Tag Archive: slander

Followers of Jesus, Followers of Men and Followers of Wolves!
Only One will Inherit Eternal Life!

We are living in The End Times and There is Only One Gospel!
Anything with a word added in front of it is not the Gospel:Prosperity Gospel, Word Faith Gospel, Liberation Gospel, Emergent Gospel, Seeker Sensitive Gospel

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9

Another Gospel?
Does it take on the name of Jesus? Yes
Does it use the name of Jesus? Yes
Is it’s followers the followers of Jesus? No
They were the followers of men!

“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

What is The Gospel?“For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:21-24

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-2

It’s All About God!
Is the Gospel all about you and getting your best life now or is the Gospel all about God?It’s all about God! It’s all for the Glory of God! When we suffer, we do so to the Glory of God! When we rejoice, we do so in the Glory of God! When we are persecuted, we are either persecuted in the Cross that we are called to carry or we are persecuted because of our choice to live in sin not as punishment but as a consequence.
Who is this Book about? Is it all about you? Is it all about the preacher on television? Is all about the multi million dollar mega church that’s run like a Wal Mart catering to your every need?No It’s all about God!

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.” Ezekial 36:22-30

God The Center of The Universe! Ephesians 1:3-14

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”
You are not the center of the universe! God is! And if you make yourself the center of the universe or anything else: You are an Idolater! You have created another God whether that be yourself, some thing or someone else.

The End is Near? Matthew 24:3-8
“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.” Matthew 24:3-4
Who will deceive us? Buddist, Muslims, Hidus, Athiest? No! It will be people who profess Jesus is the Christ or Messiah!
“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” Matthew 24:5
Jesus also Warned us in Matthew 7:15: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:6-8
We have all of this now. Israel and Iran are threatening each other with war. Just in the past few years, we’ve had wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Earthquakes are on the increase worldwide causing disastrous tsunamis.
Since the death of Christ, famines worldwide have been constantly on the rise.
1996 North Korean famine. Scholars estimate 600,000 died of starvation (other estimates range from 200,000 to 3.5 million)
1998 Sudan famine caused by war and drought 70,000 dead
1998–2000 Famine in Ethiopia. The situation worsened by Eritrean-Ethiopian War
1998–2004 Second Congo War. 3.8 million dead, mostly from starvation and disease
2000–2009 Zimbabwe’s food crisis caused by Mugabe’s land reform policies
2003 Famine in Sudan/Darfur
2005 Malawi food crisis
2005–06 Niger food crisis
2006 Horn of Africa food crisis (Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya)
2008 Myanmar food crisis. Cyclone Nargis devastated Burma’s major rice-producing region.
2008 North Korean food crisis
2008 Horn of Africa food crisis (Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya)
2008 Afghanistan food crisis
2008 Bangladesh food crisis
2008 East Africa food crisis
2008 Tajikistan food crisis
2009 Kenya food crisis 10 million Kenyans face starvation.
2010 Sahell food crisis
2011 Horn of Africa (Somalia and neighboring countries)

Famines, Pestilences and Persecutions
As Food Prices go up as they are doing now: Worldwide Famine is inevitable.
According to the UN, these are the reasons for rising food prices.
Changing weather conditions
The rise in oil prices
Increase in farming of biofuels instead food crops
Increase in the consumption of meat in growing economies such as China
Food riots in some countries are increasing and if something is not done soon many will starve to death.
“We are seeing a new face of hunger. We are seeing more urban hunger than ever before. We are seeing food on the shelves but people being unable to afford it.” Josette Sheean, Director of the UN World Food Program
Pestilences – Aids, Cancer, Bird Flu, Swine Flu.
34 million people have hiv aids and nearly 2 million people died last year with more people being infected daily.
In the U.S. Alone 11,958,000 people have Cancer. It is approximated that 31% of the world population suffer from cancer and these numbers are expected to climb to 50%.
Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Staff Infections all highly contagious are all evolving to states where anti-biotics are no longer effective.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:9-14

According to Voice of The Martyrs, Intolerance toward Christians continued to grow in 2011. In Nigeria 40+ Christians were killed while attending a Christmas Service.
The Government of Iran has declared war on the Christian faith, imprisoning Pastors, clossing churches and putting believers to death.
In Egypt, Iraq, Malaysia, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia, Christians are viewed and treated as second-class citizens. In these countries, believers are being imprisoned, experiencing torture and sexual abuse to try to make them convert to Islam. Christian’s homes are also being burned, many believers have been physically attacked and murdered.
In Indonesia, incidents of Christian persecution nearly doubled from 2010 to 2011, and an Islamic extremist group is threatening to have five Christian churches demolished.
In Ethiopia, a group of 500 Muslims burned down a church that stood for over 60 years on land owned by Christians.
This will happen to true believers in America surely as prayer is being taken out of schools and everything with the name of God on public property will be taken down.

Wolves on the Prowl!
Right now many in America follow “Another Gospel” a Gospel with a name in front of it such as the Prosperity Gospel. We build massive mega churches / entertainment centers that cater to every materialistic desire that a believer could have. The preachers tell the people what they want to hear from the pulpit. Many no longer preach against sin or holiness, judgment and repentance instead we’ve chosen to cater to itching ears to create man made ministries of the flesh.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:1-7
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” 2 Timothy 3:12-13

A Self/Man centered gospel turns God into man’s Servant instead of man’s Lord. Man through God can get and receive everything he wants, every material blessing, every desire of his heart all in the name of Jesus.
Jesus is reduced down to nothing more than a Sugar Daddy or a Santa Clause type figure.
Things like repentance are ignored as God now becomes a blessing machine.
This is false as Repent is the very thing that Jesus, Paul, The Old Testament Prophets, The Apostles and John the Baptist preached first of all.
Following Christ begins with repentance! Following Christ causes one to deny his self as center of the universe and places God as center of the universe. The love of money is gone, as is the love and desire for the things of this world.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17

The Gospel is and always has been: Come to the Cross, Repent, Believe & Deny Yourself.We live for Eternity not temporary material blessings.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it iscertain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:3-10

How to Spot a Wolf!
The True Gospel leads people to Jesus Christ and to an Eternity with him in Heaven not to cater to the desires of you heart and flesh. A True Christian wants to glorify God not cater to self!

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
A Wolf will always Try to Convince you that The Road isn’t that Narrow and many are being deceived!
You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7:15-20
False Teachers always appear as Sheep & Angels not Wolves & Devils.If you don’t see any, it’s because you’re looking for the wrong thing.
False Teachers seldom preach self denial, repentance and especially holliness.The devil can imitate a great many things but he can never be holy.
Questions to ask:
Does their teachings appeal to the flesh?
Do they preach the Narrow way?
Do they preach against Sin and encourage Repentance?
Do you hear Humility in their preaching or do you hear pride and arrogance?
Does this person appear Worldly and Carnal, catering to materialism and the desires of the flesh?
At the End of this Life Followers of Wolves and Followers of Men will Hear: “I Never Knew You”
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Matthew 7:21-23

Once you’ve been given the Truth, you can do one of 3 things with it: Accept it, Reject it or Conform it. Rejecting it results in eternal damnation and you get to chase satisfaction your entire life all the while living in the Illusion of Your Best Life Now.
Conforming it results in the same only you’ve made yourself much more comfortable because you believe you’ve accepted the Truth but in reality you’ve only conformed it to your world of greed, pride, materialism or something else. Accepting it is a Narrow Path and only a few find it. It’s not easy but you realize that nothing compares to knowing The One True God who created you for His Glory!

