Friday, October 29, 2010

Was Jesus Our Substitute?

The doctrine of substitutionism says that Jesus was our substitute and that He took our place on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice. But the word ‘substitute’ is not found anywhere in the scriptures. Let’s take a closer look at the word of God to see what Jesus really was for God and for us.

The scripture used to support this doctrine is 2nd Corinthians 5:21

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (NKJV)

Where is; for He made Him who knew no sin to be a substitute for us? It’s not written in the scriptures because it’s not true! Jesus is the propitiation for our sins, He made an atonement for our sins by willingly coming to earth and sacrificing Himself to God to pay the penalty of sin that was due God.

Look at Young’s Literal Translation:

“For him who did not know sin, in our behalf He did make sin, that we may become the righteousness of God in him.”

"The Literal Translation is unusual in that, as the name implies, it is a strictly literal translation of the original Hebrew and Greek texts." (Wikipedia)

We don’t see the word ‘substitute’ used in either translation, and Young’s Literal Translation renders the text in a much different way than the KJV or NKJV. And I don’t know about you, but I would like to get as close to the original Word’s of God as I can!

Here is the translation of 2nd Cor. 5:21 from the bible I use: The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, With Strong’s Concordance Numbers Above Each Word. By: Jay P Green, Sr. (Volume IV)

“The (One) for not knowing sin on behalf of us sin He made so that we might become (the) righteousness of God in Him.”

These two literal translations from the Greek Received Text gives us a much better understanding of 2nd Corinthians 5:21, and should remove any idea from our minds that Jesus was a substitute for us.

Look at what substitute means:

Main Entry: sub·sti·tute  “A person or thing that takes the place or function of another.” (Merriam-Webster)

How could Jesus ever be a substitute for us? This would mean that we could have gone to the cross for our own sins, but Jesus came and took our place instead. Were we ever sinless? Were we ever perfect? No. God manifested Himself in the flesh taking on a physical body and doing what no one else could have ever done. Paul said while we were still SINNERS Christ died for the ungodly!

Here is what John said Jesus was for our sins:

1st John 2:1-2

"My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world."

Propitiation means: 2 : something that propitiates; specifically : an atoning sacrifice (Merriam-Webster)

Romans 5:10-11

“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

Atonement means: 2 : the reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. (Merriam-Webster)

The word of God tells us that Jesus Christ was an atoning sacrifice for our sins that reconciled us to God, not a substitute.

Jesus was a perfect, sinless, and unblemished sacrificial lamb that was sacrificed on the cross to God, paying the penalty of sin that we could never pay. God laid our sins upon the body of Christ who became a sin bearer, and He willingly and knowingly sacrificed Himself so that we could once again have a covenant relationship with God.

Isaiah 53:6,10-12

“All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin,”

“He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

1st Peter 2:24

who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”

During the priestly ministry of the Old Covenant, once every year the Levitical high priest had to offer unblemished goats and calves for the sins of Israel, and by placing his hands upon the animal, the high priest symbolically transferred the sins of Israel onto it, causing the animal to become a sin bearer, and it was then sacrificed to God. The Levitical priesthood sacrifices were a shadow of Christ and pointed towards the one bodily sacrifice of Jesus. God prepared a body for His Christ to reconcile the world back to Himself, and He laid the sins of the whole world upon Jesus who bore our sins in His body becoming a sin bearer and an unspotted lamb who sacrificed Himself to God.

Hebrews 9:6-7

“Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance.”

Hebrews 9:12-14

“Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

Jesus offered Himself without spot to God on our behalf because we could never do anything to take away our own sins. Jesus was not a substitute.

Hebrews 9:26-28

“but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.

Jesus Christ was a sin offering to God, a sin bearer, an unblemished and unspotted sacrificial lamb who bore the sins of the whole world in His body. He was NOT a substitute.

Hebrews 10:5-7

“Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.’”

