COMMITTED to train men and women
to have minds for the Lord Jesus,
hearts for the truth, and
hands that are skilled to the task.

Sermons on John

THE LUST FOR POWER

In the Epilogue to his “Caesar and Christ (1944), historian Will Durant noted that,
“A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential causes of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism,
her stifling taxes, her consuming wars.”

Lawrence Reed a historian and economist wrote in 2014 an essay titled: The fall of the Republic
I don’t really disagree with Durant’s statement. However, if pressed to describe in one word why the ancient Roman Republic fell, I wouldn’t choose any that Durant mentions here. I would not choose corruption, nor any of the other usual suspects: war, socialism, slavery, the welfare state, envy, civil strife, foreign invasion, erosion of character, taxes, bureaucracy, spending or debt. Those were all important factors, but they were symptomatic rather than causative.
More than anything else, the drawn-out demise of Rome’s 500-year-old Republic must be laid at the doorstep of the most corrosive influence in the affairs of humankind. It’s a mental poison that twists and warps even the best of men and women if they allow it to take root in their souls.
I refer to power—the exercise of control over others. Simply the pursuit of it, whether one ultimately attains it or not, is itself an intoxicant.
Since most people don’t want someone else to control them, one who wishes to control others must sooner or later convince his victims (if he doesn’t kill them first) that it’s good for them to either embrace it or refrain from resisting it. That invariably requires lies and deception and, ultimately, force and violence. The more I observe the ways that power-seekers behave—present company as well as the hordes from history’s dustbin—the more I’m convinced that power is the principal way that pure Evil manifests itself.”

The ESV Study Bible has commentaries on the Roman Empire and the Greco-Roman World at the time of the New Testament.
Under the title: “Religion and Magic” we find this comment:
“Most today think of Roman religion in terms of its pantheon of gods and goddesses, such as Jupiter, Venus, and Mars (or their Greek counterparts Zeus, Aphrodite and Ares). Certainly, this pantheon was central to civic life. Touring an ancient city, one would see dozens of temples (some of immense size) dedicated to such deities. These gods were thought to act as benefactors both to the individual and to the city. Yet, should one neglect these deities, they could become angry and injure the individual or society.”

Hitler’s Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich”
published 2018 by Eric Kurlander, Professor of History (Author)
“The Nazi fascination with the occult is legendary, yet today it is often dismissed as Himmler’s personal obsession or wildly overstated for its novelty. Preposterous though it was, however, supernatural thinking was inextricable from the Nazi project. The regime enlisted astrology and the paranormal, paganism, Indo-Aryan mythology, witchcraft, miracle weapons, and the lost kingdom of Atlantis in reimagining German politics and society and recasting German science and religion. Even as popular occultism and superstition were intermittently rooted out, suppressed, and outlawed, the Nazis drew upon a wide variety of occult practices and esoteric sciences to gain power, shape propaganda and policy, and pursue their dreams of racial utopia and empire.”

Bestselling author Sidney Kirkpatrick in his book “HITLER’S HOLY RELICS” tells the riveting and never before told true story of how an American college professor hunted down and recovered the most cherished symbols of Hitlers 1000 year Reich before they could become a rallying point in the creation of a Fourth and equally unholy Reich.

“From Paris to Stalingrad, the Nazis systematically plundered all manner of art and antiquities. But the first and most valuable treasures they looted were the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire.
Anticipating the Allied invasion of Nazi Germany, Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler had ordered a top-secret bunker carved deep into the bedrock beneath Nürnberg castle. Inside the well-guarded chamber was a specially constructed vault that held the plundered treasures Hitler valued the most: the Spear of Destiny (reputed to have been used to pierce Christ’s side while he was on the cross) and the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire, ancient artifacts steeped in medieval mysticism and coveted by world rulers from Charlemagne to Napoleon. But as Allied bombers rained devastation upon Nürnberg and the U.S. Seventh Army prepared to invade the city Hitler called “the soul of the Nazi Party,” five of the most precious relics, all central to the coronation ceremony of a would-be Holy Roman Emperor, vanished from the vault. Who took them? And why? The mystery remained unsolved for months after the war’s end, until the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, ordered Lieutenant Walter Horn, a German-born art historian on leave from U.C. Berkeley, to hunt down the missing treasures.