‎”But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them asrubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:7-11

Slaves to your own Flesh!
We can become slaves to men, slaves to false doctrine all while professing the Name of Jesus. We can also be slaves to our own flesh:
Slavery to Self:
“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:16-22

We must ask ourselves: Are we followers of Christ or are we followers of man!The truth is many of us profess Christ but we are slaves to the very flesh that we walk in.

“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.” 2 Corinthians 13:5

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Phillipians 2:12-13


As we have stepped into this New Year, I believe we also have entered a season when the Lord is asking His people to stop and consider something. Most likely it will be a short season, but a critical one—a season to seriously consider the extent to which we are willing to embrace and follow the full pathway that God has put before us.

Unfortunately, we are living in a time when much of the church of Jesus Christ has become hemmed in by the boundaries that society has set around it. We have allowed a handful of people to dictate when we can and cannot pray in public; what we can and cannot do in the name of Christ. Such limitations have been put in place despite the fact that those who believe in Jesus statistically comprise over 70 percent of the American population. We have retreated to a place where we can be assured that we will be tolerated—knowing that the world will have no problem as long as there is nothing in the church that stands as a definitive contrast to a society that continues to cast off moral restraint at an unprecedented level.

In God’s Word we read of a church called Ephesus—a church known for its works, endurance and doctrinal purity. Yet Jesus said to them, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Revelation 2:4). The church had lost the very thing that made her attractive—a wholehearted love for Christ and the embracing of His work on the earth. Those outside the church must have looked in and seen a relationship of merely mutual tolerance, much like a marriage that had lost its spark of love and passion.

Do you remember the first time you fell in love? The first days of your marriage? You were filled with passion, unashamed to be seen in public with your spouse. You walked down the street arm in arm, proud to acknowledge that this was the person you had given your life to.

Sadly, we look at much of what is purported to be the testimony of Christ today and cannot help but wonder where the passion is. It is like the married couple who stays together for convenience or for the sake of the children, all the while completely unaware of how unattractive their relationship has become. No wonder so many people have concluded, “If this is what a relationship with God looks like, no thank you! If this is the passion it produces, if this is the character that evolves from it, I would rather find something else.”


Although we have in large measure moved away from the simplicity of Christ and have formulated theologies to justify our backslidden condition, I am thankful this is not the end of the story. The Bible tells us that we have a season to consider our ways. The prophet Haggai spoke to the people of God who were called to rebuild the testimony of Christ in their generation:

“Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little…Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord. Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit” (Haggai 1:4–10).

Consider your ways! Haggai was saying to the people, “You have settled into a form of religiousness. You developed strategies to fill the house of God and mask the encroaching spiritual bankruptcy, but now you suddenly find heaven closed. You boasted of a great harvest that was going to come in, but where is it? You had sporadic gatherings, seemingly with no substance, and the Lord blew it all away.”

Today’s church has made conversion so easy. There is no longer a need for repentance, no requirement to turn from sin, no admonition to give one’s life fully to the work and cause of Jesus Christ. Instead, people are told that if they will simply repeat a little two-line prayer, their sins will be forgiven and they will be on their way to heaven. We have opened the gates wider than the Scriptures have opened them. We have brought in a supposed harvest, but now are finding that this harvest has no power to stand against all that society is throwing against it. Many claim to be Christians, but where are the warriors—the men and women of character? Where are those who are willing to stand in the face of the storm?

“And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands” (Haggai 1:11). The Lord called for a drought, and this is exactly where we find ourselves today. The Lord has called for a drought in America in order to get the attention of His people, as well as that of a lust-laden society.

Remember, the mercy of God sends us into the storm. Yes, it is judgment, but mercy precedes and triumphs over judgment. We need to be brought into a place of realizing our true condition. How tragic it would be to live as if everything is fine only to discover later that we missed the whole purpose, stopped short of the gateway to eternal life, and lived a cultural Christianity with no reality in it.

The writer of Hebrews tells us, “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle” (Hebrews 13:10). We have an altar! Yet there are those whose whole relationship with God is based on ordinances, laws and obligations. They have lost their passion and settled for a mediocre Christianity, just doing their time, reading their Bible for ten minutes every day, and vocally professing to be a Christian. They may not have the courage to love God in public or the heart to do His work, but there is also an altar for that—an altar with no power. There is no lasting ability, no sustaining strength, no revelation—nothing but ideas out of men’s natural minds.

On the other hand, there exists an altar that is much deeper and more satisfying, but it requires a refusal to settle for rituals and profitless labor. That is why Paul said to Timothy, “Stir up the gift of God that is in you” (see 2 Timothy 1:6). When you first came to Christ, the hand of God came upon you, and you were called to do something that only you could do. God gave you a responsibility, and He endowed you with gifts to glorify His name. So do not let things spiral down to the point of merely coming to church out of obligation; a passionless relationship with God that bears no fruit in the earth. If you allow that to happen, you can be certain that nobody will desire what you have. People will look at your relationship with God and conclude, “I am already despairing enough. I do not need religion adding to my misery!”

“Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate” (Hebrews 13:12). He suffered outside the gate! For the sake of saving us and enabling us to walk again with a holy God, Jesus traveled outside the gate—outside the limitations, outside the borders of the religion that tried to confine Him. He could have risen to become one of the highest in the whole echelon, but He refused to play their game. Therefore, they dragged Him outside the gate, outside of the city.

“Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:13–15). You and I are called to “go forth out of the camp” to where Jesus is. In other words, we have a chance as a church to come out from our cultural captivity—to come out to a new place where our mouths are open in constant thanksgiving. We can come out and approach the altar where the fire of God truly is, where His glory abounds, where people are given abilities that could only come from the heart of God.

Going to that altar requires humility, a contrite heart—admitting that perhaps our religion falls short of the glory of God for our lives. Notice that the Scripture speaks of “bearing His reproach.” That means it will require a death to self and a willingness to step outside the gate, for that is where this altar is found. At this altar we are willing to endure the scorn of a fallen world; we will not let the snickers in the workplace prevent us from bowing our heads. No! We have an altar, and it is called being given for the glory of God and for the souls of men. There is a place that this church age has been called to—a place where we fight to bring people into true freedom.

Hebrews 12:1 says it this way: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses…” The writer is referring to those saints described in the previous chapter—those who faced threats, fire, flood, trial, personal inability—yet none of these things were able to stop them. The same holds true for every genuine believer in Christ today—there is nothing that can stop the plan of God ordained for those who choose to be given for His glory.

