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 An everlasting covenant was cut on that cross, between God and man, which can never be rescinded.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.


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

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]. 7[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. 8 So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.  Romans 8:6-8 AMP

Without Christ in your life, your mind is carnal, fleshly, and worldly. Even if you do receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, you still need to renew your mind to the word and submit it to both your own recreated spirit and the working of the Holy Spirit so that you can please God, have peace of mind, and live a godly life.

And you [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins 2 In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God]. 3 Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God–so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, 5 Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).  Ephesians 2:1-5 AMP

Before you met Christ, you were dead in your sin. If you had died physically, you would have gone straight to hell. Sin and darkness reigned in your spirit, your mind, and your body. You did not know any better. You were just imitating everyone around you and following the ways of the world. You were under the influence of society and demon spirits, your behavior governed by your corrupt and sensual nature; obeying the impulses of your flesh and the thoughts of your mind. Your cravings were dictated by your senses and your sinful imaginations. However, because God loved you so much, He sent Jesus Christ to take your place, to bear your sin and your judgment. You were in Him when He died and in Him when He was made alive. Because of Jesus, your life is redeemed – the first step toward peace of mind and freedom from the devil and the world’s system.

Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; 23 And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], 24 And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24 AMP

Some people are born again, but they have never given their mind and flesh completely over to the Lord. They are still in bondage to sin, death, and the devil. Sin is deceptive – it promises freedom and happiness, but it delivers only bondage, fear, and darkness. If you want to walk free from the bondage of a carnal mind, you need to make some choices. No one else can choose for you. You are the only one who can make these choices for you. You need to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior in every area of your life: you need to choose to believe God’s word; you need to make a decision to walk free from sin and death; you need to strip off your former nature (your old unrenewed self) that was corrupted through the lusts and desires that spring from delusion; you need to choose life. You need to make a decision to allow God’s word access into your life, daily, to change everything in you and, therefore, everything in your life. You need to work constantly to renew your mind and refresh your attitude. You need to put on your new nature – which is created in God’s image – in true righteousness and holiness, by obeying God’s word.

Ephesians 5:26 AMP says that Christ sanctifies the church, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, so that He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things and so that she might be holy and faultless. Submit yourself to the word. Allow it to penetrate you heart and mind and change you from the inside out. The more you submit your life to the word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, the more freedom and peace are released into you!

A Good, Clear Conscience – Part Two

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

And baptism, which is a figure [of their deliverance], does now also save you [from inward questionings and fears], not by the removing of outward body filth [bathing], but by [providing you with] the answer of a good and clear conscience (inward cleanness and peace) before God [because you are demonstrating what you believe to be yours] through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 3:21 AMP

There is nothing finer than living with a clear conscience! It is a stress-free, totally peace-filled life. No money in the world can buy a clear conscience, but through the power of God and the blood of Jesus, we can be blessed with inward cleanness and peace. Through our faith in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and our obedience to go through the waters of baptism, something actually happens in our soul. Baptism saves us from inward questionings and fears—it is as if our head has a resurrection—washing away every thought and desire that are contrary to the word and will of the Father.

Therefore, brethren, since we have full freedom and confidence to enter into the [Holy of] Holies [by the power and virtue] in the blood of Jesus, 20 By this fresh (new) and living way which He initiated and dedicated and opened for us through the separating curtain (veil of the Holy of Holies), that is, through His flesh, 21 And since we have [such] a great and wonderful and noble Priest [Who rules] over the house of God, 22 Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere) hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith (by that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty (evil) conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water.  Hebrews 10:19-22 AMP

Thank God for the blood of Jesus! It enables us to have full freedom and confidence to enter into God’s very presence. This is a fresh, new, and living way! Jesus is our High Priest and through Him, our hearts are purified from an evil and guilty conscience. There is no way you can come into God’s presence with sin in your heart and with a guilty conscience. The Lord has made a way for us to come into His presence by washing our heart and conscience clean.

