sinner is bound by the natural realm, but a believer is unrestrained by the natural. Even if a believer’s body dies, they continue to live – in the presence of God. Unless someone, who is free, intervenes and buys the son of the slave woman, he is destined to become a slave himself. The son of the slave woman will never be an heir and share the inheritance with the son of the free woman, the son of the house. The slave eats from his master’s table and wears the clothes his master gives him, but it is only the master’s son who will inherit his title (his name) and his possessions. The slave will never inherit the things that he works for, but the son will inherit everything he works for. Jesus has already intervened for us and made us to be sons in the kingdom of God. Why should you live your life as slave, with no inheritance when you can be a son in God’s house? Start serving Jesus with all your heart today!

THE ANOINTING – YOUR TEACHER

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. 24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. 26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. 29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.  1 John 2:18-29 KJV

But you have been anointed by [you hold a sacred appointment from, you have been given an unction from] the Holy one, and you all know [the Truth] or you know all things.  1 John2:20 AMP

But as for you, the anointing (the sacred appointment, the unction) which you received from Him abides [permanently] in you; [so] then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything and is true and is no falsehood, so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being rooted in Him, knit to Him], just as [His anointing] has taught you [to do].  1 John 2:27 AMP

There is an antichrist spirit in the world that denies that Jesus is the Christ; the Messiah; the Savior. If you deny Jesus, then the Word of God says that you are a liar and you do not know what the truth is. 1 John 2:20 says that you – the believer – have an anointing from the Holy One and you know all things – you know the Truth – you know that Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords and you know that the Word of God is true.

Verse 27 says that when the anointing abides on you, that the Holy Spirit will be your teacher. He will teach you things that no mere man can communicate to you. Now, this does not mean that you must not have teachers or that you do not need instruction, or else God would not have anointed men and women to be teachers and preachers, but it means that it is the Holy Spirit’s anointing that will cause you to understand and receive revelation concerning what you hear. You see, even if a teacher preaches the truth and you hear the truth, you will not understand it or receive it as the truth unless you have the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to you. Without the Holy Spirit, you will hear, but you will not comprehend. It will go right over your head.

God does not hide His Word or His Truth. It is written in His word – plainly for the world to see – but because people do not have the Holy Spirit, they do not understand the Word. Before you were born again, you read the Bible, but you did not understand the Bible. When you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, the Word began to be unveiled to you. When you were baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire, you understood more, and the more you pressed into the Spirit and the Word, the more revelation knowledge began to flow in your life. The more of the Spirit you have in your life, the more you will know and understand of the Word of God and of spiritual things.

The Holy Spirit will always point you toward the truth of the Word when you abide in Him – when you live daily in His presence. He will encourage you to remain close to the Word and to press in to the Spirit. Some people do and say all kinds of ungodly things in the name of the Lord, but they are self-deceived, because the Holy Spirit will never allow you to transgress the Word. The Holy Spirit will always tell you the right thing, not the convenient thing or the comfortable thing. He will always lead you to submit to the Lord and to the Word. The Holy Spirit will only ever lead you into the Truth. The anointing will only teach you the Truth.

Stand and Resist

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but one Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.  Hebrews 4:15 AMP

Jesus, in His earthly walk, was tempted with everything that any one of us has ever been tempted with. The difference between Him and us is that He did not yield to temptation and He did not sin. Because He was born a man and because He was subject to the same temptations as us, He had a right to take our place at the cross representing Man. Because He was God in the flesh, He had a right to take His place at the cross representing God. Because Jesus never succumbed to temptation and because He never sinned, God had a right to raise Him up on the third day, with us in Him. An everlasting covenant was cut on that cross, between God and man, which can never be rescinded. Sin has no more dominion over you and me!

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But then what benefit (return) did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? [None] for the end of those things is death. 22 But now since you have been set free from sin and have become the slaves of God, you have your present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life. 23 For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 6:20-23 AMP

God has provided you and me with an opportunity and a means to deal with sin in our lives and to get rid of it.  Before Jesus died and rose from the dead, we had no way to overcome sin at all, but now we do.

If you yield to sin as a way of life, you may think that you are in control, but what you don’t realize is that sin is controlling you. You might think that you are becoming fulfilled by fulfilling your fleshly desires and yielding to sin and temptations, but in reality you become emptier and emptier. You don’t realize the more you yield to sin, the more you are being taken over by the devil and destroyed by him. Sin is deceptive and destructive. Sin hardens your heart and moves you further and further away from the presence of God. Ultimately, sin will destroy you completely. God’s desire for you is that you experience His eternal life rather than the death of sin and He has given you the ability to overcome sin by the blood of Jesus and with the help of the Holy Spirit.

In the days of His flesh [Jesus] offered up definite, special petitions [for that which He not only wanted but needed] and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was [always] able to save Him [out] from death, and He was heard because of His reverence toward God [His godly fear, His piety, in that He shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father]. 8 Although He was a Son, He learned [active, special] obedience through what He suffered 9 And, [His completed experience] making Him perfectly [equipped], He became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him. Hebrews 5:7-9 AMP

Even though Jesus is God’s Son, He learned special obedience through the things that He suffered – facing temptations, persecutions, and outright attacks. He could have been respected just for Who He is – Almighty God – but He has also earned our respect, not only for Who He is, but for what He has done. When He walked on the earth He prayed and asked God for certain things and all His prayers were answered because of His respect for the Father and the fact that He shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father. If we reverence God and His presence, if our primary desire in life is to please Him, then we will have all the motivation in the world to turn and RUN away from sin!

Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds. 4 You have not yet struggled and fought agonizingly against sin, nor have you yet resisted and withstood to the point of pouring out your [own] blood.  Hebrews 12:3-4

Jesus struggled and fought agonizingly against sin. He withstood sin and temptation to the point that He sweated blood. Most people just let sin have its way in them. They don’t even try to resist it. We have an obligation to God and ourselves to resist sin. We have an obligation to God because Jesus went to and through such extremes to bring us to this place, to give us the privilege and the opportunity to be able to say NO to sin. We have an obligation to ourselves to stop doing the things that bring death and destruction to our lives and to start to do those things that result in both life and peace.

Reaching the world for Jesus Christ