“…Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). No weight can crush us; no sin can keep us! Jesus came to give sight to the blind, to open the prison doors to those who are bound, to heal those whose hearts have been wounded. That means we are free to get up and walk out of every place of captivity, and no opposition or limitation can stop us in this race. The only thing that can stop us is our personal choice to live within the confines that a fallen society has placed around us, cowering when they regard us as narrow, misguided, weak or foolish.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him… ” (Hebrews 12:2). The source of His strength, the vision that was before His eyes, was the joy of seeing you free; the joy of having you back in a living relationship with Him! It was all about you and me. Yet what have we set before us in this generation? Gold, cars, jobs, position and power. No wonder there is no joy in much of what professes to be Christianity. Our focus is wrong—it should be all about people! Jesus did not quit or give in to the scorn or accusations that came against Him, because He saw you and me ruling and reigning with Him forever. We will not tremble or remain silent once we begin to see the men and women around us the way Jesus sees them.

“[He] endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus won a victory! That is the altar that you and I have if we are willing to join Him outside the city; if we are willing to escape the boundaries and be put outside of a people who really are fighting against their own salvation.

“For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:3). Consider Him! Consider what He endured, and consider what you are willing to endure. Consider how deep and how far you are going to go in this walk with God. Are you going to settle in and become a powerless voice as Lot did—a man who was so intermixed with the ways of society that even after meeting with angels, he could barely bring his own family out of captivity? Or will you be like Noah, who built an ark, enduring the ridicule of people who passed by every day, and said, “You foolish old man, it has not rained here for years, and you are building a boat?” Yet the Bible says that Noah was a preacher of righteousness, and he brought his whole family to safety with him.

Do you feel the urgency of this hour? Do you realize that we are about to enter a storm of unprecedented proportions? Just as in Noah’s day, some people may ridicule this message and put it away. However, I urge you to get oil now, to get strength now, to make a choice now. As Joshua said, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

The prophet Isaiah said that in the last days, in the midst of the darkness, there will be a people who have a song of praise to God (see Isaiah 30:29). Of course, that does not just happen. It all starts when we make a choice to consider Jesus, understanding that the victory He has already won can be ours. We make a choice to go to an altar in a place that those who play games with God cannot go.

I encourage you to let 2012 be a year when you consider Jesus. Consider whether you will follow Him all the way. That means not being half-measure, not falling short, not running a cheater’s race, not bowing to the boundaries of society, not settling in to a relationship of begrudging service in the house of God. If you are determined not to settle for anything less than the fullness of what He has for you, you will find that the Lord will give you the strength of character to be salt and light in your city. He will give you compassion for all men, even those who oppose you. You will be taken into the divine life of Christ, and this will be a year when God will astound you!

Carter Conlon
©2012 Times Square Church

In our New Testament the word “Gospel” is euaggelion or “evangel.” This is where we get the term Evangelical. Evangelical is just another term to define true Bible believers.

Some have called the four writers of the four Gospels – Evangelists. By this they meant that these four men presented a Christ-centred Gospel. The message presented and
preached by these four has been called the evangelical gospel. But of course within the New Testament the Gospel or Evangel was not restricted to these four.

We are clearly instructed that Christ, the apostles, the early church and Paul the apostle all proclaimed the Gospel. It was universal. The Gospel was first defined as the “Gospel of the kingdom” (Mt.4:23; 9:35; 24:14; Mk.1:14).

This Gospel was a message. Some try to define the Gospel as social action, but this cannot be a true definition when we look at the NT. Time after time the NT records that the Gospel was “preached” (Mt.4:23; 9:35; 26:13; Mk.1:14;16:15; Lk.9:6; 20:1; Acts 8:25; 14:7, 21; 16:10; Rom.1:15; I Cor.9:16). Two Greek words are used for preach. First kērussō which means to herald like a town crier. Secondly euaggelizō which means to announce or declare. So the correct means to make known the Gospel is by opening the mouth and speaking either personally or publically.

Although miracles, signs, healings and even baptism in water confirm and accompany the Gospel, they in themselves are not the Gospel (Mt.11:5; Lk.4:18; 7:22; 1Cor.1:17). It is also called “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24) the gospel of God (Rom.1:1) gospel of his Son (v9) the gospel of Christ (v16) and the glorious gospel of Christ (II Cor.4:4) and Paul also called it “my gospel” (Rom.2:16).

The Gospel must be believed and obeyed (Mk.1:15; Acts 15:7; Rom.10:16). Through it men are begotten or born-again (I Cor.4:15) established (Rom.16:25) and they stand (I Cor.15:1). When Jesus returns He will take vengeance on “them that that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction” (II Thess.1:7-9).

To be Evangelical is to hold the Gospel as it is proclaimed, preached, presented, taught and written in the New Testament without subtraction or addition. John Milton (1608-1674) the famous English poet and author of the 17th century considered the word ‘Evangelick’ to mean ‘consonant to the doctrine of the Gospel.’ In other words to be Evangelical you must line up with the truths that go to make up the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the NT.

In the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary Evangelical is defined as: “According to the gospel; consonant to the doctrines and precepts of the gospel, published by Christ and his apostles…Sound in the doctrines of the gospel.” In the 1913 Webster’s Dictionary it is defined as: “Contained in, or relating to, the four Gospels…Belonging to, agreeable or consonant to, or contained in, the gospel, or the truth taught in the New Testament; as, evangelical religion. Earnest for the truth taught in the gospel; strict in interpreting Christian doctrine; preëminently orthodox.”

Since the term was first coined in Church history it’s greatest leaders, writers, defenders and preachers have consistently held to well defined truths. The Gospel and the New Testament are themselves made up of clearly defined truths which the early members of the Church believed and those who rejected such was not considered to be one of them. Certain truths of the New Testament Gospel have been set forth in such a manner as to divide between those who truely are evangelical and those who are not. Such truths are:

*A belief in the authority and Divine inspiration of the Biblical text as well as a literal acceptance of its historic narrative (Genesis, Creation, the return of Christ, etc).
*A clear belief that salvation is exclusively found in Christ alone through repentance and faith.
*A belief that Christ suffered the righteous judgement of God for our sins on our behalf on the Cross at Calvary.
*A belief in justification by faith alone.
*A belief that good works (obedience, holiness) will follow as the result and fruit of true salvation.
*A belief in a coming day of judgement for every man.
*A belief in a literal eternal conscious state of blessing as a reward to the righteous but an eternal conscious state of punishment in the lake of fire for the wicked.

Those defined as Evangelicals have held to these and other truths for 500 years. But more than that, true believers have held them as a continuing unbroken line from the days of the apostles down to our own day. Evangelical, when used correctly, is just another name for a Bible beliving Christian. When men move away from holding certain truths of Scripture they cease from being both Evangelical and Biblical.