Keep praying for us, for we are convinced that we have a good (clear) conscience, that we want to walk uprightly and live a noble life, acting honorably and in complete honesty in all things.  Hebrews 13:18 AMP

If you want to live an honest, noble life—walking uprightly and acting honorably—you can only do it if you protect your conscience. Honesty in all things begins with, and is dependant on, a good, clear conscience before God.

[And see to it that] your conscience is entirely clear (unimpaired), so that, when you are falsely accused as evildoers, those who threaten you abusively and revile your right behavior in Christ may come to be ashamed [of slandering your good lives]. 17 For [it is] better to suffer [unjustly] for doing right, if that should be God’s will, than to suffer [justly] for doing wrong.  1 Peter 3:16-17 AMP

Keep your heart right and your conscience clear and then even though you may experience persecution, through the evidence of your good life, your critics will be put to shame. If you have done wrong then your punishment is justified. If you have not done wrong, no matter what you go through, the Lord will vindicate you; He will reward you for your righteous, uncompromising stand.

I thank God Whom I worship with a pure conscience, in the spirit of my fathers, when without ceasing I remember you night and day in my prayers. 2 Timothy 1:3 AMP

Worship God with a clear conscience. Your faith in Him—your unqualified assurance and absolute conviction in the truth of His word—will give you the confidence to come boldly into His presence and ask Him for the things you need. The faith and confidence you walk in as a result of your clear conscience will provide an answer to your prayers.

Are you Building a Golden Calf or the House of God?

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

Thoughts on Stewardship – Lesson 23 from Deuteronomy

Are you Building a Golden Calf or the House of God?
Foundation Scriptures: Deuteronomy 9 verses 4 – 16

Do not say in your [mind and] heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out from before you, It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land–whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you. 5 Not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your [minds and] hearts do you go to possess their land; but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out before you, and that He may fulfill the promise which the Lord swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6 Know therefore that the Lord your God does not give you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a hard and stubborn people. 7[Earnestly] remember and forget not how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day you left the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord. 8 Even in Horeb you provoked the Lord to wrath, and the Lord was so angry with you that He would have destroyed you. 9 When I went up the mountain to receive the tables of stone, the tables of the covenant which the Lord made with you, I remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I neither ate food nor drank water. 10 And the Lord delivered to me the two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them were all the words which the Lord spoke with you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. 11 And at the end of forty days and forty nights the Lord gave me the two tables of stone, the tables of the covenant. 12 And the Lord said to me, Arise, go down from here quickly, for your people whom you brought out of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them; they have made for themselves a molten image. 13 Furthermore the Lord said to me, I have seen this people, and behold, they are stubborn and hard. 14 Let me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under the heavens; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they. 15 So I turned and came down from the mountain, and the mountain was burning with fire. And the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands. 16 And I looked, and behold, you had sinned against the Lord your God; you had made for yourselves a molten calf. You had turned aside quickly from the way which the Lord had commanded you.  Deuteronomy 9:4-16 AMP

The Children of Israel were miraculously delivered from the land of Egypt and from the slavery that they had been under for hundreds of years. In this passage, God reminds them of where He brought them from – how He delivered them in the past and His plan for blessing them in the future, if they would obey and serve Him.

When the Israelites were delivered from their captivity, God brought them forth with an abundance of silver and gold. They stripped the Egyptians of their wealth. God did this to repay them for the stuff that was taken from them, and also what they were owed, during their years of slavery. It was God’s way of making the Egyptians make restitution. Then He wanted to provide for them and give them all they needed to start a new life in the Promised Land. He wanted to make sure that they had sufficient to take care of themselves, as well as a surplus, so that they could build the house of God.

Something happened while Moses was up on the mountain receiving the Holy Commandments of God for the people. He was gone for 40 days. They thought he was dead and because of the evil in their hearts, they decided to build an idol to worship. Even though they were taken out of Egypt, Egypt was not yet taken out of them, so a golden calf was made from the offerings with which God had blessed them.

This was not God’s plan. God’s plan was for them to use their gold, jewels, and precious stones to build HIS house! An idol could be money, a house, a car, sport, music, another person, or your own good looks! An idol is anything that we value above God, Himself. God’s plan is not for us to waste money on idols. God’s plan is for us to be blessed and to bless the house of God.