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross had everything to do with a loving and righteous God who wanted to re-establish the covenant relationship He had with man before he fell in the Garden of Eden; God prepared a body for the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us. God sent His only Begotten Son to do what only God Himself could do, live a perfect, sinless life, and offer Himself as a sacrifice and shed His blood to save all man-kind. Jesus was not, and never will be, a substitute.

With Love And Sincerity,

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Pre-Trib Rapture (Don't Believe It!)

The word ‘Rapture’ is not found anywhere in scripture, but the Coming of Christ is. This doctrine has led many professing Christians to believe that they will be taken off the earth before the great tribulation and unveiling of the anti-christ man (beast). But what does the word of God have to say about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? Let’s take a look at the scriptures this doctrine is based on.

1st Thessalonians 4:13-18

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

Paul is talking to the Thessalonian saints about the coming of Jesus Christ to the earth for the second time to receive His people to Himself. Nowhere in these scriptures do we read about a pre-trib rapture of the dead in Christ or of the saints who are alive when He comes. In truth what we read is Jesus descending from heaven to earth with a SHOUT, with the voice of an archangel and the trumpet of God. Nothing about the Lord and the saints ascending back up into heaven to await the end of the great tribulation. If that was the truth wouldn't the Holy Spirit have led Paul to write that?

Paul also tells the Corinthians the same thing.

1st Corinthians 15:20-23, 51-53

“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.

Again we don’t read anything about a pre-trib rapture, but of those who have fallen asleep (dead in Christ), and those who are Christ’s at His coming.

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep (dead in Christ), but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we (those alive when He comes) shall be changed.”

Once again no pre-trib rapture of the dead in Christ or of the living saints. What we read is the last trumpet sounding during the Second Coming of Christ and the dead being raised with the living saints being changed.

Some believe that only those in Christ will hear the trumpet and see Jesus, but that belief is unfounded by the scriptures. In truth here is what Jesus Himself said about His coming.

Matthew 24:29-31

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

The words of Christ in Matthew make it clear to us that those in Christ WILL be on this earth during the great tribulation. In truth Jesus said in Matthew 24:9  “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” Jesus is coming AFTER the tribulation and when He comes every person will SEE Him coming on the clouds of heaven and then He will send His angels to gather the elect with the same sound of a trumpet that Paul told the saints would herald the Second Coming of Jesus.

Look at Luke 21:25-28

“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

Jesus Himself is saying again in Luke that He will not be coming back before the great tribulation to redeem His saints, and He tells them when you see these things begin to happen, look up because your redemption is near. If the saints were taken off the earth before the distress of nations why would Jesus tell His own disciples this? Wouldnt God in the flesh tell His disciples the truth! Of course He would! And He did! The whole world will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory!

Mark 13:24-27

But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven."

Jesus says once again in Mark, AFTER that tribulation the signs of His Second Coming will be seen by the whole world, and He will send His angels to gather His elect from all over the earth. We have a choice to believe the very words of Jesus and prepare ourselves for the coming tribulation, or believe the false teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture.

Revelation 1:7

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

Acts 1:9-11

“Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

Even the angels of heaven told the apostles that Jesus would come back the same way they saw Him go up into heaven. There is nothing about a pre-trib rapture found anywhere in the scriptures.

Mark 14:62

Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

2nd Thessalonians 2:1-4

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

These scriptures directly refute the false teaching of a pre-trib rapture. Paul clearly tells the saints LET NO ONE DECEIVE YOU! The day WILL NOT COME until the falling away COMES FIRST! AND the man of sin IS REVEALED, the Antichrist, the beast, the son of perdition, who will stand in the soon to be built third temple in Jerusalem and claim to be God.

We must prepare ourselves for the coming spiritual and physical battle that will face those who confess the name of Jesus Christ. If Christians don’t wake up now to this truth they will be unprepared for the evil that every person on this earth will face. Jesus said the distress and tribulation will be so great that men’s heart’s will fail them for fear and expectation of what is coming upon this earth. I urge every professing Christian to seek the face of the Lord today with all your heart, soul, mind and strength so that you may be ready for the day of evil.