Sadly today the term Evangelical has been redefined and twisted to be a broad term to mean and include anything and everthing. Even those who deny all of these key points now call themselves Evangelicals. Compromisers, heritics and apostates have constantly pressed to broaden the term Evangelical in a manner that includes themselves and their associates.

Let us again define, clarify, protect and proclaim these simple truths of Christ as a part of the New Testament Gospel. “I am set for the defence of the gospel” (Php.1:17). ‘I am appointed for the defence of the euaggelion – the Evangelical Gospel.’

The men who were raised up of the Lord in the 18th century to preach the Evangelical Gospel in power were commissioned by no denominational HQ. They were not backed and supported by any denomination in stepping out to shake the nations with the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ. Neither did they get together as a body of men and plan it. The Lord saved them with an old fashioned Evangelical Gospel, called them to preach it, then anointed them and sent them as Evangel’s of the Gospel.

The names of George Whitefield, John & Charles Wesley, Howell Harris, Jonathan Edwards, William Grimshaw, William Romaine, John Fletcher and Thomas Walsh stand immemorial. Yet these men but represent only a few who were suddenly prepared and called to carry the Gospel of salvations to great multitudes.

Their Doctrine

This army of preacher’s came from different nations and regions. They came from different family backgrounds and were of different ages and social standing. They were not trained in a college but commissioned from Heaven with unction. They differed in theological points of doctrine on issues like church government, communion, style of preaching, and even on Calvinism and Arminianism. But what bound them together was the truths of the Evangelical Gospel. An Everlasting Gospel forged in Heaven but given to men to preach. They differed at times to the point of conflict yet they were bound together on the essential fundamentals of the Gospel. Their doctrine was pre-eminently the person of Christ. They counted each other fellow-labourers in the harvest fields for the Master.

None of these diverse, unique and gifted men denied that there was a literal, eternal fiery Hell which sinners would go to unless saved by the power of the Gospel. None of them doubted the inspiration, authority, perfection and power of the written Word of God. They took it literally, simply and believingly. None of them doubted the literal account of Genesis. None doubted that a big fish swallowed Jonah. None doubted that God sent a Flood to destroy a wicked generation in the days of Noah.

These men believed that Christ had borne the wrath of God on their behalf. They believed that the Blood of Jesus Christ shed at Calvary was personally shed for them. They believed that by faith in that Blood they were justified from all sin and accepted in Christ Jesus with His perfect imputed righteousness. These preachers of the Gospel believed that through repentance and faith men received the new birth, a new heart, a new spirit, a new name and a new inheritance.

Their Preaching

They not only preached the old apostolic Gospel of the Apostles but they also communicated it in the same fashion, form and method. As oracles of God. As herald’s of God. Like town-criers. Like prophets of old.

These men believed in preaching. Preaching with conviction, preaching with unction, preaching with clarity, preaching with authority. They preached in homes, they preached in church buildings, they preached standing on grave stones, they preached in the open streets, they preached in the open fields, they preached to few, they preached to great multitudes which could not be numbered, they preached against heresy, they preached against hypocrites, they preached against unbelief, and they preached against sin.

They preached Christ in all His fullness, depth and breadth, making Him central in all things. Their consuming love for Christ and proclamation of Him held whole nations back from bloody revolutions. They preached the cross in all its glory and power without obscuring the judgement of God poured out there, the sin of man atoned for there, and the horror of suffering endured there. The authority of all their preaching, methodology and order was the infallible Scriptures. They again carried forward the work of reforming the Church to a more Biblical pattern.

The revival of the 18th century that swept Great Britain and America was thoroughly Evangelical. There was no Romanism, Liberalism, Modernism or Ecumenism in it. This was a true Evangelical Revival birthed of God, sent from Heaven and owned of the Holy Ghost.

The Pathway of Evangelical Revivals

If we follow the pathway of true Evangelical doctrine where these truths were held to and preached we find the path is heavily marked by Divine Visitations of the Lord from Heaven. All the various ism’s cannot claim such. A departure from sound doctrine and an Evangelical Gospel is a departure from genuine Heaven Sent Revival. It would be impossible to summarise these mighty outpourings even since the days of the First Great Evangelical Awakening.

Two nations which can claim to be ‘The Land of Revivals’ are Scotland and Wales because of the amount of and regular continuance of revivals, but they can also claim to have been lands of The Book – saturated with simple but sound Biblical doctrine and knowledge. The Church of any nation compromises over or that casts aside the simple Gospel truths of the Bible is saying “No” to Heaven Sent Revival. Is it any wonder then that amidst the present hour of compromise over Biblical truths there are so few genuine, mighty, widespread national revivals. Our Evangelical Fathers believed that the hope of regular revivals was a Biblical doctrine.

Just think of the 1830’s revivals in Scotland under the ministries of McCheyne and Burns and in America under Asahel Nettleton, and in England under Irish born James Caughey. Then The Second Great Evangelical Awakening which began in the 1850’s in America, Ulster, Wales, Scotland and England. The Welsh Revival of 1904. The Azusa Revival of 1906 which was but one of numberless outpourings across the world bringing the church back to real Pentecost. And the Hebrides revival in the 1940’s. It is impossible to summarise.

The vessels which were raised up in each of these, men like Evan Roberts, William Seymour and Duncan Campbell had one thing in common, they held to the same pure Evangelical Gospel and to the fundamentals of the faith. Yes they were very different indeed but they were joined to the same Christ, part of the same body, of one faith, preaching the same simple Gospel of Blood redemption.

Again my friends in this hour the answer for Evangelicalism is not a new united sound Evangelical alliance, the answer is not
a new style, a new strategy, a change or revamping of old biblical truths, a creating of a new ecumenical compromised third way. Oh no, the answer is always the same. Let the Lord again pour our His Spirit as on the Day of Pentecost and revive His wearied saints who will again arise and preach this Everlasting Evangelical Gospel to the ends of the earth to bring in a last harvest of souls before the Lord pours out His terrible judgement on the nations.

Let us pray and believe for a Third Great Evangelical Awakening like that in the 18th and 20th centuries and Evangelicalism will again be as Christ-centred, Biblically sound, holy, prayerful, vigorous and as fruitful as ever it has been in history. We care not for names, titles or creeds. Let the name Evangelical crumble into a misrepresentation and be forgotten but let us stand four-square on the written
Scriptures as a people in revival whatever men may call us.