Pastors Adonica’s Thoughts:
People might not believe that they really have an idol in their life that is above God, but the best way to know is by taking a look at your money and how and where it is spent. When you get paid, what is the first thing you do with your money? If you are a Christian, and you do not set aside the tithe before you spend anything else, God is not first in your life – you have a golden calf in there somewhere consuming your blessing!

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
The Christian church, today, is no different from the children of Israel. The fact of the matter is that the Lord has blessed us, and will continue to bless us, when we obey and serve Him. However, His blessings are not to be spent on temporary idols of the flesh or mind, but His blessings are for the building of His house and that which is eternal. Understand this one thing – you will either give for a golden calf or you will give for the building of the house of God – but you WILL give. Don’t build idols, build God’s house, which will remain forever.

Prayer and Confession:
Father, I pray that you help me to never take my eyes off Your house. Help me not to look away from Your beauty and be turned to idols. I promise you that I will focus on eternal things – for all the carnal things shall pass away, but eternal things will never pass away.


My Father’s Word and Ways

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

Foundation Scriptures: John 1:1-4

John 1:1-4 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

We know God’s thoughts and ways through His Word.

  • Many have little understanding of the Father.
  • John 14:9 – Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
  • Seventy percent of Jesus’ ministry was healing the sick and casting out devils.
  • Daniel 11:32 – And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
  • Mark 16:15-18 – And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
  • People attend the same church with the same Bible. One understands and one doesn’t.
  • You cannot receive God with the natural mind; you have to receive Him with the heart.
  • John 4:23-24 – But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
  • God needs to be the final authority in our lives: God’s WORD is to be final authority in our lives. Isaiah 40:8 – The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
  • The fire burns up the chaff, religion, and tradition. (Jeremiah 23:29 – Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord, and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? )
  • Press into Him by studying His Word and following His promptings, the promptings of the Holy Spirit—be willing and obedient. (Isaiah 1:19 – If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.)
  • Quote: Smith Wigglesworth while preaching the message Power of the Word of God:
  • “Believers are strong only as the Word of God abides in them. The Word of God is spirit and life to those who receive it in simple faith, and it is a verifier of all who own its sway.
  • Know your Book, live it, believe it, and obey it. Hide God’s word in your heart. It will save your soul, quicken your body, illumine your mind. The Word of God is full and final, infallible, reliable, and up-to-date, and our attitude towards it must be one of unquestioned obedience.
  • If a thing is in the Bible, it is so; it is not even to be prayed about; it is to be received and acted upon. Inactivity of faith is a robber, which steals blessing. Increase comes by action, by using what we have and what we know. Your life must be one of going from faith to faith.”
  • “Great faith is the product of great fights.”
  • “Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests.”
  • “Great triumphs can only come out of great trials.
  • Psalms 18:30-32 – As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. 31 For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? 32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
  • Natural persons’ ways and God’s ways are a world apart. God wants to lift us into heavenly places.
  • Mark 7:13 – Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
  • Hosea 4:6 – My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
  • Prayer: Show me Your ways not through the eyes of religion and tradition.  Show me Your plan and purpose for me. I will do Your purpose. I will do Your plan.  I am expecting to hear, “Well done thy good and faithful servant…”
  • Jer 29:11-13 NIV – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Blessings in the House of the Righteous


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

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful. Psalms 116:5 NKJV

The Lord is gracious, righteous and merciful and He expects the same from us, His children. We are made righteous by the blood of Jesus and we are empowered to walk in righteousness by the Holy Spirit. The Word of God is our plumb line, leading us and keeping us on the path God has prepared for us.

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. 26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. Psalms 37:25-26 KJV

The righteous are just like their Father. They are merciful and generous. This is why the Lord will always see to it that they – and their children – are taken care of. David said that he had never – not even once – seen the righteous or their families let down or going without.

Psalm 112 is a great example of the attributes of a righteous man and the blessing upon him and his house as a result.

Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who delights greatly in His commandments. 2 His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches will be in his house, And his righteousness endures forever. 4 Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. 5 A good man deals graciously and lends; He will guide his affairs with discretion. 6 Surely he will never be shaken; The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance. 7 He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. 8 His heart is established; He will not be afraid, Until he sees his desire upon his enemies. 9 He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever; His horn will be exalted with honor. 10 The wicked will see it and be grieved; He will gnash his teeth and melt away; The desire of the wicked shall perish. Psalms 112:1-10 NKJV

The righteous man reverentially fears God. He loves God’s word; he delights in it; it is his joy to do those things that please his Father. The righteous man keeps his heart right with God. He is gracious and compassionate and is always prepared and willing to help others and to share what he has. He thinks of those less fortunate than himself and makes it his business to help the poor. He seeks opportunities to be a blessing. Psalms 37:21 NKJV says that, “The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives.” The righteous man’s conduct, in business and his personal life, is always governed by his integrity and the principles of God’s word.

The righteous man is fully aware of all Father God’s promises to him – he counts on Him keeping His word. He is not afraid of evil tidings because his heart is steadfast – he trusts in the Lord completely. He walks in peace and calm assurance even when his circumstances seem totally contrary. He will never be shaken because he chooses to believe God’s word over what he can see. He has already seen the hand of God and His faithfulness in his life, and experienced His blessing, favor and provision and He is humbly confident that God will come through for him yet again.

Psalms 112 says that the generation of the upright will be blessed and wealth and riches will be in his house. The righteous are not just a little blessed – they are super-blessed! The Lord makes the righteous to have a surplus of prosperity (Deuteronomy 28:11) and He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)!

Light arises in the darkness for the righteous man – he has understanding, direction and purpose even when others are scared, confused and deceived. He can see his way out of every adverse situation. The name and deeds of a righteous man will be remembered forever – especially in eternity. The Lord will honor him.

For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield. Psalms 5:12 NKJV

The righteous will endure forever, because God will deal with his enemies – they will not get away with any bad thing they try to do to him. There is a hedge of God’s protection around the righteous. The wicked will see the blessing on the life of the righteous; they will fuss and fume, but they will not be able to harm him. Their plans and desires will perish without coming to pass.

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; 15 To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. Psalms 92:12-15 KJV

The Lord demonstrates His righteousness by keeping His word to His righteous man all the days of his life. The righteous will be fat, flourishing and fruitful well into a good old age and die only when they are satisfied! God is glorified when men see His blessing on the righteous. They see and know that God is indeed good and that He always keeps His promises!


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


• By personal fellowship

“What we have seen and [ourselves] heard, we are also telling you, so that you too may realize and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have [which is a distinguishing mark of Christians] is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah). And we are now writing these things to you so that our joy [in seeing you included] may be full [and your joy may be complete]. And this is the message [the message of promise] which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [no, not in any way]. [So] if we say we are partakers together and enjoy fellowship with Him when we live and move and are walking about in darkness, we are [both] speaking falsely and do not live and practice the Truth [which the Gospel presents].” 1 John 1:3-6 AMP

The distinguishing mark of Christians is their fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. If you want to stay in
fellowship with the Father, you have to walk in the light because God is light and there is no darkness in Him. Walking in the light requires walking in the Truth, walking in integrity, walking in love and walking in purity. If we sin and lie and break His commands and then say that we are in fellowship with Him, we are lying.

“I am writing to you, fathers, because you have come to know (recognize, be aware of, and understand) Him Who [has existed] from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have been victorious over the wicked [one]. I write to you, boys (lads), because you have come to know (recognize and be aware) of the Father.” 1 John 2:13 AMP

• By the fullness of joy in our heart

“And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:4 NKJV

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. In other words, the more of Him you have the more joy you walk in.

• By keeping His commandments

“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” 1 John 2:3-6 NKJV

Anyone who says that they know God, can prove it by the way they keep His commandments. Many people say they love Him, but in actual fact, they are doing their own thing – proving that they don’t. We should all check our own heart and judge ourselves in this area. Do we say we love Him? Are we keeping His commandments? If we truly love Him, we will be diligent to keep His commands.