There will be many Christians martyred during the reign of the beast (anti-christ, or son of perdition).

Revelation 6:9-11

“When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.”

Revelation 20:4

“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”

These scriptures prove that Christians will be on this earth during the tribulation period and they will be martyred for bearing witness to Jesus Christ and the word of God. These Christians will NOT worship the beast, his image, or take his mark on their foreheads or hands and they will be killed for their uncompromising faith in Jesus Christ. But they will have their reward in heaven and reign with Christ for a thousand years.

With Love In Christ,

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Work Of Satan

I woke up from my sleep a few days ago and heard the Holy Spirit say: "Satan is removing Christ from the gospel"

I meditated on this Word and I can clearly see how this has been happening for a long time. There are so many false gospels and traditions of man, that one doesn't know what the true gospel (good news) of Christ is any longer. Even though we have a myriad of bibles with multiple translations and study helps, the true gospel of Jesus Christ and His teachings are not being taught.

Instead of denying yourself, taking up your cross, losing your life for the gospel and Christ, sacrifice, suffering, persecutions, affliction, and loving your neighbor as yourself. We see the true and biblical teachings of Jesus being replaced with: Do whatever you like, fulfill your dreams and your hearts desire's, it's ok to sin, you're always gonna struggle with it anyway, just come to church on Sunday, pay your tithe, and you'll be saved, God wants the best for you, so go out and get that car, buy that house, buy those clothes, and the latest electronics, you gotta stay in tune with the times.

This is just a small sample of the many soul stealing and heart defiling words we hear from those who claim to be ministers of God. But the word is clear in 2nd Corinthians 11:13-15

"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works."

The hour is short and Jesus is standing at the door, we must hold to HIS teachings, abide in HIS word, walk in HIS steps, follow where HE leads, seek HIS face, and believe HIS gospel.

With Love And Sincerity,

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Weaknesses VS The Spirit Of God

Well….what I know is that I have many weaknesses and have been praying to the Lord in order to overcome them by the power of the Holy Spirit. But something I have been experiencing in the years I have been walking with God: In my weakness His power is manifested and His strength is perfected in me and even in the midst of my weaknesses I feel strong in the Lord’s power which is manifested in me and I can always see that He gives me strength to overcome my weaknesses through His Holy Spirit that operates inside my vessel! Praise the Name of Jesus!

But is there anybody else who has weaknesses in the Scriptures and could overcome them? And How did they do that? Let us see together:

Paul pleaded with the Lord about his weaknesses and the Lord talked to him

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Here we see how we must rely on the grace of God and His strength in order to keep ourselves strong, we cannot keep ourselves standing up for righteousness by our own flesh, by our own human efforts, we need His grace and strength.

Many men and women who overcame their weaknesses by faith

Hebrews 11:32-35

And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, escaped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the mouths of the sword, acquired power from weakness (*769), became strong in war, made armies of foreigners to yield. 35 Women received their dead by ressurection.

Here we see that FAITH is the key to deliver us from many things for it is impossible to please God without faith, that is why it is so important to HEAR the word of God and obey it, for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Take a quiet time every single day to get out of the busy and noisy life you live and and separate yourself and pray to Him with all your heart and in sincerity, knowing that if you rest in Him and trust He is in control, you will be able to be strong in difficult situations and see His mighty hands and tremendous power.

Paul is saying He was with those brothers and sisters in weakness

1 Corinthians 2:2-5

For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness (*769), in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human[b] wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Here we see that strength is not in what a man can know, in men’s wisdom or speech, but in the Holy Spirit, He is the One who has the power and all wisdom to teach us how to walk as true disciples of Jesus Christ and be filled with faith to be strong in every situation always, no matter how hard and impossible it might be for the human eyes.

