A while ago I listed eight signs of hyper-grace churches. A hyper-grace church is one that is so focused on Jesus that it begins to look like Jesus, talk like Jesus, and smell like Jesus. To highlight a positive it helps to accentuate the negative. So how do we get it wrong? What are the […]
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.
Chris Nyavor in fellowship with Andrew Wommack. This is from a non theological or religions point of view. (This answered all my questions and doubt about Christmas. It’s my prayer that through the Sprit of Grace this fellowship will be extended around the globe.)
Andrew: Even before I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, I got discontented with all the commercialism associated with Christmas. I remember as a fourteen- or fifteen-year-old teenager, I convinced my family to take all the money we would have spent on gifts for each other and to give that money to the missions program at church. That allowed our Christmas celebration to center on what was really important.
Then, when I had my miraculous encounter with the Lord on March 23, 1968, I fell in love with Him a thousand times more than I had ever experienced His love at Christmas. It was like every day was Christmas, many times over. Therefore, Christmas became just another day to me.
As I began to seek the Lord, I became aware of all the pagan practices incorporated into the Christmas season, and I became disillusioned with the whole thing. For the first sixteen years of my married life, we didn’t have a Christmas tree or decorate for Christmas. We would have a birthday cake for Jesus and give gifts to our boys, but we made it clear that they came from the Lord, through us, and not from some fat man in a red suit.
Chris: We are been told by many theological and religions studies, not to celebrate Christmas, they seem right in their logical break down of the subject.
Andrew: When we moved into our present house fourteen years ago, my boys asked if we could have a Christmas tree. They said they knew the pagan origins of the custom, but they just thought it was pretty, and they wanted to look at it the way Martin Luther did — as a symbol of everlasting life. I gave in and we’ve enjoyed a Christmas tree ever since.
But as I’ve grow older, I’ve come to appreciate the positive side of Christmas much more. In a culture that has become increasingly secular, where it is politically incorrect to even mention the name of the Lord lest we offend someone, I think it’s awesome that Christmas brings some of the greatest truths of the Gospel to light in public.
When else can you enter into stores and hear some of the greatest Christian songs ever written being played, like “Joy to the World”? That’s awesome! You will see displays of the nativity scene in places that the only mention of the Lord at other seasons would be to take His name in vain.
People talk about loving one another as God loved us by sending His Son to the earth. We are reminded of values that are forgotten or at least diminished at other times of the year. And if it weren’t for the Christmas holidays, family relationships would be worse than they are. This is the only time many families make an attempt to get along.
Chris: This is really amazing as you share, its completely outside religion and theology.
In the fight against the de-Christianizing of our nation, I think the Christmas celebration is a great victory. I take pleasure in seeing the wonderful truths of God’s love for man displayed in public and having concerts in such places where Christ is being proclaimed in song.
It’s a shame that some people only go to church at Christmas, but praise God, at least they go then. That’s an opportunity. And Christmas opens up many opportunities to share our faith.
One complaint that I still have is that “the Christmas story” has become so familiar and has focused so narrowly on only the birth of the baby Jesus that some of the great truths present in that miraculous birth are not seen. Some of the greatest lessons in Scripture are hidden in the account of Christ’s birth, and the average person is totally oblivious to them.
For that reason, I made a four-part album entitled, Lessons from the Christmas Story for Every Season. In this album, I share what I consider to be some of the most important things the Lord has ever shown me.
Chris: kindly summarize it for us.
Did you realize that the virgin birth of Jesus was totally normal in every respect except one? Mary didn’t become pregnant without contact with a seed. The laws of reproduction that God created weren’t suspended. Everything was exactly like all the millions of other births except that God used the seed of His Word instead of the seed of a man to get Mary pregnant.
That’s why John 1:14 says,
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”
Jesus was literally God’s Word becoming flesh. God used His Word as the sperm that conceived Jesus. This answers a lot of questions. Questions like: Why did the Lord wait four thousand years after the fall of man before He sent Jesus to the earth? Why did God have to become a man? The answers to these questions lie in the way God made creation, the authority He gave man, and the integrity of His Word.
When God created the heavens and the earth, He spoke them into existence. Hebrews 11:3 says,
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
So, God created everything by His Word. That’s how He creates. When it came time to create the last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45), God had to speak Him into existence. However, He had given dominion over the earth to physical human beings. Since God is a Spirit (John 4:24), He couldn’t just speak Christ into existence independent of man. He had turned the control or dominion of the earth over to man (Gen. 1:26-28). That’s why God had to become a man. But, how could He work through sinful, corrupt man to create a Redeemer?