To accomplish his mission, Horn must revisit the now-rubble-strewn landscape of his youth and delve into the ancient legends and arcane mysticism surrounding the antiquities that Hitler had looted in his quest for world domination. Horn searches for clues in the burnt remains of Himmler’s private castle and follows the trail of neo-Nazi “Teutonic Knights” charged with protecting a vast hidden fortune in plundered gold and other treasure. Along the way, Horn has to confront his own demons: how members of his family and former academic colleagues subverted scholarly research to help legitimize Hitler’s theories of Aryan supremacy and the Master Race. What Horn discovers on his investigative odyssey is so explosive that his final report will remain secret for decades.”
“Hitler’s Holy Relics: A True Story of Nazi Plunder and the Race to Recover the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire”; Sidney Kirkpatrick, 2011

KEEP YOUR THOUGHTS PURE AND GUARD YOUR MIND AT ALL TIMES. Serving instead of being served is the answer to never LUST FOR POWER.

LIVE NOT BY LIES

In September of this year, Rod Dreher published a book titled “Live not by Lies.”
“Identity politics are beginning to encroach on every aspect of life. Civil liberties are increasingly seen as a threat to “safety”. Progressives marginalize conservative, traditional Christians, and other dissenters. Technology and consumerism hasten the possibility of a corporate surveillance state. And the pandemic, having put millions out of work, leaves our country especially vulnerable to demagogic manipulation”. Rod Dreher

Here is the method of resistance he gleaned from those people who lived through totalitarianism:
• SEE: Acknowledge the reality of the situation.
• JUDGE: Assess reality in the light of what we as Christians know to be true.
• ACT: Take action to protect truth.

“Though lies may conceal everything, though lies may control everything, we should be obstinate about this one small point:
let them be in control but without any help from any of us…
It is the easiest thing for us to do and the most destructive for the lies. Because when people renounce lies, it cuts short their existence.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Even if, Solzhenitsyn continued, “we do not march into the squares and shout the truth out loud… let us refuse to say what we do not think…let us each make a choice: whether to remain consciously a servant of falsehood…or to shrug off the lies and become an honest man worthy of respect from one’s children and contemporaries.”
Such a person, Solzhenitsyn wrote:
•will not sign, write or print in any way a single phrase which in his opinion distorts the truth;
•will not utter such a phrase neither in private conversation nor in public, neither on his own behalf nor at the prompting of someone else, neither in the role of agitator, teacher, educator, nor as an actor;
•will not depict, foster or broadcast a single idea in which he can see a distortion of the truth, whether it be in painting, sculpture, photography, technical science or music;
•will not cite out of context, either orally or in writing, a single quotation to please someone, to feather his own nest, to achieve success in his work, if he does not completely share the idea which is quoted, or if it does not accurately reflect the matter at issue;
•will not allow himself to be compelled to attend demonstrations and meetings if they are contrary to his desire;
•will immediately walk out of a meeting, session, lecture, performance or film if he hears a speaker tell lies, or purvey ideological nonsense or shameless propaganda;
•will not subscribe to or buy a newspaper or magazine in which information is distorted and primary facts are concealed.
While these are not “all possible and necessary ways of avoiding lies,” wrote Solzhenitsyn, “whoever begins to cleanse himself will easily apply the cleansing pattern to other cases.” And then he warns,
“It will not be the same for everybody at first. Some will lose their jobs. But there are no loopholes… Either truth or falsehood: towards spiritual independence or towards spiritual servitude. If we are too frightened, then we should stop complaining that we are being suffocated. We are doing this to ourselves …”

Paul Craig Roberts, an American economist, and a professor of economics at several U.S. universities wrote in a recent article:
“The question each of us needs to ask ourselves, and one another, is why do we get so much misinformation about Covid from public health authorities, political authorities, and press prostitutes?
We get a lot of misinformation from health practitioners, because they get the bogus information from health authorities and from researchers ASSOCIATED WITH BIG PHARMA.
Take the issue of masks.
If the masks people are wearing protected against bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, there would be no point in N95 and higher rated masks. Medical authorities know this, so why are people told, indeed forced, to wear ineffectual masks?
Public health authorities know that the Covid death rate is greatly exaggerated. In the USA, only 9,000 were due to Covid alone.
So why do public health authorities withhold this information from political authorities and the public, and why do reporters not ferret it out? The information exists. It just isn’t reported.
Covid is being used to serve many interests. Among them, Covid is being used to complete the universal Police State by digitizing money. Once electronic money takes the place of currency, checks, and coins, your financial privacy and your control over your money and wealth will disappear.
Are Americans capable of learning? How many lies do they have to be told before they begin to wonder?” Paul Craig Roberts