Jesus was crucified in weaknesses and we are weak in Him too

2 Corinthians 13:4

For though He was crucified in weakness (*769), yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.

Here it shows that many saw Jesus as a weak and helpless man in His crucifixion, but His resurrection showed that He holds life and death in His hands and that death could not hold Him at all for He even has the keys of death and Hades Himself. Many people can see us (followers of Jesus Christ) today as weak and helpless people, but the power of God is the one that keeps us protected and joyful and that CHRIST in us is the power that does everything! We are to display to the world the light and power of God which is in us through the Holy Spirit.

(*769) weakness = 769. astheneia as-then'-i-ah from 772; feebleness (of mind or body); by implication, malady; morally, frailty:--disease, infirmity, sickness, weakness.

But I praise God that He left us the Comforter who helps us in our weaknesses as:

Romans 8:26 says:

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us[b] with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Here we see that God knows that we do not know how to pray and what to ask many times, and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us to the Father in the correct way in order for us to have an answer to our needs. But it is necessary that you pray every day to the Father though.

I hope this message can encourage you to be on your knees every single day and pray to the Father and tell Him all your weaknesses and how much you need Him for everything and the Holy Spirit will take your prayers to the Father interceding for you. If you are not a born again Christian yet, repent and confess your sins to the Father, be baptized and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, so you can also be helped by Him in your weaknesses. Keep faithful and trust the word of God always!

Much love in Christ,
Cynthia R. Palmer

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Eternal Life (The Promise Of God)

John 17:1-3

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Jesus has been given authority over ALL flesh, every man, woman, and child on the face of this earth is subject to Him. The Father has given His Son this authority and Jesus gives eternal life to those the Father has given Him. What a wonderful and precious gift we have in God through Jesus Christ, to know the only true God and to fellowship with Him in Spirit and truth.

John 11:25-26

"Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Jesus is the resurrection and the life, if we believe in Him, abide in Him, obey Him, and love Him, even though we give up our lives in this world, we die to self, and crucify the old man, we will live! we will never die!
John 8:51
"Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

Jesus gave us a promise, but we must KEEP or obey His word and we will never see death.
Death is eternal separation from God, and ultimately our eternal soul will be in torments in the lake of fire if we die in our sins and do not accept the free gift of salvation that God gave to His creation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross to reconcile us back to Him.
John 10:27-28

"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."
The sheep of Jesus hear HIS voice, and He knows them all by name. If you are a sheep of Jesus we follow HIM, NOT MAN! He gives His sheep eternal life and they will NEVER perish! The Lord will not allow anyone to snatch His sheep out of His hand.
John 3:13-16
"No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Eternal life, the precious promise of God for those who believe upon the only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Grace And Peace To The Saints Of God,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Holy Spirit (Is He IN You?)

Receiving the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Holy Spirit, filled with the Spirit, the baptism with or in the Spirit, the promise of the Father, and the outpouring of the Spirit are all one and the same. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is NOT a separate work of God's grace apart from conversion; it is a part OF conversion! The reason there are a multitude of professing Christians who cannot overcome sin, the world, or the devil, and who never see any evidence of the Spirit’s supernatural power and fruit is because they do not have the Spirit of God indwelling their hearts!

Ephesians 4:4-5

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism;”

This error comes from the misinterpretation of Acts 2:38

“Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Peter said let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus, he didn’t let any believer do what they thought they should do. He told them plainly what they all had to do in order to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Many believe and are taught today that when you are baptized in water the Holy Spirit descends upon you and He starts to indwell you. Well how do you know the Spirit descended upon you? And how do you know that you received the gift of the Holy Spirit?

Ask yourself this question: When I got baptized (for those who haven't, Jesus commanded it!), was there any evidence that the Spirit of the Living God came to dwell inside my body? If there was no initial physical manifestation (exhibition or revelation) of the Spirit i.e. (speaking in new languages, prophesying) and there is no perceivable manifestations after i.e. (dreams, visions, prophecy, or one of the nine gifts of the Spirit that Paul said each believer would receive in 1st Cor. 12:7), then you don’t have the Spirit of God indwelling you.