He spoke to the hearts of men who would listen to Him, and they, in turn, would use their God-given authority over the earth to speak out the prophecies that God had placed in their hearts. The problem was that men had become separated from God through their sin. No one man was in tune closely enough to God to speak everything that needed to be spoken. So, it took about four thousand years to complete the prophecies that had to be spoken to create the body for God to become flesh.
Then when Mary received the message of Gabriel, she humbled herself and said,
“Be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38)
She received God’s Word into her womb, and the conception of the Messiah took place.
Likewise, that’s how 1 Peter 1:23 says we are born again,
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”
God’s Word is a spiritual seed that has to be planted in our hearts to conceive a miracle. The new birth doesn’t just happen any more than babies just happen. Children have to be conceived, and so does salvation or any other miracle from God. We have to be born again by the incorruptible seed of God’s Word (1 Pet. 1:23).
Once a seed is planted, there is a nurturing and maturing process. That’s where prayer comes in. Prayer is like water and fertilizer or incubation to a seed. But if you water or fertilize barren ground, nothing will happen. There has to be the planting of a seed first.
Likewise, we have mistakenly tried to only pray our miracles into existence. Prayer is important, but you can’t conceive through prayer.
Chris: Wow Andrew, you are renewing my mind about this “You can’t conceive through prayer”
Andrew: It’s the seed of God’s Word has to be sown. As Romans 10:14-17 says,
“………….So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
We would consider a woman crazy who is trying to have a child without following the natural laws of reproduction. But in the spiritual realm, Christians try to give birth to miracles all the time without ever planting God’s Word in their hearts. It just doesn’t work that way.
And then there’s the message of the angels that said,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)
This was not an announcement of an end of hostilities among men. History has proven that can’t be what the angels were proclaiming. Instead, this was the proclamation that the war between God and man was over. That’s not been understood or proclaimed by the church as a whole. Most people still think God is mad at them. That’s not so. He’s not mad, and He’s not even in a bad mood. Jesus satisfied His wrath completely. He is just, and there will be punishment for those who refuse the sacrifice of His Son for our sins. But God is not angry because of our sins. That’s been taken care of.
This Gospel of peace is one reason there is such a universal acceptance of the Christmas season, even among those who are not born again. Christmas is all about God’s love and mercy, not His damnation. It’s spotlighting God’s unconditional love for us the way it should be done all year long. It’s focusing on the good news of God’s love and not the bad news of our failures. That’s the Gospel of peace that the angels were singing about, and that should be our message too.
Chris: What a liberty to know God is not mad at us even when we are wrong
Andrew: Yes, then there’s the story of the wise men. Did you know that the Scriptures never say there were three wise men, and there is no indication that they were kings? They also didn’t visit Christ in the manger in Bethlehem, but in his house in Nazareth. (Go read for yourself and don’t just depend on what I say or someone says)
Chris: I guess that was part of the Sunday school stories they added as usual.
And one of the best parts of the Christmas story is the way Mary let the Lord convince Joseph of the true nature of these events.
Thanks Andrew, for making this message of the gospel simple. I always say, “if it’s not simple then it’s not the gospel”
Andrew & Chris : The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God, and the Fellowship, Partnership, Participation, Intercourse, Communion, Distribution, Communication of the Holy Spirit, is with us, now and forever more………AMEN
Welcome to Jesus Café, an avenue for you to be encouraged in your walk of faith and be educated on the various questions bothering your mind concerning the Christ-like journey.
I am trapped; why?
Our growth and relationship with the Father is stifled when we live our lives thinking that adhering to some set of rules and regulations is actually the way to please God. Casting my mind back to Sunday school, I very well recall being taught about the 10 commandments and how God will punish us with sicknesses, poverty, accidents, among others if we disobeyed Him.
As children, we are often taught that life is all about good and bad, right and wrong. Do good (perform well), and you are rewarded with candies, presents, games, etc. Do bad (perform poorly), and you are punished. We are often scolded with hash words if something goes wrong and we happen to be involved somehow. We are led to believe that it’s either you are the best or nothing else matters. Unnecessary pressure! This usually produces the spirit of fear and timidity.
Like many others, I was trapped until I realized that “Perfect Love casts out fear (1 john 4:18)”. Growth became smooth and effortless when I realized that there was enough room to accommodate my past, present and future mistakes as I bask in the unconditional Love of the Father.
Can I please God by Do’s &Don’ts?
What pleases God in Christianity is ‘FAITH that works by the Love of God”(Heb 11:6 + Gal 5:6).Most religions depict that you must earn the right to be reconciled with God by obeying some regulations and commandments. Christianity is completely different from this. IT IS NOT RELIGION, IT’S A RELATIONSHIP!