THE FUTURE IS UP TO YOU

Before we go into our biblical text, let me quote Chris Hedges, a war correspondent who witnessed plenty of power struggles:
“Not having to make moral choices frees you from a great deal of anxiety. It frees you from responsibility. And it assures that you always be wrapped in the embrace of the powerful as long as, of course, you will do or dance to he the tune of powers play… When you do what is right, you often have to understand that you are not going to be lauded and praised for it. Making a moral decision always entails risks, certainly to one’s career and to one’s standing in the community.” Chris Hedges

“It is perfectly possible for a man to be out of prison and yet not free- to be under no physical constraint and yet be a psychological captive, compelled to think, feel and act as the representatives of the national state, or of some private interest within a nation wants him to think, feel, and act… To him the walls of his prison are invisible and he believes himself to be free.” Aldous Huxley “A Brave New World Revisited”

“So, you see, that the world is governed by very different personages to what is imagined by those who are not themselves behind the scenes.” Benjamin Disraeli (1801-1884)

“The world is divided into three kinds of people – a very small group that MAKES THINGS HAPPEN, a somewhat larger group that WATCHES THINGS HAPPEN, and a great multitude that NEVER KNOWS WHAT HAS HAPPENED.” Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler (1862-1947)

Pastor Erwin Lutzer in his book subtitled “A defense of Christ in an Age of Tolerance” writes this hypothetical story:
“In A.D. 303, the Emperor Diocletian has issued a new order, requiring all people to attend the religious/political ceremony designed to unify the nation and revive lagging patriotism within the empire. Specifically, this ceremony involves burning a bit of incense and saying simply: CAESAR IS LORD. Those who do this receive a seal of approval; those who don’t might well be put to death.
Christians discussed the issue and what their response should be. The answer is not as obvious as it seems. For one thing, they actually would not have to stop worshiping the true God; after they have sworn their allegiance to Caesar as Lord, they are free to privately worship whatever god they wish. Every religion is tolerated; freedom to choose ones own god is generally accepted. Indeed, there is richness in diversity.
Second, this was not simply a religious decision, but a political one. Caesar was convinced that it was not possible to be a good citizen without affirming his lordship. The argument was that if one had allegiance to a god above Caesar he could not be trusted in time of national emergency, a war, for instance.
Third, this requirement was but once a year. Even if one did not tell a lie, forgiveness through Christ was readily available. Why not argue, as some did, “For a moment my mouth belongs to the Emperor, though my heart always belongs to Christ.”
Rome was cruel. Many converted pagans who were now in the church had observed firsthand the brutality of the Roman citizens.
If Christ were seen as one option among many, Christians could give allegiance to other expressions of the divine. Why not find common ground, the central unity of all religions.
So the choice, strictly speaking, was not whether the Christians should worship Christ or Caesar; it was whether they would worship Christ AND Caesar.”

Edward Gibbon in “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” stated:
“All religions were regarded by the people as EQUALLY TRUE, by the philosophers as EQUALLY FALSE, and by the politicians as EQUALLY USEFUL.”

GOD SEEKS OUR WORSHIP

Worship has its focus on what we do with our lives.

John R.W. Stott
“Christians believe that true worship is the highest and noblest activity of which man, by the grace of God, is capable.”

Chuck Swindoll in his study Bible writes:
“It is attributing supreme worth to God, who alone is worthy of it. When we worship, that’s what we’re doing.
The purpose of the church is to cultivate worshipers. It isn’t a place to make business contacts or to go to check something off the weekly list or to bring your kids so they get something out of it. No, it’s a place to learn about our God so that our worship and understanding of Him become increasingly deeper and more meaningful. It’s a place where we give Him our praise and our gratitude.
Why is worship so important? Because it turns our full attention to the only One worthy of it.”