If you put Acts 2:38 in context you will realize that Jesus had just told the apostles that John indeed baptized with water, but they would be baptized with the Spirit in a few days and to wait for the promise of the Father.

Acts 1:4-8

“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 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.” Also (Read Matthew 3:11) and (John 15:26,16:5-15)

The Greek word for power in verse eight is 'Dunamis'

1411. dunamis doo'-nam-is from 1410; force (literally or figuratively); specially, miraculous power (usually by implication, a miracle itself):--ability, abundance, meaning, might(-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle(-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.

Then during the day of Pentecost we read of the outpouring of the Spirit upon the flesh of man and the initial manifestations of the Spirit that followed this gift.

Acts 2:1-4

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues (languages), as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (not just for the apostles or empowerment to preach, there were 120 disciples waiting for the promise of the Father)

We can understand from these scriptures that the apostles and the disciples were just doing what they were commanded to do, they were waiting on the promise, and they didn’t know what day it would actually come or what would happen, but they were being obedient to the commandment of the Lord. Then suddenly the prophetic words that Jesus spoke days earlier were fulfilled and the promise of the Father was given to them all. We read of the initial evidence of the outpouring of the Spirit on their flesh and what happened after. How else would they have known they were receiving the promise of the Father and being baptized with the Holy Spirit that Jesus commanded them to wait for, if there wasn’t any evidence? They would still be waiting! And we can ask ourselves the same question today!

God also spoke through the prophet Joel about what would happen when He poured out His Spirit on the flesh of man.

Acts 2:17-18

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy." (We are still in the last days! The word day(s) is plural meaning many, from the Day of Pentecost until the end of the age the Spirit of God will be poured out!)

The people gathered in Jerusalem thought those who received the Spirit were drunk and could not understand what was happening, but Peter understood what they had just received, and he preached a powerful message about Christ which cut them to their heart and Peter told them what they needed to do, and how they could receive the same Spirit that he did.

Acts 2:37-39

“Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise (the gift of the Holy Spirit) is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

Has the Lord stopped calling men and women? No. Did He change the way new converts are to receive the Spirit? No. But when we do not understand or believe the truth of these scriptures, and are not taught correctly we do not receive the promise of the Father, the gift of the Holy Spirit. We are the same human beings, the same ordinary unschooled men and women that they were, and we receive the same Holy Spirit that they did then.

Look at Acts 8:14-17 (Example of Unconverted Believers)

“Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”

This is a clear example of what goes on the majority of time in the church today. We hear the word, repent, confess our sins, believe in Jesus Christ, get baptized in water, but fail to receive the Holy Spirit, leaving thousands unconverted and believing that they have the Spirit indwelling them. Peter and John recognized that these disciples had not received the Holy Spirit, and how did they know? Because they did not see any evidence; they knew the initial signs and the manifestations of the outpouring of the Spirit upon the flesh because of the day of Pentecost, and they knew there would be evidence of the indwelling Spirit after the outpouring. Peter called it the “gift of God” in verse 20.

Paul himself was only fully converted after the Lord sent Ananias to lay hands on him to receive his sight and be filled with the Spirit. Acts 9:17 Once he received his sight and the infilling of the Spirit he got baptized in water; then we read the evidence of his conversion in the following scriptures.

Acts 9:20-22

Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?” But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.

Then we have Cornelius the Centurion, his family and friends in Acts 10

Acts 10:44-47

“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.”

In these scriptures we see God pouring out His Spirit upon the flesh of the gentiles; here we read that the Holy Spirit is given to ALL nations of people and not just the Jews. As peter testified of Jesus the Holy Spirit fell upon everyone inside the house, and even the brothers who came with Peter were astonished to see the gift of the Holy Spirit fall upon the gentiles. And how did they know the Spirit fell upon Cornelius and the others? For they HEARD them speak with tongues and magnify God. They had clear and undeniable evidence they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Then Peter goes on to say can anyone forbid them to be baptized in water because they have received the same Holy Spirit we did on the day of Pentecost.