The Thessalonian church held a tender place in the heart of the Apostle Paul. In this expositional study of Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians, we see a paradigm for pastoral ministry, emphasizing the life-changing content of the gospel and concerns of Paul’s heart for their healthy spiritual growth. Having established the believers in good Biblical theology, Paul clearly addresses issues of practical Christian behavior — sexual morality, work, honest living With the doctrinal foundations of the believers’ hope, namely,the Cross, the resurrection and return of Christ established, we will discuss the principles of healthy corporate life and worship within the local Church…


1 Thessalonians 5:12-28
English Standard Version (ESV)
Final Instructions and Benediction
12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,[a] encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
25 Brothers, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.
27 I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 Or disorderly, or undisciplined
Notice that Paul made Pastors promise to read and teach these letters……

1 Thessalonians 4
A Life Pleasing to God
1 Finally, then, brothers,[a] we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification:[b] that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body[c] in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
1 Thessalonians 4:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 10, 13
1 Thessalonians 4:3 Or your holiness
1 Thessalonians 4:4 Or how to take a wife for himself; Greek how to possess his own vessel
There is a whole lot of action words in these texts. So we see that the believer has responsibility to work at their conduct, with the Holy Spirit helping them and providing the power of course…… Through Paul’s letter to the first-century church, we see practical actions and attributes that should mark the life of every Christian, no matter the circumstance.

Col. 2:7; 3:2; 3:9-10 Eph. 4:23

Have the roots [of your being] firmly & deeply planted [in him, fixed & founded in him], being continually built up in him, be coming increasingly more confirmed & established in the faith, just as you were taught, it abounding & overflowing in it with thanks giving.

vs5 leaning of the entire human personality on him in absolute trust & confidence in his power, wisdom, & goodness.

We must be rooted & grounded deep in Him. So many are led astray because they only believe on the surface. They quit before they are strong in the Lord and established in the faith.

1 Peter 2:2 like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured & grow up to [completed] salvation, since you have (already) tasted the goodness & kindness of the Lord.

2 Peter 3:18 … grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength) & recognition & knowledge & understanding of our lord & Savior Jesus Christ [the Messiah]…

2 Peter 5-7 “giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; & to virtue knowledge; & to knowledge temperance; & to temperance patience; & to patience godliness; & to godliness brotherly kindness; & to brotherly kindness charity.”

vs 8 “ for if these things be in you, & around, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We must guard ourselves against anything that would try to stop us from growing in Christ.

Col. 2:8 see to it that no one carries you off…
Heb. 13:9 do not be carried about…
Eph. 4:14 don’t be carried about…
2 Peter 3:17 lest you be carried away…


Eph. 4:14 so then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to & fro between chance gust of teaching & wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of the cunning & cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead.


Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things speaking truly, enfolded in love, let us GROW UP in every way & in all things into Him who is the head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the anointed one)


We must day by day walk in the light that He has given us.

John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease [he must grow more prominent; I must grow less so]

Don’t allow FEAR or DREAD stop you from growing. Quit allowing your mind & flesh keep you from stepping out from where you are to where God wants you to be.

So many times we let others or our circumstances hold us back. Don’t let fear paralyze you from doing what God wants you to do. Many times He says “Go forward”, but many people don’t because they seize up with fear…
Fear of people or failure. God wants us to grow in Him. This takes time, but most people don’t take the time or the steps that are needed to grow strong in the Lord.

Joshua 1:9 … be strong, vigorous, & very courageous. BE NOT AFRAID, neither be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you where ever you go.

It is time we “Grow up”, put away childish things. He wants us to go forward and we are still playing around as though we were still babies. There is much work to be done. It is funny when we were young we couldn’t wait until we were 16, then we could wait until we were 18, then 21. But now that we are old we act like babies.

Yes we must be as little children in some things. But
it is time to go forward, Grow up in Him, & do His as He has said.


We Will Be Looking At The 37th Chapter Of The Book Of Ezekiel, God Sets The Prophet Down In A Valley Full Of Dried Bones, The Scene Would Have Been An Overwhelming And Bleek One, Every Where He Looked He Saw Nothing But Death And Hopelessness, He Saw What Had Once Been Much Life, But Now Was No Life At All, Bones And Bones Of Death And Hopelessness, And I Want To Deal With Ezekiel 37 And Verse’s 11-12, And In These Two Verses We Will See What God Can Do Even In The Most Hopeless Of Cases, In The Most Hopeless Of Lives, Verse 11 Reads These Word’s Kjv “Then He Said Unto Me, Son Of Man, These Bones Are The Whole House Of Israel, Behold, They Say ,Our Bones Are Dried, Our Hope Is Lost, We Are Cut Off From Our Parts, ” =, These Were The Opinions They Had About Themselves, About Their Situations And Circumstances, They Said “Our Hope Is Lost !” Maybe Thats How It Seems In Your Life Right Now, Everything Looks So Dark And Bleek, Hope Seems No Where To Be Found, As You Are Overwhelmed With The Feeling And Appearance Of Hopelessness In Your Life And Situation, But I Have Good Gospel News For You Today, In Verse’s 12-13 We See God’s Answer And Promise, His Ability And Willingness To Bring New Life To Dead Hopes And Dream’s, New Life To Dead Situations, In Verse 12 He Speak’s These Word’s To Ezekiel The Prophet, And To Us Today “Therefore Prophesy And Say Unto Them, Thus Saith The Lord God,, Behold O My People, I WILL OPEN YOUR GRAVES AND CAUSE YOU TO COME UP OUT OF YOUR GRAVES, And Bring You Into The Land Of Israel”=, No Matter How Sealed The Grave May Seem In Your Situation, God Is Goin To Open It, And Bring New Life And A Fresh Beginning To Your Life And The Situations That Have Seemed Hopeless For So Long, We Find In This Chapter That God Takes Those Old Dried And Hopeless Bones, That Seem Dead For So Long, And Ressurects And New And Mighty Army, God Is Raising Up An Anointed Gospel Preaching Army In These Last Day’s, And It Is Going To Be Made Up Of And Led By Those Who Saw His Power Manifested In The Hopeless Situations Of Their Lives, It Will Be Made Up Of Those Who Felt And Seemed Hopeless, But By God’s Power And Grace Through The Cross Of Jesus Christ Will Walk In Ressurection Power And Newness Of Life !Don’t Give Up, Hold On To Jesus, Resurrection Is On The Way, Cancel The Flowers Cause Your Not Going To Need A Funeral, Believe On Jesus And He Will Bring Unto You New Life , Be Blessed In Jesus Name !-Bro.Chris Tanner (2012)

Phil 4:6-9 (AMP)
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything…

DO NOT FRET… do is to have action and do something. Do not means to stop doing something. This means we are doing something that we should not do.


That means you have been doing it & now it is time to stop it.

The KJ bible word book explanation of FRET is:

The word “fret” makes us think of worry & discontent. In the KJV, however it occurs 4 times in the obsolete sense of “Eat into”, “gnaw”, Corrode,”, or be “eaten away”, “become corroded”, “decay”, “a fretting leprosy” Lev 13:51-52 “it is fret inward” Lev 13:55; 14:44. “a leprous malignancy. a spreading leprous disease. “it is Fret inward, weather it be bare within or without. “it continues eating away, weather the damage is outside or inside.

WOW, just by fretting we eat away at our insides. We can even see the results of worry in people’s faces. It does have an outward appearance when people worry and fret. The inward fretting is like leprosy eating away at us.