Jesus was using the element of water as a metaphor to describe a spiritual reality, something that would meet not just a need of the moment but a need for all eternity.

Chuck Swindoll has a wonderful commentary on verses 19-20
“Oh, you’ve been to seminary. You must be extremely smart. Let me ask you something I’ve always wondered about. How do you reconcile the great existential problem of God’s sovereignty and the free will of man?”
Only in her culture, the great debate revolved around the most appropriate place to worship an omnipresent God.

John 4:23-24
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth,
for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

“IN THE BEGINNING”

Christianity Today Magazine published an article titled:
“The Epidemic of Bible Illiteracy in Our Churches”
“Christians claim to believe the Bible is God’s Word. We claim it’s God’s divinely inspired, inerrant message to us. Yet despite this, we aren’t reading it. A recent LifeWay Research study found only 45 percent of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week. Over 40 percent of the people attending read their Bible occasionally, maybe once or twice a month. Almost 1 in 5 churchgoers say they never read the Bible—essentially the same number who read it every day.”
……Our lack of biblical literacy has led to a lack of biblical doctrine. LifeWay Research found that while 67 percent of Americans believe heaven is a real place, 45 percent believe there are many ways to get there—including 1 in 5 evangelical Christians. More than half of evangelicals (59 percent) believe the Holy Spirit is a force and not a personal being—in contrast to the orthodox biblical teaching of the Trinity being three Persons in one God. As a whole, Americans, including many Christians, hold unbiblical views on hell, sin, salvation, Jesus, humanity, and the Bible itself.

Chuck Swindoll in his commentary on this subject writes:
“When Moses told the story of creation, he drew upon the literary symbol of light to communicate an important truth. After the formation of space and matter, the Lord filled the void and formless earth with light – literal light, yes, but not merely illumination. Before He fashioned physical sources of light on the fourth day – the son, moon, and stars – He filled the universe with the light of His presence, with truth, the foundation upon which everything else would be built. Before giving the world order (dividing day from night, sky from earth, dry land from ocean), the Lord suffused every atom with His truth so that everything would reflect His character.”

IN THE WORLD BUT NOT OF THE WORLD

In the World, but not of the World!
These are hard sayings and for many of us difficult to understand. Yet, at the same time, it is imperative that we take a closer look at the words spoken by our Savior Jesus Christ during His great intercession recorded here in the Gospel of John.
During His earthly ministry, Jesus was constantly a witness of God’s faithfulness. Whatever He said, whatever He did on this earth, it always pointed to the Father’s faithfulness.
Let me explain a very difficult subject regarding glory. When we seek glory, we do so at the expense of the glory of God. Not so with Jesus, because the glorification of the Son is the glorification of the Father. In other words, when the Son is exalted, so is the Father, because they are ONE. Here in this prayer, Jesus simply asked the Father for His glory back because He knew that He must be lifted up on the cross in order to be lifted up in the sight of the angels.
Jesus was ready to go home to be with His Father once again because His work on earth for which He came was about to be finished. He was the witness of the Father’s faithfulness without exception. He finished the work the Father has given Him.
According to Jesus own words found in verse 17, sanctification comes through the Word of God. The Word of God is the instrument God uses to separate us from this world system we are living in. It is that truth that eventually defines godly relationships. Or saying it another way, you cannot have godly relationships without being in the truth. And you cannot understand what a godly relationship looks like without understanding the content of the Gospel, the Word of God.
Neither can you and I understand what it means to LIVE IN THE WORLD BUT NOT BE OF THE WORLD apart from understanding the Word of God. It is the Word of God that will separate us, that will sanctify us, that will protect us from the Evil one.
This world may call us whatever they want, but a Christians true IDENTITY is not found in this world, but is FOUND IN CHRIST ALONE. We may live in spiritual Babylon today, but we are not OF SPIRITUAL BABYLON.
Understanding and Obeying the truth, the Word of God, will sanctify us, will separate us, will protect us from ever becoming a part of spiritual Babylon, becoming a part of this world. Daniel understood this and so should we. We are living in this world to glorify God. We can endure all things THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS US. Daniel could endure, so can we. Daniel never compromised the Truth, instead he studied and obeyed the truth.