Contrast Acts 2:38 with Acts 10:45-46 and you will see the same words being used for the conversion experience, the gift of the Holy Spirit. Now you can begin to understand what it really means to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and how thousands of professing Christians are unconverted today.

Acts 19:1-6

“And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.”

In these scriptures Paul finds some disciples in Ephesus, and he didn’t hesitate to ask them if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed. It's good he asked because these disciples hadn’t even heard there was a Holy Spirit. Once Paul told them about Jesus Christ they were baptized in water and by the laying on of Paul’s hands we read of the initial evidence of their reception of the Holy Spirit, they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Now, Paul and the converts knew they had received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Paul also explains to the Corinthian church in 1st Corinthians 12:4-11 that everyone who receives the Holy Spirit will display a manifestation of the Spirit.

“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

Manifestation: 1 a : the act, process, or an instance of manifesting b (1) : something that manifests or is manifest (2) : a perceptible, outward, or visible expression (Merriam-Webster)

Those who have received the gift of the Holy Spirit WILL have a perceptible manifestation of the Spirit. Whether its dreams, visions, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, workings of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, different languages, or interpretation of languages, everyone who has the Holy Spirit indwelling their bodies will have evidence of that indwelling.

Not only will those fully converted to Christ have a perceptible manifestation of the Spirit, but they WILL have inward evidence as well. The believer will not be able to physically see the fruit inside themselves, but they will be able to perceive a change within, and others will see the change too. (So will God!)

Paul says to the Galatians in 5:22-23

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

Many professing Christians read this scripture and think they have all these fruits (I sure did!) and can even make others think they have them, but without receiving the Holy Spirit how can they? We can all willfully display outward signs of these fruits, but inwardly still be full of strongholds, iniquity, and sin. Like Jesus told the Pharisees who looked good on the outside; they had their nice clothes on, they said the right things, prayed out loud in the streets, knew the scriptures backwards and forwards, went to the synagogue every Sabbath, but inwardly they were full of dead men’s bones, Jesus called them hypocrites.

Matthew 23:27

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”

Without receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit the conversion process of a confessing believer is not complete, and their soul will not experience the sanctification of the Spirit, the circumcision of the heart, the renewal of the mind, or the conformation of the inner man to Christ.

NOTE* There are many who have received the Spirit with initial evidence, but through laziness, false teachings, a lack of prayer, fasting, and bible study, have quenched the Spirit’s fire. If this is you, I exhort you to repent and turn back to the Lord while He may be found.

If you realize that you do not have the Spirit of God indwelling your body, and you have been baptized in water, then pray earnestly to the Father for it, and ask Jesus to baptize you in the Spirit and He will do it! (That’s what I did when I learned this truth) If you haven’t been baptized in water, what are you waiting for? Jesus said unless one is born of water AND Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God! (John 3:5)

In All Sincerity And Truth,

Sunday, October 10, 2010

When HE speaks!!!

Have you felt anxious for anything recently? Well….I did it! So, I am going to share what happened to me to encourage your soul and also I could not sleep after I fed my baby (at 4am) to 5am until I lifted from my bed to write this testimony.