The bible talks a lot about not fretting or letting our cares dragging us down.

He wants us to cast our cares on Him.

Matt 6:32-34 …your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all(daily needs) He knows what you need. vs 27 who of you by worrying & being anxious can add one unit of measure to his stature on to the span of his life.

vs 26 what about the birds? Are they better than you? Are you not worth much more that they? He takes care of them, why would you be any less?

But see (aim at & strive after) for all His kingdom & His righteousness (His way of doing & being right, & then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries & anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.

Heb 13:5-6 …For [God] himself said I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support, [I WILL] not, [I WILL] not, [I WILL] not, in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake you nor let you down (relax my hold on you!) [assuredly no!]

So we take comfort and are encouraged & confidently and boldly say, the Lord is my helper; I will not be seized with alarm [ I will no fear or dread or be terrified]

We can look to him and not worry about what each day holds!!!


“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:22–24).

Considering these words of Jesus, one cannot help but wonder why it is so hard for many of God’s people to pray. After all, if we truly believed these three verses of Scripture, wouldn’t we be running into the prayer closet every day? Wouldn’t prayer be the very essence of our life? Imagine having a friend with a billion dollars tell you, “Whenever you have a need, call me and it will be yours.” Don’t you think you would dial that number once in a while? Yet we have the very God of the universe saying, “I will move anything out of your way that hinders you. I will give you all you desire if you pray and believe.”

I don’t know about you, but I want to finish the race with prayer. I have seen the fruit of prayer in great measure over the years, but I never want to get to the point of concluding that I have received enough. If God has more of His life for me, more ways that He can glorify Himself through me, I would be a fool to stop praying and start relying on something other than the words that come from the very heart of God.
So why is it so hard to pray? Obviously the devil is against prayer. All through the Scriptures we see what happened as a result of prayer—babies were conceived in barren wombs, the old were made strong, the miraculous abounded—so, of course, Satan is going to oppose us whenever we decide to pray. However, is it possible that there is something in our own hearts that hinders us as well?

Our Own Hearts Condemn Us

I believe that many people cannot pray because they constantly feel condemned. Imagine how difficult it would be to visit a friend who always magnified your faults and criticized your most sincere efforts. Although you come in happy, suddenly your spirits are dampened as this friend starts pointing out everything that you are not doing right.

Have you ever encountered something similar in the prayer closet? When I was a young Christian, I had a difficult time with this. If I prayed fifty-eight minutes, I would walk away and a small voice would say, “What? Could you not pray with Me one hour?” If I prayed an hour and five minutes, the voice would say, “Is that all of the twenty-four hours of your day that you can spare for the Lord?”

Of course, this constant condemnation was from my own heart, although it is easy for us to mistakenly attribute such thoughts to God. Because of this, we enter the prayer closet in a manner much like Peter in Acts 10. The Scripture says that Peter went up on a rooftop, and as he began to pray, a sheet was let down by its four corners and contained all kinds of unclean beasts, birds and insects. This is exactly what our prayer life can be like—as we go into that secret place and get on our knees to pray, immediately a sheet comes down containing all our failings, faults, struggles and shortcomings.

Does this sound familiar? All the things you did wrong, all the places where you fell short as a Christian, all these little things come to your mind—as if that is all God remembers. However, notice that the Lord instructed Peter, “Rise, Peter; kill, and eat” (Acts 10:13). In other words, “Be nourished, Peter. Strengthen yourself during this time of revelation that I am giving to you.” Peter insisted, “No, I can’t do that because there is such uncleanness here.” In a similar way, many people today cannot grow in grace or lay hold of the promises of God because of a constant awareness of their uncleanness.

The Lord replied to Peter, “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common” (Acts 10:15). When we go into the prayer closet, we must understand that we have been cleansed from all sin by the blood of Jesus Christ, and we are not to call ourselves unclean anymore. The Bible says that in Christ we are the righteousness of God. In other words, we are as clean as God is—which would actually seem almost blasphemous if it were not written in the Scriptures.

I thank God for the covering of the blood of Jesus Christ. I thank God that I do not have to be strong to go into the prayer closet. As a matter of fact, the book of Hebrews tells me that it is in my time of need that I should go to the throne of God. It is when I need strength, direction, empowerment and help that I should go boldly to the throne of grace (see Hebrews 4:16). As His children, we have an open invitation to come into the presence of our heavenly Father.

Remember that the apostle Paul said, “Be careful for nothing…” In other words, do not be weighed down; do not let the enemy or your own heart condemn you. “…but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). How can we come into the prayer closet with thanksgiving if we do not believe that we are already received of God? We must be convinced that it is God’s delight to manifest the life of His Son in us—to give us the things that we need to represent Him on the earth. That is the key to praying with thanksgiving.

Asking Amiss

Another reason we may have difficulty praying is because our desires are not in line with God’s desires for us. “…Ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:2–3). You and I are left on the earth to make known the love of God—the love that sent His Son to a cross—and to glorify the Son. Christ bought the redemption, but we are to bring the reality of that redemption—the reality of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Yet when we forget this purpose, we ask amiss, and then we wonder why our prayers are not answered.

Think for a moment of what can result when we pray in line with God’s desires. When the 120 came out of the Upper Room in the Book of Acts, God had supplied them with the strength that they had prayed for—a supernatural strength that replaced mountains of fear and unbelief. There they were, 120 predominantly uneducated people, simply bursting into the marketplace among those who still had the blood of anger on their lips toward followers of Jesus Christ. Yet these disciples were filled with boldness and the presence of God.

The Greek word megaleios means they were speaking of the anticipated outworking of the inward life of God. They were speaking about what God was going to do, what He had given them, the faith that was alive in their hearts. The religious looked at this and essentially said, “Wow! There is nothing of our religion that has ever given us anything like this! What must we do to be saved?”

Or consider the story in Genesis 24 where Abraham told his servant to go back to his country and find a bride for his son Isaac. This servant journeyed out to the land of Abraham’s family and prayed, “Lord, if You have prospered my journey, and if You are going to be favorable to my master, lead me to the bride for his son” (see Genesis 24:12–14).

The Scripture says that before he was done speaking, Rebekah came out with her pitcher on her shoulder (Genesis 24:15) before he was done speaking! This servant had traveled a long distance, was in a very large place among a crowd of strangers, and did not even know where Abraham’s family was. However, he prayed, and the miraculous began to unlock. I thank God that Abraham’s servant was not a strategist. I thank God there were no phone books or cell phones available. In that generation he did what every man should do—he prayed! And when he prayed, God sovereignly began to answer that prayer. Rebekah was grafted into the lineage of Jesus Christ, and from this came Jacob, the patriarchs of Israel, and ultimately the Son of God Himself. What incredible results we see when we do not ask amiss!