I Also Send You

What a week it has been for those who followed Jesus and those who came to the temple in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. Three full days have passed since the masses demanded that their King should be crucified. The Romans, as prophesied in Scripture long ago, did the gruesome task and killed the Prince of Peace, not knowing that with it they would zeal their own fate as a nation.
We need to understand that Jesus work on the cross was finished just prior to giving up His Spirit into the Father’s hand. There was no more punishment to be paid for our sins. IT IS FINISHED.
Letting Jesus body hang on the cross for a longer time period or to be thrown on the garbage dump WAS SOMETHING THE HEAVENLY FATHER WOULD NEVER HAVE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN TO HIS SON. The work was done. And it is here where two disciples, secret disciples, stepped in and asked for the body of Jesus from Pilate.
Mary Magdalene is the person from whom Jesus cast out 7 demons. She was the first person mentioned to be at the tomb which was at that time already empty. When the angels asked the question: WOMEN, WHY ARE YOU WEEPING? She did not reply because of GRIEF.
Mary recognized the risen Lord when He called her by name. She recognized HIS VOICE. A typical characteristic of a sheep in relation to the shepherd. In other words, John did not write these words of God on paper that people might believe the right things, that they might be orthodox, or that their theology might be sound.
He did not call Jesus Master or Teacher or Messiah. Thomas called Him Lord, which is the same word translated from the GREEK Old Testament YAHWEH. Thomas confessed that Jesus was Yahweh, His God, standing before him in the flesh. Thomas confessed the deity of Jesus Christ. Jesus never rebuked him for it.
Listen, there is a more important purpose, a purpose beyond coming to the knowledge of the truth of Christ.
“…and that believing you may have life in His name”.
That’s exactly what Jesus said earlier, found in John 10:10b
“ I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

God’s Appointed King

Probably over one billion people on this earth will celebrate Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday over the next eight days. However, way too many do not understand the historical and spiritual significance of what truly took place over 2000 years ago in and around Jerusalem. The Apostle John is giving us many details of these days Jesus was spending with them, and all four gospels record the event described in our text.
6 days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. Needless to say, people heard about what Jesus had done and wanted to come and see this resurrected Lazarus for themselves.
When I observe what is going on in the USA today I cannot help to believe that the church in this country has been placed on a reservation. We are allowed to exist, we are allowed to practice our faith, and we are allowed to pray in our churches. But we are forbidden from moving off the reservation and into the public square to make public proclamations of faith. We are not allowed in a public event to pray in the name of Jesus. The sad part of all this is that not just secularist are howling when we dare wander off the reservation to proclaim Jesus as the ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WORLD, but most mainline denominations do the same. WHY? Because they also, like the religious leaders of Jesus’ days, enjoy peace on the reservation and they certainly do not want to become targets of the RULING GOVERNMENT. We do not want to disturb the peace and want to live in peace and enjoy prosperity even if it means that we have to live on the reservation.
Mary saved this perfume for Jesus burial, but somehow she was not willing to wait until they buried Him. She wanted to give this gift to Jesus NOW. Mary knew that she could minister to the poor tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. But Jesus would not be here always. As Lazarus was watching, the one who just a few weeks ago was rotting away in a tomb, Mary poured this costly perfume on the feet of Jesus.
I wonder how many times we are busy trying to do some humanitarian outreach in the name of Jesus, while totally ignoring to love, worship and exalt Him with our devotion.
The people’ interest in Jesus is based upon a false expectation. Jesus is God’ appointed King, and as such, he does never come to do the masses’ bidding. He came then to Jerusalem to fulfill the Father’s mission, much more glorious than any of us could ever envision.
They rejected Him, because their expectations were not met. Yet through it all, he brought salvation to all people. He became the chief cornerstone.

WHAT SIGN Do You Show Us?