People dwell too much on the Old Testament to shape a restricted Christian mentality.This negatively affects our relationship with the Father and degrades it to some form of mathematical equation as if without it, God is unreachable.This is TOTALLY missing the point! The Father wants much more than rules and regulation, He desires a relationship born out of Love, not rules.
The Prophets of Old and the Law of Moses spoke of the new system of walking with God without rules and commandments. “With everlasting loving-kindness I will have compassion on you” says the Lord your Redeemer. “I have sworn that I will not be angry with you nor will I reject you. For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but myloving-kindness will not be removed from you, andmy covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says the Lord who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:8-10)
In that day I, the Lord will make a new covenant, “I will betroth you to me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in loving-kindness and in compassion, and I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord. I will also have compassion on her, who had not obtained compassion, and I will say to those who were not my people, ‘You are my people!’ and they will say, ‘You are my God!’” (Hosea 2:18-20, 23)
What can I Do for God?
The heart of the Christian walk of Faith lies in receiving the unconditional Love of God through Jesus Christ. It is not so much about how much we love him and what we can do for him;rather it is about how much HE LOVES US AND HAS DONE FOR US. The pure revelation behind the Love of God compels constraint and stimulates us to act in faith. We (second) love, because He (first) loved us. (1 John 4:19) I hope you caught that.
Where do I Start?
What changed the woman who was caught committing adultery, the prodigal son, Zacchaeus, and the disciples was not the wrath of the Law through Moses but rather the demonstration of the Love of God.For it is by grace, God’s unconditional Love and favor drawing you to Christ that you have been saved, delivered from judgment and given eternal life through faith. And this salvation is not of yourselves not through your own effort but it is the undeserved, gracious gift of God, not as a result of your works or your attempts to keep the Law so that no one will be able to boast or take credit in any way for his salvation.(Ephesians 2:8-9) You can start from this place: “He so loves me”.
- Everything that is natural was once spiritual.”the words that I speak on to you, they are spirit and life”
- God was not created because of man. Man was created because of God
- Its the fruit of the spirit not the fruits of the spirit.
- There is faith as a gift and faith as a fruit
- Fear, unbelief, doubt, selfishness is the result of not fully trusting love of God
- We have rarely taught about the Holy Ghost as a Love Person but thus who He is.
- God doesn’t love givers, He loves a Cheerful Giver.
- Love is not been lazy but rather responsible
- Faith doesn’t move God, it only moves us to action.
- The cornerstone of all positive revelation hugs on thing “the Love of God”
- Love has two legs, two hands, two eyes, to ears thus faith and hope.
- When you die to self, you don’t feel insulted.
Today, Kenneth Hagin of blessed memories, who has renewed my mind through the spirit shares with us a simple truth, that many having ignored have destroyed their lives.
Paul, speaking to the elders of the church at Ephesus in his farewell message, said, “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me” (Acts 20:22,23).
Then in chapter 21, while on his journey Paul landed at Tyre where the ship was to be unladen. Luke, the writer of Acts, was with Paul. He wrote, “And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem” (v.4).
Paul continued on his journey:
8 And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.
9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles
12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.
13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
Some have thought that Paul missed it. However, when Paul did go up to Jerusalem and was arrested, Jesus stood by Paul in the night. He appeared to him in a vision. He did not rebuke Paul. Jesus did not tell Paul that he had missed it. He said, “… Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome” (Acts 23:11).
No, Paul did not miss it. What God was doing was preparing Paul for what was ahead of him.
Notice that we have two different things operating here: (1) the gift of prophecy; (2) the ministry of the prophet. They are different. They are not the same. It is a mistake to confuse the two, yet this is often done.
The fact that one prophesies does not make him a prophet. The Word of God plainly teaches that everyone should desire to prophesy (1 Cor. 14:1). However, if just prophesying made you a prophet, then it would seem that the Lord was saying that everyone should desire to be a prophet. Yet Paul asked, “Are all apostles? are all prophets?…” (1 Cor. 12:29). The answer is no. Since all could not be prophets, God would not tell us to seek something we could not have.
The simple gift of prophecy is speaking unto men to edification and exhortation and comfort
Prophecy is a supernatural utterance in a known tongue—your own tongue. (Speaking in tongues is supernatural utterance in an unknown tongue—a tongue unknown to you.) Prophecy can be used in prayer, as well as tongues.
Sometimes when you are prophesying, it seems as if there are two of you. It seems to me as if I am standing right beside myself. You see, it is coming from my inward man where the Spirit of God who is prophesying abides. I listen with my natural ears to see what He said.