“And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 1 John 3:22 NKJV

God’s blessings will be evident in our lives, when we obey the Lord’s commands and do the things that please Him! He is pleased to bless His obedient children!

• By walking even as He walked

“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” 1 John 2:6 NKJV

If we know the Lord then we must obey Him by walking in His footsteps – doing what He did. It is not presumptuous for us to imitate Jesus; it is what He wants us to do.

• By loving one another

“He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” 1 John 2:9-11 NKJV

“In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the
message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.” 1 John 3:10-19 NKJV

“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.” 1 John 3:23 NKJV

Don’t worry about what everybody else is doing – you do what you know is right. The world and the world’s system are opposed to the Spirit of God. The bottom line is this: if we know Him, we walk in love – if we don’t walk in love, we show that we don’t know Him at all!


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

If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religious service is worthless (futile, barren). 27 External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.  James 1:26-27 AMP

There are many, many people who claim to be “religious” and by that they mean that they believe in God or a god or some kind of higher power. Just because you are religious, or call yourself religious, doesn’t mean that your heart is right with God or even that you are a better person than the next person. There are many religions around the world and yet people still sin and still do bad things to one another. Most “religion” is nothing more than man-made tradition. It is fruitless, useless and powerless. Rather than being religious, we should strive to be godly and to live a godly life, conformed to God’s holy word.

So for the sake of your tradition (the rules handed down by your forefathers), you have set aside the Word of God [depriving it of force and authority and making it of no effect]. 7 You pretenders (hypocrites)! Admirably and truly did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said: 8 These people draw near Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from Me. 9 Uselessly do they worship Me, for they teach as doctrines the commands of men. 
Matthew 15:6-9 AMP

When people are truly godly, as opposed to merely religious, they:
Are doers of the word
Walk in the love of God
Care about and help others
Keep their hearts right with God – their conscience is clear
Walk in the fruit of the spirit
Do not act like the world – they keep themselves free from sin – unspotted and uncontaminated from the world

Merely religious people display some or all of these traits:
Are not doers of the Word of God
Do not walk in the love of God
Want their own way
Are selfish, self-promoting and self-seeking
Manifest the works of the flesh
Are critical and judgmental
Are covetous, jealous and envious – are not happy when others are blessed
Put on a show – are boastful, arrogant and conceited
Claim to have the only way – believe they are always right
Are angry, hate-filled and even murderous – no natural compassion
Power-hungry and manipulative
Sad, sour, rude and unmannerly
Believe the worst of others
Are impatient and unkind
Are touchy and resentful
Are unforgiving and hold grudges
Are not concerned about injustice
Quench any joy in themselves and others
Cover their sin instead of repenting
Are bound up and seek to put others in bondage
Hate freedom and resent liberty

Religious people are people who don’t realize that God loves them – unconditionally. They don’t feel loved so they can’t love others. They feel judged and so they judge. They need to experience the goodness of God, repent of their bad attitude and be set free.

Religion alone is not a guarantee of heaven, because religion relies on works. Works alone are not enough. Salvation is by faith through grace. Only a personal relationship – with trust and reliance on the Name of Jesus, having believed in your heart, having confessed Him as Lord, having been washed in His blood, having been born again by the Spirit of God – is a guarantee of eternal life. The worst kind of religious person is one who has received Jesus, but either has not let go of old religious ideas, or they try to add to the simplicity of the Gospel with all kinds of man-made traditions.

From the time you receive Jesus, or recommit to Him, you must continually work to renew your mind to His pure, unadulterated word and be conformed to His image. You cannot return to your old life – you cannot start in the Spirit and then go back to the flesh – like a dog returning to its own vomit.

Everyone of us needs to have a regular “check-up”. Not at the doctor, but a heart check-up. We need to make sure that our daily attitude and conduct match up with the Word of God. We must measure our attitude and conduct against the standard of the Word of God and make the adjustments so that we can continue to walk in the freedom and liberty of the Holy Spirit.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty! (2 Cor. 3:17)

Reaching the world for Jesus Christ

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