Last Sunday we heard John the Baptist introduce Jesus to the Jews by proclaiming: BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD.
Every miracle, every sign Jesus performed during His entire ministry on this earth was done so with a very specific purpose. God never does anything without a specific purpose. In this case, the Apostle John is revealing to us that Jesus did this signs and miracles not for their own sake but to point to something that was SIGNificant. These signs always pointed to Jesus Himself, the only one able to represent God’s kingdom. The only one God the Father ever said: THIS IS MY BELOVED SON IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED.
Why did God chose a wedding for His son to perform the first sign during His earthly ministry? And why did God chose to turn water into wine for thirsty guest? Why not turning water into grape juice?
WHAT SIGN?
He became the only acceptable sacrifice for our sins. He has done away with the Old Testament requirements. No animal sacrifices, no temple tax, now show bread, no altar of incense, no Holy of Holies, no ark of the covenant. He nailed it to the cross for good. He is the firstborn of many brethren. NOW THE CHURCH IS THE TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD.
What sign do you show us? For you and me, it means to be reminded that we are the newly raised temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in us, and because of that we are here to glorify God in our body and in our spirit.
Jesus’ signs pointed toward something much more SIGNificant than the sign itself, it pointed toward the glorious truth WHO HE REALLY IS, the Redeemer, the Savior of the World, the Only begotten Son of God, fully man, fully God. The KING OF GLORY.

The Lamb Of God

Why did John call for a water baptism?
The ritual of water baptism was applied to Gentiles, unclean people, who wanted to convert to Judaism. Ritual baptism was never administered to Jews, only to non-Jews who converted to Judaism. Why? Because Gentiles were considered unclean and needed to go through a purification rite, to take a bath – in order to be welcomed and received into the covenant community of Israel.
However, John the Baptist primarily directed his calls for repentance to Jews. With that, he told Israel “the Messiah is about to arrive but you are not ready for Him. It is you, the people of Israel,that are unclean. That’s the reason why John called the Jews to submit to a ritual of cleansing that up to this point had been administered only to Gentiles. The typical procedure when a Gentile was going through the proselyte baptism, he was never baptized by a Levite or by a priest, who normally performed all the other purification rites in Israel. The convert was to baptize himself. No wonder the religious leaders asked themselves: Who does this man think he is, to call us, the children of Abraham, to undergo a cleansing rite?
The Lamb of God is also prefigured in the Passover, when God prepared to bring His final plague on the Egyptians, the death of every firstborn male of the Egyptians, including the crown prince of the Pharaoh (Exodus 12:3-31). Just as the blood of the lamb caused the people of Israel to be spared from God’s wrath, the Lamb of God redeemed His people from the penalty that was due for their sin.

Under The INFLUENCE

WE CAN LIVE OUR LIFE UNDER TWO KINDS OF INFLUENCES. And whatever we choose, one or the other, will not just have a major impact how we live, how we behave, how we interact with one another, but also HOW WE INFLUENCE ONE ANOTHER.
John 6:63 says it is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.
In other words, the Holy Spirit makes life worth living. The flesh, this world, and all religious activities apart from the Spirit of God are of no help at all.
This whole world is under the influence of the wicked one. Jesus introduces to us the ruler of this world as the Father of lies. In other words, the whole world is under the influence of the master LIAR. We are being bombarded daily with news on TV, Internet, Facebook, text messages, phone calls, magazines and books produced by people that are under the influence of the ruler of this world. They are being used by Satan to conceal the truth, to hide the truth, to distort the truth, to make the lie look like the truth. Notice have Jesus introduces the Holy Spirit as the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, which the world cannot receive. Those who are of the world are being influenced by the ruler of this world and are unable to see the truth.
The Holy Spirit was in control of Jesus life. It is this same Holy Spirit whom the Father sent to us as our helper to make us see the truth.
The world cannot see the truth. They are under the influence of the ruler of this world and life and act accordingly. They have given the ruler of this world control over their lives. The child of God is confronted with this truth and must make a decision to GIVE TOTAL CONTROL OF THEIR LIFE OVER TO THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD. You can decide to give some control to the Holy Spirit, and leave the rest under the influence of the ruler of this world. Such a Christian life is a very hard life indeed. Full of worldly influence, full of schisms, battles of confusion, anxieties, depressions and despair.
Notice that no one had to force these new converts to read the bible, to show up for fellowship, to participate in a meal together, or to encourage them to pray.
WHY? Because a Holy Spirit controlled Christian does not have to be forced to read the Bible or to pray. The Holy Spirit gives them the understanding of truth and the more they understand the more hungry they become. Remember the Old Testament saints proclaimed HOW SWEET GOD’S WORD IS TO THEM. You come under the influence of the WORD OF GOD because the Holy Spirit gives you understanding, which allows you to apply the Word of God in your life. You can literally see it at work. SUCH ACTIVITY GLORIFIES JESUS.
We need to come under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the one who searches all things, the deep things of God, the hidden things of God. And it is then when we surrender control of our life to the Holy Spirit, that we are able to influence the world around us by letting His light shine through us. There is just no other way.