Very recently me and my husband decided that I should quit my job (which served us very well) to stay home to take care of our baby Gabriela, so I left for maternity leave on June 18th and had Gabriela on July 16th, 2010 and did not return to work. We kept some good savings in order for us to be able to pay the hospital bills and survive well for a while. Of course we knew we would have some restrictions financially after that, but we trusted God anyways. But money does not last forever and when the savings started going really down, my heart started feeling a little anxious. I do not know if I would feel the same without having a baby, but since I had Gabriela it seems that I have more “worries and fears” (which are not from the Lord either) than before when it was only me and my husband. Anyways, this anxiety started making me feel so bad in my soul, a feeling that I was not trusting the Lord as I was supposed to. I started thinking from going to the Laundromat to wash people’s clothes to coming back to my previous open door job again and putting Gabriela on the day care (not that I have anything against who does that, of course not and I understand whoever does it), but this thought was going against what I wanted. So, I thought about giving classes online, selling clothes, perfumes, working in the mall, all sorts of things and jobs you can think of I could do either from home or in the evenings and I applied for many too. But still I knew my heart was not resting as it was supposed to and normally did, and every time I looked at Gabriela on the sofa, in her sleep, sucking her pacifier, smiling so beautifully, relaxing and nothing seemed to bother her, I used to think to myself: “This is how I want to be too” and then this passage always used to come to me:

Matthew 18:1-5

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them,and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

So, I decided to do what is best for any person to do when anxiety knocks on the door and you let it in: Prayer Closet!

Matthew 6:5-6

"And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly".

1 John 5:15

And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

Well….I had a wonderful prayer time and I confessed I was like that, asked for forgiveness and asked the Father to give me a word, and these were the words He gave me:

Isaiah 55:8-9

“ For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “ For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Wow….these words really blew me away!! The Lord was telling me that all the thoughts I had about the circumstance I was in were all different from His and that they were all lower and not reaching His thoughts to my life, that His ways were higher than the ways I was thinking to give to my situation. I praised and praise His Holy name! What a wonderful Father we have!

Then, this was the other word linking to the word He had given me before in Isaiah:

Jeremiah 29: 11-12

 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.

Wow and wow again…. For He said He had thoughts of peace for me, not anxieties ….and He was thinking about my future much more than I was and He was giving me hope and I was just supposed to be praying to Him, calling His name and He would listen to me…. Every Scripture is good for comforting! Praise His majestic name!

So, I would like to encourage each one of you that is in a very difficult situation today and finding yourself a little anxious of what to eat, what to drink, what to wear, how to get out of this circumstance, what to do, what the next step is……Go to the Prayer Closet and pour out your heart to the Lord in sincerity and be very honest about what you are feeling in your heart and TRUST Him that He is in control of everything and very very soon you will be laughing about the situation and saying: “Another time the Lord surprised me with His blessings and His ways and thoughts to me”!

Be blessed and Be encouraged for the Lord knows what to do and when to do it! Hopefully this sharing may lift your soul to exalt His Holy name.

May His grace and favor be upon the obedient ones always,

Much love,

Cynthia R. Palmer

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

From The Heart

Jeremiah 17:9-10

“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings."

One of the most humbling and sobering things I have learned over the past year is how dark, wicked, and deceitful my heart was before the Lord started His mighty work of purification. I had no idea where sin started and why in the past I could not stop sinning, it was because of my heart.

Look at what Jesus said to His disciples concerning the heart.

Matthew 15:16-20

"So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding?  Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

 In Mark 7:17-23 Jesus adds more evil and sins to the list of what comes out of the heart.

"When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”

If you have ever committed any of these evil acts and sins, you know now where they came from.
James 1:12-15 gives us more understanding of what comes from within.
"Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."
The hardest prayer to pray when I learned the truth about my heart was asking the Lord to search my heart and know me, and remove any offensive way in me, to purify my heart, and create in me a clean heart. I had to admit that my heart was deceitful, and wicked, I was fearful of what God would show me, and indeed He showed me just how dark my heart was. The purification of my heart has been a VERY painful process, but if we desire a true and intimate relationship with our Creator we MUST become pure in heart.
Psalm 139:23-24
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting."
If you desire to have a pure heart and walk the ancient pathways to the throne room of God, pray that prayer and God will answer you quickly! It is His will for us to be sanctified, purified, and to walk uprightly before Him.

Matthew 5:8

"Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God."

Love In Christ,