The Office of the Prophet
There is the office of the prophet. Without going into detail about it, we will touch the office of the prophet briefly concerning guidance. For one to be a prophet, he stands in that office and uses that ministry. Other spiritual gifts besides prophecy must operate in his ministry. The simple gift of prophecy, as we have said, is for speaking unto men for edification, and exhortation, and comfort. In this simple gift of prophecy there is no foretelling—no prediction whatsoever. However, in the ministry of the prophet there is foretelling and prediction. A prophet has the revelation gifts (the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, and/or the discerning of spirits) in operation along with prophecy.
It is important to realize that spiritual things can be misused just as natural things can be misused. Some folks have never realized that. They think that just because it is spiritual, it has to be perfect—that it cannot be misused.
I have known people who were at one time wealthy who are now bankrupt because they listened to someone prophesy how to invest their money.
I remember a dear man who was in one of my meetings. I knew who he was, but I didn’t really know him. I did not know that he would never make a business deal without calling a so-called “prophet” to prophesy to him what to do.
I said to him, “I seem to be impressed to say this to you. You are going to lose everything you have and go bankrupt if you keep listening to whoever is advising you.”
He didn’t listen. The poor fellow, who was very wealthy, lost his home and everything he had. I have seen this happen not just one time, but many times.
I have seen ministers who have lost their ministries because of wrong prophecies.
You have to judge prophecies by the Word of God. If prophecy is not in line with the Word of God, it is not right.
Secondly, you have to judge personal prophecies by what you have in your own spirit. If you do not have something in your own spirit, do not accept a personal prophecy.
For years I have traveled extensively in the ministry. Everywhere I go there is always someone who has a “word” from the Lord for me—sometimes two or three. In all these years only one or two of them have been correct.
Do not build your life on prophecies. Do not guide your life by prophecies. Build your life on the Word! Let those other things be secondary. Put the Word of God first!
People sometimes say, “Well, if God is doing it, it has to be all right.”
You have to realize that it isn’t exactly God doing it. It is men prophesying under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. Anything that man has to do with, is not perfect.
Spirit of God is perfect. The gifts of the Spirit in themselves are perfect. But they certainly are not always perfect in manifestation, because they are manifested through imperfect vessels. This is the reason prophecy and tongues with interpretation need to be judged by the Word.
1 CORINTHIANS 14:29,30
29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
“Let the prophets speak….” The Bible is talking about prophets here—not just anyone who prophesies. Do not accept something just because a prophet said it. It is to be judged according to the Bible. We do not judge people. We judge what was said.
Now notice verse 30. “If any thing be revealed to another [prophet]….” Prophets have revelations. Others might occasionally, but prophets have a ministry along this line.
1 CORINTHIANS 14:32
32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
Some have said, “God made me do that. I couldn’t help but say that.” The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. That means a person does not have to say it. It comes out of his spirit. It is subject to him. The gift of tongues, the interpretation of tongues, and prophecy operate under the unction of the Spirit. And it might be that God through these methods would give us a word of knowledge, a word of wisdom, or revelation as we need it. But we initiate the operation of prophecy. We initiate the
operation of tongues and interpretation. We are the ones who have to speak it out.
Many times when the Spirit of God is moving, anyone who can prophesy could do so—but that does not mean one should. Also, when the Spirit is in manifestation, anyone who is used in the ministry gift of tongues and interpretation could speak—but that does not mean he should. Have that unction of the Spirit to do it—otherwise just sit there and let God move through someone else who has it.
I held a seven-week meeting in a church years ago. Every single night about the same time, at the same spot in the service, just as they got ready to pass the offering plates, this woman got up and spoke with tongues. She said the same thing in tongues every night. After a while I could have said the same things she said. If no one else would interpret it, she would. It was like someone poured cold water over the crowd. It deadened the service.
The pastor asked me to teach the auditorium class one Sunday morning when he had to be out of town. This was unusual—but I finished before the bell rang. One of the deacons said, “Brother Hagin, may I ask a question?”
“Well, yes,” I said. I thought it would be in line with the lesson.
He said, “When messages in tongues with interpretation are given in public assembly, shouldn’t they be a blessing to the congregation? Should it kill the service?”
That dear woman was sitting right in front of me.
I said, “That is beside the lesson. I’d rather not get into that right now.”
But others, some of the leaders of the church, said,
“Brother Hagin, we ought to answer that.”
So I said, “If it is in the Spirit, it will lift the service high. It will not push it down.”
That woman was intelligent enough to catch on to that. She came to me and said, “I have been wrong, haven’t I?”
I said, “Yes ma’am, you have.”