What Shall We Do?

It is extremely valuable for all of us the be reminded why we are here on this earth, why we have been called into His kingdom and why we have been placed by the Holy Spirit into this local church, Victory.
God the Father sent His son Jesus Christ to this earth with a VERY SPECIFIC PURPOSE. Everything God does He does with a specific purpose in mind. As His children, we ought to follow His example.
The Apostle Paul reminds us that we SHOULD HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST. During His earthly ministry, Jesus constantly reminded His disciples and His followers that He came WITH A PURPOSE. No one could side track him, no one could lead Him down another path.
If we want to believe in Him, we must embrace everything He ever said.
If we want to believe in Him, we must accept the Word of God as THE WORD OF GOD and not the Word of Man.
If we want to believe in Him, we must OBEY HIS WORD, not the words of man, religious leaders or denominations. OBEYING HIS WORD IS ALL THAT COUNTS.
We need to be reminded of this simple truth on a regular basis. Victory is not hear to entertain you. We are not here to make you feel good or to tell you what an incredible species you are. We are not in existence to make a social impact or to lead political rallies. That’s not the local churches job. Our job is to lead you to Christ and once you are in the kingdom of Christ, to equip you for the work of the ministry, to do the works of God.
This is the work of God that you believe in Him whom He sent.

God Recovers It All

Glory to God in the highest, AND ON EARTH PEACE, good will toward men! Is there peace on earth today?
Has there ever been peace on earth since that announcement was made?
Satan is stealing SPIRITUAL TREASURES – THINGS THAT HAVE VALUE WITH GOD AND ARE OF ETERNAL SIGNIFICANCE. It is these spiritual treasures GOD CAME TO RECOVER. That’s the reason why Jesus came to this earth. Because God created them to worship and enjoy Him forever.
And it is this truth that has been stolen from the people’s consciousness AND JESUS CAME TO RECOVER IT ALL.
What did Satan STEAL FROM YOU? • What about YOUR FIRST LOVE?
There is no limit and no end to the power he wants to exhibit in our lives. Listen, God can and will keep his people on fire for him. Just don’t believe the lie that we have to mellow down.
• What about YOUR FAITH?
There is a silent theft going on in our spiritual walk: Satan steals our faith.
We once totally depended on God for everything. Circumstances could not bring us down, we simply trusted God to bring us through it all. What happened to your faith? Satan knows that NOTHING IS AS IMPORTANT AS GENUINE FAITH IN A BELIEVERS LIFE. He knows that once he is able to rob us of our faith, we immediately will develop a mindset of self-effort.
God wants YOU TO RECOVER IT ALL. David learned the powerful truth that GOD RECOERS IT ALL. He has a way of getting back what has been ripped off. What the enemy steals, God alone is able to recover. That’s why Jesus came to this earth. You can recover the faith, the childlike trust in the risen, supernatural Jesus Christ – the kind of faith that changes the way you live, talk, and feel.

What’s Your Plan?

Most people will go through life without having ever taken the time to really forge a PLAN FOR THEIR LIFE. What do I want to do with the rest of my life? Some say, well, I don’t plan anything because GOD IS IN CHARGE OF MY LIFE.
If Jesus would have lived on this earth with such an attitude, you and I would spend eternity in everlasting hell fire.
I am so thankful that God the Father has a plan for His entire creation, and especially for me personally.
To find the Biblical answer to what God’s plan is for you and me, we need to turn to John 1:1-14.
Let’s look at the Christian landscape of today, we see similar patterns.
People today can get very excited about Jesus if they see
• That he can benefit them
• That everything will be going great if they “accept Him”
• That He can fix them and solve their problems
What will happen, what will be their plan when Jesus DOES NOT HEAL THEM, DOES NOT GIVE THEM THE BENEFITS THEY DEMAND, DOES NOT FIX THEIR PROBLEMS AND DOES NOT HEAL THEIR MARRIAGE?
The statement: HE WHO HAS SEEN ME HAS SEEN THE FATHER… forms the foundation of all Christian talk about God. It is the incarnation that makes this possible. Excitement about Christmas and that Jesus was born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago, does not mean that we UNDERSTAND WHO GOD IS.
Listen, God’s supreme revelation of Himself is the incarnation, the Word becoming flesh and speaking to us at our level of UNDERSTANDING.