Fear Of What God May Ask

Many times we cannot pray because we are unwilling to follow the pathway that may open up before us. We are afraid that God is going to ask something of us that we are not willing to give up. In Acts 8, we read the account of a man named Philip who had a marvelous ministry in Samaria. Multitudes were being saved and healed and even the original apostles had taken notice of his ministry. Yet, while in prayer, Philip was asked to leave what most would view as security and success—all to go to a barren place, into a situation he did not understand.

You and I tend to have a view of what our lives should be and what success is. Therefore we are not willing to go into the prayer closet lest God ask us to do something that is not on our agenda. That is why some churches today are filled with people who are simply using Jesus Christ to further their own agenda rather than the will of God.

Philip chose to obey God and left Samaria for a desert place. It was in that desert that he experienced a miracle—a man of authority from Ethiopia being brought to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. After baptizing this Ethiopian eunuch, the Scripture says that Philip was translated by the Spirit of God. The Lord just took him and placed him in another city about thirty miles away! Obedience to leave what we view as success can actually be what opens to us the supernatural.

Of course, that does not mean that once we have a willingness to obey, we suddenly understand the full picture. God simply calls us to take that first step of obedience by faith. Philip’s obedience brought the gospel—the first record we have of the gospel of Jesus Christ— into the northern parts of Africa. As we walk in obedience to the will of God and our desires are in line with His, we have the right to come into the prayer closet and say, “Lord, I need this” and suddenly we see the miraculous begin to unfold.

Later in the book of Acts we find the story of a disciple named Ananias. As Ananias was praying one day, God said to him, “There is a man called Saul of Tarsus staying down at his house on Straight Street. I want you to go down and lay hands on him. I am going to heal him and fill him with the Holy Ghost” (see Acts 9:11–12). Ananias essentially replied, “Lord, is this the same Saul that has done great harm to Your people in Jerusalem? I have heard that he has authority from the priests to put in prison all who call upon Your name. Now You are asking me to go lay hands on this man?”

Nevertheless, Ananias obeyed the word he received in prayer. As he prayed for Paul, scales fell from Paul’s eyes and he soon began to go out and preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Christ. Thank God for Ananias’ obedience! What if he had not obeyed God—if he had gone into the prayer closet and pushed out of his mind everything that was detrimental to his own safety and security?

I cannot get over the thought of the incredible, explosive power that is available if we have the courage to go to prayer and ask, “Lord, what would You have me to do?”—and then have a heart that is willing to obey whatever God asks of us.

Speak To The Mountain

Just preceding our opening Scripture (Mark 11:22), Jesus had cursed a fig tree that had an appearance of fruitfulness but was actually barren. He had come to what was a type of religion, a type of a relationship with God. He looked for life on it, but there was none. The fig tree represents everything within us that has no ability to let the power and strength of Jesus be manifested through us to others—everything in us that hinders, everything that does not represent the life of God, all that falls short of His glory. Remember, it was fig leaves that Adam and Eve used to cover themselves in the Garden of Eden. You and I have the power in Christ to curse this—to speak to this area in our own hearts and say, “No longer will you govern me.”

“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith” (Mark 11:23). Jesus said we have the authority to speak not only to the fig tree but also to the mountain. The mountain is the soil—that which gives life and allows things that do not represent God to survive. We have the power to cast into the sea everything that feeds this powerlessness and allows God look-alikes to flourish in our lives. We can cast them away and expect God to replace them with what we need to glorify Him on the earth.

In other words, whatever the devil has said you cannot do, whatever your own heart says will never change, whatever fear there is within you—that is the mountain. That is where you must stand and say, “I do not believe the lie—I believe what Jesus has spoken. Today I speak to this mountain, and I command it in the name of Jesus Christ to be cast away from me and planted in the midst of the sea!”

It is time to have faith in God. It is time to pray and expect the Lord to answer. Oh, what an hour to rise up and be the Church again! What an hour to go into the prayer closet with boldness despite all our weaknesses and come out with the strength of God. What an hour to have a clear mind, a clean heart, a fresh vision for the future, new strength that comes from God alone. What an hour to be equipped with the power of God.

Thank God that as we come to Him in faith, He will hear our prayers and give us strength. He will open our mouths to speak His Word. He will vanquish our enemies, endow us with giftings that we do not naturally have and enable us to face the days that we are living in now. There is going to be a new song in our hearts, and we are going to finish the race with prayer!

Carter Conlon
©2011 Times Square Church

I am so thankful for friends and fellowship in the body of Jesus Christ. It is wonderful to be able  to encourage one another, to spur each other on to continue in the faith, to have a word that might  help lift another’s burden. The  Bible clearly exhorts us not to forsake assembling together— in even greater measure as we  see the Lord’s return drawing  nearer (see Hebrews 10:25). Yes, I have enjoyed many marvelous moments of friendship over the years. Nevertheless, I also have found that God often calls me to  a place where I must journey alone.

“And as they were eating, Jesus  took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives” (Matthew 26:26–30).

Here we see fellowship around  a table, with Jesus openly declaring His intent to obey the calling of His Father, regardless of the personal cost. He was essentially telling them, “As you see this bread broken, I am going to be broken  for you. Not only for you, but for  all people who will turn to God through Me. Just as you see this juice being poured out, My blood is going to be spilled upon the ground for the redemption of all humanity.”

I am sure many of us have openly declared our desire to obey God  to the fullest. We have gone to an altar and prayed, “Oh, God, take  me the full journey; use my life  for Your glory. Make me into  what You want me to be!”
Six months after praying a prayer  like that, you may have found yourself screaming, “Lord, what  are you doing to me?” And the  Lord answers, “Well, I am just answering your prayer. You said  you wanted to take up your cross  and follow Me, so that is what you are doing!” It is not merely a theological cross that you take up, of course. There must be a practical inward and outward working of it.

Unfulfilled Promises

“Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me thisnight: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after  I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended…Likewise also said all the disciples” (Matthew 26:31–35).

We have all had friends say,  “I am in this with you; we are  going over the finish line together!” I cannot help but wonder if, in this context, Jesus was tempted to lean on His friends for this final and most pivotal part of His earthly journey. Hebrews 4:15 tells us Jesus fully understands and feels our struggles and weaknesses, for He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” The God side of Jesus Christ could not be tempted, but  the man side of Him could be.

“Then cometh Jesus with them  unto a place called Gethsemane,  and saith unto the disciples, Sit  ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and  the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy” (Matthew 26:36–37). Jesus was approaching that final moment  when He would give His life for  all the sins of humanity. Into this place of prayer He chose to take Peter, James and John—His closest friends on earth, His inner circle. They had seen His transformation; they had been with Him when  He raised the dead—they knew  who He was.

As Jesus took them into the garden of Gethsemane with Him, He shared with them the agony of His heart. “…My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me” (Matthew 26:38). In other words, “I am going into a time of intense agony, and I am asking you to be with Me. I am asking for your support, your prayer, your help. You promised Me that you would not deny Me. You promised Me that you would stand with Me, even unto death. You promised Me that no matter how difficult it got, you would not walk away from Me. Now I am asking you to stay here with Me.”