She said, “I thought so all the time. There was a witness on the inside of me that knew that. But I wanted to be used of God. I am going to stop that.”
I said, “Thank you. You are a real blessing to the church.”
Others might have gotten angry about it saying, “They won’t allow God to move.”
Sometimes folks do speak out, like this woman, without the unction of the Spirit. This does not do away with the fact that her tongues were real. However, they were in imperfect operation. They were misused.
I admonish people to be very careful about personal prophecies. So many lives have been shipwrecked and ruined by not being careful regarding personal prophecy. Don’t marry someone because someone prophesied you should. I have seen many such so-called “prophecies” through the years. I have never seen one of those marriages work out yet. Homes have been broken up by so-called prophecies.
Also, don’t go into the ministry because somebody prophesied you should. Get it on the inside of you for yourself. Then if a prophecy confirms what you already have, that’s all right. Jesus said to me when He appeared in that vision in 1959, “If the prophecy confirms what you already have, accept it. If it does not, don’t accept it.”
The Holy Ghost said, “Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them” (Acts 13:2). He had already called them. This was just a confirmation of it.
In the last church I pastored there was a certain young person who was beautiful spiritually. My wife said to me, “I believe the hand of the Lord is on him. God is calling him into the ministry.”
I said, “I have that conviction myself. But I am not going to “call” anyone. I am not going to tell anyone they are called, even if I know they are.”
This is why. When one gets out in the ministry, it isn’t always easy. Paul told the young minister, Timothy, “Endure hardness as a good soldier” (2 Tim. 2:3). When the way gets hard—and it will—you can have the victory. But it will get hard and someone who is not convinced of the call for themselves may say, “I just went because Daddy said so.” Or, “Someone prophesied to me; I really don’t know that I am called.” But one who makes that dedication from his own spirit, who knows God called him, will stand through hell or high water.
So I did not say anything to this young person. Then one Sunday night we were all praying around the altar. I went around and laid hands on people to pray as God would lead me. I stopped beside this young man who was kneeling in the altar in intense prayer. I opened my mouth to pray, but I heard these words come out, “This is a confirmation of what I said to you at 3 o’clock this afternoon as you were praying down in the storm cellar. You asked for a confirmation and this is it. That was Me speaking to you.”
After the prayer service I asked, “Were you praying
down in the storm cellar at 3 o’clock this afternoon?”
(I wanted to check up—if I am wrong, I want to get right. If I miss it, I just admit, “I missed it.” Don’t be afraid to say, “I missed it.” When I first started learning to drive a car I missed it a few times and ran up over the curb. But I didn’t quit driving just because I missed it. Did you? We ought to have as much sense about spiritual things. Just because I missed it, I am not going to quit. I am going to keep going. I will just see to it that I don’t miss it again. So I was checking up on it to see.)
This young person said, “Yes, I was praying. You know, Brother Hagin, I have felt for some time that God had a call on my life, but I didn’t say yes or no. So I was spending time down in the cellar (which was fixed up like a nice basement) praying, meditating, reading the Bible, waiting on God. I felt that the Lord spoke to me and said, ‘I have called you to the ministry—and I will confirm it tonight in the service.’ But I didn’t know how He would.”
Remember—if it does not bear witness, or confirm something you already have, do not accept a personal prophecy.
As long as the gift of prophecy stays in the realm of speaking to men for edification, exhortation, and comfort, it is wonderful. Encourage that. But many times someone who prophesies may see a prophet minister with a word of foreknowledge. Then he begins to think, “I prophesy, so I can do that.” Then he moves out of the place where he should be, into the other realm where he should not be.
A woman came up to me in one of our seminars we held in Tulsa. She had come with a group from a nearby city. She said, “Brother Hagin, this is all new to us. In our
town we have a weekly prayer group. I want to ask you something about it. Some of them think I am wrong, but I don’t think what we are doing is right. Actually, I don’t know if I would call it a prayer meeting—all they ever do is lay hands on one another and prophesy. They spend all afternoon prophesying over one another. And I don’t ever get anything but a bad prophecy.
“They prophesied that my mother was going to die within six months. That was eighteen months ago and she is not dead. Then they prophesied that my husband was going to leave me. He’s not saved but he is a fine man and I love him. He is a good provider. We don’t have any trouble. Those are just two examples. I always get prophecies that something bad is going to happen—but nothing bad has ever happened.”
I said, “No, and it won’t either. You are a child of God.”
She said, “Isn’t that a misuse?”
I said, “Yes, it is.”
We need to know these things. It is very easy for babies to be misled and misguided. We can get off track. That’s why Paul wrote to the church at Corinth about these things.