The Battle of All Battles

Jerusalem was filled with people that came from all over the world to celebrate the Passover, the feast God commanded the Hebrews to keep every year as a reminder that it was He alone who brought them out of slavery, out of the Egyptian bondage.
They did not deserve to be delivered, and they certainly did not pay a ransom to the Egyptians to be delivered.
It was a picture of what God is doing for His people, because HE PROMISED LONG AGO, that the spiritual battle of the ages, a battle which started in heaven itself and eventually was introduced to God’s creation in this world, will be won by God Himself, Victory will be declared by God Himself, and the battle of all battles will be settled ones and for all.
That was Satan’s goal all along. TO BE LIKE GOD. That’s the goal of all those who run around the churches claiming to have the same power God has to command Satan and his fallen angels to do their bidding and to command God what to do. Well, all in THE NAME OF JESUS. It’s the battle of all battles.
God uses truth to conquer lies, Satan, the father of lies, uses deception to conceal the lies. Deception is the most powerful weapon Satan has in his arsenal.
When Jesus, willingly, went to the cross, to be crucified for our sins, He did what the Father long ago promised would happen:
The seed, which is Christ Jesus, will win the battle of all battles, not by conquering Satan, but by submitting to the Father’s will.

Hell’s Best Kept Secret

Hell’s best kept secret is the Biblical truth, that the Law is the key that unlocks the unbelievers heart. There is another Biblical truth which Hell has done everything to keep a secret. The secret Satan does not anyone to know is THAT THE LIFE OF CHRIST IS THE BELIEVERS LIGHT AND POWER. Jesus came into this world to do the will of the Father.
When we repent and surrender our life to Jesus, HE WILL GIVE US ETERNAL LIFE. This life is not our life, it is His life living in and through us. The Christian life is very challenging. Because our job is to get out of the way and let Him live His life through us.

Spirit And Truth

Worship involves ATTITUDE, which is awe, reverence, respect.
Worship involves ACTION, which is bowing, praising, serving.
Worship is always voluntarily offered to Him as he has offered Himself to us. TRUE WORSHIP IS NOT CHEAP ENTERTAINEMENT; it’s a costly experience. Worship God in Spirit and Truth, and you will be personally enriched and equipped with spiritual strength that helps you carry the burdens and fight the battles of life. If we know the truth but merely go through the outward motions of worship, our worship will be hypocritical and empty. Objective truth never changes, but our understanding of it deepens and our experience of it should become more and more meaningful.

Do You Understand The World You Live In?

For Judas, truth did not matter at all, money did. He loved money more than he loved Jesus. Judas believed that the world he lived in offered him more than what Jesus had to offer. He did not know nor did he understand the world he was living in. That’s not an excuse for his action, it is simply an honest evaluation of what influenced this man when making life-decision. The world we live in evaluates life-styles not based upon if it’s true or false, but rather by asking IS IT FAIR? How do you live? The World we live in has replaced Truth with fairness. The World we live in has replaced Truth with mysticism. Jesus prayed for unity among his true followers. Not between his followers and those who have replaced truth with fairness or truth with mysticism.

Medicine for Heart Trouble

John 14:1-31 1. The Promise of a HEAVENLY HOME John 14:1-6 Romans 8:18 2. The Promise of KNOWING THE HEAVENLY FATHER John 14:7-11 Philippians 3:10-11 3. The Promise of THE PRIVILEGE OF PRAYER John 14:12-15 Psalm 66:18 Philippians 4:6-7 4. The Promise of THE HOLY SPIRIT John 14:16-18 5. The Promise of THE FATHER’S LOVE John 14:19-24 6. The Promise of THE…