Jesus went a little farther beyond them into the garden and began to pray, His sweat dripping as blood because of the agony that lay  ahead. I find it very interesting because He then got up and went back to His inner circle. Although Jesus was seeking strength from  His Father—the only source of  true strength—He also went back  to His disciples. When He found them asleep, He said to Peter, “…What, could ye not watch with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40). Do you think Jesus could have been tempted to be disillusioned, perhaps even bitter, with His friends? He could have been tempted to question Peter, James and John, “After pouring My heart and life into you for over three years, could you not have given Me one hour when I needed you most?”

During our journey, there will be places where God calls us to go individually. However, it is during those times that we will often be faced with the temptation to lean on our friends. While we theologically know that our only source of strength is God, we all have the human tendency to come back and lean on people. You and I run into a crisis and go into the prayer closet—yet we are not even halfway through our prayers when suddenly we are on the telephone calling somebody seeking counsel. We are looking for strength from God, but we also are looking to people for what only God can give. And there is a temptation in the  heart to get bitter when we are looking in a dual place.

Remember that the Bible says, “…Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm…” (Jeremiah 17:5). Flesh will always fail. As wonderful as fellowship is,  as wonderful as the promises that  we have made to each other are,  we simply are not capable of keeping those promises, for we are all built of the same frail cloth. The disciples were not at a place in their spiritual journey where they could share  in or understand what Jesus was asking them to do.

“He went away again the second  time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass  away from me, except I drink it,  thy will be done. And he came  and found them asleep again:  for their eyes were heavy” (Matthew 26:42–43). I see this as a last backward glance for the help  of man. After all, why did Jesus  come back a second time instead of just staying there to pray? It is as if  He simply was looking for help, for companionship, for strength—only  to find His disciples asleep.

It is only my opinion, but I believe that the Father in His mercy put them to sleep, for it was the strength of God alone that could take Jesus  on this last and final step of His journey. There are times in our  lives when God calls each child  of His into his or her own Gethsemane, and nobody else  can understand it; nobody else  can help them there. People may offer words of encouragement and promise, but ultimately they will  end up asleep because it is not  their moment.

Necessary Wounds

A specific tree in Israel normally yields large amounts of fruit, yet sometimes it starts bearing less than it should. In our natural compassion we would start reading manuals about how to encourage this tree, how to go around the root system, how to give it certain types of fertilizer to help it grow and bear more fruit. Yet the true keeper of the vineyard comes with a huge machete in his hand and literally hacks the tree full swing on the side, causing the sap within to bleed out. At that point the tree has only two choices—it either goes down deep to find water or it dies. Most of the trees go down deep and eventually the wound heals because it finds itself in a root system drawing water from depths that ordinary trees cannot reach.

Similarly, if you desire to walk as Jesus did, you will not escape the classroom of being wounded. People you trusted will fall short. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend…” Faithful. Did you know that God will even assign people to wound you—to fail you, to fall short of what you think friendship should be—in order to get your roots to go down deeper? Are you convinced that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose? (See Romans 8:28.) We tend to spend so much time rehearsing wounds of the past that we fail to understand that God is the author of these things in order that we might bear much fruit in His kingdom.
“And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words” (Matthew 26:44). Jesus left them! There simply comes a point when you have to leave your friends. You must leave this reliance on flesh and move into that place where the Holy Spirit is calling you—a place deeper and farther than natural man can go. It might even  be a small journey from where you are today—just a small step. It  does not mean that you leave your friends behind. It means that you come back and are more committed to them than ever.

Returning In Power

The last part of the journey is  where you and I are called to be  fully given for all people in spite  of their response to us. Nobody but  God can give us the strength to go  to that place—to the place where  we come back. The Scripture says that Jesus left the disciples, and when He later returned, He said  to them, “…Sleep on now…” (Matthew 26:45). Jesus was not looking for strength from them, but instead He returned with the strength of God in Himself for them.

Note that when Jesus came back  this third time, He was not bitter  or indifferent. In fact, the fellowship was about to become sweeter. Genuinely sweet fellowship in  the church of Jesus Christ is when I am not looking for anything from you, nor are you looking for anything from me. Instead, we are both given for each other. That is the sweetest fellowship there is.

Jesus Himself said, “No one that the Father has given me is going to perish except the son of perdition” (see John 17:12). Chosen to wound Him; chosen to betray Him—that was all part of the plan of God. Yet how many people fail at this point? How many get saved, walk with God, attend Bible studies, embrace the Scriptures, sing the hymns of Zion, but fail right at the finish line because they cannot accept that this kingdom is all about being given for other people? It is all about a God who is good to the unthankful and  the unholy; who sends rain on the just and on the unjust. We are  called to represent Him in the  earth, yet how can we do so if  we do not carry the heart of God within us? How will we ever make a difference unless we have been empowered by God Himself to come back and, whether or not it is ever reciprocated, be given for all people? 

Remember that Jesus had to  endure the betrayal of all His disciples, who fled in fearfulness.  Yet God ultimately brought Him  to a point where He could come  back and enter an upper room full of those who had denied Him and simply say, “…Peace be unto you” (John 20:19). Jesus then breathed  on His disciples, saying, “…Receive ye the Holy Ghost” (John 20:22), and sent them out as the Father  had sent Him. 

And what do they end up doing? They go back to their fishing! Nevertheless, Jesus returned to  them and was on the shore baking bread and cooking fish—calling  them in, talking about love. He  had come to a place where He  was fully given for His friends.

Letting Go Of Grievances

It is time for us to leave behind  those moments when we were failed by the people we needed. Perhaps  for you it was parents in your youth,  a marriage partner who walked out,  or church leaders who disappointed you. Whatever the circumstance, you must get beyond the grievances of man—beyond harboring and nurturing in your mind the failures  of humanity.

Over the years I have seen that many people never get beyond that point. They sit in church, but when you dig down deep, it becomes apparent that they still have an inner grievance against people, particularly those they once considered to be their friends in church. They can still sing the songs, still clap their hands and say, “Praise the Lord”—as long as the one who betrayed them stays about five feet away. Their fellowship becomes selective, and they start seeking out people they believe will not hurt them again. Unfortunately, they do not realize how far short of the glory of God they have fallen. 

When we choose to press in to find the strength that only God can give, we will no longer have our list of grievances. Instead, we will have a heart that says, “Slap my face if you will, but by the power of God I shall be given for all people. Put me in jail, laugh me out of the workplace, but God has given me the strength  to be given for others.” 

There is a time when we must leave our friends for just a moment and find strength that can come only from God. God forbid that in this hour you and I should stop just near the end of the journey—that short distance of going from leaning on people to coming back in the power of God.

When we return in the power of  God, we do not come back aloof  or with resentment toward others.  We come back ready to be given  for all men, even our enemies.  We are no longer looking to draw from others, and therefore we return to experience a fellowship that is much deeper and sweeter—the  true fellowship of Christ! 

Carter Conlon
©2011 Times Square Church